Easter is almost upon us. For some this will mean chocolate and a long weekend, while others will be observing religious festivals. Uniting these parties is a common thread which runs through springtime and is difficult for any brand or marketer to ignore: renewal, fresh starts, and new growth.
It’s not all about the brands, though. Consumers want an online shopping experience which is easy to navigate across multiple channels, features up-to-date content and products, and is regularly refreshed to ensure shopping remains engaging.
The challenge for many brands comes with managing the sheer volume of digital assets required to produce and refresh this consumer experience. Imagine, for example, that you’re a grocery retailer wanting to launch a promotion on Easter eggs and traditional Sunday roast fare. This will need to be scaled up – and back – over the bank holiday weekend, and will involve not only updating your website with new images and product descriptions, but also creating and sending promotional emails, social media posts, video content etc.
The traditional approach involves marketers spending a great deal of time searching for digital assets across multiple IT platforms, emails, and folders. It also entails convoluted correspondence with different departments and team members to ensure that the assets they’ve found/used/edited have been approved for use. This complicates marketers’ understanding of the lifecycle of each asset (from creation through management, distribution and preservation), and makes it difficult to keep track of content, and to deploy it effectively.
In a scenario such as this, creativity is often sacrificed. Marketers’ time is instead taken up locating, editing and approving digital assets, as well as attempting to collaborate with different departments and team members. In fact, according to a recent report, a massive 71% of creative leaders say that their greatest challenge is having too many revisions and not enough time to complete creative work in a quality manner.
This needn’t be the case, though. What’s needed is a re-evaluation of processes, a thorough audit of content, and the right technology to both support these activities and sow the seeds for creativity and growth going forward. Here’s a simple three-point plan for refreshing and revitalising digital asset management (DAM), which should put a creative spring in the step of any marketer.
Just as many consumers can’t de-clutter without Marie Kondo, most marketers can’t streamline their processes without the right technology. According to one estimate, 42% of content management professionals admit that their organisation hasn’t acquired the right tech to manage content across the enterprise.
Implementing a DAM solution will provide marketers with complete visibility into every stage of the digital asset lifecycle. Look for a solution that’s more than simply a repository for content. An effective, cloud-based tool will allow teams and individuals to create, maintain, edit, and review/approve assets quickly, easily, and collaboratively. Assets are easily searchable using metadata and categories, while the DAM solution will also allow users to control access permissions. Finally, it’ll include automation features such as converting the files to the right image size and format.
Easter is all about resurrection and renewal; with the right tools, historic content and digital assets can also be given a new lease of marketing life. Creating assets – be it great photos, edgy videos or creative product descriptions – takes man hours and money. The value of this content shouldn’t therefore begin and end with its original use. The lifecycle of digital assets should be cyclical, with marketing teams able to quickly find, update and publish old imagery, video, or copy anew.
A DAM solution should facilitate this, as well as providing a means of preserving and archiving assets. The life of some digital assets will be finite. A cloud-based DAM tool should therefore allow marketers to clearly label or delete outdated assets, so they’re not used in error.
‘When it comes to creating more personalized experiences, brands typically know a lot about their customers but little about their content.’ These are wise words from market research firm Forrester, and should be heeded by every marketer out there. Data gathered from apps, customer loyalty schemes and shoppers’ store accounts has given brands a comprehensive and deep insight into consumer behaviour and demands. This insight can subsequently be used to personalise the customer experience through tailored marketing emails, push notifications, website recommendations, and so on.
However, without easy and rapid access to the relevant content, personalised marketing campaigns are time consuming and challenging to deliver. An email offering a promotion on Easter eggs, for instance, is unlikely to go down well with a nut allergy sufferer. The same goes for sending a blanket email on roast lamb joints to all your shoppers – vegans included. This content needs to be edited and customised for individual shoppers, with alternative assets (photos, copy, promotions etc.) easy for marketers to find and use.
A DAM solution can facilitate personalisation at scale; content can be syndicated, and the most relevant content can be served via the most relevant channel. Templates can be created (such as those for marketing emails), and teams can personalise content for a specific audience, without changing locked brand elements like fonts, colours, and logos. The result is consistent brand identity, with bespoke details to appeal to targeted shoppers.
January may be a time to make New Year’s resolutions – but how easy are these to stick to in the bleak winter months? April should therefore be embraced as a time for brands and marketers to take stock of the processes, operations and infrastructure they’re using, spring-clean and de-clutter IT systems, and adopt the DAM solution required for business to blossom through Q2 and beyond.
Sairah Mojib is head of marketing, EMEA at Widen
Author image courtesy of Sairah Mojib/Widen