And sure, this centralized approach works in theory. It should ensure consistency in branding, strategy, and corporate messaging. But in reality, it causes major challenges for local marketing teams and individual teams, such as inefficient workflows, a lengthy production process, and overall frustration.
Shifting to a distributed marketing approach for email production can eliminate those issues. In a centralized environment, one core marketing team is responsible for email strategy and production. In distributed marketing, multiple marketing teams create campaigns for their local market or business unit—and that can be game-changing.
According to a survey by the Aberdeen Group, 67% of businesses operate in a distributed marketing environment. Not bad! This has several benefits, not just for local teams, but for the organization overall.
Let’s check out some of the key advantages:
1. Removes bottleneck issues
The biggest problem marketers have with centralized email production is the huge bottleneck it causes. A local team or business unit sends an email request to the corporate team, and it seemingly disappears into a central black box. Waiting for a response is like waiting for a carrier pigeon to return.
It’s understandable. Corporate marketing teams have a lot on their plate and are inundated with those types of requests from every region. But for a local marketing team, it’s agonizing. It leaves them in a holding pattern and delays promotions to local customers.
Distributed marketing empowers the individual teams to own their email production so they don’t have to wait for corporate to find time for it. It also takes pressure off the central marketing team by alleviating its workload.
2. Provides local marketing appeal
Regional marketing teams have another issue with centralized email production—the messaging doesn’t resonate with local customers.
Not only do different regions have different languages, but they also have unique buyer personas, cultural values, traits, and characteristics. The email you send in the U.S. won’t get the same response in Germany or China.
And it’s not just locations, it’s also products. Different business units have an infinitely better understanding of their product and their consumers’ pain points than a corporate marketing team that has to worry about several different products.
According to a survey, a whopping 92% of brands expect localized marketing to play an increasingly important role year-over-year. Distributed marketing gives local teams and business units the autonomy to tailor messaging to their specific market insights.
Local teams better understand the execution tactics, distribution channels, stories, and needs of their market. While there are universal messages that have global appeal, emails targeted to a specific audience have a greater impact.
3. Gives you a competitive edge
The bottleneck that centralized email production causes can also hurt your company’s bottom line. And in today’s fast-paced business environment, organizations need to be agile to react to global marketplace changes.
But how can you be agile when it takes weeks to create an email for a local market?
Email is a great way to quickly get your message and promotions directly to customers, and it can speed up the sales cycle. Delays in the process essentially negate the benefits of this channel. Companies that don’t take advantage of local opportunities create space for competitors, including niche players who hone in on one area or product type.
Local marketing teams and business units can strategize and execute faster than centralized ones because they’re lean in nature. Staying ahead of the competition and reaching prospects is more conducive to decentralized marketing.
4. Eliminate time zone issues
While technology has revolutionized communication and business, it hasn’t changed time zones. It may be easier than ever to communicate across the globe, but when we communicate remains an issue. Email production can already be a slow process, and when you factor in time zones, delays can be a major obstacle, especially if your company prides itself on speed and customer service.
Sure, if you operate domestically, the three-hour difference between New York and San Francisco is no big deal. But how about when the New York office needs to speak with Tokyo? That’s a 13-hour gap.
Cultural sensitivities play an important role too. When should emails be distributed? In one country, it might be normal to receive a promotional email at 8 p.m., but in another country that might be considered intrusive.
When local marketing teams own their email production, it streamlines the process and allows them to reach customers faster, but they also have a better understanding of the best time to send emails.
5. Better compliance
Companies in the healthcare, financial, and insurance industries have to deal with various compliance and regulation laws, which apply to email messaging. While this may seem like a responsibility better suited for a centralized team, laws vary by industry and country, and distributed teams are better versed in the compliance for their areas.
Take, for example, a brand with customers in finance, healthcare, and insurance. Each of those industries has different compliance laws and different regulatory agencies. A marketing team that specifically handles financial products has a better understanding of compliance laws in its industry than the corporate marketing team that’s trying to stay on top of three distinct industries.
The business unit can catch an error quicker and produce content faster. The same goes for local marketing teams that are familiar with their country’s regulations.
Corporate marketing teams do play a key role in ensuring brand compliance and consistency in email production, but when they control the entire process, it creates bottlenecks that frustrate local marketing teams and hinder their efforts.
Email is not one-size-fits-all. In today’s global environment, distributed email production creates more efficient workflows, higher production volume, and more effective campaigns. It may be time for your company to make the change.