Web-to-print and channel marketing

Web to Print and Channel Marketing: Why Distributed Marketing Management is essential

With digital technology, the need to adapt marketing materials is growing. It is no longer just a matter of adaptation, but also of customizing for each network. A real revolution in the organization of Web to Print. One of the challenges of Distributed Marketing Management.

In the past, some people believed that digital transformation and so-called “uberization” would go hand in hand with the disappearance of intermediaries: networks, resellers, local representatives. A point of view that was quickly overridden by reality. Even in the digital age, indirect” or “channel” marketing remains crucial for many areas of activity, from the automotive industry to banks and insurance companies, and from hotels to restaurants. For this reason, the challenges for marketing departments in implementing marketing material – topics anchored in concepts such as channel marketing, distributed marketing and web-to-print – remain high.

Digital has not killed print, but has inspired it…

In practice, this distributed marketing has become even more complex in the digital age. And for several reasons. First, digital channels (sites, apps, social networks) have been added to the range of existing mediums on which resellers, dealers, franchisees and other representatives can rely to conduct their local marketing actions. If digital has not killed existing media, it inspires it…

As a result, it is also time for print media to personalize documents according to the local context, of course, but also (above all) according to the customer’s context. Printing is also aimed at more and more personalization. But leaving your partners alone to adapt their marketing materials involves two main risks. 

The first risk concerns the visual integrity of the brand – its impact, its homogeneity. The distribution of non-compliant documents inevitably affects brand consistency. The second risk concerns budgets and operational efficiency. Without properly equipping teams, there is a great risk that they will ask service providers (and thus waste time and money) to produce variations that could have been modeled once and for all.

More autonomous teams

This is why the term “web-to-print” is gradually disappearing behind that of “distributed marketing management“. Web-to-print promised to centralize marketing material – the master documents and their variants – in order to make them available to all interested parties (via a web interface, as the name suggests) and to facilitate adjustments. Distributed Marketing Management goes even further: it aims to provide a real ability to customize this material to increase local efficiency. Distributed marketing aims to support teams in their efforts to localize/ personalize marketing content while ensuring brand consistency.

In concrete terms, Distributed Marketing is no longer just about blocking the attributes of a logo in a document. A solution such as Wedia’s DMM module enables fine-tuning of a large number of elements: content blocks, colors, fonts, bleeds…. And for a multitude of media: PDF documents, websites, e-mailings…

A marketing finally “glocal”

With this fine and controlled room for manoeuvre, the dealer of a major Grenoble-based car brand can customize its marketing materials (inserting images of scenery and vehicles favored by its customers, or highlighting the most locally effective arguments…). This adaptation is of course part of a workflow to guarantee the traceability of actions, ensure the document life cycle (automatic insertion of an updated content block) and coordinate with service providers (agency, printer). 

What applies to a network of partners also applies to large enterprise groups. Distributed Marketing Management offers the possibility to flexibly manage the different cultural and linguistic contexts and at the same time protect the global identity of the brand. In short, with Distributed Marketing Management, marketing (finally) becomes “glocal.”


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