Local Marketing 2.0 is here, enabled by next generation local marketing automation portals.
From our work with several leading brands we’ve learned through experience the key elements a local area marketing (LAM) automation platform needs to have to be effective.
A brand controlled marketing resource editing system
For each resource the marketing team needs to be able to control what can be edited and what remains fixed for robust brand management. Copy, layout options, imagery and dimensions should editable. For a useful benchmark, request a link to a demo template.
An intuitive user experience
Traditionally web-to-print systems (as this technology is often termed) have been slow and clunky to use which has held these platforms back. Staff expectations of their business software are much higher today, so resources should be fast to find, and intuitive and fun to edit. If not, staff engagement will be poor. Cut corners here at your peril.
Any marketing resource should be available and orderable
Having just one portal for everything makes life much easier for local teams, and significantly streamlines head office reporting, cost management and administration. Your portal should be able to hold everything from templated resources, brand assets, merchandise, document formats – anything regularly required by your distributed teams.
Traditionally, LAM portals have been print-based, often supplied by print companies. Now with the emergence of output neutral, independently provided platforms, outputs are rapidly moving to digital with HTML web page, display banners, digital screens and HTML email outputs. In short, these new generation portals are marketing led rather than output led.
A flexible approval process
Approvals need to be easily configurable for multiple business or regional divisions, each with their own approvers and approval regime. While your portal may start small with just one business area involved, a good one will spread quickly to serve other teams.
Fully automated production and activation
Complete end-to-end automation is what will carve hundreds, even thousands of hours, off your LAM support workload. And the resulting rapid delivery will have your local stakeholders smiling.
Understanding which resources are being used, by whom, is vital to help you optimise your local marketing resources in the future.
If you have template resources with pricing, offers, dates or terms and conditions that need to be changed regularly, they should be connected to a data source so these changes can be made with no artwork or template amends being required.
Local Marketing Automation is a subset of a broader area of technology best known as Marketing Resource Management (MRM). Another commion MRM module is Brand Asset Management (often referred to as digital asset management). This allows organisations to better manage and share their core brand and marketing assets and more effectively store marketing files through what we call a Brand Library. This should be a reasonably straight-forward add-on to your local marketing portal to further increase its business value. Adding a sales-team area, with tools for building sales proposals can be another valuable addition.
If you would like to learn more about local marketing automation and how it can increase your local marketing performance download our eBook – Introduction to Local Marketing Automation.