Marketers are becoming increasingly responsible for buying marketing related technology and services for managing digital files. Here at Brandworkz, we are seeing a growing trend for marketers to implement a digital asset management platform, sometimes also called an online brand management portal.
In line with this trend, marketing and brand teams in global companies are using their digital asset management platforms widely and frequently, and probably take their working resources pretty much for granted.
But we believe you can deliver much more value to your business from your digital asset management platform if everyone in the organisation makes use of it, not just your marketing teams.
It’s true that people working in other departments don’t always see themselves as directly responsible for the brand. And yet, if your HR team, sales people and IT department are all able to get hold of the current, approved and brand compliant digital assets they need, the outcome is hugely positive in terms of brand consistency, brand experience, and ultimately your business.
Here are five ways in which you can help make that happen…
1. Integrate with the corporate intranet
Everyone in a business uses the corporate intranet in one way or another for a whole variety of resources and information, so the ideal is to have your brand or digital asset management platform accessible through a link on the company intranet.
Through a technology called Single Sign-On (SSO), employees are logged in automatically when clicking the link so they don’t even realise they have gone to a different site. In our software we typically achieve this with the increasingly popular SSO technology SAML.
Once users discover they can access the brand management platform so easily, they’ll feel encouraged to use it. That way everyone in the business can be motivated to become a brand advocate.
2. Keep the brand in view
We would always advocate creating a digital asset management platform that looks on-brand and that reinforces how everyone should communicate, both visually and verbally at first glance. Why?
Because your employees are more likely to feel stimulated as brand evangelists to carry the right messages consistently through whatever channel of the business they operate in if they are immersed in the brand at the start of each day.
If everybody in the company is pulling in the same direction when it comes to managing digital files, your company is much more likely to deliver the brand promise and become more successful.
3. Establish a brand community forum or blog
Marketing and branding personnel don’t have the exclusive on ideas about how to make the business stronger. Innovative suggestions can spring from anywhere in the company.
That’s why it can be particularly productive to provide an interactive space in which employees can communicate with one another, managing digital files, sharing ideas and knowledge and feeding back reactions to brand issues.
With a community manager acting as official moderator, responsible for the efficient operation and supervision of the debate using an Approval Workflow tool, such a forum can function as a fertile seedbed for the growth and nurture of new thinking and ideas.
4. Provide a central brand platform
A digital asset management platform’s key function is to give access to brand assets such as logos, templates, images and videos. So wider accessibility to all departments across the business will ensure that, not only are brand assets available to a broader user base but the brand guidelines that go with them are stressed prominently too.
This supports the correct use of assets and promotes brand consistency across the wider organisation. If you don’t provide this, then many people will just make it up as they go along. They will dilute your brand message and and deliver a patchy brand experience in the process.
5. Put brand training online
You know how it is – new members of staff get basic training in health and safety and company practice and that is pretty much that, apart from being introduced to the coffee machine.
For the most part the lack of wider training is down to shortage of time.
However, your digital asset management platform can also be used as an online brand training centre where new employees learn about how the brand should properly be represented – something that everybody in your organisation should understand.
Users are encouraged to access the centre from their own desks – or even remotely in their own time.
Existing staff can be kept up to date too. After all, brand guidelines and messaging are not set in stone. They evolve. But the business which provides easily accessible brand training online can ensure that employees are kept constantly up-to-date with brand information – safe in the knowledge that everyone in the business can be relied on to communicate the right messages consistently.
Businesses add value by putting brand management centre stage. But there is one point that I would stress again here: the most important factor in everything I’ve outlined above is ease of use.
If managing digital files is simple for employees, they will quickly come to see brand management as a central element of the business and become accustomed to regularly accessing the resources provided.
And that’s a win all round – greater employee engagement with brand messaging and values, stronger awareness of the brand management team’s role and, ultimately, a strengthened brand and business in the marketplace.