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File Sprawl is Dragging Down Your Productivity

June 14, 2021
File Sprawl is Dragging Down Your Productivity

My fellow marketing leaders – collectively, we’re spending too much effort maintaining file storage and too much time chasing down files sprawled across multiple platforms. 

In every role and organization I’ve been involved in, this notion of file sprawl is a common operational hazard. It’s one of those “dark” issues that lurks in the layers beneath your project management, budgeting, creative, and collaboration processes. We just deal with it, considering the disruptive, and sometimes frantic, search for a folder of working files “normal.” Just another cost of doing business.

Specifically, I’m talking about the assortment of cloud drives, Teams channels and chats, shared drives, and collaboration tools that are available- if you’re like me, your team has stuff stored all over the place. 

DAM: One Source of Truth

Admittedly, here’s where I get a little sales-y: there’s a better way! Cliche aside, digital asset management (DAM) platforms have their place in our line of work. DAMs centralize a team’s files in an organized and shareable platform that is easy to manage, infinitely more searchable, and provides teams a single source of truth.

MarcomGather, our newly-launched DAM, was deliberately developed as an alternative to the high-cost, complex platforms on the market. As the in-house marketing team, we contribute ideas and feedback directly to the product team for enhancements and new features – I can attest: the roadmap is incredible.

Here’s our experience so far:

Our team uses MarcomGather – there was no setup, and nothing to implement aside from adding users (which are unlimited btw). We were able to easily align our structure of “Collections” aka, folders of assets, to our existing project portfolio’s naming conventions, which helps everyone intuitively know where new files should go. 

Have we solved our file sprawl challenges? We’re getting there. Adopting the use of any new tool requires some cultural change management and flexibility. 

Here are some best practices learned from our own implementation of DAM:

Start with migrating highly-used, critical assets and organize them by leveraging your existing file structure (if it’s good) to create the appropriate collections. Key assets would be:  

  • Brand guides and assets like logo files
  • Creative templates (design templates, PowerPoint templates, etc)
  • Legal and contract files 
  • Sales enablement resources

By limiting the initial migration to core assets that are widely used, the process happens very quickly and your team can get immediate value from the DAM. 

The big shift in behavior comes with mandating that net new assets go into the DAM. These just about comprise everything, for example:

  • Final deliverables (PDFs, Word docs, PowerPoints, etc)
  • Social media art
  • Photoshoots and creative files
  • Scripts and audio files
  • Final video edits

This approach syncs current behavior with current needs. In a few short months, all our relevant files and assets will be in MarcomGather.  

Wrapping up

Knowing our latest, greatest marketing and sales assets are searchable, shareable, and in one place is a relief. And I’m not just saying that – I can now trust our collection of assets and find what I need, immediately. 

Give it a try with your team. The MarcomGather trial is 30 days and unthrottled so you can experience every feature in the platform. Let me know what you think and if you experience the same relief I did.