Managing marketing assets for better, lower cost campaigns

Marketing concept with person using a laptop on a white table
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Oct 5, 2023

Well targeted, creative marketing communications is a must for business across all sectors, from financial services, through to health and education. But, how can marketing managers keep track of their valuable marketing assets to ensure optimum use while keeping all teams and stakeholders on brand? Here we explore the benefits of marketing asset management.

What is a marketing asset?

In a nutshell, it’s any of the resources and digital tools a business uses to promote their services, products and brand. For example, this could include signage, infographics, videos, slide decks, social media, blog posts, web pages, templates or brochures. The training manuals and other materials organisations use to educate employees about processes, procedures and products are also considered marketing assets because they help to build brand culture internally.  

Marketing assets are more than just a ‘nice-to-have’. According to a 2017 survey by the Content Marketing Institute, 92% of companies see marketing content as a critical business asset. They’re integral to marketing strategy as in order to continuously grow, businesses must constantly find ways and dedicate marketing efforts to reaching different types of customers using tailored messaging, through their preferred channel.

What are the challenges around organising marketing assets?

As a business grows, it usually branches out into multi-channel marketing and content creation and development (from different social media platforms to printed brochures and web content), generating more and more marketing assets. Content management can be a big challenge requiring substantial marketing resource.

Marketing teams may be sitting on a wealth of thousands of digital assets however, all too often they’re scattered across servers and services in a disorganised, scattergun way. Without a solid asset management solution and an easy way of retrieving them, time is wasted, and assets are at risk of being duplicated or forgotten. Also, if it’s not possible to securely share files among creative partners, compliance teams or other stakeholders, the inefficiencies multiply, and there’s a greater risk of errors.

What’s more, fragmented and disconnected assets can cause inconsistent branding and messaging and impede relevant communications with particular target audiences. This is a real problem for sales and marketing teams whose aim is to personalise and tailor the assets so they resonate with each audience segment they’re seeking to reach.

A study by Marcom has shown when content is fragmented:

  • only 15% of study participants say it meets buyers’ needs well during their journeys
  • 66% of companies lose sales when the marketing content they need isn’t available, and, 
  • more than 25% of sales teams go rogue and create their own content, with improper branding and messaging often a result.

What is digital asset management?

Many of the problems of fragmented and disorganised marketing assets can be resolved using marketing asset management systems, or digital asset management (DAM) software. Essentially this is the online equivalent of the trusty metal filing cabinet that was once found in every office.

Digital asset management is the process of managing all of a company’s digital marketing content (for example images, videos or any digital marketing asset) in a single hub. But it’s much more than just storage space; it’s a well organised and searchable environment providing on demand access to extensive collections of media assets in different formats to anyone across the organisation who needs it. What’s more, it can manage the whole ‘lifecycle’ of a digital asset – from content production, into marketing campaigns and through to distribution to archiving.

What’s the difference between a MAM and a DAM?

Marketing asset management (MAM) and digital asset management (DAM) platforms are designed to help professionals streamline and manage data related to marketing and the terms are often used interchangeably. But while there is significant overlap between them, a few differences set them apart.

Marketing asset management is the organisation, storage, and distribution of assets used in marketing, such as brand logos, advertisements, and media files to be shared on social media sites. A MAM platform provides marketing teams complete control over their assets from creation to curation. This makes it faster and easier to find the assets they need and avoid using the wrong version.

Digital asset management is a broader term encompassing asset management software for all types of digital media, including images, videos, audio files, as well as non-marketing-related data. DAM platforms are designed to store, organise and share an organisation or company’s digital assets from one central point. With the proper permissions, anyone can get quick and easy access to all or selected assets. DAMs can be used by employees, stakeholders, clients, collaborators, and contractors. A DAM platform makes collaborating and sharing of digital assets much simpler and can make projects much more efficient.

What are the benefits of marketing asset management systems?

There are several benefits to using asset management systems, according to Widen, a provider of digital asset management systems.

  1. A one-stop-shop for marketing materials. Team members and external partners alike can quickly find what they need in a DAM. Costs associated with recreating lost materials are eliminated because assets are stored in a system where they are secure and easy to retrieve.
  2. Workflow is streamlined. Proofs can be easily shared, feedback collected and approvals gained from all reviewers, from legal to branding, with workflow approval functionality. A DAM makes it easy for teams to collaborate and communicate on content.
  3. Use your best content again and again. Adapting existing copy, imagery, video, or other creative content for another use isn’t just about reusing content, it’s about reimagining it to serve new purposes. Being able to see and access old content, can give new life to assets and take less time, money and resources.
  4. Brand consistency. Keeping all team members ‘singing from the same hymn sheet‘ using the same, on-brand files, helps branding and messages stay consistent and cohesive across an organisation.
  5. Keep track of which content is doing best – a DAM allows businesses to monitor how effective different media assets are by understanding when, where and how they are used. This data can inform a company’s content strategy, enabling teams to spot opportunities to re-use their best performing content and save time and money.
  6. Lower risk of content rights and user violations. DAMS include governance tools to control how different user groups interact with assets, allowing restriction of sensitive content or limiting download permissions and privileges on certain files.

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