We’re back with Marketing Mike, a mid-level marketing and media specialist at Adaptive Media, a global health and wellness firm. As projects begin to ramp up, the production of various marketing assets starts to increase at a rapid pace. From blog posts to infographics to email marketing copy, Mike starts chipping away at content creation for upcoming campaigns. Eager to move as quickly as possible, he stores his assets wherever seems most convenient at the time. Blog drafts are saved to his personal Google Drive, Twitter and Facebook content calendars are stored in Excel files on his desktop, and company stock images are saved to his generic downloads folder. Mike forgoes the use of brand templates in his rush to move through projects quickly. As a result, his marketing assets are not only disorganized, but they’re not meeting brand compliance either.
We all have one: the dreaded storage closet. It’s a mysterious entity that houses pretty much everything from holiday decorations to cleaning supplies to dust bunnies. Trying to fish out that soccer ball from last summer is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. And no matter what, there always seems to be a looming cloud of disorganization around this room.
Marketers’ laptops often resemble a storage closet as well, holding a plethora of brand assets with little organization. How does this occur? The burden begins with the storage of marketing assets. Many organizations use shared drives to house their collateral. Unfortunately, keeping these drives organized often requires significant upkeep and maintenance. As a result, finding branded templates is like trying to find that soccer ball in the storage closet—it’s incredibly difficult.
To avoid digging through the shared company drive, marketers begin creating assets from scratch in programs on their desktop like a Word document, or somewhere on their personal Google Drive. They forget to use a branded template from the start, so they add whatever they have on file (usually an outdated brand logo) to the document header to “brand” it in the hopes that it looks close enough. To add insult to injury, they’ll save this asset directly to their desktop once it’s finalized – the same desktop that hosts a sea of folders containing disorganized marketing collateral.
While this marketing strategy for creating digital assets seems easy and efficient at first, it actually causes more speed bumps on the road to marketing collateral generation. When marketers fail to use shared company drives and save assets directly to their desktops, various problems arise. For example, if they create a newsletter from scratch, there is a lack of proper brand elements like current logos, fonts, and color palettes. This can ultimately jeopardize brand consistency.
When a marketer chooses to not work out of a shared drive, they also silo their team members from being able to collaborate on marketing initiatives or projects. By saving marketing assets directly to their desktops instead, they in turn create a new version of an asset that can’t be accessed by the rest of the company. As a result, other marketers have no choice but to one-off creative requests to designers when they can’t find the templates they need. This also causes issues with version control, as the marketer has cut off visibility to the overall creative workflow of a campaign. Without version control, brand inconsistencies quickly arise, time is wasted hunting down collateral or dealing with one-off requests, and there’s no “one source of truth” to consult for any asset being developed and changed.
We’ve previously discussed the importance of brand consistency, as it’s how companies build strong relationships with their clientele and develop a positive reputation. If an organization’s target audience senses a deviation from the normal brand messaging, they begin to question the brand’s integrity, potentially costing them their brand equity. Consistent content is a critical part of the customer experience, and poor content management ranks as the number one reason that organizations struggle with brand consistency.
Research by Demand Metric shows that 90% of organizations report content to measurably influence revenue. Because quality content has such an impact, content fragmentation can have an equally consequential effect as a result of poor marketing asset management. Content fragmentation occurs when marketing content is branded poorly, lacks key messages or expresses them incompletely, and/or is incompatible with other content assets. This could lead to a decrease in revenue, a failure to meet the buyer’s needs, or inefficient brand management.
In order to avoid the risks of brand inconsistency and content fragmentation, organizations need to invest in proper marketing asset management. With the help of a marketing asset management solution, marketers can enjoy the simplicity of using pre-approved brand templates from a central portal, ensuring brand compliance. Additionally, employees like Marketing Mike will be able to edit assets from dynamic templates without fear of deviating from brand guidelines. With advanced editing options, Mike can also resize ads to fit his specific campaign needs.
With the help of a marketing asset management (MAM) solution, marketing teams can enjoy greater operating efficiency as they no longer have to spend excessive amounts of time searching for files or recreating lost assets. Thanks to dynamic templates, employees are empowered to customize their assets to fit the needs of their marketing campaigns, dramatically improving productivity. Because users have to spend less time searching for marketing materials, branded content is delivered in a more timely fashion. Finally, with the help of brand compliant templates, marketers no longer have to wait for new materials to be approved by legal teams. This means marketers can rest assured that branding will remain consistent and support brand equity.
Stay tuned to The MarcomCentral Blog for future misadventures from Marketing Mike. And to learn more about how marketing asset management systems can help support brand consistency, check out our own solutions offerings.