Buyers searching for the best distributed marketing platform to solve the marketing automation problems that are unique to a multi-channel distributed marketing environment come at the problem from different starting points. So, while there is no “one size fits all” solution that will work for every company, there are a few items to add to every buyer’s checklist.
The top four boxes to check when considering a distributed marketing platform are:
- Centralized, Rules-Based Compliance + Local Customization, Personalization
- Closed-loop Marketing Analytics
- “WOW” Factor: What Can You Do AFTER Purchasing That You CAN’T Do Now?
- Industry-Specific Integration, Performance
The first two items on the list are absolutely essential. This is the place where a technology solution designed specifically for distributed marketing organizations demonstrates its value. Empowering local marketing agents – franchisees, local agents, field marketing, channel partners, and resellers – is the gold standard for a distributed marketing platform.
Your local sales force wants to select, customize, personalize, and deliver corporate marketing messages in seconds – and you want to ensure compliance with brand and regulatory rules and standards. So if a platform you’re considering doesn’t include both ease of use and compliance management, keep looking.
Reporting and measurement are the backbone of marketing accountability. You need accurate, near real-time data on every message. Ideally, you want data that’s easy to pull and analyse when you need it. Automate the whole process in a closed-loop system that collects data across channels, stores it centrally, and provides permission-based reporting.
The “WOW” factor is a bit harder to define. As Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart famously said about obscenity, “I know it when I see it.” The “WOW” factor is different for every company, but it makes no sense to invest in a technology solution that doesn’t deliver new capabilities that make you happy every time you use it.
Here are a few “WOW” factors as gleaned from recent distributed marketing technology buyers:
- Insurance company: Our agents want to customize and personalize everything. We want to protect our brand and comply with state and federal regulations. Now we can deploy templates that do both. The agents can only change certain areas of the templates, and it’s really speeded up our approval process while improving compliance, too. Wow. Our old, slow process is now automated and streamlined.
- Regional travel association: It used to take us days to create bid books in response to a request for a proposal or request for information. Now we can assemble gorgeous, customized book in less than 20 minutes. Wow!
- Financial services company: Reporting was a nightmare before. When we found a system that put all our marketing campaigns in one place, collected data on what messages sales people were actually using, and tracking every message. Wow. Now that we can pull reports whenever we want, we’ll never go back.
All platforms aren’t created equal – and not every platform is right for every industry. Look for a vendor who has reference customers in your industry, especially if you’re in a regulated industry like insurance, healthcare, or banking and finance.
What features and benefits are on your checklist? How would you evaluate a distributed marketing automation solution? Let us know!