Utilizing an Ad Builder Tool to Simplify Your Partner Marketing

May 2, 2014 Gary Ritkes

ad builder

Ad builders…yawn, right? Not at all! They can be one of the most effective tools in your brand’s arsenal of local marketing support.

It’s for one simple reason, the local businesses that sell your brand’s products and services need to be able to customize ad creative.

How do Ad Builders Work?

The advertising creative you develop helps your local partners (dealers, resellers, VARs, affiliates, etc.) highlight products, educate customers about services, or push limited time offers. These local partners then need to customize these ad pieces with their location, phone number, name, and other relevant details. Ad builders let partners choose from pre-approved ads with variable fields to customize, and then facilitate the fulfillment of those ads.  

So how can you make sure that your Ad Builder is being used to help support your localized marketing?  Simple:  by promoting adoption.

Achieving Maximum Adoption     

It’s the ol’ adage, you can lead channel partners to a local marketing platform, but you can’t make them use it. There are two success factors here: (1) getting local partners to understand the value of using the ad builder tool, and (2) properly preparing the actual ads themselves.

Promoting your Ad Builder tool with your network members

  1. Use Cases – provide positive results and real life examples to draw upon as use cases to help make your point. Be creative!  You can use a general article format, short video, or infographic to tell the story.
  2. Co-op Dollars – offer co-op dollars to subsidize this local marketing expense

Preparing Your Ads

  1. Allow for Equal Promotion of your Brand’s Message/Offer and Your Local Partner – It goes without saying that your message should have value to consumers, and in turn will be of value to your local partner. Here’s the clincher:  design ads that highlight the partner first.  Once your local partner sees that the valuable offer and their contact information is presented in a way that will drive business to them, they will want to sign up.
  2. Offer the Correct Customization Variables – Autonomy and compliance are part of a balancing act. Find out what variable fields for customization are really important to your local partners, so they can customize how they see fit.
  3. Explain Insertion or Placement Context – Give suggestions on where and when to publish the ad. And don’t forget to let them know what kind of results to expect.  They may need to stock up on inventories or increase staffing.

Ad Builders – From the Basic to the Advanced

BASIC:  An ad builder that basically gives your partners the ability to

  1. customize a flyer they print themselves or
  2. customize a print ad that will be directly sent to a  local newspaper.

ADVANCED:  More advanced ad builders are only relevant for partners that have in-house marketing support or graphic designers. Allowing partners to have more autonomy in the creation of ads and selection of mediums where those ads run is theoretically a good thing, as long as it is met with the corresponding enthusiasm and proficiency.

  1. Advanced ad builders permit changes in colors, images, and animation. Changes can apply across all ads in a specific ad group.  
  2. The elements to build the ads (images, text, etc.) are also format-independent, meaning that mobile ads, print ads, or social ads can be constructed using the same images and text.
  3. The final step is the actual distribution of the ad. Advanced ad builders can suggest targeting, the best performing ad templates, and then the ad can be assigned budgets for insertion.  


Ad builders don’t seem so dull now do they. In fact, they are a key intersection of brand approved marketing and local customization. Given the proper attention by brands and local partners, ad builders have the potential to make brand marketing more relevant at the local level in a scalable fashion.         

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An effective ad builder can be one of the most effective tools in your brand’s arsenal of local marketing support. Learn how an ad builder tool can build your brand.

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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