We no longer sell to a homogenous market. Once upon a time, all marketers had to do was come up with a standardized creative approach and blast it to the masses. Those days are gone. Today, consumers are empowered with countless media consumption choices, from thousands of specialized cable and satellite channels to millions of Internet sites providing news, entertainment, blogs, video and social engagement. On top of that, DVRs and streaming radio services have made broadcast advertising practically irrelevant. Consumers decide what messages they want to receive, as well as when and where. One-to-many is out. One-to-one is in.
Welcome to the age of localization. To gain the attention and respect of consumers today, we need to speak directly to them, showing that we understand the world they live in, their individual needs and their individual desires. Fortunately, there are a number of new technologies to help us localize in print and digital media. One is Marketing Asset Management or MAM. Today’s blog post explains how MAM helps you tailor your marketing to connect with local audiences.
Print remains important.
Rumors of the death of print in the wake of the Internet and mobile technology have been grossly exaggerated. Even with the proliferation of mobile devices, the printed piece remains a highly effective way to communicate information. It’s also a powerful way to enhance your brand through its print quality, the tactile feel of its paper, and specialized printing techniques such as special coatings, die cuts, and the use of scannable images such as 2D barcodes (including QR Codes). There’s still nothing quite like the feel of a richly produced brochure, catalog, magazine or direct mail package.
But, in this age of the empowered consumer who wants communication tailored to him or her, “one-approach-fits-all” can’t work. We need to be able to tailor our print pieces for local markets. Consumers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana may have vastly different preferences from those in Seattle, Washington and New York City. Differences in geography, climate, history, culture, traditions and dialect all require customization to appeal to local sensibilities. This applies to everything from brochures and catalogs to direct mail.
MAM technology provides an easy way to automate the customization of print marketing material to local markets. Here’s how it works. A MAM system stores your marketing materials online as templates and lets you lock the portions of the templates that contain your corporate brand – items that must remain unchanged and consistent across all media – while allowing local-user access to the other parts of the templates for customization. The MAM system also stores a library of graphics you’ve made available to use in those templates, with permissions set for how and where they may be used. Then, members of your organization at the local level – sales representatives, local marketers, retailers, distributors, dealers, franchisees, etc. – can log into the MAM system through an online portal and customize marketing pieces to match the needs of their local audiences.
- Brochures can be customized with a local distributor’s brand and contact information, as well as geographically relevant imagery (for instance, sunny beaches in Southern California, a hilly sunset in the Midwest, or a skyline on the East coast.)
- Direct mail pieces can be tailored to feature locally oriented promotions, with relevant graphics and copy and the contact information of the local sales outlet.
- Catalogs can be tailored to contain just the product lines or specific products that suit the demographics of a local area or vertical niche.
- Stationery (business cards, letterhead, envelopes, note cards, etc.) can be customized with the names, contact information and the specific branding of local sales representatives.
What about digital?
A MAM system can easily accommodate digital assets too. With the fast-growing need to provide local versions of web landing pages, emails and banner ads, we need an easy way to tailor these assets as well. MAM works identically for digital and print, letting users log in and customize for local promotions.
- A restaurant chain customizes menus and promotions for multiple metro areas.
- A hardware store chain localizes weekly promotional circulars and in-store signage for different regions.
- A manufacturer of medical devices lets local sales representatives build a custom catalog of products tailored for each sales call, which can either be printed on demand or delivered as a PDF.
- A national athletic association provides nationally branded promotional kits and signage to local athletic clubs throughout the country to help them promote the enjoyment of sports for all age groups.
- A national hospital group allows the hospitals in its system to create custom services catalogs to cater to their respective communities.
- An automobile manufacturer gives its dealer network access to a collection of newspaper and Internet advertising templates for weekly sales, which dealers can customize within corporate branding guidelines to feature specific inventory and pricing specials.
- A large franchise incorporates MAM into its back-end system for franchisees to access a complete assortment of professionally branded marketing materials that can be customized for local sales needs.
- A real estate group provides templates to its realtors in cities across the country to create custom business cards and promotional literature for individual properties.
These are just a few examples. As you can see, there is practically no limit to the uses of MAM for all kinds of organizations that sell to diverse populations in multiple locations, or to different vertical niches.
Marketing Asset Management (MAM) is one of several complimentary technologies which can be combined to let you custom tailor an entire marketing mix for local populations and even individuals. These technologies span the media gamut, from social media and websites to print, TV and radio. The beauty of these systems is that they can completely automate the process of customization, allowing localization on a scale that would otherwise be impossible for marketing teams to accomplish. MAM of course is one of ZUZA’s own specialties, so if you would like more education about this technology, we would be happy to answer your questions.
Here’s to the Marketing Champion in all of us. See you in the next post.