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Creating Common Objectives Between Corporate and Local Marketers


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Local and corporate marketers bring different perspectives to the marketing process. Each has a slightly different definition of “win” that can put marketing objectives at odds. But that doesn’t have to be the outcome. Understanding why the perspectives are different can begin a journey towards creating common objectives.

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Creating Common Objectives Between Corporate and Local Marketers

  1. 1. Saepio Learning Series Exploding Brand Value at the Local Level Creating Common ObjectivesBetween Corporateand Local Marketers Part 2 of 7
  2. 2. Creating Common Objectives Between the Corporate and Local Marketer Table of Contents Introduction................................................................................................................1 Chapter One - The Challenge of Different Perspectives.....................................2 Chapter Two - Defining“Win”for a Local Marketer.............................................3 Chapter Three - Defining and Creating a“Win”for a Corporate Marketer......5 Chapter Four - Five Steps for Creating Alignment..............................................9 Summary...................................................................................................................13 AboutThis Series When we first published the Distributed Marketing Leadership Series guidebook“Exploding Brand Value at the Local Level,”we had no expectation that it would quickly move to be one of the all-time most downloaded content pieces from the Saepio library and sustain that position for the next three years. But we probably shouldn’t have been surprised. Exploding brand value at the local level is the objective of every distributed marketer. And it’s not an easy task. In this DMLS Guidebook series, we both revisit and expand on the concepts laid out in the first guidebook and the subsequent industry-specific versions of this popular paper. In this revisit, we find that much has changed since our first publication date. However, we are frustrated by how much remains the same. In particular, we are frustrated by the fact that while expansive, innovative distributed marketing platform solutions are now fully market-tested and proven, many corporate and local marketers are still struggling with basic relationships. Thus, we have chosen to provide an expanded take on the Five (now Six) C’s of the win-win brand marketing strategy. There’s nothing inherently profound about these six C’s. Yet, they so often remain overlooked or minimized and a less-than-optimal brand value results. We trust this expanded view will provide valuable insights that will help you build the effectives of your distributed marketing efforts and truly explode brand value for your organization at the local level. Part 1 (available here) explored how to explode your brand’s value a the local level with the 6 C’s of corporate + local marketing. Part 2 explores the importance of common objectives between corporate and local marketers.
  3. 3. Creating Common Objectives Between the Corporate and Local Marketer 1 Introduction Local marketing and corporate marketing is simply different, yet fully interdependent. Corporate marketers may think or claim they don’t need local marketers, but they do. Conversely, local marketers often question the value of corporate marketing. But they shouldn’t. Brand value can only explode at the local level when the two entities work seamlessly together. In this Distributed Marketing Leadership Series Guidebook, we explore the importance of Common Objectives between corporate and local marketers. As a concept, determining common objectives sounds easy. As a practical reality, it’s hard. Local and corporate marketers bring different perspectives to the marketing process. Each has a slightly different definition of“win”that can put marketing objectives at odds. But that doesn’t have to be the outcome. Understanding why the perspectives are different can begin a journey towards creating common objectives. Finally, learning to collectively focus on the common customer and prospect engagement goals can often help organizations move from an“us/them”to a“we”approach to marketing. As outlined in this guidebook, five simple steps can go a long ways toward helping achieve this goal.
  4. 4. Creating Common Objectives Between the Corporate and Local Marketer 2 Chapter One The Challenge of Different Perspectives If you have seamless engagement between corporate and local marketing, count yourself among the lucky few. Alignment is challenging and not frequently attained for a myriad of reasons: • Who determines what message to highlight? • Whose money is being spent? • What is the right blend between the corporate and local brand? • What is the offer? • What advertising channels should be used? • Who owns the customer? In nearly every one of these examples and in dozens more, the corporate and local perspectives may be different. And that’s okay. The challenge comes when corporate attempts to force its perspective on local and/or when local ignores corporate and implements its own independent marketing based solely on its perspective. Both entities are right, just different. Corporate marketing brings key roles and strengths to the relationship: • It is the creator and keeper of the brand and brand preference by the consumer. • It has insights into the consumer and what messaging will mobilize the consumer. • It has resources for quality creative development. • It can drive traffic to local retailers and service providers based on brand preference. Local marketing brings key strengths too: • It has the front-line relationship with the consumer. • It has insight into local preferences and events. • It potentially has a strong, independent brand. • It may generate traffic apart from the brand that turns into point of sale opportunities for the brand. Whether these unique strengths are viewed as conflicting or complimentary is largely in the choice of the participants. When both parties view themselves as complimentary, not conflicting, and build their interactions accordingly, common objectives emerge and brand value can be maximized at the local level. This symbiotic relationship begins with pausing to first understand what defines a“win”for each party.
  5. 5. Creating Common Objectives Between the Corporate and Local Marketer 3 ChapterTwo Defining“Win”for a Local Marketer The definition of“win”in the local marketer’s mind centers on three things: The local marketer views corporate marketing’s contribution through the filter of how it contributes to these objectives. Driving New Revenues from Loyal Customers Local marketers, like no one else, understand the importance of loyal customers. Repeat business from the loyal customer base provides the foundation for business stability and consistent cash flow. Loyal customers provide the word of mouth marketing and/or additional purchases that fuels business growth. In the local marketer’s mind, marketing begins (and sometimes ends) with customer experience. If corporate brand value, brand preference and brand loyalty can contribute to this in a measurable way, great. If not, it’s a distraction. It’s not that the local marketer doesn’t understand, and perhaps even appreciate brand value, it simply becomes secondary to customer traffic and sales. For cash to flow, activity – and particularly activity from loyal customers – must be taking place. Local marketers welcome help in generating repeat business with point-of-sale engagement that expands cart size or service add-ons. A“win”happens in the local marketer’s mind when corporate marketing helps support customer experience, improves customer loyalty and increases loyal customer purchases. New Revenues from New Customers Local marketers look first to word-of-mouth marketing to drive first-time customer encounters. Word-of-mouth marketing, particularly that coming from loyal customers, has always been the primary driver of new customer trial use and is even more important today thanks to social media. That noted, local marketers do, however, recognize the need to augment word-of-mouth marketing with general marketing and brand awareness activities. While the extent of the investment in advertising and the type of advertising used will vary based upon a local businesses’go to market strategy, one common goal is consistent with local marketers: they want measurable results quickly. New revenues from loyal customers. Turning new customers into loyal customers. New revenues from new customers. Defining“win”for a local marketer
  6. 6. Creating Common Objectives Between the Corporate and Local Marketer 4 Local marketers are often at small businesses and cash flow is king. As a result, marketing investments are typically judged based on short-term results. For example, will an advertising expenditure return the investment within the cash flow window of the ad placement and the payment due date (or at least within the operational expenses of a month or quarter)? Thus, any brand-focused or brand-centric advertising campaign designed to create first- time customers must be designed to also drive immediate return on investment. Campaign effectiveness must also be easily measured. A direct, visible correlation between advertising activity and consumer action is part of the local marketer’s definition of“win.” Any assistance from corporate marketing for creating highly impactful, localized advertising content and campaigns is greatly appreciated. Turning New Customers into Loyal Customers Finally, the importance of turning first time trial customers into loyal customers is not lost on local marketers. Service industry marketers focus on this by investing in branded, leave-behind materials with strong shelf life (or front of the refrigerator life in many cases). Retailers provide special second and third visit incentives to move trial purchase towards long-term shopping patterns. Loyalty programs are often offered to any non-participating consumer. No matter what the industry or frequency of product or service purchase, local marketers seek to develop strong customer loyalty. Any support corporate marketing can provide on this front is not only appreciated, but often used by the local marketer. In conclusion, a“win”for local marketers is defined by consumer traffic and sales. A grow- ing base of loyal customers, growing revenues from those customers and a strong word- of-mouth marketing engine are viewed as key. Corporate support of these objectives in tandem with new customer acquisition marketing campaigns that provide fast, measurable results and which return cash quickly on any cash dispersed are what local marketers seek most.
  7. 7. Creating Common Objectives Between the Corporate and Local Marketer ChapterThree Defining and Creating a“Win”for a Corporate Marketer Ultimately, the definition of“win”for the corporate marketer is very much aligned with that of the local marketer: Loyal customers, greater share of customer, creation of new customers and developing new customers into loyal customers. How the corporate marketer must compete to“win,”however, is much different. Corporate marketers can only win at the cash register if they’ve won at multiple decision points prior to the transaction: In tandem with the local marketer, they must create demand for the product or service vs. other consumer options. They may have to win versus other choices at point of sale. They must help connect the consumer with an affiliated local retail outlet They must position the brand to be visible and preferred at the time Defining and creating a‘win”for a corporate marketer or service provider. demand occurs. To accomplish these tasks effectively, the corporate marketer needs to remain actively engaged with the consumer and fully aligned with the local marketer, both of which can be challenging. (Note: While it is not the purpose of this paper, it is important to note that how a corporate marketer engages in the local marketing does vary widely based on the go-to-market nature of the business. This paper does not address these relevant differences – see the Saepio paper“Exploding Brand Value at the Local Level“ for this information – but rather looks at common needs from a more generic perspective.) Demand Creation and Brand Preference in the Local Market Corporate and local marketers collectively face a lot of competition for the consumers’ dollars. To win, the product or service they collectively offer must first become part of the consumer’s overall spend and second, they collectively must become the supplier of choice should the consumer decide to spend on a product or service they offer. That’s a tall order, particularly if an established loyal customer base is not in place. This is also a point where sometimes corporate and local marketing objectives don’t fully align. A local marketer that offers more than one brand option for a particular product, doesn’t likely care significantly which brand is selected. The front-line marketers, the retail clerks or service individuals, most certainly don’t care. Thus, to“win”at the local level, the corporate marketer must control his or her own destiny for demand creation and brand preference in that local market. 5
  8. 8. Creating Common Objectives Between the Corporate and Local Marketer 6 To accomplish this, independent of local marketing involvement, a corporate marketer most often must employ traditional brand marketing strategies and encourage brand loyalty and promotion by customers (more on loyal customer marketing later). In many cases, brand marketing won’t have a local aspect to it. National ad buys, event sponsorships, celebrity endorsements, social presence, search marketing, online content, public relations and other tactics are implemented largely independent of a local connection. However, with the exception of e-commerce applications, for the actual purchase to happen, a local connec- tion between the brand and the consumer must exist. Thus, for the demand creation and brand preference generated through brand marketing to culminate in product or services sold (part of the definition of a corporate marketing win), a partnership with local marketing must be established. This partnership, however, can’t simply be about both corporate and local marketers pro- moting the product or service. It has to be about a coordinated brand message arriving to customers and prospects. These consumers never view the brand from the perspective of corporate and local roles. Instead, they see, hear, feel and touch one brand message. A critical definition of“win”for the corporate marketer is the seamless continuation of national brand marketing and messaging into the local market through local marketing efforts. Consumer Connections at the Local Level As with local marketers, satisfied customers are critical to the national marketer. These “brand spokespersons”are waiting to be mobilized to make repeat purchases, influence prospective customers and lift overall brand awareness, value and preference. Connecting to these individuals is nearly always part of the corporate marketer’s definition of a“win.” For the corporate marketer to create and“own”this customer relationship, local participation may be needed. Who owns the customer, however, is likely to create tension between corporate and local marketers, and for obvious reasons. Just as the local marketer may not ultimately care which branded product a customer selects at time of purchase, a corporate marketer probably doesn’t really care which of its affiliated local marketers succeeds in win- ning the business of the consumer, just that the business for the brand is won. Proactively addressing this critical issue is essential to exploding brand value at a local level, yet many brand marketers fail on this point. In so doing, they fail to gain the access to the customer they want and the partnership with the local marketer that they need. For the corporate marketer, no brand marketing activity may equal the importance of mobi- lizing satisfied customers as brand ambassadors. Concurrently, creating common objectives with local marketers around customer ownership and customer mobilization may be one of the biggest challenges the corporate marketer faces (the issue of customer ownership will be addressed at length in part five of this series on Exploding Brand Value at the Local Level). To achieve the corporate marketer’s definition of“win,”common corporate and local objectives must be found for this critical issue.
  9. 9. Creating Common Objectives Between the Corporate and Local Marketer 7 Winning at the Point of Decision The corporate marketer’s job is not done until the cash register rings. All the work to build category demand, brand awareness and preference, and consumer action comes down to a single moment of truth when the consumer makes the purchase choice… • A new car from the brand portfolio vs. a used vehicle from the lot. • An HVAC unit option the service technician provides that is slightly less in cost. • A hair cut for the kids from a salon two blocks down because its parking lot wasn’t full. • Or a choice to make no purchase at all…due to a competing use of the allocated money or a lack of brand message continuity at point of sale. POPAI research clearly shows that brand preference going into a point of purchase often doesn’t translate into brand purchase. So many point-of-sale distractions and competitions come into play. For the corporate marketer to win at this high-stakes moment, local market- ing help is needed. In fairness, and as outlined above, local marketers can’t be expected to judge“win”in the same way. If a customer is engaged and a sale made, a local win occurs. Plus, a local marketer may have multiple corporate marketers competing for the local marketer’s loyalty and the consumer’s purchase. A point-of-decision“loss”for one corporate marketing partner may be a win for another. Given this scenario, is it even realistic for the corporate marketer to expect to find common objectives with the local marketer? Absolutely. But, whether the point-of-sale environment is one that involves a single brand and a buy versus no-buy decision, a field environment where a salesperson or technician is influencing selection, or a retail environment where multiple brand and product options are presented, the corporate marketer must take 100 percent responsibility for ensuring that brand visibility and advocacy is strong. Of course, local marketer participation is needed, but corporate marketers must: • Make brand marketing content easy to place or inject into the point-of-sale environment. • Provide informative resources for the local marketer and the consumer that extend beyond brand specific messaging. For example, a resource that helps front-line marketers close the sale. • Provide packaging and point-of-sale brand marketing materials that are so compelling that front-line marketers want to share them with consumers.
  10. 10. Creating Common Objectives Between the Corporate and Local Marketer 8 • Provide attention-demanding point-of-sale creative such as high impact banners that are compelling not only to the consumer but also for the local marketer to use (this strategy will be addressed at length in parts three and four of the Exploding Brand Value at the Local Level series). • Reward local marketers, where appropriate, through an easy to use and access MDF or co-op funded marketing resource center. The corporate marketer must remember that local marketers are consumers too. Winning at the point of sale with the consumer begins with winning with the local marketer. Excep- tional, compelling point of sale creative that wins the hearts of the local marketers is much more likely to be displayed for consumers to see. People naturally like to share stuff they like. To pass this test, the content must be viewed by the local marketer as lifting up the overall point of sale environment and thus, unless you are a leading brand, often can’t be product-centric. Winning at the point of decision requires skillful execution by the corporate marketer but can be a compelling, albeit necessary, win for both parties. In summary, the definition of a“win”for the corporate marketer is similar to that of the local marketer, yet requires a very different course of action. Creating demand and brand prefer- ence, mobilizing customers and winning at the point of sale are all critical to the corporate marketer. While all of these steps can be approached in isolation from the local marketer, none of them should be. As shown above, the power of a blended corporate and local marketing approach can bring positive results for corporate marketers, local marketers and consumers alike.
  11. 11. Creating Common Objectives Between the Corporate and Local Marketer 9 Chapter Four Five Steps for Creating Alignment As the previous chapters illustrate, corporate and local marketers think and act differently, and for good reason. Yet underneath these differences lay common objectives. The savvy corporate marketer will seek to find, develop and communicate these common objectives in a manner that meets the definition of win for local marketers. The following five steps are a good starting point. While they are not an end-all recipe for achieving common objectives, each has proven over time to be an effective tactic by lead- ing brands. Note that each step is not an item to be completed, but rather a mindset to be initiated. Success in finding common objectives between corporate and local marketers is never defined by a time period or project, but is an ever evolving process. Step 1: Create objectives from a local marketing perspective Throughout his career, revered business author Stephen Covey stressed repeatedly the importance of seeking first to understand and then to be understood. Nowhere is this principle more important than in the relationship between corporate and local marketers. Together, the two parties can explode brand value at the local level. Misaligned, they will confuse and under serve consumers to the detriment of all parties. Alignment begins by first seeking to understand what“win”means to the local marketing partners. Once this is fully appreciated, common objectives can be built, strategies devel- oped and tactics implemented. To create common objectives through the lens of the local marketer: • Recruit trusted local marketing partners for the process. Include both advocates and adversaries from this group. • Have a deep understanding of your own objectives and what “win” means to you. Then be flexible in how you get to your definition of win. • Be comprehensive and be diligent. Work first to define areas of easy alignment and opportunity before working through the challenge areas. This will help define for all parties the potential common objectives offers. Step 2: Create compelling content As a corporate marketer, your most challenging and judgmental audience will be your local marketers. They come with a few hundred, make that thousand, opinions! And, they’re pretty convinced you are clueless as to what matters to them. Prove them wrong. One of the keys to gaining local marketing alignment will come through how well you articulate the strategy that is behind the resources you provide. Take the time to explain
  12. 12. Creating Common Objectives Between the Corporate and Local Marketer why the marketing resources provided was selected for them and how it benefits both the local and corporate marketing objectives. Use your local marketing partner group to evalu- ate the credibility of your case. Another key is to simply wow the local marketers. Compelling content, particularly extremely compelling graphic presentations, seems to subjugate petty local marketing chatter. Like all marketers, local marketers are highly visual persons who find great content appealing. Anchoring your local campaigns with compelling point-of-sale visuals can help facilitate alignment of objects (no matter how“wrong”this approach may seem). Some key considerations for your content strategy should be: • Explain the strategy behind all marketing content. While the strategic reason for the content might seem obvious to you, don’t presume that it will be to the local marketer. Make sure to tell the strategy story from the local marketing perspective. • Provide a proper blend for corporate and local visibility. Make sure content is flexible and can easily be versioned to highlight local product preferences and/or local branding. • Keep content fresh. Pace the release of new marketing content so that you are constantly providing new materials. Frequency of new content lets you continually reinforce messages around shared objectives, constantly instruct what you recommend local marketers do with the content you provide and constantly be top-of-mind and viewed as a vested partner. Step 3: Build an easy, strong brand content resource that fits their needs, not yours This step is pretty straight forward and obvious; if you want local marketers to partner with you in exploding brand value at the local level, you have to provide the resources for them to do so. Most organizations have some form of a brand content library. The one’s who excel, how- ever, have a solution that is specifically built around local marketers’needs. These often include raw marketing assets (images and the like), al a carte marketing materials (stand alone ads/emails), customer communications tools (e-newsletters) and turn-key campaigns. These also incorporate the principles outlined above of providing content from the local marketing perspective versus the corporate perspective. When building a resource center, consider the following: • Provide a single resource. Resource centers that send an individual to one location for print ads, another for email, another for digital display and still another for mobile make participation difficult. Look for solutions that allow you to put all content in one location. 10
  13. 13. Creating Common Objectives Between the Corporate and Local Marketer • Make marketing campaign implementation easy. One strong benefit you can provide to your local marketers is automating the process of campaign execution. Make sure your solution does this well. • Automate the local versioning. Don’t make your local marketers do the work of localizing the marketing content. Do this for them by applying a dynamic content assembly philosophy to your resource center. Plus, this will provide great down-the- road benefits to you through easy updating of both future and previously localized content. Step 4: Create a viable method for sharing a customer Finding alignment on what sharing a customer means is really important and not at all easy. Loyal customers are so important to both corporate and local marketers and often there are different motives for the relationship that are contradictory. On the other side of the experience, the customer doesn’t think of the corporate and local brand marketing as separate. The customer only looks for a common, consistent and coor- dinated message. As a corporate marketer, create a strong focus on this customer perspec- tive. If you can design a program to fit the customer needs, the corporate and local issues may self resolve. Consider the following as you address how to share a customer: • Strive for consistent messaging to the customer. While this can be the starting point for a shared customer relationship, keep in mind that the local marketer may need to communicate with the customer in ways beyond those that meet your needs. • Use email as a starting point for shared list management. Distributed marketing organizations have unique email marketing challenges that include the importance of consistent messaging but that primarily center around coordination of message timing and message content and the management of email compliance, opt-out and deliverability. As a result of this complexity, email marketing to customers is an excellent starting point for joint customer management. • Localization of all shared customer communications. As a corporate marketer, respect the local marketer’s relationship with the customer by making sure to include a visual or text connection between the customer and the local marketer in all of your communications with the customer. Step 5: Lift all aspects of the local marketer’s business, not just the branded product or service Finding the right blend of corporate brand advocacy and local marketing enablement can help create common objectives. Note the importance of the word blend. Many organiza- tions try to find balance and therein fail. It is a nuanced but important differentiation… 11
  14. 14. Creating Common Objectives Between the Corporate and Local Marketer common objectives are blended objectives while balanced objectives simply co-exist. Exploding brand value at the local level requires blended objectives. Blended objectives happen when personal objectives are subjugated. As noted at the outset of this chapter, as a corporate marketer you do not need to give up what you want to accomplish but you may need to be flexible in how that is accomplished. Many of the most successful corporate/local marketing partnerships begin with corporate marketing first looking at how to make local marketing successful and then looking at how to be central to that success. Any genuine interest in the local marketer’s success will show through in the resources provided. Consider the following to ensure this focus: • Build a local marketing strategy before you build a corporate one. Put yourself in the role of your local marketing partner. Outline your objectives. Determine what support you want from corporate. Do this exercise for the various customer facing environments you support. • Profile the brand experience expectation from the perspective of a customer or consumer. Like with the local marketing perspective, role play as the consumer. Look at what communications you want, when you want it and how you view the brand and where you experience it. • Build a customer and local focused corporate marketing strategy. By helping all partnering parties meet their objectives, you often will meet yours. 12
  15. 15. Creating Common Objectives Between the Corporate and Local Marketer Summary Creating common objectives between corporate and local marketers can be a challenging process. It is, however, a most critical one for exploding brand value at the local level. The challenge primarily lies in the differing perspectives of corporate and local marketers. Both perspectives are relevant, correct and valuable but the definition of“win”for each party is slightly different. “Win”for a local marketer means a loyal customer base, strong word-of-mouth marketing from that base, sales growth from existing and new customers and turning trial customers into loyal ones. While corporate has the same objectives, the pathway to“win”is different. Corporate must focus on creating market demand and brand preference, on consumer connections at the local level, and on winning at the point of decision. Given these different perspectives and needs, creating common objectives between corporate and local marketers is critical for the corporate marketing manager of a distrib- uted marketing network. Five steps that should be implemented in this endeavor are: • Create objectives from a local marketing perspective • Create compelling content • Build an easy, strong brand content resource that fits their needs, not yours • Create a viable method for sharing a customer • Lift all aspects of the local marketer’s business, not just the branded product or service. With common objectives defined and corporate and local marketing strategy aligned, exploding brand value at the local level is one step closer to a vibrant reality. 13
  16. 16. Creating Common Objectives Between the Corporate and Local Marketer 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 Cross-Channel Campaigns because everything – email, landing pages, social, mobile, digital banner ads, signage, print ads, direct mail, and much more – are all 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 but experience the same platform differently based on their roles. Brand control, speed to market, and content localization is all easily accomplished whether messages are for local, national or global audiences and corporate marketers can easily assign campaign tasks to local marketers. • Easy to Engage Customers with personalized, relevant messages 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. This robust yet simplified approach to today’s complex marketing challenges is in use at hundreds of leading companies and organizations, including many of the world’s most powerful brands. It is transforming the way corporations focus and manage their marketing efforts in a world that introduces new channels, new competitors, new regulations and new opportunities at every turn. Visit, email or call 877-468-7613 to learn more. For More Information Contact Us Saepio Technologies 600 Broadway Suite 400 Kansas City, MO 64105 Email CallToll Free 877-468-7613 to learn more 14 ShareThis Document with your Network Follow Us: