Marketing departments are bursting at the seams with opportunity. Upstream they are in overdrive producing content for niche targets, using multiple agency partners and designers. Downstream, content needs to be seamlessly distributed across a range of social, web, print and broadcast media.
The challenges today are not only getting great work out the door, on time and on budget, but ensuring the work is compliant from a brand and legal perspective as well. As such, having a system in place that can cater for the full lifecycle of content from creation and collaboration, to creative approvals and the centralization of final artwork, is no longer a ‘nice to have’ but rather a must-have to streamline marketing operations. Especially, when working with tight marketing deadlines and multiple stakeholders.
According to Tessa Court, the CEO of IntelligenceBank DAM, “most companies are undergoing a wave of digital transformation projects whose aim is to create operational efficiencies to reduce cost and risk. For marketing, this means getting brand consistency and quality right across all media to protect brand reputation. Ironically, organizations spend millions to develop and create their brand, but without a brand portal in place, it is essentially impossible to manage in a methodical way.”
What is DAM?
Digital Asset Management (DAM) is software that provides companies with a centralized online hub to store, manage, find track and share digital assets. A DAM is used to house and order all files including presentations, Microsoft Office documents, agency contracts, design files, images, video and audio.
Industry leading DAMs integrate with other systems, such as content management systems and graphic design software, to ensure your DAM is not an island – but the driving force behind your marketing and communications technology. With a constantly increasing number of digital files being created and used in a multi-channel environment, without a DAM, it’s easy to feel perpetually disorganized and lose control of files and brand assets. Trying to keep track of asset licensing, staying on top file versions and managing stakeholder access to assets without a robust system in place is both difficult and costly. Haphazard asset management can lead to a slew of problems which prevent your marketing team from providing inspiring, on-brand marketing.
The Brand Compliance Challenge
Try to think about brand compliance and consistency challenges by likening all marketing communications to an iceberg. Brand experience, is more than just the tip of the iceberg (i.e. a company’s most visible communications such as major broadcast campaigns), with the majority of communications activities below the water line. While it’s quite straightforward to ensure high profile creative is on brand and signed off by legal, the key to achieving marketing consistency is ensuring all communications are on-brand and compliant from the campaign planning phase.
For example, a mortgage broker may have a beautifully produced TV campaign promoting their top-rated customer service, however, having overly-complicated legal jargon in formal notices coupled with images that are off brand in a direct mail campaign will negatively impact the company. Further to the example above, if a freelance creative or a new design agency produces work that makes a false claim or uses an image or video without paying usage rights, the off-brand advertising can attract both adverse social media attention and hefty fines – which are equally bad.
Without using a robust system such as a BrandHub to manage content creation, compliance and distribution, including talent usage rights, legal and creative approvals – it’s only a matter of time before a creative disaster occurs.
How a BrandHub Can Help Marketing Departments
Modern marketing departments use online BrandHubs to distribute and produce creative while mitigating marketing compliance risks. While a BrandHub features many of the traditional tools users find in DAM software, some key elements of a BrandHub include the following:
- A Creative Repository - to centralize creative assets, with review dates, mark-ups, usage reporting and comments.
- Custom Brand Guidelines Pages – to bring your brand to life and showcase online how to use brand elements such as logos, color, fonts and other factors.
- Talent Usage Rights Management – to link assets to talent release forms, and automatically archive creative that has expired.
- Creative Approvals – before your work is published, create customized workflow processes to ensure brand, legal and other compliance processes are completed and documented.
- Web to Print – enable your franchisees or partners to customize their creative online, and download localized versions of marketing collateral.
- API Connectors – to seamlessly distribute assets to social media, web content management and other systems.