Exploding Brand Value at the Local Level


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Exploding Brand Value at the Local Level

  1. 1. Distributed Marketing Leadership Series Exploding Brand Value at the Local Level How a good local marketing plan can create exponential value forcorporate investments in brand creation, positioning and messaging.
  2. 2. ContentsIntroduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31: Power of Brand in Local Buying Decisions . . . . . . . . . . . 52: How Community Changes the Brand at the Local Level. . 93: What Does It Mean to be Part of a Brand Community? . . 114: Who’s in the Driver’s Seat? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155: The Five C’s of a Win-Win Brand Strategy . . . . . . . . . 216: Taking Action-Synergy that Explodes Brand Value . . . 277: Equally Yoked . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 298: Related Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 1
  3. 3. IntroductionBrand marketers invest billions of dollars every yearto create an emotional connection between theirbrand and their prospective customers. As mediafragments and customers increasingly engage withthe brand in ways outside the direct control of thecorporate marketer, control of brand positioning andmessaging and the building of emotional connectionswith consumers becomes more challenging. When adistributed marketing network - those organizationswhose success depends on franchise networks, VARs,dealers, agents or chain store marketers to carry thenational brand message to the local level - is involved,even more challenges arise. But alongside thosechallenges is a large opportunity.Unlike the marketer who has little or no helpwith brand messaging at the point of customerengagement, the marketer with a distributed networkhas an army of brand warriors ready, willing and ableto help deliver and manage marketing messages.When trained, organized and mobilized, this army oflocal marketers can explode brand value at the 2
  4. 4. local level, creating exponentially more value fromcorporate investments in brand creation, positioningand messaging.This guide is designed to help you identify the impactof the local marketer on your brand, then understandhow best to leverage the brand value given yourbusiness model and consumer interaction. 3
  5. 5. 1 Power of Brand in Local Buying DecisionsBrand matters more at the local market level than atthe national or international level. That’s because it’sat the local level that brand messages become actionstaken by customers and prospects. Actions in theform of product or service chosen. In money spent. Inloyalty sustained or lost.Brand value must also often be shared at the locallevel. For some brands, such as a quick servicerestaurant, the brand message is consistently andsingularly delivered throughout the very standardizedinteraction process at the counter or at the drivethrough window.For many marketers, however, the environment is lesscontrolled. Take an organization that sells throughan authorized dealer network where the product orservice brand must be shared with the name of thestore or service provider. Instead of “York Heating andAC” as the primary brand, it’s “Dave’s Heating & AC”– which sells the York brand as part of its business.Dave needs York and York needs Dave; the brands 4
  6. 6. must synergistically support each other. Both brandsmatter because many local purchase decisions aremade on trust and the relationship to the brand.If the customer relationship is with Dave’s Heating& AC because Dave is known to be honest and tostand behind his work, then consumers will acceptDave’s recommendation of a product brand. Yet,some of Dave’s good reputation is based on the Yorkbrand because of the positive experiences his repeatcustomers have had with York’s performance andquality. That being said, it was still Dave’s reputation- and his magnet on the refrigerator or sticker on thefurnace - that reminded the consumer of where to call.Conversely, if the consumer relationship is with York,Dave is just the conduit. The customer knows thatwhen it is time for a new AC unit, then York is the rightchoice, and Dave is the source for that York AC unit.Finally, there’s certainly the chance that the consumerhad no clue who Dave was or what HVAC brandto use, but a friend, family member or co-workerrecommended someone he or she trusts for HVACwork. Based on that recommendation, the consumermay pick Dave and ultimately end up a York customerby extension, despite their lack of brand opinion ofeither.That same story can be told a hundred different waysfor a hundred different products or services. In anylocal buying decision, two things matter: 1) the brand of the product or service 2) the relationship to the branded provider of the product or service 5
  7. 7. When these two entities work together, brand valuecan absolutely explode at the local level. Even whenthe brand of the product or service and the brandof the local provider is the same, the importantinteraction of the two elements still applies.Who Owns My Brand? Full Brand Ownership Worksheet #1 All branding and brand experiences originate from within the organization. If you own your brand from start to finish with a customer, it is much easier to control your brand identity and explode its value in the local marketplace. Shared Ownership Another organization shares in the branding and creation of brand experiences. While your challenge is a bit tougher, your opportunities are greater. 6
  8. 8. 2 How Community Changes the Brand at the Local LevelThe development of brand communities hasfascinating implications for brand managers. Thegrowing popularity of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn,blogs and other online communities connects peoplein more unique ways than ever before.Most connections are ultimately driven by a desirefor identity and belonging. People connect to highschool friends they only casually care about. They labelthemselves as fans of a sports team for the purpose ofidentity. They connect to a peer group that matchestheir career expertise. And in coffee shops, pubs,churches, stadiums, clubs and more, people personallymeet with others who also seek this community. Whoa person is (or perhaps who someone wants to be)begins to emerge through the pattern of associations.Interestingly, successful branding is also about identityand belonging. For years brand marketers have soughtto create cults of dedicated followers who connecttheir personal identity with a sense of belonging toa brand. As an example, look at motorcycle brands.Harley Davidson has absolutely created a persona.BMW has too, but it’s an entirely different one. Ever tryto get a Harley guy to ride a Honda Gold Wing? Or a 7
  9. 9. BMW guy to switch to a Harley? Good luck with that.It’s not the product. It’s the identity they want.Some brands have been able to develop communityaround their brand at a national or global level.Starbucks is an excellent example. Everyone knowssomeone who will drive five miles past 15 coffee shopsto get to Starbucks. Part of the reason may be thecoffee, but most of it is the desire to be part of theStarbucks’ identity and community.Yet it’s important to note that not every brand cancreate a community around an identity. Take the earlierdiscussion about York, for example. It is unlikely thatYork could gain a mass following of brand converts.On the other hand, as an authorized York dealer,Dave’s Heating & Cooling could. The consumer canrelate to Dave as the person who rushes over for aplumbing emergency and shows up on time to serviceheating and cooling systems. Maybe Dave providesvalue-added advice on how to lower costs. And, Daveis the one that offers preferred customer discounts onoccassion.Despite the fact that the brand is so dependent onproduct marketing at the local level, York shouldn’tgive up promoting their brand name on a regionalor national level. Rather, York’s marketers just needto focus their brand efforts to the correct consumer.If York will help Dave, Dave will eventually connecthis customers to York. So while it’s Dave that theconsumer wants a relationship with, the consumerfeels good about the fact that the equipment Davedelivers comes from the reliable brand York hasestablished. 8
  10. 10. 3 What Does It Mean To Be Part of a Brand Community?In a global sense, anyone who has a brand preferenceis part of a brand community. Whether the relationshipis active or passive, positive or negative, if it’s constantthen the individual is part of the brand community.And by becoming part of the brand community intoday’s environment, the person becomes part of thebrand identity; like it or not, the corporate marketerjust added a team member. The Dyson examplebelow that was recently shared by a Saepio employeeillustrates this point well.Dyson Loyalty: A Brand Community at Work Dyson recently added my wife to its brand marketing team. I’m not sure a single friend of hers does not know that she’s ecstatic about her new vacuum – including over 250 of her Facebook “friends” who have even had a chance to see pictures of how much disgusting grunge the Dyson pulled out of the carpet, that our previous (and pretty decent) vacuum had left behind. 9
  11. 11. Undoubtedly, the next time these friends – who are located around the globe – need a vacuum, Dyson will surely be on their list. Not based only on my wife’s reports, but certainly reinforced by them. I know this to be true, because it is precisely how my wife came to choose Dyson in the first place. When my wife posted on Facebook her frustration about her broken vacuum and the need for yet another repair, a strong Dyson brand advocate jumped in and others followed suit. What’s more, when the repair shop technician called with the estimate for fixing the old vacuum, the person asked, “Why don’t you move up to a Dyson instead? You’ll really like it.”The deal was immediately done. The brand community had already created the sale - without any direct brand marketing.Every corporate marketer understands the importanceof using new mediums like Facebook to bolster theirteam. In many ways, it’s just old fashioned word-of-mouth marketing on steroids. But now the corporatemanager of a distributed marketing network canwork in tandem with local marketers to enable andgrow brand identity communities in ways neverbefore imagined by simply creating brand identitycommunities where they naturally exist – among users.For the corporate marketer whose business modelenables control of the brand experience from start tofinish, brand community should primarily be at thenational brand level with limited local support. Quick- 10
  12. 12. service restaurants (QSRs) are a good example of this.Most customers likely don’t care which Sonic locationthey visit, as long as they can get the cherry limeadethey are craving. It would be frustrating if the onlyconnection to that limeade was through a single Sonic.For the corporate marketer who shares brand identity,like the York dealer example, how the brand identitycommunity should be engaged depends on a coupleof key factors:First, the stronger the emotional connection with thebrand, the more direct involvement the corporatemarketer should have. BMW Motorcycles wantsto engage the consumer directly because of theconsumer’s strong connection to the brand.Second, corporate marketers need to recognizewhen the local dealer has the stronger emotionalconnection. The York dealer is an example of this.In these instances, York will be most successful intheir efforts if they focus on making it easy for Dave’sHeating & AC to become a community resource.Support from the corporate level makes it easier forDave to succeed.Finally, there are many cases where both corporateand local marketers will want to engage the consumer.BMW Motorcycles also provides a good example ofthis scenario. While BMW wants customers to stayconnected to ensure repeat bike purchases, thelocal BMW dealer wants to be sure they capture thatpurchase. They can work to create a brand communityfor local riders to connect with other BMW brand 11
  13. 13. advocates. In this case, BMW’s corporate marketersshould look to both create a direct community andhelp the local dealer create his own community locally.While corporate-level brand communities providevalue through helping develop and leverage brandadvocates, local communities have much greaterpotential to initiate engagement that leads toincremental sales.Simply stated, developing and sustaining these localcommunities is critical to exploding brand value at thelocal level. 12
  14. 14. 4 Who’s in the Driver’s Seat?A long-standing challenge for any manager of adistributed marketing network is who is in the driver’sseat. The brand may own the consumer’s mind, butthe local marketer owns the customer.In reality, both have a pretty firm grip on the steeringwheel. Yet to maximize the brand impact in thelocal market, it’s important that both parties have agood understanding of the roles they should play tooptimize effectiveness.Often, the term “local marketing” has been used togroup a lot of activities into a single collection. Oncloser examination, though, consumer interactionsvary widely at different local marketing organizationsand shouldn’t all be considered the same. Saepio hasobserved that similar characteristics exist betweenorganizations which are not necessarily based on 1)the industry they are in, 2) whether they sell a serviceor product or 3) other traditional classifications. Rather,the similarities between organizations are based onhow they engage customers. 13
  15. 15. Take food service as an example. Two Saepio clientswithin this industry vertical are McDonald’s andGreat Harvest Bread Company. Both seek to gaina share of their customers’ dining or food budgets,but each approaches marketing very differently. Alocal McDonald’s leans heavily on national brandingand advertising as well as location to drive business.Great Harvest, on the other hand, seeks to create aloyal local customer community without the benefit ofheavy corporate brand advertising.While one could no doubt slice segmentationseven further, review of client-use patterns confirmthat six unique market segments exist within localor distributed marketing scenarios. As a result, verydifferent interactions between corporate and localmarketers are needed.These segments are: Loyalty – Frequent Segment The local marketer depends on the national brand but is largely responsible for developing a loyal customer community at the store level. Customers make purchases multiple times per year from the same location. A strong customer relationship may be developed between staff and customers. Saepio Client Brand Examples: Great Harvest Bread Company, Cartridge World, Curves Fitness Loyalty – Infrequent Segment The local marketer depends on national brand exposure and strives to be part of building a cult customer following in association with that brand. Purchases typically happen once or less each year and loyalty must be maintained during the lulls. Saepio Client Brand Examples: BMW Motorcycles, H&R Block, HCA Convenient Location Segment The local marketer depends heavily on the national brand. Customer loyalty is typically with the 14
  16. 16. national brand rather than with the local store - although in some cases the same store may have many interactions each year with the customer. That being said, the customer would be just as satisfied receiving the service from another of the brand’s locations. Saepio Client Brand Examples: McDonalds, Carlson Hotels, Valvoline Instant Oil Change, Chevron Retail Assist Segment The local marketer is not focused on the national brand but views it as a complement to its primary brand (the store or business) that generates the customer traffic and garners loyalty. Saepio Client Brand Examples: Burt’s Bees, HBO, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, GM ACDelco Community Development Segment The local marketer is focused on building community around a brand concept or theme. There is often no product, per se, but human association or connection to an activity or cause. Saepio Client Brand Examples: Boy Scouts, Easter Seals, Salvation Army Sales Assist Segment The local marketer needs to develop custom proposals to aid in sales activities. Saepio Client Brand Examples: Johnson & Johnson medical devices, MotorolaUnderstanding which of these different local marketingsegmentations your organization fits within willgo a long way toward creating the strong, logicalengagement with local marketers that is needed toexplode brand value at the local level. The worksheeton page 18 provides guidelines for identifying whichsegment your organization fits within and, basedon that segment, what your approach to distributedmarketing should be. 15
  17. 17. Identify Your SegmentWorksheet #2 Consider the following questions to identify who is in the driver’s seat and how best to build or expand upon your brand’s community. Q1. Where do customers purchase my product? a) company-branded outlet b) another company’s branded outlet Q2. What is the purchase frequency? a) Several times per year or more b) Yearly or less Q3. Is the customer relationship tied to a specific store location? a) Yes – customers feel a connection to a single location b) No – my locations are generally interchangable to customers 16
  18. 18. If you answered “A” to all three questions, your organization likely fitsinto the “Loyalty Frequent” segment. A shared approach is neededsince the specific location is important to the consumer. Marketingshould allow for a greater amount of local customization. This issometimes more challenging than other segments, but there is muchroom for rewards.If you answered “A” to Q1 and Q2, and “B” for Q3, your organizationlikely fits into the “Convenient Location”segment. You largely own yourown brand. Best results occur when messages are made relevant to thelocal market, but unified and consistent brand marketing between nationaland local marketers is key.If you answered “B” to to Q1, but sell goods or services, yourorganization will likely fit into the “Retail Assist” segment. This segmentis most centered on the local marketer. Your brand can derive the mostvalue by providing easy-to-use, valuable tools that locations who sellyour products and services can use to promote your business – and theirs.Most organizations will fit into one of the above models. If the abovedoesn’t apply, consider whether one of these may be more accurate for you: Community Development A shared approach to branding will help create a community of individuals who believe in the national brand/cause, but at the local level. Localization is often critical to effectively share the impact within the local community. Sales Assist Distributed marketers require a way to create sales proposals and other items. These often may include required regulatory information, so a database-driven approach can help ensure compliance. Tools need to be easy-to-use. 17
  19. 19. 5 The Five C’s of a Win-Win Brand StrategyManagers of distributed marketing networks have longbeen challenged with keeping corporate and localmarketing messages aligned and working together. Atthe root of the challenge is the fact that there are oftenlegitimate reasons for a disconnect.While corporate marketers are very brand focused,local marketers are all about driving traffic and makingsales. These two perspectives can easily collide, withthe result being less-than-effective marketing. But itdoesn’t have to be that way. Employing five “C’s” tothe distributed marketing process can go a long waytowards making a brand hum at the local level. Common Objectives While it may seem logical that one would begin any marketing effort with common objectives already established, Saepio client service managers too often observes the opposite. Corporate marketers and local marketers simply think differently, each protecting their own turf. They do so for a good reason. The corporate marketer who manages the distributed marketing network is the keeper of the brand and brand messages for that network. S/he must constantly focus on corporate brand objectives and deliver those to – 18
  20. 20. and then through – the local marketer. The localmarketer is often not on that same page. Storetraffic and a ringing register is paramount and, ifthe marketing message isn’t perceived as focusedsolely on generating sales, the local individual likelyisn’t interested. They like the support but insist thatit be relevant to their operation.However, these different perspectives in no waypreclude the formation of common objectives.They just require the corporate marketer to, asbest-selling author Stephen Covey would say, “seekfirst to understand and then to be understood.”Listening to the needs of the local marketer andgleaning knowledge from the school of practicalapplication via those on the front lines enables thecorporate marketer to identify common objectivesand create campaigns that truly support them.Consistent MessagesUnderstanding the importance of deliveringconsistent messages across the entire distributedmarketing network is easy for many marketers.Doing so is more challenging.Consistent messaging to consumers begins witheffective resources for local marketers. While alocal marketer will often want to advertise usinga national message, s/he also frequently wants tosomehow alter the corporate message to make itmore applicable for his or her local environment.It is key for the corporate marketer to provideresources that ensure consistent messaging butallow some local flexibility. Distributed marketingmanagement systems that include marketing assetmanagement technology are an excellent startingpoint. These solutions provide all of the marketingresources the local marketer needs in one, easy-to- 19
  21. 21. access location. As long as the corporate marketeris diligent in keeping the library of resources current,messages across the distributed marketing networkwill stay consistent.Coordinated Message DeliveryJust as consistent messaging is important,coordinated timing of delivery is also critical. Whena local marketer’s messages are timed to coordinatewith national messages, investments in marketingcan be optimized.At the heart of successful coordination issuccessful communication. And that meanstwo-way communication. Often coordinatedmessage delivery is dependent upon one-waycommunication and a great deal of hope. In thisscenario, corporate develops a merchandizing kitcontaining marketing materials and sends it tothe local market with the hope that it will be usedproperly, if at all.Local marketers want to be successful and want thebenefits of the resources the corporate marketerprovides, but their worlds don’t revolve aroundwhat corporate marketing is doing. They arefocused on what they can do to drive traffic andview their corporate partners as a helpful ingredientof that plan. When the marketing kit arrives fora coordinated campaign, it may or may notreceive the priority the corporate marketer seeks.What happens is dependent upon how effectivecommunication has been up to that point.While it takes more work, engaging communicationbetween corporate and local marketers is vitalto coordinated message delivery. When localmarketers know which message is recommended 20
  22. 22. How Well Have I Implemented the 5 C’s? Consider the questions below.Worksheet #3 Common Objectives: Can you clearly describe both perspectives and the reasons for these in your organization? Corporate:______________________________________________ Local:___________________________________________________ What are the common objectives for your organization’s marketing? Consistency in Messaging: Why do my company’s distributed marketers want and need local brand messaging that is different than national messaging? ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ What systems and/or workflows are in place to encourage distributed marketers to localize materials while retaining important brand messaging and other graphic elements? ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Coordinated Message Delivery: Do we have time-dependent campaigns that distributed marketers must implement? If so, have we made it easy for them to complete the tasks necessary? Have we been clear about how the campaign and the precise timing can help local success? Cooperative Customer Management What are the possible places where a unified customer management strategy is needed? Communication: Have I taken the time to truly understand the local marketer in the context of their business rather than in terms of what corporate believes they should be doing? What does the local marketer need from me in order to successfully complete the shared brand objectives in a consistent and coordinated manner? 21
  23. 23. and why; what’s in it for them; and what is expectedas part of a campaign, coordinated messagingnaturally follows.Cooperative Customer ManagementBrands only hum when customers hum in harmonywith them. The brand exists to create an emotionalconnection with the customer, to establish and togrow a relationship. That doesn’t happen withouta corporate role and can’t be sustained without alocal one.For a brand to hum, the experience a customeror prospect has through national brand messages– coupled with the experience they have uponentering a local retail outlet or interacting with abranded product or service – must be completelyharmonious. The local marketer is critical tothis process. Store décor, in-store promotions,digital signage, merchandise bags and manyother physical items all contribute to the brandexperience. So, too, do the personal interactionsthat happen in the store.While corporate marketers can’t always controlcustomer management, they should always considerit when creating local options for national brandmessaging. One cannot assume that a local marketeror local sales associate will be able to provide acontinuous brand experience for the customerwithout being coached on how to do so. Often,adding this “last mile” of instruction adds little timeto campaign development but can make a hugedifference in the effectiveness of that campaign. 22
  24. 24. Communication, Communication, Communication Any successful relationship starts with listening, including that between the corporate and the local marketer. You simply can’t over communicate with a local marketer yet you most assuredly can over communicate to one. Remember, effective communication is a dialogue. A nationally renowned speaker told 80,000 people who came to hear him talk about relationships that he really didn’t have anything to say, just one thing to show. With that he pulled out a giant ear and held it up. He didn’t need to say another word to make his point. • Communicate what’s important to your brand by first listening to how it’s important to your local marketer. • Communicate what you need them to do by first listening to what they need you to do. • Communicate what resources you’ve made available to them by listening to what they need those resources to be.There they are. The five C’s for making your brandhum at the local level. There’s nothing magical aboutthem. We’d love to call them profound, but they’resimply applications of the sixth C … common sense.Yet too few apply them well, and as a result, too fewsee their brand really hum at the local level. 23
  25. 25. 6 Taking Action - Synergy that Explodes Brand ValueA lot of factors combine to create an organization wherebrand value explodes at the local level. Many programshave been tried through the years. Carrots to enticecompliance. Sticks to enforce it. These approachesseldom work.The programs that do work are those developed byindividuals who truly understand and foster a meaningfulpartnership between corporate and local marketers.A partnership where goals and messages align,where programs are logical and where each side fullyparticipates in design and execution.Distributed Marketing Management systems that enablethese processes are the cornerstone to success. Oftencalled Marketing Asset Management or Local MarketingManagement technology, these platforms help organizeand execute every aspect of a local marketing program.While it is possible to run a program that maximizesbrand value without such a system, it is highly unlikely,exponentially more difficult and normally much moreexpensive. Look for a system that delivers much morethan just ad builder functionality. 24
  26. 26. While ad builder is a helpful tool, for full synergyand maximum value, seek instead a comprehensiveplatform such as Saepio’s Marketing Asset Managerthat helps create a strong, logical synergy betweenyou and your local marketers. These tools accomplishthis by providing the marketing assets that distributedmarketers really need in an easy-to-use and alwaysupdated environment, thereby removing the need fora carrot or stick. 25
  27. 27. 7 Equally YokedPerhaps the best illustration for the optimal relationshipbetween corporate and local marketers comes from theworld of pre-machinery agriculture. When oxen wereused to plow the soil or pull a wagon, it was importantto choose two beasts of similar strength. Too much pullfrom one versus the other and keeping a straight plowline was close to impossible.Saepio encourages corporate and local marketers toseek a similar relationship to ensure peak performance.Too much corporate and the local marketer tunes out.Too much local and the corporate brand message isdiluted. Don’t give up until you find the perfect balancefor your organization.Exploding brand value at the local level isn’t necessarilyeasy but it is absolutely possible. Saepio hopesthis guidebook has provided insight that will helpyour organization join those whose local marketingprograms are humming along. 26
  28. 28. Related ResourcesVisit the Distributed Marketing Leadership Series site(http://info.saepio.com/distributed-marketing-leadership-series) foraccess to the following case study documents. Each example willoutline how the company has utilized Saepio’s distributed marketingtools to explode the value of the brand. • Loyalty – Frequent Segment Cartridge World Curves Fitness • Loyalty – Infrequent Segment BMW Motorcycles • Convenient Location Segment SONIC • Retail Assist Segment GM ACDelco • Community Development Segment Easter Seals 27
  29. 29. About Saepio Saepio makes it easy for corporate and local marketers to build and run effective and engaging all-channel marketing campaigns. Saepio’s powerful MarketPort marketing platform starts with easy … •Easy to Build and Run a Cross-channel Campaign because everything – email, landing pages, social, mobile, digitalbanner ads, signage, print ads, direct mail, and much more – isall managed in a single, integrated digital marketing platform. •Easy to Maximize Brand Value at the Local Level because local and corporate marketers share a single platform butexperience the same platform differently based on their roles.Brand control, speed to market, and content localization is alleasily accomplished whether messages are for local, nationalor global audiences and corporate marketers can easily assign campaign tasks to local marketers. •Easy to Engage Customers with personalized, relevantmessages because corporate intelligence gleaned from CRM data, customer analytics, consumer actions and more can determine what content is served when, where and how. •Easy to Automate Marketing Fulfillment because robust workflow enables every cross channel customer touch point to happen automatically whether launched by corporate marketing, initiated by a local marketer or triggered by a customer’s action. 28
  30. 30. This robust yet simplified approach to today’s complex marketing challenges is in use at hundreds of leading companies andorganizations, including many of the world’s most powerful brands. It is transforming the way corporations focus and manage their marketingefforts in a world that introduces new channels, new competitors, new regulations and new opportunities at every turn. For more information, visit www.saepio.com or call +1 816-777-2100.