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Take Marketing Automation to the Next Level with Distributed Marketing

Distributed marketing helps enterprises unify their marketing automation efforts across teams, geographies and business units.

By now, we’re past all the fear-mongering about how automation will lead to everyone losing their jobs when robots take over. Instead, organizations across industries are embracing automation for streamlining and optimizing operations. That’s especially true in marketing, where marketing automation platforms (MAPs) have made it easier and more efficient for marketers to create, deploy and optimize campaigns. But for all the value MAPs offer, they have some drawbacks – especially with consolidating data from different sources and requiring specialized technical skills to get the full benefit out of the features.

So how do marketers overcome these hurdles to get the most of their marketing automation solutions? With distributed marketing.

What is Distributed Marketing?

Distributed marketing is a multitenant architecture approach to marketing automation. It enables enterprises to unify their marketing automation efforts, which are often spread across teams, geographies, business units, etc. It’s not uncommon for an enterprise to knowingly or unknowingly have multiple marketing automation platforms siloed across the organization. Rather than incurring repetitive costs for redundant technologies, by adopting a distributed marketing framework, an enterprise can bring all of those MAP solutions under one umbrella. In addition to cost savings, this will help to ensure compliance with brand governance and data security standards, without sacrificing flexibility and customization at the individual campaign level. 

Making the Case for Distributed Marketing

Consider these four common business situations:

  1. A corporation has acquired several subsidiaries, each with its own name, marketing teams, customer bases, etc. 
  2. A multinational corporation has 1,000 restaurants around the world, each operated by franchisees, who want to run their own campaigns that are localized to their market
  3. A global enterprise that has various functional teams sending out communications to both internal and external audiences, e.g. the human resources department sends out internal newsletters to employees but the e-commerce team is responsible for sending out promotional offers to VIP customers
  4. A marketing agency managing campaigns on behalf of its clients

In each of these scenarios, it’s clear why there needs to be a level of separation between MAP instances; you wouldn’t want an internal email sent to your VIP customers, or a campaign from agency Client X accidentally sent using Client Y’s branded template. But the power of distributed marketing in these cases comes from the centralization of resources and solutions, without allowing horizontal (child-to-child) sharing. Rules and templates can be created at the umbrella/parent level and pushed down into each of the child-level MAP instances, reducing time to recreate the wheel but still allowing customization – to the extent that the parent-level account permits. 

Striking the Balance Between Freedom and Governance

Marketing automation has already freed marketers from routine, tedious tasks and allowed them to spend more time on creating more engaging campaigns and experiences. Imagine taking it to the next level with distributed marketing. That benefit is amplified exponentially. 

Let’s go back to our example of the multinational restaurant chain. Without a distributed marketing approach, each franchise manager would run (and pay for) an independent MAP account, spending hours each week creating the next promotional campaign – which may or may not follow brand guidelines. Instead, with distributed marketing, the corporate marketing team at the parent company can create a “golden template” for the campaign – following all the brand requirements and best practices – and then push it out to all 1,000 locations’ MAP instance for them to tweak and customize for their target market. Instead of doing the work 1,000 times, it’s done once. Not only are time and resources saved, but brand identity is also safeguarded by ensuring customers have the same experience with the brand, no matter which franchise they encounter.

Learn more about distributed marketing and how to scale and unify digital experience operations across all touchpoints in our e-book: Rein in Marketing Automation Sprawl with Distributed Marketing.

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