Marketing asset management is software that enables marketers to efficiently and effectively deploy and manage approved, locally customizable marketing assets across their distributed organizations.
Marketers have a tough job to do – particularly in distributed organizations. Managing all the materials for marketing campaigns, events, programs and sales teams across multiple regions can have you running in circles. To accomplish marketing goals and maintain sanity, effective marketing asset management is essential.
What are the Benefits of Marketing Asset Management?
A primary benefit of marketing asset management is that it frees up your marketing team to focus on more strategic efforts. It does this by automating redundant, routine tasks – like chasing down approvals, locating marketing content and managing budgets.
Here are some of the specific ways your organization can benefit from marketing asset management.
Marketing asset management helps streamline the management of brand materials and approvals by providing a central location for accessing approved assets and by automating the process for approving customized marketing messages. Marketing asset management also enables distributed sales channels to create localized materials while streamlining the necessary review process to ensure brand consistency.
2. Marketing asset updates.
Brand materials may need to be updated often. The quicker you can locate and update approved marketing assets, the better. Marketing asset management can help with your version control efforts by providing a searchable inventory of marketing assets – including the ability to search by string or keywords within branded materials – saving time on materials updates, and ensuring that materials needing changes aren’t overlooked. Marketing asset management empowers corporate marketers to quickly locate and update all affected assets and serve as a central location for corporate marketing and distributed sales channels to access the most current marketing materials.
3. Local marketing campaigns.
Joint campaigns with local sales channels such as distributors, agents, franchisees, and partners can be challenging to coordinate and personalize. Many companies avoid co-marketing campaigns altogether or only provide generic marketing materials to their partners.
Managing local campaigns is another marketing process simplified by marketing asset management. It can help by simplifying and automating the local marketing process. Marketing templates can be provided to distributed sales channels and partners, and the process of localizing marketing assets can be easily managed directly by partners. Sensitive customer and prospect lists can be hidden from corporate marketing, while campaign response rates can still be tracked for each partner.
How to Organize Marketing Assets and Keep Them Updated
Outdated or hard-to-find marketing assets can frustrate users, diminish the strength of your brand, and impact the overall success of your marketing programs. Here are a few suggestions on how to keep your marketing assets fresh and organized.
1. Set up access controls to deliver relevant assets.
Consider your teams of users, including departments, lines of business, franchisees, etc. Each user team should only have access to the assets that are appropriate to them.
2. Use filters.
Set up filters to help users narrow searches. Consider making the first or top filter “asset type” or “format” (e.g., ads, brochures, direct mail, email, posters, social media posts, etc.), and the sub-filters subject-matter related (e.g., seasons, product/service, audience segment, etc.).
3. Usage analysis and asset pruning.An important tool for marketing asset management is the usage report. Pay attention to usage trends to ensure materials are being used. Regularly assess what is available for users and establish criteria and processes for efficiently determining when items need to be updated or completely replaced.
4. Working with dates.
Maintaining a fresh, uncluttered marketing portal relies on effectively monitoring and managing various dates related to each asset.
Two types of dates that are fundamental to marketing asset management are: Creation dates, which are determined when the artwork is created, and Expiration dates, which trigger the review process, and can help ensure the freshness of the assets in your portal. Two additional types of dates that are helpful for maintaining your marketing portal are: Modification dates, which change automatically with any modification to the asset, even an update to the item description, and Version dates, which correspond to the artwork. They are updated anytime the creative is updated.
Boost Your Productivity: Tips and Best Practices for Marketing Asset Managers
Every day, marketers are tasked with more and more responsibilities. Here are some tips to help marketing asset managers streamline activities, take control of their assets and improve productivity.
1. Assess the tasks currently being performed by your team.How is your marketing team currently spending their time? Are they spending too much time on tasks that could be automated or streamlined? Here are a few areas where marketing asset management can make your day a little easier:
- Tracking down existing marketing assets
- Tracking down logos
- Managing versions, revisions and approvals
- Ensuring brand compliance
- Managing mailing lists
- Preparing for audits
- Managing co-op or MDF budgets
2. Identify opportunities for automationOnce you’ve identified what tasks your team is spending too much time on, it’s time to look at how marketing asset management can help streamline marketing processes, so you can spend less time on the marketing minutia and more time thinking big picture. Examples: Spend less time on approvals; Quickly find most recent assets; and manage local marketing budgets.
3. Look for templating opportunities.Balance the tradeoffs between creating many templated marketing assets with fewer customization fields versus fewer marketing assets with many customization fields. For example, you could create one generic notecard that could be customized as a thank you, birthday or congratulations card, or you could create individual templates for each of these card types. Before you decide which way to go, be sure to consider your reporting objectives. If you are interested in easily comparing the order quantities of the different types of cards (birthday, thank you, congratulations) it would be better to create templates for each type rather than a single generic card template.
4. Make time for reviewing and pruning.There’s often a feeling of accomplishment when you finalize a marketing piece and upload it to your portal. But don’t just set it and forget it. If you continue to upload without a plan for reviewing and pruning materials as they age, your portal will eventually become unwieldy for users. Establish a review process to keep marketing assets fresh and easily searchable. Use a rolling review process, so that it’s not an overwhelming task to maintain your library of marketing assets.
Marketing Asset Management Software and Features
Marketing resource management systems is another name often used for marketing asset management software. These systems are available with a wide range of features. For example:
- Asset management – manage and access all assets in one online portal. Includes approved templated materials for local customization.
- Local marketing budget management – simplify local marketing budget management and easily evaluate what’s working in local markets.
- Creative production management – seamlessly route and track job status, hours, review and approval of designs from a single platform.
- Ad management – ad resizing, ad distribution automation
- Request management – automate the process of collecting, approving, processing and tracking requests from local associates.
- Email – enable you to reach local audiences with customized email campaigns.
- Surveys & invites – facilitate local event invitations and customer surveys.
Conclusion: Why Marketing Asset Management Is Important
Marketers invest significant resources in developing marketing assets. However, all too often, not enough attention is focused on how to provide easy access to these materials across a distributed organization. This results in diminished returns when materials go under-utilized or unused by sales, resulting in wasted creative hours and outdated printed pieces being tossed out.
To optimize marketing ROI, you need to understand and manage the costs and usage of your marketing assets. Marketing asset management helps you take control so you can advance your marketing and achieve your goals.
What are the four main types of marketing assets?Marketing assets can be categorized in many different ways. Digital, print, multi-media and promotional products are four main types of marketing assets.