What Is Distributed Marketing?

There’s no denying that marketing technology options have expanded exponentially over the last decade. However, this makes it difficult for teams to sort through options and choose the best solution for their particular situation. 

The best way to avoid confusion is to start with a clear definition of what distributed marketing actually is. Specifically, what types of businesses should be involved with it? Luckily, we’re here to explain some of the terms used to refer to distributed marketing over the years.

How Does Distributed Marketing Work?

A distributed marketing process is a collaborative marketing approach. Companies market and distribute their branded products and services through a network of local partners, who create marketing materials suited to their local markets. Essentially, it distributes the responsibility for producing and implementing marketing amongst the distributed employees in a company’s network. 

You could work for a regional whiskey distiller, a national insurance company, or a tire manufacturer renowned worldwide. When that business sells through a network of intermediaries known as channel partners, the business is referred to as a distributed organization. Organizations like these employ a distributed marketing strategy that aims to boost local sales.

How Is Distributed Marketing Good for Business?

Distribution marketing provides a bigger pool of talent than a single centralized marketing team, while tailoring messages to distinct, niche demographics. This model recognizes the importance of local partner knowledge and empowers partners to innovate, execute, and solve problems locally. This is done while providing them with support, funding, and structure from leadership. 

Brand assets are shared and marketing costs are split between all parties. Compared to centralized and decentralized marketing models, distributed marketing offers more insights.

Who Uses Distributed Marketing?

Distributed marketing is extremely beneficial in a lot of industries, such as the food and beverage industry and manufacturing. It is nevertheless beneficial to all businesses that sell their goods or services via a wide network of intermediaries and is able to customize their brand message locally.

For a distributed marketing campaign to be successful, you need strong central leadership. An advanced brand management software that manages the complexity and makes it easy to take action. It is a good idea to use a co-op marketing platform to streamline the approval and reimbursement processes for local advertising for many distributed marketing programs.

What Is a Distributed Marketing Platform?

Distributed marketing platforms are also known as through-channel marketing automation platforms (TCMA) in the marketing world. Their distributed networks provide businesses with an integrated approach to scalability, branding, and local messaging.

Direct mail, television, radio, and outdoor advertising are all examples of digital and traditional marketing and range from managing local marketing analytics to funding co-op advertising strategies. Dealing with a large network of private and public partners always presents challenges. These could come in many forms.

It could be as simple as company assets becoming outdated or outdated logos being used by partners. Ultimately your brand gets misrepresented and the message gets diluted. 

Despite the fact that channel partners have first-hand knowledge on local demographics, they don’t always have time to plan or execute marketing. Many of them are sales representatives, distributors, and shop managers. In spite of the fact that they perform marketing duties, it is only one of many hats they wear. When they’re not overseeing client portfolios or running a busy resort hotel, they may only do it in their spare time.

It is important for distributed marketers to remain consistent across all channels, while also leveraging online opportunities to tailor content for local events and audiences. Through marketing platform software, distributed marketers are able to overcome these obstacles while making marketing easier.

Distributed Marketing vs. Centralized Marketing

In centralized marketing, a single employee or team runs marketing activities in one location and ensures a unified brand message across the business. A decentralized marketing strategy, on the other hand, involves multiple individuals or teams handling different aspects of marketing for the business. Hence, distributed marketing brings both models together. 

Moreover, in centralized marketing, the company handles everything, which is often a liability. However, in a distributed marketing model, the company is responsible for marketing. For example, it might create advertisements, fact sheets, or customized emails. 

Additionally, channel partners often have marketing functions, such as co-branding and customizing. Corporate and local retailers, distributors, and agents are able to work together by sharing marketing responsibilities. 

Combined with local market knowledge, company resources and know-how can be leveraged in ways centralized marketing would not be able to. Distributed marketing is best understood as the sum of the parts of its many different components. Yet despite the differences between company headquarters and local partners in terms of roles, resources, and marketing skills, they hold common goals. All of them aim to generate new revenue and cut expenses.

A key to harnessing the enormous collective marketing power of this network is to learn how to harness its mutual interests. As the saying goes “some dishes are ruined when too many chefs are in the kitchen”. Occasionally, however, a large, diverse team can be more creative, knowledgeable, and efficient.

Biggest Challenges Of Distributed Marketing?

Companies have always struggled with the art and science of branding – and the distributed or channel-based model adds to the complexity.

Brand Consistency

As a brand acquires local affiliates, there is a greater risk of some or many of those affiliates misusing brand assets and content. It is possible that these mistakes are inconsequential, but they can erode a brand’s equity when they dilute or confuse its message. 

Whether it’s an inconsistency in typography, color, or misapplying the brand logo, inconsistent executions undermine brand recognition when left unchecked. Brand preference may even be affected as well. 

Marketing Orchestration

Across any media region, offers, promotions and campaign themes are most effective when consumers are exposed to them consistently. When a brand fails to coordinate marketing activities on its local marketing network, its offers and promotions tend to garner lower redemption rates. Additionally, an uncoordinated rollout can lead to the brand running into legal or regulatory snags-which can pose a substantial financial risk.


A brand manager usually devises a finely targeted campaign or promotion rollout strategy. In both cases, the purpose is testing, as well as tailoring offers, creativity, and language to local populations. Having this level of precision can be challenging in a distributed marketing environment. This is due to the lack of tools and systems that govern the assets and campaigns that local marketers are able to access.

Local Activity Analytics

Many distributed brands struggle to gain insight into the marketing activities taking place on the ground at the local level. It has a direct impact on sales/revenue, as well as brand activation and awareness.

Benefits Of Distributed Marketing

The benefits of more mature distributed marketing strategies have been questioned by some people. Just reviewing these benefits can show how the return on investments in distributed marketing can reach into the millions per year. In fact, this is valid even for brands with only a few dozen or hundreds of locations in their distributed marketing networks.

Better Brand Alignment

The first and most obvious impact of a positive brand-to-local balance is organizational in nature. Relationships with local marketers become less contentious, and a whole series of nuisances and emergencies begin to diminish both in frequency and intensity. 

Inappropriate marketing execution complaints from leadership begin to diminish. Whenever issues arise with your distributed marketing system, they will be resolved more quickly and at a lower cost.

Reduced Stress on Creative Resources

The in-house creative resources are freed from a slew of one-off requests from the field that previously sapped their resources. When your creative teams have more time to think, they might come up with better ideas that will enhance your brand. In terms of creative retention, when your distributed marketing ecosystem is up and running at scale, you’ll find that employee satisfaction goes up while churn goes down.

Higher Brand Consistency

It may take time for your increased brand consistency to become evident, but it will appear the next time you or your team conduct a site visit with a franchisee, dealer, or affiliate. You’ll notice more materials on site reinforce the message. As a result, you feel your social media communications are more aligned with your brand goals, and your advertising is more effective. 

An Overall Competitive Advantage

In the coming years, you should bear in mind that marketing is generally going to continue to change or even accelerate. A multitude of new methods of connecting with customers will emerge. Nonetheless, your distributed marketing system will enable you to incorporate these emerging methods more rapidly and more cost-effectively than your competition.

By doing so, your distributed marketing environment can become more than just a cost-reduction tool. It can be a future investment for a competitive advantage that your competitors are hard-pressed to match.

Author Bio: 

Martin Sevon:

Martin Sevon is a content writer at Gamblersarea, which is the freshest iGaming platform providing exclusive gaming and crypto content such as CoinRotator.

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