Often we are approached by companies that are experiencing tremendous growth. Sometimes it’s a bank that has made an acquisition and is in the process of integrating many new bank branches into their corporation. Other times it’s a franchisor who has many new locations under construction or has several new franchisees under contract. It’s exciting to be part of a growing business; but it can also be stressful, especially for the corporate marketing department.
With new locations come many more local representatives to support, potentially in new local markets. We all understand the importance of localized marketing and developing messaging that resonates with the target audience. But, how do you deliver localization as your locations multiply? Try starting with these 4 tips:1. Clearly define your corporate brand standards.
Reduce the time spent debating what is or is not brand compliant by documenting your brand standards. Once documented, communicating the brand guidelines and having the document readily available to existing and new local representatives should also reduce the number of incidents that need to be addressed.2. Assess the tasks being performed by your team.
How much localization is being performed by the corporate marketing team? Once your brand guidelines have been documented, it will become easier to develop standard templates. With templates in place, you can empower your local representatives, those who know the local customers best, to customize marketing materials.
How much time do senior team members spend on menial marketing tasks? Perhaps an entry level-person or a business partner could take on this workload and greatly improve the team productivity.3. Review your current processes.
According to McKinsey & Company, “It’s important for a company to determine which processes will come under particular stress when it grows.” As the number of locations your marketing team supports grows, so will the number of requests that they receive for localized marketing materials, approvals, marketing dollars, etc. What do these workflows entail? Are there opportunities to simplify the processes?4. Identify opportunities for automation.
Deploying systems to automate marketing workflow can also be a good option for reducing time spent on menial tasks and optimizing processes. Marketing resource management systems are designed to streamline distributed marketing and enable customization at the local level.
When you experience rapid growth, it can be tempting to simplify your marketing approach by resorting to more generic messaging. However, by restricting localization you can damage your relationship with your local representatives and hinder their success. You may want to try instead to simplify your processes and deploy marketing systems where it makes sense. You will likely discover that you can scale while delivering localized, relevant marketing messaging.