Take the Reins of Your Brand's Local Marketing

December 6, 2012 Gary Ritkes

An Ode to the Local Marketing Dilemma

To do it for them, or not to do it for them, that is the question:

Whether ‘tis nobler to let the user suffer the pains and frustrations

Of trying to create and deploy their own local level marketing program

Or to take control and provide a simple “we do it for you” solution.

These are the battles that today’s channel marketers face every time

They think of how they can provide more value and drive more revenue.

But, where does thou even start, who does thy turn to when starting a program?

Thy agency? Thy internal marketing team? Thy consultant?

Thy technology partner? It could be any one of these options, but buyer beware!

 Ok, enough of my Hamlet-esque prose. Let’s dig a bit deeper to uncover why Brands should consider doing "all the work" on behalf of their local marketer. The short answer; you (The Brand) want it done correctly, especially if you are footing all or part of the bill. After all, there's only so much the local business owner can and should do. Usually all of their time and energy is invested in running their business and earning a profit, not executing local marketing tactics.

Over the past several years, as digital marketing has begun to eclipse traditional, it has become even more difficult for these business owners to stay abreast of the what, when and how they should be marketing. But thankfully, they have you; The Brand to lend a helping hand. And you are in a great position right now to not only tell them what to do, but also how and when to do it.

Take it one step further, and set it up for them, let them buy in and add small customizations, then let automation take over. Now you’re cooking! In the long run, for you, it will be cheaper, faster, better and you know it will be done right. They get access to expert marketing and can keep on the cutting edge, without becoming experts themselves.

Now that I have convinced you to do the work for them, what do you do first and who will help you to craft the strategy? The first things you need to do is create your budget and identify your resources. This will set your path.

Who Should Be At the Table

The Agency:

Our recommended best strategy -- if you have the budget. These creative and strategic folks have gone down this road before, and they are best suited to provide you an overall game plan necessary to be successful. There are expensive ones, and less expensive ones. And by the way, the strategists may not always be the ones that should be providing the messaging and design work. But they should absolutely set the course and goals, the amount of touch points, the timing and even the message/offer. You can then decide if they should provide creative/layout or you should use your internal resources or another design firm.

The Internal Marketing Team:

If you have the bandwidth internally, then go for it. However, in my experience, it usually costs more to get it done this way when you add up all the stake holders that get involved and the time it takes, and you usually end up behind schedule. So you appear to your senior managers that you have failed…. A big “no no.” So be smart, go outside if you have the budget. And if you have to, fight for the budget.

The Consultant:

They are better suited to help you decide how to implement “change management” and even to vet through the initial process of selecting a distribution platform. But avoid placing them in decision making for messaging, deployment and adoption strategies. Unless of course they are a seasoned and well-rounded “Marketing Consultant”.

The Technology Partner:

They have seen so many strategies, both good and bad. Just let them review what you have crafted and you'll get honest feedback. Its in everyone's best interest for you to be as successful as possible.   After all, marketing is both an art and a science, as technologists, we prefer to stick to the science side and do it better than anyone else.

We're All in this Together

At the end of the day, make sure that all of the interested parties are playing nice with each other. The local marketers should be thrilled to receive the benefits of an expert marketing team that has them in mind when designing a marketing program and the deliverables that will flow from it. For them and for you, those deliverables mean more customers and more money in the bank.

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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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