You are a big brand or manufacturer, you sell through local partners and you support partner marketing. You are seemingly taking all the right steps, but do you and your local partners really have a clear results picture?
Plenty of companies considered top-performers in their respective industries that market through local partners still can’t tell you with certainty how successful their local marketing campaigns are. It is often because brands get stuck using partner marketing portals instead of a Local Marketing Software (LMS).
The Difference Between Using Local Marketing Software vs. Partner Marketing Portals
As a brand, you have two methods in which you can provide marketing support to your local partners, either by facilitation, or by automation. The difference? The degree of control and involvement you choose to take on. You can read more in depth about this important divergence in this recent Channel Marketer Report article, summarized below:
Partner Marketing Portals
A portal of single- solution vendors, relying on partners to choose from different suppliers for direct mail, email, display advertising, etc. That’s where a breakdown can occur -- vendor management outside of the portal.
And the likely outcome? The multitude of vendors working locally don’t know what each other are doing, the results come back at different times in different formats, and ultimately, overall channel marketing strategy takes a backseat to individual tactics for individual partners.
Local Marketing Software Attacks it Differently
Providing a Local Marketing Software solution instead prioritizes strategy ahead of the tactics by creating a top-down workflow that is driven by brand marketing objectives and goals. From there, local partners can choose to opt in to the tactics that resonate for them locally.
And although some of a Local Marketing Software’s execution of services comes from third-party marketing service partners (vendors), their full integration on a single, unifying platform creates a seamless experience. One of the primary advantages of LMS is that it is a lot easier to track the results of local advertising as the data is being automatically retrieved, centralized, and visualized through the same platform.
Measuring Your Local Marketing Results With Local Marketing Software
- Email Marketing – LMS aggregates Open Rates, Click-Through Rates, and Conversion Rates of email campaigns for both the individual local partner and the brand to provide a network-wide view of results.
- Local Web Pages – These web pages have been created specifically for conveying special offers or information and have one goal in mind, conversion. Using LMS provides 2 key advantages when managing these pages: automation of localized page generation from a template and tracking of the conversion activity on these pages.
- Direct Mail – This is where LMS really shows its muscle, as its very difficult to traditionally track the redemption of direct mail. But when a direct mail piece is linked to an online conversion component that is implemented through a LMS, these actions can be compiled and evaluated. Examples of these conversion types would include an online landing page (see above), using a QR code or driving calls to a phone number that can be tracked.
Best of all -- in advanced systems, a merchant’s Point-of-Sale (POS) information can be synced back to the marketing software and that sales data can be integrated to provide a 360 degree view of the conversion cycle.
- Paid Search – Similar to Direct Mail, the same conversion types listed above can be utilized within PPC campaigns and aggregated through LMS to show local and brand level data.
The simplification of the relationships among people, process, and technology is hardly a desire exclusive to brands and manufacturers that sell through local distributors. But after almost 10 years in this industry it’s clear that partner portals fall short while Local Marketing Software can overcome the inaction and confusion which can hurt local marketing outreach.
About the Author
Jared is the Chief Executive Officer of SproutLoud. Since 2006, he has been primarily responsible for strategic direction of the Company, as well as the oversight of SproutLoud's Partner ecosystem. Prior to SproutLoud, Jared worked in Thomas Weisel Partner’s internet and online advertising investment banking practice in San Francisco. He served as the lead analyst on a number of Corporate Finance and M&A deals including Newscorps’ buyout of Intermix Media (Myspace.com). Jared graduated with a B.A. in Finance and Marketing from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia. Jared has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and is a member of the Young President's Organization (YPO). Jared has been honored as one of the Top 40 Under 40 Entrepreneurs by South Florida Business Journal and a Top 50 Entrepreneur by Business Leader Magazine. Jared lives in South Florida with his wife and two sons.More Content by Jared Shusterman