In your role, it’s vital that the marketing service you provide to your network adds genuine value to the work that you do at a National, brand level. But it isn’t just about your wants, it’s equally about the network’s needs. Getting that balance right is a precursor to enduring results as they will be properly enabled to help leverage your spend above-the-line. Understand their daily challenges…get out into the network to discover the realities they face...share your knowledge and your successful actions.
1) Share more brand content
Building brands needs careful planning and strategy – and obviously it’s expensive. This is why it’s generally accepted that HQ is best placed to carry out this part of the marketing process, after all you hold the keys to the big budgets.
The work you do here creates a good number of high quality and valuable marketing assets and content. What we often find though is that this content is being used above the line by a select number of parties, but it’s rarely accessible to the network for local or regional marketing. They’re either unaware it exists or they find it almost impossible to access.
Imagine how much more powerful these resources would be if you released them to everybody in the network. Imagine how much they could add to your brand’s footprint, especially if you had control over how they were used.
Utilising the best of the Marketing Asset Management Systems (MAMS) means you can do all of this, right now. (see a previous article exploring what makes for a great Marketing Asset Management Systems)
2) Empower their marketing
The sophistication of some of the current MAMS means that with the right team in place, one template can be utilised to create quite literally hundreds of different variations of a whole number of marketing assets, for both traditional media and digital spaces.
The key for you is the control you have over the look and feel of the templates you make available. The messages will support what you’re saying at National level - the tone of voice will be spot on and the assets used match perfectly. The consistency the brand will be portraying to the buying public makes a huge difference to its perception, something often lacking in the usual disconnect we see between National and Local marketing.
Whilst you might consider your ‘suggested’ executions to be an overly paternal hand-holding process, the truth is that the network will perceive the trade-off in a very different light. Experience tells us that they’ll see a range of templates and executions and rightly feel that the choices you give them actually means they have ownership and a good element of control on the materials and campaigns that they can run with.
And rather than complain when the choice is presented to them, the reality is that most like to follow a fairly well trodden path.
3) Give them the right choices
Too often we see the same ad, email, web banner or poster with a different outlet or dealer name and phone number at the bottom. It’s great for visibility, saliency and brand recognition but it doesn’t always allow your network to make the messaging genuinely local or relevant.
And we often find that although the network SHOULD be competing with other brands, they feel that they’re MAINLY competing with other retailers in your own network.
Neither of the above situations should be allowed to develop - give them a chance to stand out a little bit.
How? Make sure the Marketing Asset Management System holds a good variety of templates for each channel, and try adding as many opportunities as possible for them to personalise the messages, offers and details.
Remember, nearly all the work is being done for them with a good template. If you make it easy for them to make some simple alterations without affecting the fabric of the brand our experience tells us they’ll keep coming back.
- Get close to your network of dealers, outlets or franchisees – find out what they feel they want to be saying. What feels important to them?
- Increase your marketing footprint by making your high-quality resources freely available to the network, with a bit of control
- Take virtual control of the network’s marketing budget by providing an irresistible templating system so they’re spending their money on your messages as well as theirs
- Give the network good opportunities to alter some elements to make their marketing more relevant to their business and their local market
Check out our paper if you want more in depth ideas on how to really make your MAM work for you and your team: