How Distributed Marketing Works

BrandMuscle | January 11, 2021

If you’ve ever wondered what “distributed marketing” means and if it could be a game-changer for your business, we’ve got all the answers you need!

What Is Distributed Marketing?

So, what exactly is distributed marketing? In simple terms, it’s a collaborative approach to marketing where a company’s central, corporate level works hand in hand with a network of local partners. These partners then customize marketing materials to suit their unique markets.

Whether you’re a regional whisky distiller, a national insurance company, or a world-renowned tire manufacturer, if you sell through a network of intermediaries (like channel partners), you’re part of a distributed organization. Embracing a distributed marketing strategy can work wonders for driving local sales.

Now, hold on a second! Don’t worry, it might sound a bit complex, but we promise it’s not rocket science. Let’s break it down for you.

Instead of selling directly to consumers like a well-known brand such as Warby Parker does, distributed organizations work with dealers, agents, retailers, resellers, distributors, branches, and franchisees to reach customers. Just look around and you’ll spot these channel partners everywhere!

For instance, Kellogg’s sells its cereal through grocery stores, and Nationwide sells its insurance through agents. These partners represent the brand at the local level, allowing companies to cater to specific markets while keeping their message consistent throughout the entire network. Some folks might refer to this as “national-to-local” marketing, and hey, we marketers do love our hyphens!

How Is Distributed Marketing Good for Business?

Now, let’s dive into why distributed marketing is a powerful tool for businesses.

By adopting a distributed marketing model, you can tap into the immense talent pool spread across your entire network. It’s like having an army of marketing experts in every corner of the world! Plus, this model tailors messages to distinct, niche demographics.

It’s all about recognizing the value of local partner knowledge and empowering them to innovate, execute, and problem-solve for their market. Of course, they receive support, funding, and structure from leadership, too! Sharing brand assets and marketing costs is a win-win for everyone involved.

Distributed vs. Centralized Marketing

Time for a little comparison.

In centralized marketing, a single team at headquarters handles everything. On the other hand, decentralized marketing means multiple teams manage different aspects of the business. But distributed marketing is the perfect blend of both worlds. Corporate takes charge of creating templates, advertisements, fact sheets, emails, and all things marketing, while channel partners engage in co-branding and customization. It’s a beautiful collaboration that unleashes the full potential of your network. United by common goals, your distributed marketing team works together to generate new revenue and reduce operating costs.

Who Uses Distributed Marketing?

Guess what? Distributed marketing isn’t just for specific industries — it’s beneficial for any business selling through a vast network of intermediaries. Some prime examples include:

To unlock the true potential of distributed marketing, you need strong central leadership and a cutting-edge brand management software. Our sophisticated co-op marketing platform streamlines the approval and reimbursement process for local advertising, making life easier for everyone.

What Is a Distributed Marketing Platform?

A distributed marketing platform, also known as a through-channel marketing automation platform or TCMA, is your ticket to scaling customized, brand-compliant advertising and local messaging throughout your network. From digital to traditional marketing, such as direct mail, TV, radio, and outdoor advertising, this platform has got you covered. It’s all about managing local marketing analytics, funding co-op advertising strategies, and tackling the challenges that come with marketing on such a large scale.

How Do Distribution Channels Influence Marketing Strategies?

Each distribution channel plays a vital role in your marketing strategy.

You see, every distribution channel touches different points in the customer journey, and each has the potential to reach a very local audience. Who knows the locals better than your channel partners? They live and breathe the local rhythm of life, understanding their market like no other. This hyper-local marketing approach brings them into the marketing mix, enlarging your team and fostering creativity. Together, you strike the perfect balance between innovation and consistency so your brand’s message shines through loud and clear.

Distributed Marketing Best Practices

To achieve top-notch distributed marketing results, you’ll want to follow these best practices:

  • Provide marketing education, guidance, and investment: Empower your local partners by giving them the knowledge and confidence to make smart marketing decisions. When partners reinvest a percentage of their revenue into marketing, their growth skyrockets.
  • Activate your channel partners: Create incentives that encourage partners to optimize their local marketing strategy. Prioritize the most effective tactics so partners see a quick return on their investments. Promote the program widely, ensuring all partners are aware of the opportunity and how to access it.
  • Improve your distributed marketing program: Listen to your local partners’ feedback and address any barriers to entry they may face. Continuously improve your program to enable more partners to become mature marketers.

Ready to Take Your Brand to New Heights?

Get in touch with BrandMuscle to explore how our TCMA platform can help you build a successful distributed marketing platform and activate your brand at the local level. The power of collaboration awaits!

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