Be honest… is your marketing resource management (MRM) system (marketing portal) in need of the Marie Kondo tidying up treatment? Do your users have to sift through years of outdated materials to find a marketing piece that matches their current needs? Are new materials going unused simply because users can’t find them amidst the volumes of outdated assets?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it may be time to declutter your marketing portal and put some simple processes in place to easily keep things fresh moving forward.
Why Portal Housekeeping Is Important
If marketing materials in your MRM system are not managed properly, outdated assets can frustrate users, diminish the strength of your brand, and impact the overall success of your marketing programs.
Some marketing materials can remain relevant for years, whereas others do not have a lengthy shelf life. If there’s no indication of when an asset was created, users may be confused by what’s the most current. You don’t want to frustrate your users by making them search through old assets. And, you don’t want them making the decision on what’s still relevant or not. These are just a few of the reasons why it’s important to take steps to keep the assets in your marketing portal fresh.
In regulated environments, there can be compliance implications for outdated marketing materials. If your legal and compliance teams require materials be reviewed on an annual basis, it’s helpful to have a process in place that automatically ensures materials are reviewed 30 to 60 days prior to the annual review deadline. Your MRM service partner should be able to assist you with setting up a scheduled review process.
Even those marketers who do not have annual review mandates can benefit from setting up similar review systems to ensure their marketing resource management systems do not become bloated with outdated and unused materials.
Usage Analysis & Asset Pruning
An important tool for managing the assets in your marketing portal 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.
Understand how often materials are being used and identify items that are not being used. If an item is not being used, you may choose to remove it from the portal. Or, if it’s a current asset that you want users to utilize, investigate why it’s not being used.
If you are routinely receiving calls from users reporting they can’t find items in the portal, you may need to update asset titles, descriptions, and keyword fields as you encounter these issues, to make them more discoverable.
Remember to stay on top of time-limited materials. Coming out of the pandemic, many marketers have uploaded assets created for specific circumstances that may no longer be relevant. If you don’t remove these items from your portal after they have served their purpose, you risk having a user quickly grab something that highlights policies that are no longer in place.
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 asset management are:
- Creation dates, which are determined when the artwork is created.
- 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.
- Version dates, which correspond to the artwork. They are updated anytime the creative is updated.
Dates are incredibly important for materials that require legal compliance review. The version date can be updated following a compliance review, resetting the expiration date for the next scheduled review.
Make Time for Reviewing & Pruning
There’s often a feeling of accomplishment when you finalize a marketing piece and upload it to your portal. You check that deliverable off the list and move on to the next priority or project. 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.
The best way to ensure you are keeping your MRM system fresh and easily searchable is to establish a review process.
Use a rolling review process during the 12- or 24-month timeframe, so that it’s not an overwhelming task. Assets should come up for review 30-60 days ahead of their expiration date. This approach enables you to review a handful of assets every month instead of 50, 100 or more all at the same time.
Don’t let the value of your marketing portal be diminished by allowing outdated marketing assets to pile up. Commit to reviewing your assets on a regular basis and establish criteria for pruning and updating. Work with your MRM service partner for assistance with usage reports and best practices for keeping your system from becoming unwieldy for you and your end users.