The onset of the Digital Age has added layers of complexity to the challenges faced by marketing leaders. For those in a distributed marketing environment, where corporate marketing and local sales channels simultaneously represent a single brand, the increase in complexity is exponential. As sales and marketing teams attempt to leverage digital channels together, the slightest disconnect in strategy or execution between the two departments can lead to brand erosion and confusion in the marketplace. We’ve identified four key challenges being faced by today’s distributed marketers:
GENERAL OVERSIGHT AND WORKFLOW
Corporate marketers often have a difficult time tracking which marketing materials are available to the local sales team, which materials are up-to-date and which materials are actually being used. In addition, campaign delegation and execution are not easy to oversee. Managers need to know who’s doing what, how they’re doing it, and how well it’s working.
ENSURING BRAND CONSISTENCY
It happens in every business: Marketing is swamped, but someone in the field really needs a specific promotional piece. The end result is usually the local representative creating the piece themselves. Though well intended, these random efforts usually end up violating brand guidelines.
ENSURING COMPLIANCE INTEGRITY
Professionals working in the insurance and financial services industries, for example, know that meeting state and federal compliance standards are of utmost importance. Violations and subsequent citations can result in major fines and license to practice being revoked. When brokers, agents or other sales professionals are left to develop customized content on their own, mistakes can happen.
LOCALIZED MESSAGING AND TARGETED CONTENT
The success of any marketing initiative comes down to great content that speaks to a specific audience. Maintaining overall corporate branding while allowing content to be localized enough to resonate with audiences is critical in generating localized content that will resonate with target audiences.
Technology has expanded the scope of distributed marketing in ways never before conceived, which has, in turn, created new challenges. However, although technology has complicated many aspects of marketing, it also can be a powerful means for simplification. Today, platforms such as marketing resource management systems automate marketing workflow and simplify the process of ensuring brand and regulatory compliance and localizing messaging. These systems are designed specifically to address the complexities of the marketing function in the digital age.