Let Them Eat… From the Distributed Marketing… Cake!

by Rick Volz on June 2, 2010

Rick Volz

Rick Volz

Distributed marketing is a powerful concept and capability allowing the corporate marketing organization to develop campaigns in support of enterprise business goals, maintain the brand’s images and messaging while enabling a local flavor to the organization’s marketing execution.

When I think of Distributed Marketing, a couple things come to mind.

The first is in the title of this article, “Let them eat cake”!  Though attributed to Marie Antoinette in a derogatory reference, since I am a big fan of desserts, mine is a vision of a multi-layered masterpiece that someone painstakingly builds for the enjoyment and benefit of others.

The second thing that comes to mind is the “mom and pop” relationship that small businesses typically have with their customers and the markets they serve.   Distributed marketing users have a similar knowledge about their local customers and markets, allowing corporate marketing efforts to be further personalized and targeted for customer and market share growth.

Let me explain…

The multi-layered masterpiece

To implement effective Distributed Marketing in a way your agents/brokers, field marketing groups, local offices, etc., can benefit, a multi-layered infrastructure needs to be in place:

The foundation layer: As with most marketing capabilities, it begins with data- a consolidated database of your customers and the capability to store and safeguard prospect data.  Depending on the business you are in, you might rent or purchase prospect data that needs to be kept separate from your customer data.  In addition, your agents/brokers may have their own contacts that can be uploaded and remain hidden from corporate access and integration.  A solid data foundation can support a starving marketing department.

multi-layered cakeThe middle tiers: No memorable cake has a single layer, and data is not useful without the application of analytic processes to turn the data into information.  Predictive marketing analytics can help define the need for a specific marketing effort and, of course, the selection criteria to communicate acquisition, cross-sell or up-sell messages.

The icing: Having built the main elements of the cake, now it’s time to make it memorable.  You need a tool that provides the corporate marketing team the power to build and execute multi-channel, multi-step communications, yet which is simple for your distributed marketing users.  They should only be expected to select the corporate marketing developed campaigns in which they wish to participate.  In addition, your distributed marketing platform needs to provide a secure and easy way to upload prospects who are to be included in the campaign.  Give your distributed marketing clients the same tool used by the corporate marketing staff, and you might have a lot of leftover cake.  Deliver a clean, intuitive window so they are tempted to use what you have built…just think of the icing on the cake.

Let “mom and pop” eat!

If you have built the right layers of your cake and followed the instructions for icing, all you need to do is give the distributed marketing users the fork…access.  Keep it simple and allow the organization to benefit from the combined efforts.  Your distributed marketing clients will keep coming back for more and your business results won’t leave anyone hungry.


Cake Image:  ForthWorthCatering.com

About the Author:

Rick Volz is a Business-to-Business Practice Leader for SIGMA Marketing Group, responsible for the thought-leadership and business solutions in the B2B market. Follow Rick on  or connect with him on .

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