Marketing leaders and their teams face challenges on a number of fronts. Foremost among them is the need to deliver on-brand customer experiences across a growing number of channels with more personalization, empathy, speed, and agility than ever before.
Digital, social, and print channels call for greater output, more consistently, encompassing more elements than we’ve ever had to produce. Around three-quarters of all marketing teams estimate they’re creating 10 times the number of assets today that they needed to produce just a few years ago. At the same time, marketers are working in smaller teams with budgets that have shrunk over the past decade even as the demands of internal stakeholders have increased, keeping cost and productivity front of mind.
This excerpt from our MediaValet and Outfit.io eBook Your 2022 Guide to Scaling Marketing Operations and Production will share 5 tips to help scale your marketing activity, extend your brand, and maximize overall productivity.
1. Identify Your Repeatable Content
After setting the foundations of your brand, the next step is to audit the marketing work you produce. Your objective should be to identify which activities are bespoke or need to be created from scratch, and which can be repeated or re-versioned from templates. While brand campaigns and relaunches often require bespoke, original creative, many marketing activities call for repeatable assets in which the text, imagery, or call to action may vary from execution to execution, but the layout and components will essentially remain the same. Some examples include:
- Seasonal campaigns,
- Localized marketing activity,
- Personalized marketing materials, such as presentations and business cards,
- Social media tiles for each channel,
- Content marketing formats, such as newsletters, blogs, and eBooks,
- Digital advertising formats for different media channels,
- Print and outdoor advertising formats, and
- Event marketing collateral.
In addition to what you’re already creating, consider the urgent needs of stakeholders that may not be satisfied with the current processes or that are resulting in regular breaches of your brand guidelines. This may include:
- Decentralized brand teams,
- International divisions with regionalized or national requirements,
- Agency, supplier, or partner networks,
- Sales, product, and customer teams, or
- Branch, franchise, and agent networks.
2. Design Responsive Templates
When you have your list of repeatable content, you can then begin to scope the templates to be used in your brand management platform. Remember, your on-brand imagery will be added later (ideally, from your digital asset management (DAM) solution), so you are only considering the structure or layout of the template. Start by creating templates for the formats and teams that offer the biggest potential productivity, consistency, and enablement gains.
Work with your team (and brand management platform provider (if you have one) to establish:
- How many templates you need,
- Whether one responsive template can be used to generate multiple formats,
- Which content elements need to be editable/ which should remain unchanged, and
- Brand rules governing the changes that may be made, such as which approved images can be used, how big or small text should be, and which brand colors may be used.
3. Optimize Workflows to Support Use
The workflows that support the use of your on-brand templates are just as important as the templates themselves. They are the arteries of your operationalized brand and enable work to move efficiently. There are a few workflow management questions to consider, including:
- Who is likely to use the templates and how much brand oversight will they require?
- What sort of work needs to be approved by central marketing, and what level of approver needs to review it?
- Does legal, compliance, or any other team need to approve the asset?
- Who is responsible for adding finished assets to the DAM?
- Do any external suppliers need to be included to complete the workflow?
In general, keeping your content review and approval workflows within a brand management platform facilitates greater speed to market and automated prompts when each stage has been completed. Integrating with your digital asset management solution further increases velocity, allowing users to access approved and up-to-date logos, photos, and graphics. It also reduces duplicate work, enabling users to search for assets using keywords and other metadata populated in the DAM.
4. Ensure High Adoption of New Tools
The end goal is to empower all your teams and stakeholders to create marketing assets as good as those created by your best designer—without having to put them through years of training. Essential to this is ensuring any new technology is actually adopted. Most businesses are already under-utilizing many of the technology platforms they have. It’s critical to implement new tools (such as a brand management and digital asset management solution) that are intuitive and easy to use, particularly for those stakeholders with no design or branding experience.
While team-based administrators may need training in how to use your brand management platform and update templates, most of your stakeholders should be able to pick up the new platforms without constant hand-holding. It’s also important to consider what your stakeholder journey will be in terms of how they will discover and use assets, as well as use the tools themselves, including:
- How will they find approved assets to use in each template? Will they have direct access to your DAM from within the brand management tool?
- How will they find and share the finished assets? How will the DAM be used to facilitate the distribution of the finished assets?
- Should any other tools be integrated to improve your distribution workflow?
- How will you communicate that new templates are ready and available for use?
5. Ensure Visibility and Measurement
Using the right processes and technology, your marketing team can increase visibility for your organization by providing data about the on-brand assets your users create, store, and distribute.
This data is helpful because it enables marketing teams—sometimes for the first time—to measure:
- Asset use and effectiveness
- Cost savings
- Return on investment
This data can be used to better predict and serve the organization's marketing needs by identifying which content is most used and what’s being underutilized—meaning you may need to offer more training. It also enables ROI to be tracked against what it would cost to produce the same marketing materials without an operationalized brand system.
Operationalize Your Brand
To stay competitive in 2022, it's critical to establish the systems, processes, and technology needed to set your team up for success. With the right tools in place, you can empower your organization to scale its marketing activity, extending your brand and maximizing overall productivity.
Download your copy of our latest eBook Your 2022 Guide to Scaling Marketing Operations and Production to learn how to:
- Set your team up for success with guidelines and tools,
- Implement your plan while gaining quick wins, and
- Accelerate and scale your brand and marketing output.
MediaValet is a leader in cloud-based digital asset management that helps organizations manage, organize and share their digital assets, improving productivity and increasing ROI. See MediaValet in action today.