In the multichannel marketing landscape of today, numerous materials are necessary to represent a single brand. This marketing collateral may be used for blog posts, e-mail campaigns, web pages, social media, and other outlets — and it all is stored safely away in your digital asset management (DAM) solution. But when was the last time you or your company took stock of your collections? Making regular audits part of your marketing collateral strategy can help identify outdated files, make room for fresh ones, and better position your team to provide premium service to your clients.
In marketing, an asset is anything you use to promote a brand, product, or service. From print materials to multimedia content, there’s probably a multitude of different assets in your collections. Common marketing assets for a company brand may include:
The marketing collateral you’ve created for your company or client represents the company and helps ensure everything is on brand and consistent. However, what happens when the number of assets in your repository reaches a high volume? It may be time for a thorough audit.
Regular marketing collateral audits don’t just help maximize space. They also provide a clearer pathway toward getting the right materials into the right hands and doing so in a timely manner. Scheduled audits also help ensure your DAM is filled with the most current materials available and each one is on-brand. From checking dates to monitoring usage, a comprehensive asset audit is comprised of several steps.
The frequency of marketing collateral audits usually depends on the rate of change of your company. For most instances, conducting an audit every 3-6 months is ideal. However, if your company is constantly running new marketing campaigns, or doing consistent brand work for clients, then conducting more frequent audits may be needed. If your company is slow-pace with its assets and marketing campaigns, then a yearly audit might be more appropriate.
Also, keep in mind the date that these assets were created. If it’s within the last three months, then there is a good chance that the asset is current. If it’s been a few years, then review it accordingly and make a decision to move it to an “old assets” folder or delete it completely. Additionally, if your company ever moves to a new building, changes its phone number, or has a brand update then you should conduct an audit to get rid of out of date assets.
The steps you take to conduct your audit may vary depending on your needs, but here are a few helpful checkboxes to mark off your task list as you move through the process:
Is everything in each of your collections being used? The assets that encompass specific marketing initiatives, product launches, and other endeavors gradually build up over time, leaving more room for cluttered workflows and slower retrieval. If the asset was created within the last few months, it’s likely in the current rotation. During an audit, you can archive older photos, dated materials, and marketing campaigns that were only used for short periods of time.
Performing regular audits reduces the risk of sharing outdated materials that no longer resonate with the company or client’s brand. Ask yourself: does this reflect the most current messaging? If your company or client has recently rebranded, the answer might be no. Make sure all the assets available reflect the current messaging and foster consistent branding across all channels.
Regularly taking inventory of your collections helps to ensure all assets are relevant and up to date. Update title tags and search keywords to make finding what you need more effective, and make sure the most recent assets are properly documented as well. If your DAM software can generate reports, they can be used to track trends and make vital improvements. This is also a good opportunity to update permission access to ensure everyone currently on your team has what they need to produce successful results.
Check to make sure your assets are categorized properly. During busy seasons, it’s common for some items to get pushed to the side or lost in the shuffle. Placing miscellaneous assets in the correct folder makes them easier to find later. This is also an ideal time to identify areas for improvement within your categorization system itself. How easy is it to find the items you need? Fine-tuning your categorization methods in ways that make sense for you and your team fosters more reliable processes and a more efficient workflow.
You may be wondering what you should do with old assets when cleaning out your management system. If you are removing assets that no longer fit within the brand identity or just don’t have a purpose anymore you may want to start by seeing if there is a way you can update the asset. If not, it’s always a good idea to move these assets elsewhere just in case you need to access them in the future. Have an “Old Assets” folder where you can place these outdated pieces. Still try to keep some organization whether its organizing old assets by department, campaign, or client (if you are an agency). Once the asset gets really old (say 1 year or older), then you may want to consider deleting it completely to save space.
After a marketing collateral audit, your collection should feel lighter and easier to manage. One of the best things about cutting-edge DAM software is that it makes the process of storing, locating, and auditing assets simple. A streamlined platform takes the hassle out of packed, unorganized shared drives and transforms your workspace into one that’s designed for speed and clarity.
As marketing methods evolve and the need for a vast, diverse assortment of collateral continues to rise, consider taking advantage of one of the most innovative storage and marketing tools on the market. Backed by more than 20 years of experience in marketing technology, we offer solutions that help make asset management simple. To learn more about our DAM solution, contact MarcomCentral or request a demo today.