Read for five minutes and decide whether a Digital Asset Management Stack is useful for your marketing team – if only to prevent that the wrong marketing materials are distributed by, well, just about anyone.
The marketing profession is constantly changing. This is episode 6 in a series of articles about Marketing Technology or MarTech. What is it? What does it mean for managing marketing materials?
Marketing Technology, no marketing team can do without it today. If you look at the Supergraphic by Scott Brinker, it will become clear that there are enough digital marketing tools to tailor to every single company’s needs. According to several studies, the main challenge of CMOs and CMTs is therefore the integration of marketing tools.
- “Complexity of integrating technologies“ – Informatica, Dun & Bradstreet
- “Non-integrated tech platforms“ – eConsultancy
- “Aligning marketing technology with business goals“ – HubSpot
It is new to not view these tools separately, but to approach them as an ecosystem. Marketers use these sets of tools – stacks – to plan and execute marketing programs as effectively and efficiently as possible.
But which tools offer a quick win for a medium-sized marketing team?
Unfortunately, the answer to this is ambiguous and will depend on numerous factors, such as the objectives and size of the organization as a whole, the industry, the composition of the marketing team, the budget, the resources and the current staff.
In the autumn of 2015, Aberdeen Research conducted a survey among a few hundred companies in the United States. The most important goal was to learn about the digital marketing tools they used. The results showed that the majority of marketing teams almost always had a CRM tool, Web-video conferencing, Email campaigning, Marketing planning, Digital asset management, Analytics and data visualization and Content management.
In our own research we see that Acquisition tools are the most popular. Approximately 29% of the stacks have Acquisition tools, followed by Marketing Automation (22%) and Content Marketing (18%).
A fundamental part of content marketing is publishing texts and images. Managing images is also called Digital Asset Management (DAM). This is relatively easy to solve with a MarTech stack.
First, let’s look at an example from my daily business: a startup. Then we show how an integrated DAM stack can be set up and managed within 1 day. Should you wish for more: we have a bunch of extensive DAM stacks in stock.
Who has the right version of the company logo?
During one of my projects in recent years, I joined a start-up that had just finished their product. For the market launch, the marketing manager and the team devised a thorough approach. They started on a small scale with events such as lectures at network meetings, clubs and trade fairs. After a few months, they scaled up to social media, larger fairs, PR aimed at written press, local radio and TV. Another quarter later a regional soft launch followed with media exposure, such as bus stop advertising, radio, bannering, Google AdWords and Facebook advertising.
In a short time, the number of digital assets (photos, videos, texts, but also strategy documents, schedules and budget files) was growing explosively. In less than a year around 1700 photographs found their way in all kinds of marketing materials. The marketing team grew from 1 to 6 people with solely coordinating roles in a few months’ time. For the creative development, the team hired several advertising agencies, freelance creatives, freelance photographers and PR specialists. In six months, they created over 3500 items varying from icons, graphics, photos, videos, banners, fonts, logos, presentations, ads, to Excel sheets and more – and everything was shown in various means of communication.
These assets were stored on a Dropbox drive. And what you may already expect as a reader, actually did happen. With dozens of people working it, the marketing assets of this company were roaming everywhere in no time. Especially on the hard disks of laptops. Fortunately, everything went well with this start-up, but the chance of disastrous errors in statements could be so imminent. Most marketers have a sixth sense for promotional materials with errors in prices, wrong photo resolution and color combinations that differ from the brand guide. I did not mention the chance that documents with sensitive information fall into the wrong hands. And I forget about the time and frustration searching for the right images. Imagine the frustration after three hours of work on materials for an event, once you realize that one of the images was not the latest version. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. That feeling.
Professional Digital Asset Management at a rare low cost
As a start-up you do not want to invest thousands of euros in a digital asset management system (DAM) before you know the benefits. Fortunately, this is no longer necessary.
If you combine a number of free versions of digital marketing tools in a marketing stack, you can realize 80% -90% of the functionality of enterprise DAM software for a few euros per month. The MarTech specialists at Boardview.io analyzed more than 120+ digital asset management tools and created various marketing stacks that allow you to manage all your digital assets. They did this on the basis of the DAM processes, which they had witnessed in more than 50 marketing teams. To show how simple it is, they have set the criteria that a stack should not cost more than € 100 per month for a team of 10 people. Not because it is necessary, but because it is possible.
The starting point is user based: the daily practice of a marketer. The DAM stacks of Boardview.io are built up of digital tools, which in many cases were already in daily use at these 50 companies. So chances are that there is a personal favorite of yours among them.
Managing and planning work can be done with a tool such as Trello. Saving files in Google drive or Dropbox for Business. Co-Schedule is a favorite for managing assets in social media messages. These tools are popular for a reason: they are easy and good at what they do.
In order to set up a well-secured DAM marketing stack for a company with a medium sized marketing team, it is not necessary to change their overall working methods. That basic process for managing images is universal. There are always three components:
The marketing manager approves assets and places them on Dropbox (INPUT)
The Brand Manager then categorizes the images and moves them in a Public Folder for the Sales, HR, Product Management departments, but also for MarCom itself and the external agencies and freelancers (PROCESS).
Now, others retrieve these assets from the Dropbox for example for their Social Media expressions or campaigns (OUTPUT). They load the result back onto the Dropbox.
The only thing that changes is that it becomes a controlled process, ensuring that errors and infringements cannot take place.
The solution has both a digital tooling and a human side to it. One person, for example the brand manager, becomes responsible for managing the central storage. This person checks the Dropbox drive weekly for the right files and legal correctness. Uploading and downloading from the central Dropbox drive can only take place because the project planning tool – Trello for example – assigns files to specific projects. With the aid of the tool Egnyte the download can be monitored.
If you want to prevent that marketing materials of your company are distributed by just about anyone start right away with your own digital asset management stack. Schedule an free 15 minute call with me on Calendly and I am happy to tell you more about developing a stack for your marketing team.