By: Matthew Roberts, Marketing Director, 10/4/17
Failure is not the end. Rather, it’s a beginning, if we choose to learn from our mistakes.
In the world of business, Marketing Asset Management (MAM) has emerged as a critical priority for growing organizations, especially those who want to ensure that every interaction a customer has with them is consistent.
Most of us know that by 2020, the customer experience will overtake price and product as a key brand differentiator. Consistent content is a critical part of that experience. In fact, recent research done by Demand Metric demonstrates that 90% of organizations report content to measurably influence revenue.
But, much of the industry fails to manage assets appropriately. According to Gleanster research, poor content management ranks as the number one reason that organizations struggle with multi-channel marketing communications and brand consistency.
Why then, do companies fail to manage their marketing assets? Certainly, no organization sets out to fail intentionally. Here are 5 of the most common reasons companies miss the mark in this arena:
1. They aren’t aware of the risk, or reward, of Marketing Asset Management
The result of poor Marketing Asset Management plan is fragmented sales and marketing content – that which is branded poorly, lacks key messages or expresses them incompletely, is incompatible with other content assets or all of the preceding.
The risk of fragmented content manifests itself in a few ways:
- Content’s impact on revenue drops by 11% when it’s fragmented
- Fragmented content fails to meet buyer needs along the customer journey
- Off-brand assets affect brand management and degrade the sales process
On the flip side, the benefits of strong Marketing Asset Management are measurable, tangible, and proven: Top Performer generate 2-3 times higher local revenue after implementing a Marketing Asset Management solution, demonstrating its success. What’s more, local agency costs have been reduced by as much as 75%.
The risk of operational inefficiency is also a major concern. Organizations lose critical time due to a poor strategic asset management system. For example, workers spend, on average, 8.8 hours each week searching for the right information. That’s 52 working days each year spent searching for files, or recreating lost assets!
Without realizing it, many organizations waste valuable marketing resources (both budget AND time) simply because they put off, or fail to implement, intelligent asset management practices.
2. They’re plagued by non-compliance
Companies in highly regulated industries, such as pharmaceutical, healthcare, and financial services struggle to manage assets due to legal requirements. Out-of-date information can be easily shared or published into the world – albeit accidentally. When this happens, a company can put itself at risk of breaking compliance laws and being sued or fined.
An appropriate Marketing Asset Management system gives corporate marketers piece of mind when it comes to compliance, especially as regulations change frequently. As new laws are passed, a company must plan accordingly for all marketing materials to be updated in order to stay in compliance – and without the proper system in place, they have to devise a strategy to quickly update assets which ends up becoming unmanageable.
With appropriate Marketing Asset Management technology, batch updates to information like the disclaimer can be executed easily, across hundreds of assets in a single instance, preventing workload backups and saving marketing’s valuable resources.
3. They serve a large team of distributed field representatives
Organizations with a large team of field reps often benefit from the sheer size of their labor force. Their efforts help to keep global or national organizations growing.
Unfortunately, it can become increasingly difficult for centralized marketing teams to distribute enough approved, customized content to such a large amount of reps in the field. Marketing is often pushed beyond their capacity when asked to provide personalized marketing materials for these distinct regions or other factions on a regular basis.
Yet, field reps know as well as we do, that 90% of consumers find custom content useful. When content is relevant and personalized to a buyer, it is far more effective. In fact, we believe companies who personalize marketing content are able to support customers on their buying journeys better – which in turn supports the sale.
4. They deploy a slow, manual approval processes
This problem of field sales teams or distributed employees (franchisees, branches, etc.) requesting customized content and collateral often overwhelms Marketing teams.
They may do the best they can to keep up with custom requests, often responding to one-off asset creation or changes. But, over half the time, they’re simply too slow, so sales team members resort to improvising their own content.
According to Demand Metric’s study, over one-fourth of sales teams often or always create content without waiting for marketing to do it, unknowingly contributing to content fragmentation in the process.
These “rogue” assets are often off-brand, poorly designed (hey, they’re salespeople, not graphic artists or brand managers). Worse, many are non-compliant, introducing serious legal and financial risks beyond the general hit to the cohesiveness of a brand experience.
Marketing must be agile and work quickly to satisfy requests so their content is consistent with brand standards.
5. They rely on poor technology
A major driver in a strategic asset management plan is the underpinning technology used to execute MAM best practices. The best solution is built specifically for marketers, and is designed to tightly integrate within marketing processes, workflows, and creative tools.
“Best-in-Class marketing organizations are far more likely to leverage content and associated technologies to speed time to market and increase the function’s contribution to sales forecasted pipeline.” – Aberdeen Group
As enterprises grow, technology is required to support the inevitable need to scale operations.
Additional thoughts from Gleanster –
“In a large multi-national or regional organization, corporate marketing is charged with maintaining a consistent brand look and unified customer experience across channels. However, local (or field) marketers need autonomy and flexibility to reach local target audiences because personalization and relevance drive revenue at the local level.”
“MAM provides a corporate-controlled repository of digital assets and branded multi-channel templates (email, print, form capture, etc.). Local marketers can then customize and create brand-approved customized assets or campaigns that meet the needs of local target audiences. MAM empowers local marketers with autonomy and customization while maintaining brand consistency at a corporate level.”
(We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.)