Why You Should Lead Your Brand’s Local Partner Marketing Efforts

April 29, 2015 Gary Ritkes

As a national marketer working with local partners, you have a lot of balancing to do. On one hand, you have the needs of the brand. You need to make sure that your brand messaging is cohesive and reaching as many people as possible. On the other hand, you have the needs of your partners. Their top priority is growing their businesses. This means sending customized messages to cater to their local audiences. It also means selling many brands to foster sales growth. Your brand is important to them, but it’s far more important to you.

So who is supposed to lead your brand’s local marketing: you or your partners? You are. Here are four reasons why.

You are your brand’s marketing expert.

Your partners are small business owners. As small business owners, they handle their own accounting, human resources, and everything else. Marketing is one of the last things on their minds. You, on the other hand, focus solely on marketing and can keep up with all of the new trends and tactics. You also know your brand far better than your partners ever could. Your partners are relying on your knowledge so they can reach their customers with your brand.

You can let partners customize messaging while protecting your brand.

It’s understandable for partners to want to customize their marketing messages. They know what offers, products, and services resonate better with their markets. However, you have to make sure that your brand elements -- logos, taglines, etc. -- stay intact. This dilemma is easily solved with a local marketing automation platform. This kind of platform not only let partners access marketing materials, but it also lets you determine what elements of these marketing pieces that partners can change. As a result, you can be sure that your partners’ marketing complies with your brand standards.

You can cut costs for yourself and your partners.

If there is one mutual goal that you and your partners have, it’s to save money. You can save yourself and your partners money by offering co-op funds or MDF to cover some of their marketing costs. With these funds, you are both paying for a portion of a marketing initiative in place of having one party pay for it entirely. It’s much easier to offer these funds through a local marketing platform that lets you distribute these funds in real time. This is also known as a co-pay model, and it’s an effective way to engage your partners in local marketing.  

You can make your local marketing more efficient and scalable.

Each of your partners has different marketing needs. It may sound logical to invest in different programs to satisfy each need. That becomes expensive, inefficient, and very difficult to measure. A local marketing automation platform will give your partners access to all of the tactics they need in one hub. They can pick and choose what they need to best reach their customers. As a result, you can measure all of their marketing efforts on the same scale.

Local through-partner marketing is not easy. You have to keep your brand top of mind, but your partners have to keep their businesses going. Your partners can impact your local marketing, but you -- the brand marketer -- must be its fearless leader. You know what your brand needs to grow and what your partners need to sell your brand. By using your expertise to provide all of this while letting partners customize messages and save money, your brand will be poised for the national and local growth it needs to attract new customers and establish relationships for a long time.

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Who’s responsible for leading a brand’s local marketing strategy: the national marketer or the local marketer? Read on to find out!

About the Author

Gary Ritkes

Gary Ritkes oversees all Business Development and Marketing at SproutLoud. He has been a pioneer in the emerging vertical of Distributed Marketing Technology and 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 a co-founder of Advanced Digital Services (ADS) which was sold in 1996 to publicly traded Katz Digital Technologies. He is a current board member of the local Advertising Federation chapter and has served as a member for other national industry associations including the DMA, AGA, and the CMO council.

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