With economic headwinds approaching in 2023, how are you planning to futureproof your marketing plans? Certainly many teams are looking to streamline their processes, maximise the value of existing content, and use both internal resources and agency support as efficiently as possible.
One of the best ways to achieve these goals is to ensure that the tools and systems you rely on are working efficiently. Are your processes aligned and consistent? Do the tools your team uses work together in harmony? If not, now is the time to fix these pain points, before they make the uncertain times ahead even more challenging for your team.
In the current business climate, it’s vital to take control. Here is how to get the best out of your marketing team, your digital assets, and your agency partners.
Look for hidden inefficiencies in your current workflows
Many organisations work across multiple ecosystems, especially when sharing content externally. You will likely be using Office 365 or Google Drive to collaborate with partners, sharing large files via platforms such as WeTransfer, and sharing multiple files or download links for every asset in development. Switching between different systems at different stages of the content lifecycle can introduce unnecessary friction.
It’s not just the platforms that create inefficiencies. Confusion about processes and documentation, as well as training the team and wider business, adds to the workload of marketing managers.
Bite the bullet and have a single point of truth in your business
As a marketer, you want to be adding value to your organisation, helping the company respond to the rapid pace of change. You certainly don’t want to spend hours trawling through multiple versions of files. Equally, you don’t want to approve invoices for work identical to the master campaign materials you invested budget and time into. Have a zero-tolerance approach to file storage – a single location where all assets are stored. Ensure you have version control set up, too – that way, you can ensure an audit trail.
Keep the workflow simple
Convoluted approval mechanisms slow campaign delivery and allow room for error when files are shared by email, links and team-messaging apps. Comments and amends end up in email chains or chats without being linked to the asset in question.
This is even more important when we are now working across time zones, often hybrid or remote. We can all recall the Teams or Zoom chats and calls when you’re trying to find a file on SharePoint or a cloud drive, and trawling through lengthy email trails to ensure all comments and changes are included. A single platform can help by ensuring that amends and approvals are captured in one place and linked to the specific asset or campaign materials. Time saved and headaches reduced.
Make your assets work harder
When economic times are tougher, budgets and hours need to work harder. But what about the terabytes of assets you have saved from previous times? Could they be reused? Too often, assets are forgotten or archived once a campaign is completed. You can bring these back into the light and repurpose them. ‘Recycle, reuse and repurpose’ should be the mantra of marketers – not just in the lean times. Make your investments into assets work harder.
Get everyone on board
Another route to making your marketing department work more efficiently is to empower users – both your internal team members and your external partners. Challenges around rights access and user management can mean marketing assets are siloed. This, in turn, means assets become shared – potentially incorrectly – outside of your ecosystem.
By providing a straightforward user access process, you can allow more of your organisation access to materials while maintaining control and auditing their use. Sales teams aren’t, therefore, requesting a last-minute asset ahead of their customer presentation that morning. Associated colleagues and partners such as design agencies and freelancers can access assets without requiring complex security logins and clearances. Nor will you have to attempt to circumnavigate any IT barriers in your organisation in order to work at your most productive.
Integrate to collaborate
There’s no getting away from it – the modern way of working means using multiple tools, platforms and operating systems. From Adobe to Microsoft, Workfront to Hootsuite, we now have to share files across a whole ecosystem of platforms and devices. Some organisations are agnostic in their usage; others adopt specific software and hardware. How do you control your assets when they are being used in varying digital environments? It’s, therefore, important that your marketing ecosystem can integrate cleanly with a central hub for all your digital assets, with minimal or zero IT support.
Digital asset management (DAM) software like Canto solves these challenges. It can be the highway between all of your assets and your organisational platforms and tools. Think of it as a central nervous system, providing your business with fast and secure access to materials and keeping everyone on the same page with access and actions.