Consistency – of both messaging and look-and-feel – is essential in marketing. If you want your hard work on brand to pay off, you need to ensure consistency across your regional and local marketing activity.
Here we look at why consistency in regional and local marketing is so important, and how you can achieve it.
Marketing consistency: why it matters
A consistent brand and marketing help to instil confidence in your customers. Wherever in the world they interact with your business, they need to know that the quality, service and products you deliver will be consistently high-quality – and consistency in your marketing approach is central to this.
Customers are likely to have numerous touchpoints with your firm. This might be online, on your website or via other digital assets like email marketing; it might be through your advertising; on your merchandise or goods; in-store if you are a retail offering.
Making all these touchpoints consistent helps to reinforce:
- Your messaging. Storytelling plays a big part in your marketing – but these stories have to all tell the same tale if they’re to amplify your message.
- Your online presence. Ensure that any teams creating local online presence for your firm are following the same brand guidelines so that anyone who comes across your business online sees a uniform result. And make sure there’s agreement on the keyphrases used so all online content enhances your work on search engine optimisation.
- Your brand. As we mentioned above, consistency is vital in ensuring your marketing and messages are in line with your stated brand values.
- Regulatory compliance. If you’re regulated by an industry regulator, like the FCA, there’s also a need for your marketing to meet their requirements. Content accuracy forms a big part of this; ensuring only the most up-to-date performance data, accurate company information and current disclaimers/disclosures are used is vital in making your content compliant as well as in line with your brand guidelines. Regulatory compliance and your brand strategy are very closely connected.
The challenges achieving consistency across regional and local marketing
Creating consistent marketing is essential, then, to preserve and amplify your brand; to increase your SEO and to help with regulatory compliance. But there are a number of obstacles that can hinder your progress.
Consistency can be a particular challenge if:
- Your brand guidelines are unclear or poorly communicated.
- Team members struggle to find existing materials – and ‘go rogue’ to create their own versions. Brand inconsistencies creep in when people have to recreate marketing assets because they can’t find what they want, or don’t know how to create it within brand guidelines.
- Your Marketing team works across offices or even countries (or of course, remotely). You need a failsafe way of managing projects that facilitates effective collaboration. Read more in our recent blogs on how to make remote collaboration work in Marketing teams and how Marketers can collaborate effectively when working remotely.
How to overcome the obstacles to brand and marketing consistency
The good news, though, is that there are steps you can take, many of them quite easily-achieved, to tackle these challenges and ensure your marketing is consistent, whether produced centrally, regionally or locally.
- Ensure your brand messaging is clear. Make your values and brand guidelines clear and easy to articulate so everyone understands them.
- To help with this, consider whether you need a brand guardian to communicate and protect your brand. Read more about what a brand guardian is and whether you might need one.
- Ensure that existing marketing collateral and brand assets are easy to find, making it easier and faster for people to create on-brand content. Putting in place best practice digital asset management means people within your business can easily find what they need and avoid going off-piste with their own ideas.
- Create templates for the most-used marketing channels. Identifying your most important marketing channels – centrally, locally and regionally – should enable your central team to produce templates for the most commonly-created materials. Every execution produced across your teams may adopt local differences but all should be recognisable as an element of your over-arching brand.
- Be robust in your sign-off processes. If your sector is regulated, you already have to do this as part of your regulatory compliance requirements – so arguably have a head start here. This rigour is also essential in ensuring your regional and local marketing is all on-brand and consistent in its messaging.
- Many Marketing teams have found that automated marketing workflow tools are a benefit here, ensuring that all the right people see and approve content before it goes out. They can also help with remote working, ensuring people can collaborate online and that projects have the requisite oversight, even when teams work across locations.
Creating consistency across central, regional and local marketing activity can undoubtedly be a challenge. But with the right approach and a few tweaks to existing processes, most firms can take strides towards reducing inconsistencies – and at the same time, improve their regulatory compliance.
If this is an area where you could do with some help, you can download our 5 tips for creating brand consistency. They are full of advice on how you can ensure your standards aren’t compromised, and you can get a copy in our resource library.
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