Choosing a Distributed Marketing or Distribution Marketing Platform

Posted by Cole Scott on January 24, 2024
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Choosing a distributed marketing platformMulti-location businesses face a major balancing act when it comes to marketing. It’s critical to uphold your hard-won brand. However, it’s equally critical that you give remote teams, partners, and/or franchises the flexibility necessary to customize marketing campaigns for local markets.


The answer to this challenge is simple: distributed marketing/distribution marketing. With the right distributed marketing or distribution marketing platform, you can maintain your brand and ensure a cohesive journey for leads and customers at every touchpoint while also ensuring that your campaigns are relevant and evocative to local audiences.


But how do you choose the right distributed marketing platform? What criteria should you use to compare the various options out there? What are the critical capabilities you should have access to? We’ll answer those questions and many more in this guide to choosing the right distributed marketing platform.


What Is Distributed Marketing or Distribution Marketing?


Before we dive into the discussion surrounding how to choose a distributed marketing/distribution marketing platform, let’s have a brief refresher on this marketing method. What is distributed marketing or distributed marketing in the first place?


Distributed/distribution marketing enables businesses with multiple locations in different geographic regions to deliver brand-aligned marketing campaigns efficiently and with compliance and localization. It’s a means of balancing between the two traditional marketing methods – centralized marketing and individualized marketing.


It’s also the only solution that ensures businesses can maintain the brand they’ve architected over time while simultaneously ensuring that campaigns can be effectively localized to resonate with end customers in each geographic area. Those customizations can look like:


  • Location-based
  • Language-based
  • Local culture-based
  • Local offerings-based
  • Local partnerships and sponsorships-based


As you can imagine, achieving that requires the right platform. Without a distributed marketing platform, it’s impossible to achieve the degree of access, communication, and customization required to create effective, brand-aligned, localized marketing campaigns. You can think of it as the engine that powers your marketing efforts.


What Is a Distributed/Distribution Marketing Platform?


We described a distributed/distribution marketing platform as the engine that powers your marketing efforts. However, you can also think of it in other ways.


  • Like the physical foundation of a building that supports walls, boardrooms, and showrooms, it can be the foundation of your brand-building success across geographic regions.


  • It can also be seen as a combination storehouse and assembly line, providing access to marketing collateral and the tools required to assemble and then customize marketing collateral for use in international, national, regional, and local marketing campaigns.


But why does your company need a distributed marketing or distribution marketing platform in the first place? Can’t you do all this without any underlying software? In a word, no, you cannot.


It’s incredibly challenging to maintain an existing, overarching brand while ensuring compliance with industry rules and government regulations, and customizing the end message to individual audiences in different geographic locations while being able to respond to changes in real time.


Distributed/Distribution Marketing Across Different Industries


How might a distributed marketing or distribution marketing platform benefit a particular business? Let’s take a closer look at how these strategies and tools affect businesses in different sectors.


Food Service – It’s relatively easy to see how distributed/distribution marketing can benefit food service businesses, particularly if they have locations in other countries. Look at McDonald’s as an example. The company is best known in the US for its beef burgers.


However, in India, they cannot sell beef because of cultural and religious differences. McDonald’s created culture-specific products and marketing campaigns that upheld the company’s core brand promise and connected directly with its audience. Baskin Robbins, Burger King, and other food service companies have achieved similar things.


Retail Businesses – From mega-retailers like Walmart to smaller chains, managing retail businesses in different geographic regions is a major challenge. That challenge grows the farther apart the locations are. For instance, seasonal sales cannot take place at the same time across all locations if they’re not in the same climate zone.


This certainly occurs when business locations are located in separate hemispheres of the planet, but it also occurs in geographically distant regions in the same hemisphere and even the same nation. As an example, plant retailers must roll out spring planting tools, seeds, and seedlings much earlier in the year within Florida than within, say, Maine. A distributed marketing platform helps ensure that you can maintain your brand while speaking to these differences.


Hospitality – The hospitality industry is a great example of one where brands may operate locations in dramatically different geographic regions. Hotel chains like Hilton or Sheraton must find ways to maintain their brands while speaking to unique factors that affect booking rates within not just different nations, but different segments of unique cities around the planet. A Sheraton in Paris must resonate with the brand to the same level as one in downtown Atlanta, even though the architecture, environment, and language would be dramatically different.


Of course, the hospitality industry is incredibly vast. Travel businesses, tour operators, resorts, and even restaurants fall into it. Despite that diversity, all hospitality industry businesses face similar problems when they grow beyond a few locations. Local culture, language, environmental considerations, history, the presence of competitors…these are just some of the factors that each location will need to consider while maintaining the overall brand promise and value.


These are just a few examples. There are plenty of others. Distributed marketing or distribution marketing has a role to play in the success of virtually any business, whether we’re talking financial planning, insurance, real estate, or something entirely different. Implementing a distributed marketing platform is the key to tapping into the immense potential here and realizing critical benefits.


So, what do you get from a distributed/distribution marketing platform? We can break those benefits down into three broad areas – communication, localization, compliance, personalization, analytics, and efficiency.


Improved Communication


Brand managers and local teams must be able to communicate, but traditional tools and methods make that incredibly challenging. A distributed marketing and distribution marketing platform puts powerful communication tools at your disposal, ensuring that everyone can stay on the same page and reduce confusion and uncertainty. Have a local creator unsure whether a new partnership would dilute the brand’s message if incorporated into a sales flyer? You can get clarification in seconds. Need insight into how to localize a seasonal campaign? Your corporate team can communicate with local team members instantly.


Enhanced Efficiency


It’s time for us to face a painful truth. Traditional marketing is incredibly inefficient. There’s so much back and forth and an incredible amount of lost time and confusion. That’s natural simply because there are so many parts to the process at the enterprise level. Where small companies can easily make timely decisions because everyone’s at the table, larger organizations spread over many areas usually find their decision-making processes much less efficient. A distributed marketing and distribution marketing platform can change all that by giving everyone access to creative collateral, communication tools, and more.


Local Relevance


One of the single largest challenges facing businesses serving multiple geographic areas is creating marketing collateral that resonates with different local audiences. You can’t always use the same marketing message for all locations. Language and cultural barriers, geo-specific terms, local partnerships, unique product or service offerings, and other factors all play roles here. With a distributed marketing platform, it’s a much simpler matter to create localized marketing campaigns that move the needle with individual audiences.


Given its centrality to your company’s success and ability to engage leads and customers at all levels, choosing the right distributed marketing platform is crucial. Now that we’ve explored some of the topics surrounding these platforms, let’s look at the factors you’ll need to consider when choosing one for your organization.


Key Considerations When Choosing a Distributed Marketing and Distribution Marketing Platform


Distributed marketing has become very popular in recent years. That has led to an explosion in the number of distributed marketing or distributed marketing platforms out there. The problem is that they’re not created equal. Some are worth your time and money and others are best avoided. Some are designed for businesses in specific industries and others work best for distributed teams with just a skeleton corporate team in place.


So, what should you consider when comparing distributed marketing platforms? Here’s what you need to know.


Multichannel Functionality


Once upon a time, print, radio, and TV were the only channels brands needed to worry about. That’s not the case today. You must make use of all your available channels, and that includes digital options. These can include email, social media channels, your website, online chat platforms like Messenger, and so many others.


Make sure that any direct marketing platform you choose provides robust functionality and connectivity for all the channels your brand uses today, but also those you may need to utilize in the future. Planning for future growth and the expansion of channels is a wise business stance. You can see from the ongoing evolution of digital channels that what you use tomorrow might be very different from the mix of channels supporting business objectives today.




Every business has an existing technology stack that it relies on for day-to-day operations. Make sure that the distributed marketing platform or distribution marketing platform you’re considering plays nice with the tech you already use. This will help prevent the creation of data silos and dead ends that keep information from being shared across the company with different teams. This is a critical consideration when designing a unified approach to customer messaging.


And remember that this platform isn’t just about accessing existing collateral or communicating with team members. It’s a central part of your ability to deliver a cohesive, positive experience to leads and customers at every touchpoint within their overall journey.




A major reason for choosing a distributed/distribution marketing platform in the first place is to ensure that you’re able to customize local marketing initiatives to improve their efficiency and results. However, don’t neglect the need to customize the platform as a whole to suit your business needs and support your brand. Your business isn’t the same as any other, and your distributed marketing platform should reflect that.


Some of the customizations you may want to see include the following:


  • Branding – Is the platform customizable with your brand collateral? While not technically necessary, it helps ensure a cohesive experience for your employees, franchisees, and others who may need to access it. It also reinforces the centrality of your brand across locations in a way that generic-looking platforms or platforms branded with the logo of the development company don’t.


  • Collateral – No two businesses will need to distribute, store, and provide access to the same types of collateral. Make sure that the platform you choose allows you to customize what you store and how it’s labeled. Some of the most common categories you might consider include events, brochures, brand tools, promotional items, presentations, social media content, emails, posters, flyers, infographics, business cards, circulars, and more.


  • Organization – It’s not enough to be able to store collateral digitally and to provide access for your people. You’ll need to make sure that your collateral is organized logically. This will vary from business to business, so make sure you can customize how things are stored and organized. You should have multiple views, including your entire catalog, by categories, by individual assets, and more.


Ease of Access and Data Protection


A wide range of people will need access to different areas of your distributed marketing or distribution marketing platform. Your corporate marketing team, various local teams, different partners, and other stakeholders will all need to log in, manage content, and handle other responsibilities. Your platform must make this as simple and streamlined as possible. Single sign-on capabilities allow a user to use a single set of credentials to access all areas of the platform.


Of course, you cannot grant unfettered access to all areas to every single person in the organization, or even every single person on specific teams. Your distributed marketing platform must offer the ability to set specific permissions for each user. For instance, a local partner might need access to specific types of creative collateral, but would not need access to core assets, like logos and taglines.


By setting user-specific permissions, you safeguard data and reduce the chance of data mismanagement or theft. Understand that the single greatest threat to your data comes not from brute force attacks, but from your employees and partners. Anyone who has access to your distributed marketing system could conceivably leave the door open for an attacker. Compromised passwords, phishing attacks, and simple credential mismanagement like writing down a username and password on a sticky note can all leave your organization open to exploitation.


User-specific permissions ensure that your people only have access to the areas that they need and nothing more. This way, even if their credentials are compromised in some way, the attacker only gains immediate access to specific data.


Ease of Localization and Personalization


The entire point of distributed marketing is to get around the shortcomings of traditional marketing. That is, to make it easier to maintain an established brand while ensuring that different locations can localize and personalize the content used to engage their audiences. This will require tools within your distributed/distribution marketing platform. Local teams should have access to the collateral they’ll need to use, as well as the ability to adjust things like dates, language, and more.


The challenge here is making it easy for your teams to adjust collateral while preventing changes that might erode or even damage your brand. This may require several steps, including providing editing tools and guidelines, as well as an editorial/approval/gatekeeping process that ensures all changes are approved before going “live”.


Access to Printing, Shipping, and More


One area where most distributed marketing or distribution marketing platforms fall short is in turning digital content into physical assets. Those flyers will do little good for your business if they’re never printed. Likewise, you can’t hand out business cards if you never turn the digital file into a physical card. In-store signage, mail circulars, handouts, and other physical collateral are just as important as digital collateral.


Consider how you’ll get your digital files to the printer, as well as the ease of printing for your local teams. If everything must still go through your corporate marketing team, there’s little point in adopting distributed marketing in the first place. It’s supposed to save time, money, and hassle, and that’s not possible if your corporate team acts like a cork in the bottle.


However, some platforms make this simple. For instance, FuseBox One’s Distributed Marketing as a Service platform integrates perfectly with our in-house commercial print, promotional product creation, and warehousing solutions, ensuring that your team has an Amazon-like experience no matter where they might be located. It’s as simple as making the needed changes, getting approval, and then clicking send.


Reporting and Measurement Capabilities


The need to monitor and measure your efforts and results should not be news. It’s just as important when it comes to your distributed/distribution marketing platform as it is any other tool you might be using. You need a way to delve into everything, surface insights, and track progress both before implementing the platform and afterward. You’ll want access to tools like:


  • Brand monitoring
  • Attribution metrics
  • Channel partner measurements


In addition to measuring and monitoring, you should have access to in-depth reporting. These reports provide you with crucial information so you can make informed decisions when it comes to marketing activities, collateral, and campaigns. It’s all about being able to determine what’s working, what’s not, and where to go in the future.


FuseBox One: The Distributed Marketing Platform for You


At FuseBoxOne, we’ve spent years building a reputation for excellence in helping businesses just like yours overcome critical challenges. Our latest offering is a best-of-breed distributed marketing platform as a service that includes must-have features but dovetails with our established services and solutions to provide something unavailable anywhere else.


Our groundbreaking distributed marketing platform as a service offers the ability to personalize marketing materials while maintaining your overarching brand, comply with industry rules and government regulations, and create tailored content for specific local audiences that moves the needle and helps you out-compete others in your industry. That’s thanks to our state-of-the-art digital asset management (DAM) system, licensed by Marcom Central.


From robust asset organization options to single sign-on capabilities and specific user permissions, we’ve created a platform that makes it simpler (and more affordable) than ever to bridge the gap between your corporate marketing team and your remote teams. In addition to personalization and localization capabilities, our platform offers granular reporting so you can see at a glance where you stand and where you need to go.


Plus, our platform integrates with our in-house commercial print and promotional product capabilities, as well as our warehousing service, and third-party logistics (3pl). You can easily customize collateral, print it, store it, and ship it, all from a digital platform that integrates with your existing CRM. It doesn’t get any easier than that.


Ready to learn more? Schedule a demonstration and put our Distributed Marketing as a Service platform through its paces. When you decide to make the transition, we also provide the one-on-one service necessary to get your back end set up and ready for business.




Topics: Digital Asset Management, Brand Compliance, Marketing Operations, Fulfillment