Two years ago, managing House of Travel’s local marketing across their branch network was not nearly as relaxing and stress free as the holidays they sell. They knew they had to make some changes.
Like many multi-location and franchise brands, individual stores did local area marketing (or LAM) themselves with very mixed results. After all, they were travel experts, not marketing experts. Stores that took a DIY approach would often produce poor quality, ‘off brand’ material that undermined the brand look and feel that head office had spent so much time and money to create. Meanwhile those that did employ a professional designer faced high costs relative to the scale of the campaign.
In both these scenarios, head office had no visibility whatsoever on what local marketing was being done by whom, and decided to look into whether a Local Marketing Automation platform could help. (See our earlier blog Introduction to Local Automation for an overview of this growing martech category).
When the House of Travel marketing team approached Brand Machine right away we could see there was a strong business case for our Marketing Hub self-service local marketing portal. This technology would allow local stores to generate their own high-quality marketing using Brand Machine’s advanced template software. Any approval or production requirements could be built into the platform’s workflow.
The resulting LAM portal, aptly named the ‘HOT Generator’, allows users to localise content such as contact details, staff names, travel packages, event details and much more. They can easily resize each piece of communication for whichever offline or online channel it was required for. There are templates for emails, social tiles, press ads, event flyers, posters, staff profile sheets and in the wind are editable slide shows for digital screens.
The portal also features a Brand Library (Digital Asset Management) area for sharing core assets such as logos and images and even training materials, making it a one stop shop for all branch marketing and information requirements.
18 months following launch, HOT Generator has been used to create more than 2,400 campaigns while more than 2,900 assets have been downloaded.
While the metrics are impressive, House of Travel project lead Louise Reeves says the success of the platform goes far beyond the numbers. “It’s been super positive for our relationship with our stores. They feel supported and also empowered that they can do proactive local marketing so quickly and easily”. Reeves also believes that all the available resources give local store staff ideas and inspiration to do more local activity than they otherwise would have.
Another vital outcome for House of Travel is the visibility their portal gives them on all local marketing being produced. They can also see who the proactive marketers are, and who may need some additional support or encouragement.
“It’s a real stress reliever that we don’t have to worry about our brand being poorly presented or inconsistent”, says Reeves.
Let’s a pull up a sun-lounger, grab a cocktail and drink to that!
At Brand Machine we work with over 30 clients across a number of different industry categories and are more than happy to assist you to develop your local marketing strategy and how you can best utilise technology to enable it. Simply contact us for an obligation free discussion. Alternatively download our latest eBook below, 6 Game Changing Marketing Apps for Multi-Location Brands.