What do your end users really think about your organization’s approach to marketing resource management? Even without explicit feedback, you can gauge their level of satisfaction by whether or not they use the marketing materials you create for them, or by how many questions or special requests you receive about your marketing resources.
If engagement with your marketing resources is low or support-intensive, you may want to look at how you can improve the end user experience. We all understand the value of a good user experience for consumers. But we often overlook the importance of good UX for employees and end users in a distributed organization.
When it comes to marketing resource management, if end users on the frontlines of your business are dissatisfied with your processes and technology, that can lead to friction and frustration between the frontlines and corporate. In addition, end users may decide to go around the system, which can increase the risk of unapproved materials, create more work for your marketing team, and erode your brand.
A Good Marketing Portal UX Shows End Users You Care
When we subject end users to a poor user experience, we’re telling them we don’t care if they struggle to do their job. This will eventually impact customers in the form of low productivity and morale, human errors, less professional-looking marketing materials and campaigns, reduced confidence in corporate, and weakened branding. To avoid these pitfalls, apply the same principles of customer UX to your marketing portal and the end users on the frontlines of your business – your franchisees, bank branch associates, insurance agents, local office representatives or affiliates.
Good UX Principles for Marketing Resource Management
You may be familiar with some of the more fundamental principles for improving UX, like providing a personalized experience or minimizing clicks. When evaluating marketing resource management systems, here are some of the things to look for that will contribute to a better user experience for your frontline end users:
- Single Sign On (SSO). Configure your marketing portal so that users can link to it from your company’s intranet. This eliminates the need for users to remember multiple logins for multiple systems.
- Provide a Branded Interface. Skinning your interface with your logo and colors puts users in your branded environment, which reinforces your brand.
- Simplify Multi-Brand and Multi-Location Management. For companies with multiple brands, make sure corporate administrators can sign in from a single account (typically branded with the umbrella brand) where they can manage marketing resources across all brands. For users managing multiple brands, locations, or territories, enable them to sign in to a single account to access and customize resources for all of their brands and/or locations/territories.
- Auto-Populated Customization. For marketing assets that require some local customization, make sure your marketing portal has features that automatically populate customized fields with the end user’s profile information, like location address, hours of operation, menu or product pricing. In addition, ensure data for fields that change frequently and need centralized control, like interest rates, etc., can be set globally. With this capability, a customized marketing piece is nearly complete when the end user selects it. This saves time for the end user and results in fewer errors that could be costly.
- Minimized Clicks. A good marketing resource management system is designed to help users save time. Look for a platform developed by a vendor that understands marketing processes, industry requirements and user behavior. An experienced vendor should provide a system that is streamlined to eliminate unnecessary steps. For example, an end-user who logs into your marketing portal to find a marketing piece to customize should be able to conduct a search, find the item and start customizing the piece they find without having to click through multiple pages of information.
- Intuitive. Make sure the system you choose is intuitive for your users. Navigation should be easy to follow. Breadcrumbs and understandable icons should help guide your users through each step of a process.
- Shipping Options. Once an item is selected, customized and approved, your system should allow users to select from a variety of shipping options to determine the most cost-effective or time-sensitive method for their needs. Choose a system that can look up multiple carriers and estimate the cost of what is being shipped to the user’s location, while also offering expedited shipping options for each shipper.
- Free PDF Downloads. A valuable feature for end users is the ability to download a free PDF of a marketing asset, particularly if they need it urgently. A free PDF download enables the end user to print locally for their immediate need. Some marketing systems charge for PDF downloads, so keep an eye out for this hidden cost when evaluating marketing resource management vendors.
- Customer Support. A vital aspect of a good user experience is having access to exceptional support. Make sure the marketing resource technology partner you choose offers multiple channels of support, including phone, email and chat. They should also provide a good knowledge base that can answer many of your users’ most common and pertinent questions. Also, support materials should be specific to your organization (not generic or branded by the system vendor). These materials should include screen shots from your system, providing greater clarity for your users. And ensure support materials are relevant without extraneous information that makes the support center more difficult to navigate. Lastly, your marketing portal system vendor should provide an account team that works closely with your organization to ensure systems are configured and managed effectively.
- Search and Filters to Find Assets Quickly. Look for a marketing resource management solution that offers control over searches within the system to ensure users can quickly find the assets they need without having to wade through pages of extraneous results. The system should be able to control search terms to provide more targeted results and categorize filters to enable user to refine searches.
Good UX for marketing resource management not only saves your end users and marketing team time, it improves their workflow and overall satisfaction. Putting a system in place that is well received drives success at the local level and builds your organization’s reputation. It also can improve corporate marketing’s credibility and value among those on the frontlines. By investing in a good user experience for marketing portal users, you will prove to frontline users that corporate cares about making their job easier and is committed to their success.