In a newly published article from ANA Magazine, Pica9 Founder Kevin Groome has some advice for national brands with many locations: don’t be perfectionists if it’s holding your marketing back!
Quoted in “Get on the DAM Train” published by the Association of National Advertisers, Groome says that his 20+ years of experience with distributed marketing has shown him that multi-location brands struggle over brand consistency. As he told the ANA, designers and marketers at headquarters want control of marketing from national campaigns down to the coupons used in the field. But with 300 or 2000 locations all clamoring for unique marketing materials, consistency is more elusive than they expect.
Brand managers at large brands know that consistent, brand-compliant marketing is what gives their company an edge in a competitive marketplace. But marketers in the field, like franchisees and dealership owners, are less concerned with the big picture of a brand’s image and more interested in flexibility. These local marketers want to use custom messaging that will perform best with their customers.
In this situation, branding pros are faced with the problem that giving local marketers what they want can undo the hard work they’ve done.
The choice is a tough one for many marketers. Give your local affiliates what they’re asking for and lose some control, or hold onto the reins tightly and risk a dissatisfied field.
“You're going to let go of some of the perfectionism that has often characterized the advertising business, but you'll get more flexibility at the local level."
In reality, Groome reveals in the ANA interview, there is no choice. Local affiliates are going to find ways to do the marketing they want to – whether the brand is with them or not. Groome’s advice for brand managers is to accept the situation. “You're going to let go of some of the perfectionism that has often characterized the advertising business,” Groome says, “but you'll get more flexibility at the local level."
How do brand managers stay in control while giving their local affiliates flexibility? Digital Asset Management, the ANA article shows, is a big part of the answer.
Groome explains that platforms like Pica9’s CampaignDrive go beyond the core features of asset management to address the brand compliance issues that multi-location brands are facing. In his comments to the ANA he says, “We came to realize we needed to distribute those assets in a way that would protect them from misuse or misapplication, but still allow folks in the field to tailor these assets for their needs to conquer the last mile of marketing."
Surprisingly, with a DAM system, more flexible marketing materials can actually lead to better brand consistency. "When you get that virtuous cycle going, they start using and complying with the brand voice more, rather than trying to invent their own."
Groome’s interview with the ANA adds another note to a growing chorus of commentary on the challenges of distributed marketing.
The Gartner Market Guide to Digital Asset Management expressed the same sentiment, saying that the need to balance brand consistency with local flexibility is top of mind for marketers. Forrester has also published two new reports recently claiming that Digital Asset Management systems have to serve distributed brands’ content creation needs.