Using Marketing Asset Management to Keep the Brand in Line

Marketing Asset Management (MAM) is an emerging category of Digital Asset Management (DAM) technology that has been developed exclusively for the marketing function. With a host of digital asset technology available, many generic DAM products lack workflow capabilities, dynamic collateral development, and the user security required for productive marketing asset management.

Every organization needs centralized access to brand assets and marketing materials. MAM helps centralize, create and manage marketing assets. In 2009, brand consistency and return on marketing investment were bumped to the number two and three pressures behind MAM investments.

As organizations attempted to operate as efficiently and effectively as possible under volatile market conditions and often with fewer resources, technology and process best practices separate the Best-in-Class from the Laggards.

Business Context

According to recent research from Aberdeen, managing marketing compliance and brand consistency across business units and geographies is a top priority in 2010. Many organizations are stifling efficiency and wasting money on unproductive, decentralized MAM processes. In the May 2009 study, “The Marketers’ Guide to Justifying Investments in Digital Asset Management,” 66 percent of respondents t invested in DAM technology for marketing cited brand compliance and decentralization were the top challenges they tried to mitigate with MAM investments.

The research revealed that Best-in-Class organizations were twice as likely than all other companies to leverage MAM software (versus generic DAM software used by marketing) to achieve superior performance in return on marketing investments and operational productivity. An Aberdeen Group benchmark report, scheduled for publication in this month, will isolate the practices from Best-in-Class organizations to identify how Best-in-Class companies manage marketing compliance and brand consistency and identify the measurable return from MAM technologies.

From the end user’s perspective, the key benefits of adopting MAM technologies are the opportunity to reduce the time and cost of marketing content production and streamline the storage and retrieval of these assets:

  • Improve return on media assets
  • Bring new products and services to market faster
  • Streamline branding compliance
  • Manage branding by centralizing content
  • Reduce redundancy and versioning issues
  • Increase marketing and sales productivity

Aberdeen Research

The research will enable companies to benchmark the return on investment of MAM technologies and identify best practices in marketing asset management which lead to improved marketing compliance, brand consistency, and overall return on marketing investment.

Aberdeen’s hypothesis is that the predominant pressure compelling Best-in-Class companies to focus resources on MAM is geographic coverage making brand consistency difficult to manage. As such, eliminating redundant marketing activities across the company that improve content re-use will allow for greater returns on marketing investments and measurable impact on the bottom line of the organization.

In order to increase the return from marketing investments, a combination of strategic actions, processes, and new technologies are necessary to improve operational efficiency in marketing companies. Those strategic actions are:

  • Eliminate redundant marketing activities across the company
  • Centralize digital asset approval and management
  • Prioritize document usage by effectiveness, relevancy, and timeliness
  • Allow geographies and business units to customize marketing collateral while allowing corporate marketing exert control over brand consistency

Solution Snapshot

Marketing asset management solutions can be found under different solution types:

  • Digital Asset Management (DAM) provides functionality to manage, store, and retrieve structured and unstructured data. DAM is often used by marketing for digital archiving, document management, and workflow (for collateral, text, photos, rich media, video, audio and more). Many DAM solutions integrate with creative tools to support the creative process.
  • Marketing Asset Management (MAM) provides DAM functionality that is exclusively focused on marketing applications and frequently integrates with collateral customization and marketing automation technologies to provide seamless asset management through content distribution workflow.

Aberdeen’s pending research in, “Marketing Asset Management: Managing Brand Compliance in Distributed Marketing Environments,” will examine, in more depth, how top-performing organizations achieve success in managing their marketing assets to ensure brand compliance.

Peter Ostrow is research director of sales effectiveness at the Aberdeen Group. Omer Minkara is a research associate for customer management technology at Aberdeen.

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