What Differentiates a Leading Distributed Marketing Platform?
Brands that don’t have a robust and comprehensive Through-Channel Marketing Automation solution are finding it increasingly difficult to implement an effective Distributed Marketing strategy. When you sell products in local markets and rely heavily on local partners, connecting the dots between your local marketing automation technology and its impact on sales is essential. If you can’t, it’s time to shop around for a better solution.
While many marketing automation options may claim to offer solutions, finding the right fit for your Brand often involves weeding out the mediocre options. That’s why Brand marketers need to look under the hood. If you find a single-point solution that needs to be cobbled together with other systems, keep looking. Researching Through-Channel Marketing Automation and Distributed Marketing solutions might seem complex at the onset. That’s why we’ve put together this quick checklist of essentials. Here’s what to look for in a leading Distributed Marketing platform:
Leading Distributed Marketing platforms make it easy for Brand marketers to access ROI data in real time. A truly robust platform embeds Marketing Analytics across various touchpoints, making it possible to compare data from various sources. It’s not enough to get results on local marketing campaigns. Brand marketers need to compare the effectiveness of different tactics, across different regions or tiers within their partner networks. They also need to examine partner engagement and platform usage.
Partner Success Management
The way Brands manage their partner networks can have a direct impact on sales. Leading Distributed Marketing platforms understand this and include Partner Success Management in a comprehensive offering. However, collecting data on how partners use the Distributed Marketing platform is just one piece of the puzzle. Partner Success Management also includes expert marketing research, field support and one-on-one partner support.
Innovative Co-Op Advertising and MDF programs
Many Distributed Marketing platforms – or Through-Channel Marketing Automation platforms – claim to be compatible with third-party Claims and Reimbursement vendors or existing Co-Op Advertising programs. However, upon closer inspection, they may be using expensive and outdated manual processes as a stop-gap measure to overcome incompatible systems. Leading Distributed Marketing platforms resolve this issue by including Co-Op and MDF processes within the platform, eliminating the issue of incompatibility altogether. Look for a platform that gives you multiple options – including claims and reimbursement, co-pay and change management – so it can evolve with your Brand and your partner network as funds management needs change.
Every minute counts. In the fast-paced world of local marketing, market conditions can change in a matter of moments. Brands need to be nimble — not only with national messaging. They need to apply speed and agility in local markets. When it takes days to create or update local marketing and respond to changing market conditions, your Brand is at a competitive disadvantage. Leading Distributed Marketing platforms include streamlined processes that measure local marketing execution in minutes instead of days.
Automated Campaign Execution
Automated Campaign Execution is an essential component of a leading Distributed Marketing platform. This means that the entire process of local marketing campaign execution is purposefully automated and accessible on the platform. A leading Distributed Marketing platform is so simple and efficient for your local partners to use, that they can reduce the overall time they spend on local marketing. Truly seamless Automated Campaign Execution means giving your local partners more time to build customer relationships and close sales.
Native Ad Builder
When a native ad builder is an integral part of a comprehensive Distributed Marketing platform, it gives Brands more than they could ever get out of a single-point ad building solution or any combination of ad-building vendors and agencies. Consider the savings in time and cost with a leading Distributed Marketing platform capable of automating ad customization, vendor management, brand guidelines and approvals. More innovative Distributed Marketing platforms even give Brands the option of keeping their preferred vendors by integrating them into the platform’s network of Marketing Service Providers.
Now, let’s talk about what that Marketing Service Provider network should look like. When providers are truly integrated in a leading Distributed Marketing platform, this means that the platform has internal systems in place to vet, monitor and manage vendors on a regular basis so your Brand marketing team doesn’t have to. It also means that the vendors within the network must maintain the highest quality results, with a wide array of options from the latest digital marketing tactics to tried-and-true traditional marketing tactics. This gives Brands and their partners the assurance of flawless results without the headaches and hassle of managing the process.
Choosing a Distributed Marketing platform is a big decision that will inevitably have a ripple effect on local marketing strategy and sales results. And there is an ocean of difference between those who make big claims and those who can deliver measurable results. The key is to find a solution that can evolve with your Brand and your partner network.
Gary Ritkes, President of SproutLoud, oversees all Business Development and Marketing for the company. Gary, a pioneer in the emerging vertical of Distributed Marketing Technology, is an industry leader and innovator with 20+ years experience in graphic communications and marketing strategy. Gary has been involved with SproutLoud since the inception of the company. Prior to joining SproutLoud, Gary was VP of Marketing for Rex Three, Inc., SproutLoud’s first and largest vendor among its network of providers. He has served many Fortune 1000 clients and worldwide advertising agencies in providing marketing technology direction and optimization. He was an original founder of U.S. based Earth Color Group and co-founder of Advanced Digital Services (ADS), which was sold in 1996 to publicly traded Katz Digital Technologies. He has served as a board member of the local chapter of the American Advertising Federation chapter and other national industry associations, including the DMA and AGA.