From Chaos to Clarity: Customized Storefront Solutions for Marketing & Sales Teams

Increasing branded content accessibility while maintaining brand compliance with Ai Connect Storefronts

Many solutions for managing branded collateral across marketing and sales teams promise simplicity but turn out to be too good to be true. Is it possible there really is resolution to some of the trickiest hurdles Marketing Teams face—branding inconsistencies, asset management, accessibility, quick printing turn-around, inventory management, and budgeting? Brace yourselves, the unicorn is real! Online Storefronts streamline the process of maintaining, ordering, and fulfilling branded collateral for distributed sales teams, franchises, and multi-location organizations.

Storefronts, sometimes called Marketing Portals, Client Portals, Web-to-Print, and/or Marketing 360 platforms, offer reprieve to a great many frustrations shared by Creative Teams such as,

  • Branding consistency
  • Asset management
  • 24/7 accessibility for satellite campuses, franchises, and cross-departmental personnel responsible for ordering materials
  • Billing and budget management
  • Inventory management
  • Kitting and fulfillment
  • Reporting: Real-time and predictive
  • More +

Distributed Marketing

Unlike a server or dropbox, Storefronts are branded portals designed to house marketing materials—assets, collateral, display items, stationary, etc.—that are frequently requested by a variety of groups for print production. Essentially, these are online platforms designed to manage projects from production through fulfillment. Marketing Teams maintain marketing materials within the Storefront, and those with access to the portal simply login, click, and order what’s needed for their location or department.

A great example of this would be the frequently requested task to update and order business cards. These are oftentimes tweaked to stay current with URLs, social handles, and similar information is constantly evolving.

Ai Connect Storefront example of business card with variable data entry.

With a Storefront in use, Marketing Teams only need to be concerned with updating static content in the file within the portal. When it comes time for end-users to reorder business cards, the process is streamlined—no more emailing or submitting requests to Marketing, going through multiple rounds of edits, or fretting about turnaround time. Variable data such as names, email addresses, etc., can be entered by those placing the orders without compromising brand integrity.

Simplified Asset & Budget Management

For projects that are more complex and include warehoused items and on-demand items a Storefront solution eases the burden of inventory management. Triggers can be set when materials reach a certain quantity so that they are automatically reprinted and stored for ease of ordering and fulfillment with future orders. This alleviates the burden on Marketing Teams to manage inventory levels and makes it easy to manage budgets. Storefront metrics determine usage levels, frequency, and departments and/or locations utilizing resources more so and less than others.

A great example of this would be welcome kits. These often contain multiple printed elements and sometimes promotional items like t-shirts, mugs, pens, etc. Storing individual pieces and even kitted packages ready to be shipped on site can be a challenge for companies tight on space. For organizations with multiple locations, turn-around time may also be a hurdle. Storefront solutions help navigate those concerns. Teams tasked with sending welcome kits to new clients, can upload mailing lists alongside their Storefront order. It’s that easy.

Added bonus, combined monthly billing reduces invoicing, and predictive metrics allow Marketing Managers to pivot as needed in real time. 

Storefront Benefits in Summary

For marketing professionals striving to maintain brand integrity as well as satisfy marketing needs across teams, departments, and locations, Storefronts can be a Godsend. Having a centralized space where others tasked with ordering collateral can access 24/7 without rounds of emails or revisions in project management software, reduces headaches and stress levels universally. It also minimizes issues with conformity which can be a nagging issue for companies with multiple locations and franchises that all want their own spin on materials.

Of course, creating variations of materials for locations, teams, franchises, and the like, is another perk to having a Storefront. Storefront flexibility allows for you to organize materials in whatever manner makes the most sense to the structure of your business—by product, brand, location, etc. A good Storefront is flexible to your company’s structure and needs.   

Perhaps the biggest benefit to implementing an online Storefront is having access to real-time data regarding inventory levels, purchases, and spending by users or department. Reducing the manual burden of combining metrics from multiple systems let’s you focus on your core business while having insights into trends that help inform your future marketing plans.

To quickly review, Storefronts help Marketing Teams with branding inconsistencies, asset management, accessibility, quick printing turn-around, inventory management, budgeting, and more. Most vendors (including us) customize these portals to be consistent with the client branding, create category structures that are relevant to the client’s needs, can set user permissions as to what is visible and what is not—essentially, Storefronts can be designed to serve any organizational structure and needs.

Ask your printer if they offer Storefront solutions. Your Marketing Team will thank you.

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