Top 5 Challenges for Marketing Your National Brand at a Local Level

Valerie Robertson

Every marketing manager is faced with a slew of challenges every day. Those marketing managers tasked with trying to appease their corporate-level boss and their local sales force at the same time end up facing a set of very unique challenges, with solutions that are not so easy to come by.

Below are the top five challenges facing those marketing managers who have to protect their national brand while also working with a network trying to use that branding at a local level.

1. Dueling Brands: National vs. Local

In today’s overcrowded marketing landscape, it’s critical to be able to speak to the customer in as many ways and from as many angles as possible. Corporate branding is great, but if you try to get your local sales force to stick to just the generic brand message and don’t give them the freedom to speak one-on-one to their customer, you are going to miss the mark. Worse, when the customer doesn’t feel heard by the brand, and the sales force doesn’t feel heard by corporate, you risk weakening your whole brand strategy, not to mention your entire business model.

That being said, the ability to maintain control of your company’s brand is the most important task a marketing manager will face. Finding a way to add a local spin to corporate marketing materials while still maintaining control of the overall brand is a huge challenge by itself, but with it comes the issue of giving your local team too much flexibility, which leads us to challenge #2.

2. Following the Letter of the Law: Maintaining Brand Control

It’s a no-brainer that there are certain things, like legal fine print, that you don’t want your sales force to be able to tweak. In the same way that you need to control the general exposure of your brand, you also need a way to make sure that any legalese or required brand standards included in your marketing are used consistently across your network.

Without the right oversight, you can get into all sorts of trouble, especially if you are in a highly regulated industry such as banking or finance. Unfortunately, the oversight needed in situations like these often leads to challenge #3.

3. It Takes Too Much Time (and Money)

So often the reason why the local folks supporting your brand get stuck using the corporate marketing (or going off on their own and creating something that might not fit the corporate brand strategy) is that it is just too costly, in both time and money, to recreate something ‘like’ the corporate marketing materials, but localized enough to make everyone happy.

Even if you could come up with a version of your corporate marketing materials (all the white papers, all the promotional material, all the everything) for everyone on your local team, you end up getting into challenge #4.

4. Digital Asset Management: Where Do We Put All This?

Electronic clutter is one of the fastest ways to waste time and energy on the job. Plus, if you don’t have an easy way for your team to access the materials you want to provide, they just aren’t going to use them. Now you’ve gone and spent all that effort, and no one is getting the benefit.

What’s worse than no one using the marketing materials you so diligently crafted for them? Well, that would be challenge #5.

5. Not Knowing What Is (and Isn’t) Working

If you don’t have a way to track what marketing efforts are most often used by your local team, or a way to see what materials have had the most success, then you run the risk of losing control of your brand. Real-time analysis and in-depth reporting are no longer nice-to-have extras in your broader marketing strategy – they are required in order to make the decisions that you as a marketing manager must make every day.

So what’s the solution to these tough challenges? Trying to solve each problem individually could cost a company thousands of dollars and as many hours wasted, only to end up with a mess of new programs that no one uses. However, there are tools out there designed to tackle all of these challenges with a single solution. Often they fall under the category of Marketing Asset Management and can be either IT-installed software, or more friendly-to-use cloud-based solutions.

Are you struggling with these five challenges? Contact our full-service agency today to learn more about Conduit, our marketing software tool, and receive a free demonstration.

—By Valerie Robertson, Director of Customer Support

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