8 Tips for Implementing a Distributed Marketing Strategy
- Posted: 18th September 2017
What is Distributed Marketing?
Distributed marketing enhances collaboration between a company’s central (corporate) marketing function and its local (distributed) marketing entities. The process focuses on creating, managing and delivering marketing content that is consistent and on-message across all relevant channels.
Celerity has worked with clients on effective multi-channel distributed marketing management for a number of years using Adobe Campaign. We have developed eight rules for ensuring that distributed marketing success is achieved company-wide with superior marketing results.
1) Define the success criteria and generate positive PR
Before rolling-out a distributed marketing strategy to local entities, your company needs to develop a clear list of measurable success criteria. These criteria can combine corporate level and distributor-focused business metrics. Some examples are:
- Reduce campaign cycle time
- Eliminate redundant agency spend
- Lower production costs
- Increase prospect conversion rates
- Increase size of average deal
- Increase capture of market share
You will need two internal PR campaigns to communicate the distributed marketing roll-out: one for corporate level marketing and the other for local level entities. The corporate level approach must emphasise brand consistency, cost efficiency and management of local level needs and uses. Local users will need to understand how the solution will benefit them – namely, help them stay one step ahead of the competition.
2) Balance the configurable UI (MVP) with a positive adoption rate
Successful adoption of the configuration process requires that your company’s distributor network buys-into the Minimum Viable Product (MVP). This needs to include features, access means and campaign lists.
To achieve this buy-in, the company must involve the key local users from the get-go. All integrations need to be tested before going live to ensure that the distributed marketing campaign is easy-to-use and relevant. This will boost adoption rate among local users.
3) Line-up all your integrations to third-party systems
The distributed marketing management platform must be able to transform data between systems. Optimum functionality depends on the successful exchange of data from local user systems. Timelines and processes must be agreed upon upfront for all third-party systems data transfer. This can take longer than expected, so be sure to allocate sufficient time.
4) Lead the effort with strong project management
Strong project management is key to successfully implementing a distributed marketing strategy. This needs to cover people, tasks, technical aspects and deliverables. It’s worth pairing up an expert project manager from an implementation partner with a designated project manager from your company. This will help to align company knowledge through the distributed marketing roll-out experience.
5) Develop end-user training and best practices
End-user training is critical for a successful distributed marketing solution roll-out. Local users need reference materials and training guides that show them how to run a campaign from selection through to delivery. Analytics is a particularly important training area as many local users lack this expertise.
In our experience, visual, exercise-based training in multiple media types achieves the best results.
6) Consider a phased roll-out
If your company’s distribution network is large, we recommend a phased approach. Start with a small segment, get them up and running with the distributed marketing management software, and once all is working well – move onto the next group. Allow enough time between roll-out phases to ensure that any issues have been resolved. However, don’t let too much time pass or interest and motivation may wane. Involve the project managers in planning out the individual phases and maintaining momentum.
7) Outline your brand standards and ensure access to content
Keep your brand standards front and centre at all times when implementing a distributed marketing solution. Make sure there is a brand guidelines document available to your distributors in hard copy and online to review during training.
Adobe Campaign is especially useful at corporate level to help you set up marketing templates, assets and workflows for local distributor access. Campaign Driver, Celerity’s own distributed marketing management tool, extends a simplified interface over Adobe Campaign’s Distributed Marketing module and allows end users to focus more on their specific communication objectives.
8) Address on-going technical and functional support
Questions and issues arise in any distributed marketing strategy roll-out. To reduce their impact and facilitate a fast resolution, make sure you have a defined support plan in place. All users facing a technical or functional problem will want access to answers and help quickly.
A support plan could include establishing a manned Help Desk, as well as creating self-help tools such as short video tutorials, FAQs and reference material. As your distribution network grows and becomes more familiar with the platform, the support material can be easily updated using Adobe Campaign.