Distributed Marketing 101: The Importance of Custom Creative

Teamwork of the staff, creative and friendly atmosphere

Distributed marketing (or through-channel marketing) is crucial to business operations for multi-location brands. In this series, we’ve been exploring ways to utilize distributed marketing effectively and one critical element worth discussing is the importance of custom (localized) creative.

Custom creative is essential in the world of distributed marketing for several reasons. As distributed marketing involves multiple parties, it can be challenging to maintain brand consistency and deliver effective messaging across all channels. This is where custom creative comes into play.


TideSmart’s unique distributed marketing program allows for custom creative assets to be created quickly for dozens—even hundreds of locations at scale. This scalability is accomplished using templated designs populated with individualized content. With scalability like this, businesses are not only adhering to brand standards, they’re also actively helping establish brand awareness.


TideSmart has the ability to apply basic customization in an automated way. This means templates that feature local details such as address, phone, and hours of operation, can prepopulate with these details based on the user's profile that is logged in. Cobranding–using multiple brand names/logos—can also be applied automatically. Because platform users don’t have to fill in these details, this style of automation saves time and improves the user experience.

“Just Right” Customization

The brand decides what elements (such as images, copy, colors, and other template elements) are editable or not. This way all creative choices on the partner’s side of things already fall within the brand’s style guidelines. For example, a photo may be static, or the template could start with a default photo, giving the user the option to select from a library of available images. The user might even be permitted to upload their own photo.


We get it–allowing partners to customize marketing materials can be scary. The partners using these assets are not likely designers, copywriters, or media experts–and that’s okay. Where desired, automated workflows can be built in requiring materials to be approved before they are released. Brand compliance and co-branding can be addressed with templated designs created by industry professionals preserving brand guidelines at the corporate level while saving time and money for brand partners.

User Adoption

Custom creative improves the overall quality of marketing materials. Custom marketing assets tailored to partners' specific needs are more likely to be used in their marketing campaigns, resulting in higher program adoption. This, in turn, can lead to better engagement, increased brand awareness, and higher sales. From an engagement perspective, an ice cream shop that uses photos of its delicious ice cream, fun-loving staff, and quaint shopfront will always outperform a generic or stock photo. To this end, we can encourage partners to be creative and showcase their personalities.


Ultimately, custom creative helps partners build stronger relationships. People want the ability to customize marketing assets. And they are more likely to adopt and use assets made available by corporate if they have the ability to make them their own. By providing tailored marketing materials that align with partners’ needs, as marketers we can demonstrate that we value their input and understand their unique challenges. This can help build trust and foster a more collaborative relationship.

Check out some case studies HERE 

Next time on TideSmart’s Distributed Marketing 101: Responsive Support