By: Leslie Pinkerton, Marketing Content Manager, 12/7/17
With so much marketing technology available, it’s important to understand what a marketing portal is, and what it can do for growing organizations.
A marketing portal is an online, on-demand repository that helps corporate marketing departments empower large distributed teams with approved brand assets.
Sounds cool, right?
Put simply, a marketing portal is a key resource used to organize, customize, and distribute on-brand marketing content.
It also helps a corporate marketing team control their brand messaging, while still giving employees the opportunity to personalize assets on their own. Without a marketing portal in place, employees tend to waste time searching for the right asset on shared drives, or often “go rogue” creating content like proposals, presentations, or brochures on their own, without approval from marketing. This creates a disjointed experience for customers, and can limit content effectiveness. Not to mention it could cause problems if you have a compliance department or legal team.
Marketing portals are key for growing businesses
In order to grow, every business needs a scalable way to get the right message to individual customers or prospects, while maintaining brand integrity. The larger a company, and the more branches or partners representing the brand, the more challenging this becomes across distributed teams and customer segments.
A marketing portal allows companies to efficiently scale, doing business globally while marketing locally, by giving all employees and partners fast access to marketing materials that can be customized within pre-approved guidelines. This ensures all customers have a cohesive experience with a company, as every touchpoint is on-brand and up-to-date.
When employees use a marketing portal, centralized marketing teams can be confident their customer-facing colleagues are only utilizing approved materials. Marketing portals remove the risk of non-compliant or poorly-designed assets reaching critical customers. Plus, by moving content operations to a centralized marketing portal, teams can save on internal resources by reducing the number of “one-offs” requested by sales teams, branch and field offices, and channel partners.
According to Gleanster, “Organizations are increasingly finding it difficult to manage the chaos of multi-channel content production with organically developed processes (and disparate technologies) that often fail to optimize marketing efficiency or effectiveness.”
Key features of a marketing portal
A marketing portal should help businesses meet three specific goals:
- Customize marketing assets
- Control your brand voice
- Maintain compliance
To do this, key features to look for include:
Search capabilities – Teams need instant access to materials to get their jobs done fast. Look for a marketing portal that allows employees to search by keyword to identify the right content. At NRG Energy Inc, hundreds of customizable marcom pieces are housed in MarcomCentral – clearly displaying all assets in a highly organized way. This eliminated the “hide and seek” problem created by their use of a “junk drawer” server, and gave users immediate access to the campaigns they needed.
Multi-channel support – We operate in a multi-touch, multi-channel sales and marketing world. A marketing portal must be able to support a variety of content types, from HTML, email, proposals, social media content, PowerPoint, brochures, quickly and easily.
Autonomy – To continue to create efficiencies, seek a marketing portal that allows users to order printed assets with a pre-approved print vendor. Whether paid via budget, credit card, or purchase orders, the right solution should allow users to place a print order without leaving the portal.
Customization – Personalization matters. Field teams need the ability to localize corporate marketing materials, tailoring them to meet the unique needs of the customer segments they serve. For example, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America uses MarcomCentral at over 4,100 club locations to create specific assets for their communities using pre-approved templates with customizable fields. This allows local clubs with modest operating budgets to look as though they have an entire creative design team on staff.
Analytics – Administrators in corporate marketing can collect key insights when their assets are managed on a marketing portal. For example, which assets are being used most? Which have been customized? These analytics can help to illuminate which content materials are worth investing in, and which are just taking up space.
Whether you’re in the market for a marketing portal now, or maybe even next year, make sure whichever solution you chose has the features that works the best for you and your company.