An opportunity to avoid some common pitfalls...
1) Attempting to build your own system
Awareness of local marketing automation platforms, and marketing resource management in general, has been low. So brands can be forgiven for thinking they had no choice but to build their own system.
Unfortunately this is about as sensible as building your own accounting platform. You simply will not get close to the functionality that a specialist system will provide.
Most self-build systems we have seen or heard about merely streamline the request process for local collateral to the be created manually by a studio . They don’t have artwork automation (or web-to-print as it often known) allowing local users to create artwork themselves, so the business is still left with a labour intensive process. Speed to market is also much slower than it could be with a fully automated process.
2) Designing a system for print and press only
With the marketing mix swinging progressively digital, it’s curious some local marketing systems output only POS, print collateral and press. Arming your regional teams with editable HTML email resources, online display and animated digital signage templates will double the penetration of your local marketing efforts.
3) Ignoring the importance of user experience
A functional platform is not enough these days. It needs to be intuitive and fun to use otherwise staff will simply not come back. We have seen many platforms fail because of poor search (it takes too long to find what you want) or a clunky artwork adaption UX – specifically not having instantaneous rendering of editing. Templates that are simple not flexible enough to cater to a wide range of requirements also limit engagement. For example, something as simple as a branch profile flyer or email needs to be able to cater for one staff member or five, and still look great.
4) It's one of too many portals
Portal overload has been a problem with many organisations we have met. There may be two or three for different print suppliers (offset, digital, large format) one for merchandise, another for stationery and even one for event materials. This leaves local staff having to remember multiple passwords and learn multiple user interfaces and order processes. It’s confusing and makes staff reticent to carry out much local activation as it all seems ‘too hard’. The result is all portals suffer from poor to average usage.
Look for the platform that will allow you to consolidate several activation requirements in the one portal, with one easy and intuitive interface and order process.
5) No automated data facility
Many brands have pricing, offers, dates or terms and conditions that need to be changed regularly, and when it’s a manual process to update local marketing templates, the costs become prohibitive and localisation opportunities are missed.
If you’re considering a local automation solution, ensure template resources can have frequently changing information updated automatically via a data source. This also allows much better speed to market as well as lower cost of ownership.
If you would like to learn more about local marketing automation, how it can increase your local marketing performance and what features to look for ina modern platfiorm download our eBook today – Introduction to Local Marketing Automation.