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Module 1 - Lesson 4
Hello everyone and welcome to this lesson about managing your brand consistency with external stakeholders. As a marketing, branding, or communications professional, you are often sharing content with many different teams within your organization, and probably also outside the organization: think about your marketing agencies, photographers, distributors, resellers and maybe even the press.
If you haven't implemented a centralized tool yet, you’re probably sending these digital files through something like email, WeTransfer or potentially sending out hard drives back and forth. However, did you know that this could also be done in a much easier way? Let’s have a look at some of the most common issues that professionals struggle with when it comes to managing branded content with external partners.
Sharing branded content internally and externally from several locations:Most free solutions have limits to how many mega- or gigabytes of content you can send at one time. Most of those amounts are very small. Many email providers allow attaching 50 megabytes of content, Slack allows 1 gigabyte, WeTransfer’s free version allows 2. Most likely people in your organization are using multiple of these tools to share files depending on what they are most comfortable with and how big their files are. The obvious problem with using multiple different tools is losing filesand having to send them multiple times. Was it a WeTransfer link? Is it in an email attachment? Was it a Sharepoint link? Probably best to go through the process again and ask the sender to resend the files. Annoying for everyone involved. But what does this have to do with brand consistency?
Well, in addition to this not being the most efficient way to share content, it also increases the risk that someone accidentally ends up using the image namedmarketing campaign 1.2 final version 3 and not the approved final version which was named marketing campaign 1.2 final final version 3.1. Not having an organized way of distributing and storing your content allows old versions and duplicates of the same file to linger around which is an invitation for inconsistency. Also, stop naming your files like that.
Sharing branded content without an end date. Okay, now imagine that you shared some campaign photos of your new launch and the file title was marketing campaign 1.2 final final version 3.1. Not ideal but I bet most of us have been in this situation. When the next campaign rolls around, let’s say 4 months later, the same external partner receives a campaign image that is named something similar. Now there is a risk of using an old image from an old campaign because of inconsistent file storing and naming practices. Did you know that it’s possible to share content with someone with an end date?
Some digital asset management tools offer the possibility to make documents, images, videos and other files available for a set period of time. This means you can make sure assets are only used for as long as you want them to be used. Link will stay the same, where you can still change the files. Working with a cloud-based solution enables you to keep a file in one place, where anyone can always retrieve it, while you're still able to make changes to and update the file. This makes sure you have one single source of truth as far as your most up-to-date brand assets are concerned. If you already use an advanced tool for managing your digital assets, check with your partner if they offer this functionality. If you are not yet using a system like this, look into one.
Not knowing if all the stakeholders received or downloaded a file. Let’s say you are sending some marketing images via email to 50 different resellers of your products. The problem with emails with many attachments is that they often are automatically flagged as spam, especially by corporate email addresses, which means that the receiver may never see your email because it goes to their junk folder. This leads to miscommunications and delays when people don’t have the right material at the right time. Solve this issue by sharing files with a system that tracks downloads and opens automatically. A very practical and insightful functionality, track download enables you to see whether someone you made a file accessible to, actually managed to find it and downloaded it. This can help you make collaboration and project management all the more smooth, and saves you time.
So, there you go - these were the common issues we see happening when working with external and internal partners and branded content. I hope this video gave you some ideas for solving these struggles. And remember, if your brand is smaller at the moment and you are not yet facing problems that come with scale, start implementing solutions already that allow you to scale easily. It’s much easier to put great processes in place in advance.
Bonus content: How Segway went from scattered assets to digital harmony.
Module 1: Brand management
Module 2: Content and brand
Module 3: Managing branded assets