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  • Welcome to Part 5 of our five-part blog series about choosing the right technologies for your channel marketing performance. Click here to read Part 1Part 2Part 3 and Part 4.


    The capabilities provided by distributed marketing technology enables companies to effectively manage and optimize the performance of complex distributed marketing ecosystems. These solutions will produce financial and operational benefits for both brand owners and channel partners. 

     

    More specifically, there are seven key benefits for companies:

     

    • 1.  Increase the frequency of local marketing by making it easy for channel partners to create and execute marketing campaigns and programs
    • 2.  Enhance the effectiveness of local marketing by making it easy for channel partners to create and use more customized, and therefore more relevant, marketing messages and materials
    • 3.  Improve the consistency of brand messaging and presentation through the use of a central marketing asset repository combined with controlled customization
    • 4.  Increase marketing efficiency by enabling marketing assets to be used across the entire channel partner network
    • 5.  Reduce marketing support costs by eliminating the manual processes typically used to manage and fulfill requests for marketing materials and to manage materials inventories
    • 6.  Reduce obsolescence waste by eliminating the need to acquire marketing materials in large quantities
    • 7.  Reduce compliance costs by streamlining the processes needed to keep marketing materials in line with legal/regulatory requirements

    But Is It Right for My Business?


    You may be thinking: “This all sounds great, but how can I determine if a distributed marketing solution would be a good investment for my business?”


  • Welcome to Part 4 of our five-part blog series about choosing the right technologies for your channel marketing performance. Click the links to read Part 1Part 2 and Part 3.

     

    To address the complexities of distributed marketing, a growing number of companies are turning to a relatively new category of marketing automation technologies. Several terms are used to describe these technologies, including marketing asset management, distributed marketing automation, distributed marketing management, and local marketing automation. In this white paper, we’ll refer to these technologies as distributed marketing solutions.

    A distributed marketing solution is a suite of technology tools that are designed to streamline and simplify marketing activities and processes for both channel partners and brand owners. Some solution providers focus exclusively on distributed marketing automation technologies, while others also offer print production capabilities, fulfillment services, and a variety of other marketing support services. In this white paper, we’re describing distributed marketing solutions that include print production, warehousing, and fulfillment services.

     

    The central feature of a distributed marketing solution is a secure online portal site that enables channel partners to manage and execute a variety of marketing activities. The technological capabilities included in a distributed marketing solution simplify and streamline both the creation and execution of marketing campaigns and the management of marketing materials. 

    Campaign Management 

    A distributed marketing solution will provide channel partners customizable templates of campaign materials such as direct mail documents, e-mail messages, and advertisements for print publications. These templates identify which content elements can be modified and which cannot be changed. For those elements that can be customized, the template will usually contain a set of pre-approved customization options. To customize campaign materials, a channel partner simply selects a template and chooses the desired customization options.


  • Welcome to Part 3 of our five-part blog series about choosing the right technologies for your channel marketing performance. Click here to read Part 1​ and Part 2​. 

    Companies that operate in distributed marketing environments face the same marketing challenges as everyone else. They must deal with a growing number of marketing channels, create and deliver marketing messages and materials that are relevant to individual prospects and customers, and maximize the productivity of the marketing function. In addition, however, distributed marketing organizations face challenges that firms with centralized marketing operations don’t typically encounter. 

    Different Marketing Objectives — Corporate marketers and channel partners often have different perspectives on what’s important and different marketing objectives. Corporate marketers tend to focus on creating and maintaining effective brand messaging and brand presentation. Channel partners want to focus on marketing programs that will drive leads and sales for their business. 

    Maintaining Brand Consistency — In a company where a central marketing department manages all communications with customers and prospects, it is relatively easy to maintain consistent brand messaging. That changes dramatically when a company has dozens or hundreds of channel partners executing marketing programs. In a recent study by the Aberdeen Group, survey respondents said that maintaining brand consistency is the greatest challenge for distributed marketing organizations.


  • Welcome to Part 2 of our five-part blog series about choosing the right technology for your channel marketing performance. Click here to read Part 1

    Every day, thousands of companies around the world sell their products and services through networks of regional or local outlets. These outlets may be company-owned branches or retail stores, or they may be related but independent channel partners such as franchisees, independent agents, dealers, or value-added re-sellers.

     

    Channel-based selling is a major feature of the US business landscape. The stereotypical example of a channel structure is a franchise network. In 2012, there were over 700,000 franchised business establishments in the United States, and these establishments produced $769 billion in sales. While franchising is the classic example of channel-based selling, many kinds of companies sell through independent or quasi- independent channel partners. 


    For example: 
     

    • Insurance companies that sell through independent agents
    • Financial services firms that sell through independent financial advisors and/or broker-dealers
    • Technology companies that sell through value-added re-sellers
    • Manufacturing companies that sell through independent dealers, manufacturer’s representatives, or retail stores 
       

    Not only are indirect channel sales a large component of the overall economy, many companies rely on channel sales for a significant portion of their total company revenues. Obviously, franchisors usually obtain most of their revenues from the fees that are based on sales made by franchisees. However, many other types of companies also depend heavily on channel sales. For example, many technology companies derive more than half of their total revenues from sales made by channel partners.