When we talk about marketing automation in the franchise industry, we recognize what a big of a challenge it is to disseminate marketing campaigns and materials to numerous locations in multiple regions. What resonates in one area may fall flat in another. Or perhaps the value propositions are completely different for one market vs. another. For these reasons–and several more–, we aren’t surprised to learn that improving operational efficiency is a top concern for distributed enterprise organizations, and leaders of those companies view automation-based technology as a key tool for cost savings and superior marketing execution.
It is a challenge not unique to the franchise industry, distributed brands (organizations with a corporate marketing function that oversees a network of local distributors and/or business owners) around the globe are searching for a solution.
4 Ways Marketing Automation Improves Local Marketing ROI of Distributed Brands
Distributed marketing management is the process of creating, managing, and delivering marketing content across a wide range of channels and locations—all while staying consistent along the way. We know that marketing automation works well for the more “centralized” companies that employ it, but how does it stack up at a distributed brand that faces the additional multi-location challenge? We’ll look at 4 areas of distributed marketing that can be improved with marketing automation and, ultimately, generate higher ROI on local marketing efforts.
Improving the Local Customer Experience
Customer experience is fundamental to any marketing campaign. This is no different in distributed marketing environments. By focusing on improving the localized customer experience, the odds of running a successful campaign increase. Of course, it is easier said than done. Below are results from a 2016 survey that can hinder the effort to automate local customer communications:
- Lack of an effective strategy (52%)
- Complexity of the system (42%)
- Inadequate contact data quality (38%)
- Lack of employee skills (32%)
For distributed brands, the most effective way to produce a high-quality customer experience that drives repeat business is to develop strong collaborative processes between the corporate marketing team and the local field contacts. By doing so, organizations recognize the voice and perspective of the local marketer and can work together to develop highly relevant and localized campaigns.
Improving Technology Adoption time
Time is money. As cloud-based platforms become more and more mainstream, customers are expecting from all technologies the ability to onboard quickly and start driving results soon afterwards. SaaS products address that need and are a welcome alternative to legacy systems that required heavy customization and large budget commitments. Some of the main benefits they provide are:
- Simplified maintenance and automatic feature updates
- Faster implementation and instant access to features
- Ease-of-use and global access
- Reduced dependence on internal IT resources
- Global access and mobility
Reducing (and eliminating) Niche Tools
Marketing automation provides a one-stop-shop and reduces the need for one-off tools that only provided certain benefits. On average, distributed brand organizations are using 8 different tools to support local marketing efforts. In addition to the amount of training it takes to get employees up to speed on that many systems, it also opens the door wide open to miscommunication, inconsistent branding and non-compliant materials–which, ultimately, will negatively impact the customer experience.
Even in today’s multi-channel marketing landscape, print remains an effective vehicle for distributed brands. In a consumer survey 56% of all consumers trust print marketing more than any other advertising method and 70% reported that they find direct mail advertising more personal than online ads.
One of the biggest benefits of marketing automation is the template functionality. This not only supports the local need for specific and regionalized content, but it also alleviates your corporate team from the task of re-sizing materials multiple times for different channels.
Marketing automation allows distributed brands the ability to streamline both their corporate and local marketing efforts, while at the same time, maintaining brand consistency and enforcing compliance. Organizations that have adopted this revolutionary technology have already seen the benefits and are enjoying higher ROI on their materials and a better overall customer experience.
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