Innovations in martech and agency offerings can orchestrate campaigns across the brand-to-local value chain that connect brands to local partners, and local partners to customers in a way that wasn’t possible in previous years.
We hear it all the time: technology is evolving, data is king, the martech landscape is complex, and the Cowboys won another Super Bowl! (ok, 3 out of 4 isn’t bad.)
Few debates that customer expectations are rising, however, we hear more and more of the following:
- “I’ll call an Uber, it will be here in less than a minute.”
- “The package I ordered this morning is here just in time.”
- “Alexa, order me a pizza.”
- “Honey, will you please summon the Tesla?— it’s raining.”
Implications of an ever-progressing marketing world can at times be, fairly, straightforward. Complexity seems to surge when multi-location brands and multi-channel campaigns collide. Brand silos make it difficult to deliver on new experience expectations, and a customer’s experience with a brand can be even more disjointed when local stores/partners are not working in unison.
Herding the Cats
An effective multichannel, multi-location campaign requires an arrangement between data, intelligence, technology, and the voice of the customer. Such an orchestration can align brand and local partners to facilitate intelligence-driven customer experiences that are triggered:
- At the exact time, the customer requires
- In the channel the customer prefers
- For a geographic location convenient to the customer
- In a method and format that is within brand guidelines
- At a custom-level to align with what we know about the customer and the local partner
Such an orchestration can seem daunting, or even theoretical. However, with the progression in martech, big data, and old-fashioned customer service, an effective Brand-to-Local campaign is entirely within reach.
Key Elements of an Effective Brand to Local Campaign
Brand Inc. is an illustrative national brand with thousands of local partners. Local partners include brand-owned stores, franchised stores, and even a number of retail partners who sell Brand Inc. products. Brand Inc. runs a $500M+ Trade-Promotion program which offers a combination of incentives to its local partners that include a Co-Op program, rebates, events, etc.
Brand Inc. wants to create brand awareness and connect with the customer at a national level but also wants to strengthen the connection between consumers and local partners to drive actions that lead to increased sales. Brand Inc. has a brand image it wants to protect, so it needs a set of brand guidelines for all local partners to adhere to. Brand Inc. also wants to be sure that the $500+ million spent annually is bringing an adequate return.
For Brand Inc. to manage this unruly web to logistically care for this program, and execute at a local level, it must address each area of the Brand to Local value chain:
- Customer Intelligence- Align on an understanding of customers, objectives, and experience needs
- Customer Strategy- Comprehensive plan of engagement for each customer across types and timing of interactions
- Channel Empowerment- Provide channel and campaign tools, oversight, and best practices for brand-to-local deployment
- Experience Orchestration- Seamlessly execute customer-engagement moments across channels and journeys
- Optimization & Assessment- Verify execution and learning; reimburse with co-op funds, ensure guideline compliance
- Business Intelligence- Demonstrate performance and key learnings; inform continuous customer-engagement improvement
Then rinse, optimize, and repeat.
Whether Brand Inc. chooses to manage this program in-house, hire a number of niche agencies to manage, or work with an agency that spans across the entire value chain, each link of the value chain must be heavily coordinated. Not only from a project-management perspective, but how data is shared, how insights are harvested, how pieces of training are conducted, and how compliance is enforced. Each link in the chain must be in concert.
Now Therefore What?
The end game in an orchestrated brand-to-local campaign is quite intriguing. Doing so will provide a program with a level of transparency, accountability, and local relevance required to satisfy the needs of both the ever-demanding customer and the complex brand. It brings with it:
- Optimized marketing spend from brand awareness to trade promotions
- Quantified and clear ROI
- A sharpened, localized, 1:1 message to customers delivered how and when they need it
- Improved relationship and interaction between brand and local partners
- Strengthened loyalty between local partners and local customers
- Increased “butts in seats” for local partners
- Ability to iterate, refine, and strengthen future programs
Although the world isn’t yet at a place where we can say “Alexa, optimize my Brand-to-local marketing” … we’re getting there.