What Is Distributed Marketing?

What Is Distributed Marketing?

Savannah Bobo

Person using laptop with charts on hand for reference - demonstration of distributed marketing planning

Increasing awareness of your services or products requires the use of various types of marketing. In some cases, working with other companies as partners can be highly beneficial when forming a successful marketing strategy. This is called partnered marketing or distributed marketing. What is distributed marketing? It’s a form of marketing which involves hiring partner companies and distributors to market the central brand’s services or products. In fact, partner or indirect marketing drives 75% of global trade!

This article will look at distributed marketing and how it works. Keep reading to learn more!

What is Distributed Marketing vs. Centralized Marketing?

Analyzing centralized and distributed marketing specifics can tell us even more about the distributed marketing approach. So let’s compare centralized and distributed marketing to get more info.

  • Centralized Marketing – generally involves only one team or individual at a particular location. This singular entity is supposed to handle all marketing aspects of the business and create a unified brand image.
  • Distributed Marketing – involves multiple individuals or teams that work together to handle the business’s marketing aspects.

Distributed marketing is essentially a combination of both worlds. When it comes to centralized marketing, the corporate entity of the brand takes care of everything. Corporate members have a specific marketing function (templates, ads, emails, fact sheets, etc.) and channel partners have specific marketing functions (customization, co-branding, promotion, etc.) when it comes to distributed marketing. Because of this, each entity is assigned a specific role (or multiple roles), making the entire marketing process easier and more efficient.

Partners know how to promote the leading brand differently than they would in a centralized marketing environment. Corporate members can provide resources and funding to make their marketing ideas a reality.

Distributed marketing is somewhat specific in that the brand’s partners can end up being their polar opposite, both in terms of resources and overall company policy – but the goal of maximizing sales and reducing costs benefits both parties. This partnership is why distributed marketing can be so powerful.

How Does Distributed Marketing Work?

Distributed marketing involves creating a collaborative process between the central brand, its corporate levels, and a network of local partners. The job of the local partners is to market the brand’s services or products in a specific way.

Specific markets require a different approach to marketing, and the central brand often does not have the time or knowledge to do it themselves. So, they get in touch with specialized partners who market and distribute their products instead.

This type of marketing is pretty common in the business world. Just take a look at Kellogg’s – you won’t find any specialized Kellogg’s stores that sell their products, however, Kellogg’s is sold by various distributors, retailers, resellers, franchises, branches, and more.

Also, if you’ve ever heard the term ‘channel marketing’, it means the same thing as distributed marketing. The two terms are interchangeable, so don’t get confused – both work!

Why is Distributed Marketing Good for Businesses?

For starters, distributed marketing expands the talent pool from a centralized, singular marketing team by including those not part of the main brand. Marketing teams from partner companies know their target audience very well.

The central brand’s purpose is to provide funding, leadership structures, and other forms of support so local partners can leverage high-quality, easy-to-use marketing resources in order to deliver customers the best marketing campaigns possible.

Lastly, the partners and the main brand will have lessened marketing costs because they’ll be sharing brand assets (which makes the entire marketing process more cost-effective).

Who is Distributed Marketing Good for?

Any industry or company can apply distributed marketing methods to its marketing plans.

The way to get the most out of distributed marketing strategies is to have a powerful central leadership position and a modern brand management system. With these, you’ll be able to gather crucial local data and insights while reducing the complexity of the marketing system. It’s also worth noting that co-op marketing platforms are often used to streamline the entire process and make local advertising easy and efficient.

What are Distributed Marketing Platforms?

Distributed marketing platforms or through-channel marketing automation (TCMA) platforms provide detailed methods of customizable, brand-compliant advertising scaling. They also enable local messaging through the brand’s existing distributed networks.

Some Distributed Networks Include:

  • Traditional Marketing– TV, radio, direct mail, outdoor advertising, i.e., billboards
  • Digital Marketing– ads, social media, sponsored content, and everything in between.

However – everything has its flaws. Distributed marketing, although beneficial and effective, includes a large number of sizeable networks that can ultimately create specific problems. These problems include outdated assets, brand misrepresentation, diluted messaging, confusion, and more.

Channel partners are crucial elements of a successful distributed marketing partnership, though ultimately, they have primary jobs in sales, distribution of products/services, or store management.

Distributed marketing platforms help alleviate almost all of these issues by making the whole marketing process easier and quicker.

In Conclusion

Distributed marketing is a valuable and effective method to use when selling your product or service to a wide variety of customers! Distributed marketing expands the talent pool from a centralized, singular marketing team by including those out of company experts.

Marketing teams from partner companies know their target audience very well, which means they’ll be able to create specialized, personalized marketing campaigns. Working with knowledgeable partners can reduce your expenses, time, and stress spent on a campaign.

If you are looking to employ this method within your business, we would love to help. Learn more about Extu and our award-winning channel marketing services.