This year’s LIMRA Distribution Conference theme “Extreme Makeover” highlights the need for organizations to rethink their sales, marketing, education and recruiting strategies to adapt to the new ways local agents and consumers communicate, learn and buy today.  This call from LIMRA, a financial services and insurance association, should not be limited to only the industries it serves.  Just about any industry that leverages a local marketing and sales model (e.g., financial services, insurance, franchise, hospitality, healthcare, telecom, etc.) needs to heed the same call and also consider a makeover of their sales and marketing strategies and supporting technologies.

Gleanster Research recently surveyed 315 organizations in an effort to understand how top performing distributed marketing organizations drive their multi-channel marketing efforts.  Gleanster Research concluded that the biggest challenge for distributed marketing organizations is balancing the conflicting needs of local marketers/agents and corporate marketing.

Consider the following statistics

  • A dismal 16% of corporate marketers within organizations leveraging a local marketing and sales model are planning to integrate social media into their marketing mix (Gleanster Research).  Corporate regulatory concerns are largely to blame as many organizations struggle to control and monitor the content being socialized.
  • 42% of distributed marketing organizations actually use three or more technologies in corporate marketing alone.  Multiple technologies means fragmented data, and often a fragmented customer experience.  (Gleanster Research)
  • Less than 30% of corporate marketers have implemented some type of distributed marketing software platform to empower local marketers and agents to easily find, customize and distributed sales and marketing content to prospects and customers.   (The CMO Council)
  • Only 36% of corporate marketers have a formalized process or system for tracking the impact of national brand advertising on local market development and customer acquisition.  (CMO Council)

These facts illustrate the fundamental technology gap that exists between the corporate marketing strategy and local execution.  Multi-channel distributed marketing technologies fill this gap because they are designed specifically to address the challenges associated with marketing and sales in a distributed organization.  This included campaign execution, multi-channel integration, dynamic templates, contact management, preference management, digital asset management, and dashboards.