The Importance of Consistent Messages


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This paper outlines why consistency matters (particularly in the era of omni-channel customer engagement), the importance and power of local brand messaging, systems needed for mutually beneficial corporate and local marketing and three key steps for creating consistent brand messaging.

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The Importance of Consistent Messages

  1. 1. Saepio Learning Series Exploding Brand Value at the Local Level Part 3 of 7 The Importance of Consistent Messages
  2. 2. The Importance of Consistent Messages Table of Contents Introduction................................................................................................................1 Chapter One - The Often Confused Consumer.....................................................2 Chapter Two - The Power of Locally Delivered Brand Messages......................4 Chapter Three - Single Source of Content is Critical...........................................6 Chapter Four - Three Keys for Ensuring Consistent Messages..........................8 Summary...................................................................................................................10 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 (available here) explored the importance of common objectives between corporate and local marketers. Part 3 explores the unique challenges faced by corporate marketing managers of distributed marketing networks and outlines why consistency matters.
  3. 3. The Importance of Consistent Messages 1 Introduction The concept of integrated marketing – where all marketing efforts are complimentary and consistent – is far from new. However, in today’s environment of fragmented customer attention, a consistent message across all channels and locales is critical. No individual knows this challenge more acutely than the corporate marketing manager of a distributed marketing network where corporate and local marketing messages need to be consistent and coordinated and where local marketer involvement is essential. This third paper in the Saepio Distributed Marketing Leadership Series collection on Exploding Brand Value at the Local Level addresses the unique challenges faced by these marketing managers. It outlines why consistency matters (particularly in the era of omni-channel customer engagement), the importance and power of local brand messaging, systems needed for mutually beneficial corporate and local marketing and three key steps for creating consistent brand messaging.
  4. 4. The Importance of Consistent Messages 2 Chapter One The Often Confused Consumer Consumers are a complex and independent lot. At the same time, they are also a lot like sheep, waiting to be guided. An mBuys Consumer Insights Study revealed that“72% of consumers want to be engaged with an integrated marketing approach, but only 39% are receiving that.”Clearly, consumers are willing to be guided, advised and assisted in product and service selection. But often, they are simply left confused instead by inconsistent messages across channels/mediums or different themes from corporate and local marketing. The complexity of consumer engagement with a branded product or service adds to the challenge. Not long ago marketers were debating the appropriate mix between traditional and digital marketing channels. But consumers quickly have made that conversation no longer relevant. Consumer engagement preference is not about a medium, it’s about a point in time and place in a decision process. They expect the marketer and marketing message to be consistently there at all points and all places in time. As an example, a recent xAd/Telmetrics Mobile Path to Purchase Study showed that 1 in 4 consumers use a mobile device all the way through a decision process. Further, and not surprisingly, the use of a smart phone versus a tablet is heavily influenced by whether the individual is in or out of home. But that’s far from the whole story. The same study notes that while 40 percent report that mobile is the primary source for retail related information, traditional PC-based web browsing, television, newspaper and yellow pages also contribute to decisions. Thus, the high potential for confusion. Clearly, communication strategies must be agnostic when it comes to channel selection or whether messages are presented by corporate or local marketers. If brand messages in a television commercial don’t connect to the website or the website messaging isn’t consis- tent with the print ad run or email sent by the local marketer, the consumer gets distracted and potentially derailed. From the marketer’s perspective, it’s nice that consumers indicate that they would welcome being led through a discovery and decision process. But delivery on that is really, really hard. Consumer complexity, in many ways, has outpaced marketing’s ability to respond and stories of“fumbled”customers abound. One of the most critical potential points of failure in effectively engaging and guiding a consumer is in the local delivery of brand messages. As discussed in the previous guidebook in this collection, creating common objectives between corporate and local marketers can be challenging. But it is critical that the consumer feel, see, hear and experience one unified brand message between corporate and local. Consumers don’t view a brand in corporate and local buckets. They experience – or at least want to experience – one brand that has global awareness and local delivery.
  5. 5. Year after year, Saepio research shows that corporate marketing managers of distributed marketing networks view brand consistency in local marketing content as their top priority. Clearly they must. Consumers are expecting that consistency. And due to differing objectives, local marketers will never fully shoulder that responsibility. The Importance of Consistent Messages 3
  6. 6. The Importance of Consistent Messages 4 ChapterTwo The Power of Locally Delivered Brand Messages Consumers, for whatever reason, find local advertising more relevant and more trustworthy than national advertising. Perhaps it’s because they can look the advertiser across the counter and in the eye or have simply have a tangible mental connection between a physical structure and the ad message. Whatever the underlying reason, recent research shows what savvy local marketers have known for decades, local marketing efforts can powerfully drive brand messages. In a survey conducted by the Newspaper Association of America, respondents noted that advertising on local websites is more likely to be trustworthy because it is“more likely to be current”(78%), more likely to be credible (48%) and tend to be“more local”(46%). The agency world is observing this trend too. A Corona Insights study noted that“Today’s findings show that national advertisers, and their agencies, understand that local ads in a local context are more than four times more effective, and are becoming a mainstream tool to reach consumers locally. Additionally, 73 percent of the respondents believe that media with a local context outperforms simply geographically targeted advertising. With such strong supporting evidence and the ever-expanding options for delivering personalized, localized advertising directly to consumers, shouldn’t all brand marketing efforts be corporate yet“local”? Yes and no. Certainly research suggests that localized content lifts results with or without the aid of a local marketer. Additionally, as outlined in the next chapter, a marketing asset management platform for local marketing makes execution of such campaigns easy to implement. Given these factors, a corporate brand marketer can legitimately question if the role of a local marketer delivering locally branded messages is even a necessary one. However, data may be telling less than the whole story. • Data doesn’t shake a customer’s hand. No matter how accurate it may be, corporate insight doesn’t look a customer in the eye, audibly thank him or her for the business or ask about how the kids’soccer team is doing. • Data doesn’t live in the local market. Corporate insight doesn’t know about the “Western Trails Festival”that everyone in the city knows about or that the high school football team is going to state. • Data doesn’t always have win-win at heart. As outlined in Part 2 of this Distributed Marketing Leadership Series on Exploding Brand Value at the Local Level, finding common objectives is critical to a long-term win for both the corporate and local marketers. Analytics driven campaign management systems focused on driving personalized, localized communications won’t always be able to consider the nuanced win-win relationship needed.
  7. 7. The Importance of Consistent Messages 5 Saepio has long observed and endorsed the concept of blending corporate marketing insight and local marketing intuition. This powerful combination leverages the strength of both entities for the goal of consistent messaging that engages local consumers. Consumers, and particularly customers, want marketing messages with a local touch. They respond better to them, find them more current, more local and more credible.
  8. 8. The Importance of Consistent Messages ChapterThree Single Source of Content is Critical Consistent messaging from corporate and local marketing to local consumers will only happen when consistent ingredients are going into those messages. Before simply writing that off as a quote from Captain Obvious, consider for a moment how many“chefs”are attempting to insert“ingredients”into the local brand messaging mix. In addition to corporate marketers, reps from local papers, radio stations, direct mailers, yellow pages, local ad agencies, search marketers, freelance creative professionals, national small business marketing services firms, image libraries and“brand marketer wanna be” friends and family of the local marketer all have marketing message“ingredients”to offer (this challenge is the focus of book six of this series). With so many competing to influence the brand messaging, the corporate marketers not only must have the loudest megaphone, they must also have the most complete and easiest to use content library for brand messag- ing. These systems are typically referred to as distributed marketing management platforms or marketing asset management solutions and contain four key elements: 1. They provide a single marketing storefront for local marketers of all things marketing. From campaign creative to branded apparel, anything a local marketer would need to consistently message the brand in the local market should be found via the marketing storefront. 2. They are a complete, searchable repository of images and other digital assets. If local marketers – or those serving them – can quickly and easily find the content they are looking for, they’ll use it. If not, they’ll look elsewhere. A robust digital asset management foundation must be at the heart of any marketing asset management solution. 3. They dynamically create content and campaigns, and do so for all channels. A dynamic content approach is critical because it allows for the content a local marketer sees to automatically be versioned to the local market. It also lets the local marketer participate in content selection within a framework established by the corporate marketer. 4. They automate marketing fulfillment. Local marketers don’t have the time or the expertise to implement a marketing campaign whether that campaign is a simple, outbound email series or a complex, multi-channel campaign. Top-tier distributed marketing management platforms automate these processes to limit local marketer involvement. 6
  9. 9. The Importance of Consistent Messages 7 As an additional benefit, the same platform technology that enables local marketer engage- ment in the creation of consistent brand messaging can be used by corporate marketers to automate creation of personalized, localized content for local placement as part of a national campaign. The dynamic content creation and marketing fulfillment automation can turn an otherwise rather complex process into a highly automated, relatively easy campaign execution processes. A marketing asset management system can just as efficiently be used as a stand-alone resource for local marketers, as a shared environment where corporate marketing controls part of the content but enables local involvement and as a corporate to consumer content creation engine. Further, advanced platforms can stage content for campaign execution or build and deliver it in real time based on analytics guidance and consumer actions. This powerful, flexible approach to content creation and management is becoming increas- ingly essential for consistent message delivery across the corporate and local landscape. With such a resource in place, consistent messaging to consumers from corporate and local marketers operating in tandem or individually is not difficult. Without this resource, as noted earlier, it is virtually impossible.
  10. 10. The Importance of Consistent Messages 8 Chapter Four Three Keys for Ensuring Consistent Messages Ensuring that consumers receive consistent messaging from corporate and local marketers without doubt is challenging. But the goal is very attainable, even in a complex world where consumers seek consistency across all mediums and all points in time. However, consistent brand messaging won’t happen without a concerted, focused effort on the part of corpo- rate marketing. Within these efforts, the following three steps will be critical: Key Number One: Embrace Localized Marketing Consumers are asking for localized marketing. Whether generated by corporate or local, consumers view it as more relevant and credible. • Think local. Turn the corporate mindset to global branding locally delivered to increase performance. • Think relevance. Organizationally internalize what it means to deliver on the consumers’desire to receive content when, where and in what medium they want. • Think analytics. Utilize corporate insight to drive local engagement and brand messaging consistency. Do so, however, in a manner that values local, intition-based input. Key NumberTwo: Relentlessly Pursue a Partnering Attitude Consumers don’t view the brand as having corporate and local parts. They view one brand. Relentlessly pursue a partnering attitude between corporate and local marketing to avoid consumer confusion. • Engage local marketers. Strive to find the correct blend of corporate insight and local intuition. • Guide the consumer. Consumers are willing to be led through a product or service decision process. But they do expect a seamless experience with the brand at all points in that process. Map it out with corporate and local roles identified and relentlessly pursue a corporate and local partnership that delivers on this expectation. • Keep it simple. Local marketers are busy and are not sophisticated marketers. Keep them involved but make partnering with corporate easy. Create“wins”for them that don’t require lots of time or money.
  11. 11. The Importance of Consistent Messages Key NumberThree: Put Systems in Place to Make Blended Marketing Easy Consistent messaging across a consumer’s engagement with a brand won’t happen at any level without a technology infrastructure to support it. This is particularly true when corpo- rate and local marketers must team together to manage the consumer communications. • Start with the content. Content is the engagement point with the consumer. Getting an advanced distributed marketing management platform or marketing asset management solution in place is critical. Don’t cut corners either as limited tech- nology will limit your ability to engage customers. • Utilize big data and analytics. The exploding capacity of hardware and software technology in tandem with incredible volumes of consumer data now available provides insights never available before. Blended with a content creation tech- nology and the intuition of a local marketer, this insight can be a powerful force. Use it fully. • Implement locally focused real-time campaign management. Also known as real- time decision engines, this technology enables consumer actions to dictate market ing reaction. These engines absorb consumer interactions (what, when, where, why and how the consumer is engaging with the brand), call on big data and analytics within the context of these actions and then instruct the dynamic content engines to assemble and deliver marketing campaign content both in real time and in drip sequences. This technology is way outside the capacities of the local marketer to manage (let alone most corporate marketers!). Implement it in ways that are“behind the scenes”and simple to use for the local marketer but make sure to engage your local marketers in creating the content that will be automatically and dynamically created and served to consumers. (See the Saepio DMLS Guidebook“The New Technology Trinity for Real-Time Consumer Engagement”to learn more about the roles of these three technologies in customer engagement management.) These three steps provide the framework for creating the consistent messaging that is key to exploding brand value at the local level. The steps are primarily philosophical with a technology infrastructure to support the shift in thought. Ironically, many in corporate marketing still view such approaches as futuristic. Unfortunately, most consumers have ar- rived at that“future”and are waiting for the brand marketers – both corporate and local – to respond. That noted, don’t wait for the full technology infrastructure to be in place to start. Many steps can be taken immediately to facilitate, and even ensure, consistent messaging from corporate and local marketers. 9
  12. 12. The Importance of Consistent Messages Summary Consistent messaging must be in place across corporate and local marketing activities for brand value to explode at the local level. While they are individualistic and complex, today’s consumers are begging to be guided by consistent communications across the myriad of devices, channels and locations where they engage with a brand. Further, they don’t think about a brand in corporate and local buckets, just in terms of information and accessibility. And, they respond better to locally versioned messaging about the brand and the point of interaction with the brand. Unfortunately, too often instead of guiding the consumer and capitalizing on this local advantage, corporate and local marketers confuse them through out-of-sync marketing messages. Implementing strong distributed marketing management technology is key to creating blended, consistent messages from corporate and local marketers. However, equally important to technology is the embracement of localized marketing content and an embracement of corporate and local partnership in the delivery of these messages. The savvy corporate marketer the importance of pursuing robust technology infrastructure to drive localized messaging while at the same time implementing readily available steps that will immediately help create consistent messaging and help explode brand value at the local level. 10
  13. 13. The Importance of Consistent Messages 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 11 ShareThis Document with your Network Follow Us: