The Proper Care and Feeding of Your Distributed Marketing Network

October 18, 2011 Deb Griffith

Creating a network of responsive distributed marketers that are actively engaged in promoting your brand doesn’t happen overnight, it takes nurturing. Here’s what you need to know to become a ‘master gardener’ to a healthy and thriving local marketing network.

Why You Need to Feed Your Network

Your distributed marketers may be exceptional at running their business, whether it’s an independent insurance agency, a franchise, travel and leisure sales, whatever type of company represents your brand, but that doesn’t make them professional marketers, or even technology literate. Deploying a system that provides direction and support for your distributed marketers is critical to gaining their compliance; ensuring your system is easy for them to use is equally important to help them complete these tasks.

What to Feed Your Network

To start with what seems obvious but is often overlooked, it is absolutely essential to provide some basic training to your distributed marketers on how to use your system. Whether you purchase software, use a web-based platform, or even do things the old-fashioned manual way, when you guide first time users, they have a much better chance at doing what you would like them to.

Depending on the range of marketing literacy in your network, you may also need to explain the expected program benefits or value to them. Remember to look at the positioning from their perspective when crafting the message to increase its persuasive impact. Finally, make it clear what actions you want them to take. For example, here are three totally different marketing behaviors your network can perform: Assemble a holiday e-mail campaign Use your brand’s feeds in their social media Order letterhead and business cards with a new logo to feed your distributed network the right marketing, make sure your system broadcasts and visually highlights whatever activities are most important to you at any given time.

How to Maintain a Healthy Network

Consistency is the key to keeping your distributed marketers engaged and active in your marketing. First, keep the lines of communication open. Whether you use a platform with integrated communications or you keep in touch through basic e-mail, providing a constant supply of marketing support helps remind your network what activities you want them to participate in. Next, use a similar method of how you present your marketing activities to your network. Once your local marketers get used to where to look for marketing support and material updates, they will recognize the cues and know what to do next. However, that doesn’t mean your marketing priorities shouldn’t change. It’s important to keep your marketing activities current in your system so make sure you can easily change focus to the latest product launch, co-op program, or whatever marketing activities you have planned.

There is no short term solution to growing a strong distributed marketing network to push your corporate marketing objectives onto local markets, but with the right system, you can certainly develop one.

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