1 Bridging the Gap between Corporate and Distributed Marketers With traditional brand marketing channels rapidly declining in effectiveness, a successful, collaborative relationship between corporate marketing and distributed marketing has never been more vital. Those companies that can overcome the traditional barriers between corporate and distributed teams and foster effective collaboration can realize significant benefits, both in terms of internal efficiencies and in terms of market penetration. This paper looks at the root causes for the gap between corporate and distributed marketing, outlines the key requirements for closing this gap and details a new solution that delivers on these key requirements. A Case for Distributed Marketing Management Now, more than ever, corporate marketing organizations need the aid of distributed marketers. Vehicles for developing and sustaining a company s brand on a mass scale are yielding rapidly diminishing returns. Consumers are increasingly turning to online self-serve options or local venues for their research and purchases. Corporate marketers need to generate buzz, develop brand, and establish communications that generate revenue. No alternative can further these objectives more effectively or efficiently as a fully collaborating distributed marketer. Now, more than ever, distributed marketers need corporate marketing. Armed with little in the way of resources, distributed marketers - be they individuals or teams in franchise networks, field offices, authorized dealer networks, or partner organizations - can t be effective alone. In a daily street fight with competitors, distributed marketers desperately need relevant support from corporate to win those battles. Now, more than ever, the divide between distributed marketers and corporate marketers is expansive, intractable and costly. There really shouldn t be any surprise that such a divide exists. When it comes to marketing, corporate and distributed marketers have very different perspectives. The corporate marketer is focused on national brand. For the local or distributed marketer brand only matters in so far as how it serves to generate revenue. National marketers simply can t know many of the nuances of the local market - what high school football team is strong this season, what mega-church affiliation can make or break store traffic, etc. Thus, the corporate marketer provides traditional brand building resources such as print ads and cable-ready commercials while the local marketer needs guidance on how to organize and maximize the value of everything from billboard messages, to executive breakfasts, to little league team sponsorships. Corporate marketers have tried to close this gap for years. Coop and MDF programs were built for this very purpose. Advisory ad committees have been formed. Marketing storefronts have been launched to provide one stop resources, for example for graphics and marketing collateral templates. But virtually all of the efforts have one common characteristic: they are focused on the needs of corporate marketing groups. Consequently, they are largely rejected or ignored by distributed marketing organizations. The Payoff of Collaborative Marketing Taken as a whole, the gaps between the corporate office and distributed marketers take a tremendous toll on the entire organization. The worlds of corporate teams and distributed marketers are very different, yet they are intrinsically connected. Consequently, organizations that can eliminate these gaps and begin to more effectively manage distributed marketing stand to gain tremendous benefits: Consistent brand message. It is a fundamental reality that the more consistently branding is employed, the more effective branding will be. The more consistently key messages and brand identity are repeated, the more receptive a viewer will be to that message, the better they ll remember the offer, and the better the results will ultimately be. Response, conversion, retention and ROI can all be improved. When distributed marketers no longer need to choose between adherence to corporate branding guidelines and the efficacy of a specific deliverable, everyone wins. Consistent customer communication and retention and growth. When distributed marketers and corporate offices are collaborating more effectively, the entire development, production and distribution process for each deliverable is streamlined. This dramatically accelerates the ultimate project delivery, and fosters more consistently employed, and more regular, communication with customers and prospects. Corporate offices can begin to strike a better balance between guiding and facilitating efforts at the local level, rather than handing down edicts and deliverables in a one dimensional manner. Ultimately,
2 by fostering improved ongoing communications, organizations can more effectively cultivate a dialogue with corporate teams, local teams and customers that furthers business objectives. Corporate marketing dollars go further. When successful, every dollar that corporate marketing invests in distributed marketing fosters increased engagement and spending at the local level. The real ROI begins, however, with providing tested, proven and relevant marketing materials, materials that are repurposed from market-to-market, store-to-store. It is in these scenarios that marketing economics can improve exponentially. Effectiveness and efficiency gains in the local market. When distributed marketers can apply marketing programs with proven results from multiple other markets to their trade area, everyone wins. Sharing resources enables campaign costs to go down. Sharing results enables continually improving effectiveness. Increased effectiveness naturally drives stronger revenues. Today, technologies and techniques exist so that organizations can effectively remove traditional barriers and get corporate offices and distributed marketers truly collaborating, so these dramatic benefits can be realized. Innovative companies are already moving down this path. The following section outlines what the key requirements of this new environment are. Collaboration: The Key to a New Distributed Marketing Ecosystem Successful companies today are harnessing solutions that foster unprecedented teamwork between corporate and distributed marketers. To do so, they need a powerful new distributed marketing ecosystem. Collaboration is at the heart of this ecosystem. Contributions of ideas, creative execution and results measurement come from both the community of distributed marketers and from corporate marketing. Effective campaigns - both locally and corporate generated - are highlighted and repurposed across multiple markets. Failures are immediately flagged through reporting feedback - before they fail again in another market. Efficiency gains and improved results naturally follow. As long it remains collaborative, the ecosystem grows in relevance and becomes self sustaining. Following is an overview of the resources needed to make this collaboration a reality. Resources for Distributed Marketers Distributed marketing teams need convenient, reliable access to a broad set of resources, including the tools, templates, digital assets and processes they need to get their jobs done. Further these resources need to be easily accessible, and intuitive to use, or they won t be used at all. Campaign Planning and Scheduling Organization and ease of use is essential to the success of any local marketing endeavor. Campaign planning and calendar functionality must make it not only easy to plan marketing activities but to organize the implementation of the activity through project-based to do lists. The ability to add a marketing idea or activity to a campaign and have an associated to do list automatically populate the campaign calendar helps ensure that campaigns or other activities are implemented efficiently and effectively. Central Management Console for Corporate Marketing To be effective, corporate marketing groups need a centralized, intuitive console for managing this distributed marketing management system. This console needs to make it easy to set up, update, and manage. Sophisticated controls need to be available to govern user permissions and access, and tools need to be available that automate the tracking of results, the development of schedules, the development and distribution of templates and much more. Online Exchange To make distributed marketing management effective, knowledge and collaboration need to be managed in a cohesive manner through a portal that includes: A centralized storefront, where digital assets can be accessed or purchased, and automated workflow can be initiated and monitored. A central repository where ideas can be submitted and discussed. A collaboration and feedback center where participants at both the corporate and local level can exchange ideas, tips and results. Systematic Results Measurement and Dissemination All efforts being managed need to be monitored and tracked, and that data needs to be available through intuitive dashboards and reports so that individuals can effectively measure past results and leverage those learnings in ongoing planning and quality improvement. The above capabilities need to be coordinated and facilitate the data aggregation required to foster this rigorous analysis. Broad Resource Coverage Finally, these capabilities need to span the broadest possible array of deliverable types. Solutions need to encompass traditional marketing vehicles such as advertisements, campaigns, webinars, print collateral and more. They also need to accommodate other non-traditional resources and programs as well, for example providing guidelines and a to do list for hosting a car wash, instructions on producing effective car wraps, templates for point of sale posters and promotions, guidelines for structuring effective referral incentive programs for employees and more.
3 Saepio: Delivering on the Key Requirements for Distributed Marketing Management Saepio offers a software platform for distributed marketing management that makes the potential gains of true collaboration and workflow efficiencies across a distributed marketing organization a practical reality. Saepio s MarketPort, scheduled for release in 2010, helps organizations maximize their marketing investments by making it easier for distributed marketers to utilize corporate marketing resources. It also enables them to gain unprecedented control over distributed marketing, by facilitating better information and resource sharing with local marketers. Ultimately, by being aligned with national programs and objectives, the power of all marketing investments is more fully realized. Only Saepio MarketPort makes distributed marketing: Effective, by leveraging investments and efforts, and applying result metrics to future investments. Engaging, by automating and facilitating effective, streamlined communications among all marketing stakeholders, including corporate teams, distributed marketers, and vendors. Easy, by providing process automation, intuitive resource access and much more. Effective Saepio MarketPort bridges the historic divide between corporate and local marketers, making it feasible to improve marketing economics, efficiency and effectiveness. Saepio provides the marketing resource management tools corporate marketers need to effectively manage their distributed marketing ecosystems. Saepio MarketPort fosters results gathering and information sharing that enables organizations to more fully leverage programs and deliverables that work, and weed out those that don t. Further, Saepio MarketPort provides marketing collateral customization tools that local marketers need to effectively drive traffic and sales for their businesses. Engaging Saepio solutions enable organizations to move past traditional one-way communications and begin to foster active engagement among corporate marketing teams and distributed marketers - and for all distributed marketers to share ideas and assets across various geographies. Saepio s MarketPort platform: facilitates active communication between corporate and distributed marketers, replacing the passiveness of traditional marketing storefront interactions with regularly scheduled, automated html communications. enables corporate teams to continually provide best practice self help materials, case studies and creative content for franchise teams. allows distributed marketers to share best practice case studies, marketing campaign results and feedback on specific deliverables with peers across their distributed marketing community. Easy Saepio MarketPort is easy for both the corporate marketer and local marketer alike to use. Corporate marketers can leverage one dashboard interface that makes it intuitive to deliver new assets, update processes, schedule communications and much more. For local marketers, Saepio MarketPort offers an easy-to-access resource that provides one centralized source for all their marketing needs - all from an intuitive dashboard on their desktops. Saepio MarketPort: Product Overview MarketPort provides a comprehensive array of distinct, yet fully integrated capabilities. For corporate marketers, MarketPort provides an easy to use, centralized resource for managing the entire distributed marketing ecosystem. Both corporate and local marketers access Saepio MarketPort via a desktop-based interface that is powerful and intuitive and easy to access. MarketPort automates and dramatically streamlines the process of researching, selecting and managing the development of program deliverables. Following is an overview of Saepio MarketPort s key capabilities: Dashboard The dashboard is a fully configurable interface that offers access to all key MarketPort tools, including a to-do list, campaign center calendar, message center, idea center, reports monitor, live content manager, sharing center and marketing storefront. To Do List This area provides a current snapshot of all actions needing to be completed for marketing programs under way. Integrated with campaign center calendar, dates from the corporate office can be automatically added to the to do list, to assist in keeping programs on track. Plus, the list is color coded for easy scanning and navigation. Campaign Center Calendar The campaign center calendar provides a campaign planning resource for the local marketer. At the corporate level, users can leverage this capability to raise awareness of deadlines and other campaigns underway and better ensure timely participation in nationwide programs. With Saepio MarketPort, the user can simply insert marketing activities into the calendar and the platform automatically creates project deadlines and action items in association with the activity.
4 From the MarketPort dashboard, users can quickly get information on required activities, upcoming events, and new programs and quickly access the functionality they need to perform a range of activities. Suggested Campaigns and New Ads This function provides an area to highlight specific deliverables, offering the corporate marketer an effective way to feature new or highly effective items, and giving the distributed marketer an easy way to stay abreast of new campaigns and ads that have been made available from the corporate office. This area might feature a seasonal promotion, a new ad campaign or any other item. From the dashboard, the local marketer can click on an item, read the full description, and if desired, add the deliverable or program directly into the campaign calendar. Once this addition has been made, all associated tasks and calendar items are entered automatically. The Idea Center This area provides an easy way for distributed marketers to search through potential activities for promoting their business. Efforts featured here can include a direct mail campaign, a community promotion, an opportunity for exhibiting at a trade show, or any other proven ideas. The idea center can be populated by both corporate and local marketers, making it a truly communitybased resource filled with tested concepts. The idea center enables searching by keyword and category, and each idea included has a results meter indicating the program s past results, making it easier for distributed marketers to filter and prioritize among various activities. From the idea center, users can select a program and instantly drop it into the appropriate place in the campaign center calendar - and all associated tasks and calendar items will be added automatically.
5 Reports Reporting is a key capability of Saepio MarketPort, enabling individuals at the corporate and local level to monitor results, measure success and leverage learnings in future planning. Saepio MarketPort automates the data aggregation required, and it fosters the submission of standardized feedback from users. Data is automatically gathered through the campaign management functionality of the campaign center, and reporting is also directly connected to campaigns. In addition, results and written feedback are posted in association with campaigns in both the idea center and storefront. In addition, reporting can be viewed at the individual, group or aggregate level, and reports can be done on specific programs and program categories. Live Content Manager This area provides fast access for maintaining all live content, for example Web site content or online search listings. From here, users can quickly view content, make changes, and submit revisions for posting. Sharing Center This is an area for the exchange of ideas and correspondence, both between individuals at the corporate office and distributed marketers, as well as among distributed marketers. The sharing center enables an open forum for marketing-related discussion threads, fostering lesson sharing and collaboration among all marketing stakeholders. Marketing Storefront The marketing storefront is a single repository for all of the marketing materials a franchisee needs, including images, customizable ads, collateral, promotion incentives, templates, press release distribution, direct mail fulfillment and more. This storefront is based on a robust e-commerce framework that features multi-vendor routing, approval processes, inventory control and more. Conclusion Given the intense competitive and market dynamics in place today, corporations have never had more to gain by fostering effective collaboration with their distributed marketing teams - or more to lose by failing to do so. Ultimately, it is the degree with which an organization can foster this effective collaboration that can play a substantial role in its ability to increase market share in the months and years ahead. By providing the robust, integrated capabilities required to realize a complete, cohesive distributed marketing ecosystem, Saepio enables organizations to foster true, effective collaboration between corporate marketing teams - enabling organizations to realize significant improvements in internal efficiencies and market penetration. About Saepio Saepio empowers marketers to plan and execute meaningful and engaging marketing campaigns across distributed networks and around the globe ensuring local relevance, brand consistency, speed to market and significant cost savings. The world s best known brands turn to Saepio s powerful software platform and extensive portfolio of support services to automate the marketing process, eliminate redundancy and ensure that all marketers connected to the brand whether global, distributed, franchise, VAR or chain store marketers have the assets and tools they need to quickly customize and execute campaigns. To learn more about Saepio s distributed marketing management solutions, visit us at or call Saepio, Inc. saepio.com