Efficiency is everything in this era of streamlined budgets and reduced headcounts. With the effectiveness of traditional disruptive marketing methods on the decline, justifying the cost of television, radio, and newspaper/magazine ads is increasingly difficult since these avenues rarely bring a return on investment.
Businesses now market themselves and build their brands differently than they used to. Overly pushy sales tactics are being abandoned in favor of content that is more personalized, engaging, educational, and helpful. Webinars that speak to an audience have replaced commercials that speak at an audience. Infographics shared across social media channels have become the new Yellow Pages ads. New business leads are acquired by offering a free informative white paper for download on your website in exchange for an email address and contact information.
Businesses that master these processes build brand awareness while positioning themselves as trusted experts in their niche market. This trust building is the new method of turning leads into prospects and prospects into conversions.
The effectiveness of your marketing collateral is what makes all of this happen. All of this collateral—blog posts, infographics, emails white papers, and text messages--is derived from the digital assets used to produce the materials that drive the sales of your company’s products or services.
So, What Are These Digital Assets?
Tackling Asset Management Challenges
One would think that the biggest challenge would be the ongoing development of these assets, but that’s not necessarily the case. In truth, it’s the accurate storage and maintenance of easy access tools that becomes the biggest problem. As your business expands, so does this library of vital images, documents, and presentations. The demand to distribute all of this marketing collateral also increases. Your marketing team is fielding requests for marketing materials from channel representatives all day, every day. And those reps are demanding materials that are personalized to meet the recipient’s specific needs.
For the sake of uniform messaging and branding, all digital assets must be properly organized and managed. Lost or misplaced digital assets will result in wasted time, money, and productivity. Your assets should be easy to find, personalize, revise, and re-purpose.
Here are five ways to better manage your marketing collateral and digital assets.
Centralize Your Library
The biggest mistake any company can make is spreading digital assets out across multiple locations. Your sales and marketing teams won’t have any idea where to find digital content and media if it’s stored in multiple files or folders, whether in-house or in the cloud. Many businesses have some assets stored on an employee or contracted freelancer’s hard drive, some on an internal server, and some in a messy and disorganized Google Drive. This is an open invitation to confusion and redundancy. Older dated materials could easily be pulled and used by mistake. Branding or message inconsistencies can occur.
The process of storing and retrieving assets for a given task should never be complex. First of all, coordinate your storage. Storing your digital assets in a centralized location will save your company time and money. Files can be found much quicker for improved efficiency and service. It will also limit instances of someone recreating an asset that already exists.
With a centralized asset library, anyone with authorized access can use a single system to manage and initiate his or her marketing efforts. Marketing assets can be remotely created on demand, managed, accessed, and edited around-the-clock.
Centralized storage is needed to maximize marketing efficiency and effectiveness. Your sales team will appreciate easy access to all of their marketing materials through a centralized database as needed.
Simplify Adaptation & Repurposing
Most businesses or organizations have bigger appetites than stomachs. They have aggressive growth expectations but a lean budget. AOL recently projected that over 27 million pieces of content are shared online each day. That’s a lot to keep up with. Re-purposing your media and content assets for use across a variety of marketing channels is a necessity these days. It’s a money saver since more value is extracted from previous collateral and asset creations.
It is easier to re-purpose assets if they are well organized and easy to find. Data from an infographic can be used in a white paper or e-book. Copy from an e-book chapter can be mentioned in a webinar. One short sentence pulled from a marketing drip’s email can be turned into a social media post.
Follow Numbers and Trends
Good asset management will involve some level of reporting that offers insight into what media or documents are being downloaded or opened. Analysis should be done to identify what collateral is actively helping push leads down the sales funnel. This data can be used to determine if marketing collateral, assets, or campaigns have possibly run their course and need to be altered or abandoned.
Practice Brand Control
Maintaining a uniform look and feel across your marketing collateral should be an important part of your asset management. Take regular inventory of your digital assets and perform occasional audits to ensure that all design templates, files, and logos adhere to branding guidelines. The importance of brand consistency across varied materials and media cannot be understated.
Grant Access Permissions
While you want teams to quickly find and pull marketing materials as needed, remember to factor in security and privacy as well. Different permissions will need to be granted at the user level to ensure individuals have access only to what they need and nothing more. For instance, a certain team member may be able to open and read a file but not have permissions to edit content or alter image assets. By rule, you typically want to give your sales staff some level of editing capabilities for them to customize existing assets to suit their particular selling situation.
Any company or organization that has invested money and sweat into building their brand must protect it. Brand consistency promotes brand recognition and fosters positive associations with your brand. Combined with the right kind of messaging, this will bring you new leads and ultimately close sales.
Meanwhile, a disorganized library of marketing assets is a disaster waiting to happen. It increases the likelihood of inconsistent branding and messaging. Employee productivity is lost when the assets they need cannot be found and then must be needlessly re-created. Centralized storage of marketing assets in a single location creates a better-organized and more manageable situation. Additionally, it allows for better integration with marketing automation software and personalization technology for true marketing and sales alignment.