"If we work more efficiently, we have more time for strategic and creative tasks." Yet this simple statement works only for very few marketing departments. For most, ad hoc requests and other interruptions tear marketers away from their daily work and out of their flow. Among the biggest creativity killers in marketing are too many meetings, emails, administrative tasks, and file searches. These are driven by the speed of the market as well as the increase in requirements, channels and technologies. Yet the latter in particular should not cause time wastage or be a hindrance, but a supportive and enabling means to an end.
To get to the bottom of the creativity killers in your own company, it's worth taking a deep dive into your content and asset management. And yes, this of course takes time, but it is time that marketers must take in order to begin a process which could lead to significant efficiency wins, and through this, the greater enablement and creativity of their teams.
Many organizations look to a DAM (Digital Asset Management) or a PIM (Product Information Management) system to address their content pain points. But in order to truly release your teams from the time-constraints of marketing and content admin, an integrated approach to asset and content management is an advisable best practice. Some brands who have done exactly this and have seen excellent results are BSH, vitra, and argus Media.
Here, workbooks or checklists can be helpful for analyzing your situation, working through these questions – alone or in a team.
If you have to ask colleagues first whether marketing content or asset versions are final, released, or outdated, you lose valuable time. Asset management processes should be transparent, with involved team members being in the know the status of an asset at a glance, and their access and editing rights should be crystal clear. Searching for and sharing information must also be fast. In the best case scenario, finding data, documents and media in the company database should be as easy as Googling: The search term is entered as free text in the search field and, if necessary, the query is further specified (e.g., information on the format, workflow step, etc.). The database then spits out all the relevant results. Additionally, if the content is also linked to other content in a meaningful way, then the company's semantic memory grows.
Marketers can also avoid some creativity killers when working with partners. For example, a download portal enables internal and external partners to access the documents and media they need without having to knock on the door of the marketing department. This is especially important when communicating globally with different regions.
As soon as content is no longer hidden in obscure folder structures, but can be found by anyone with the appropriate rights, the effort required for marketing is reduced. This not only facilitates day-to-day business, but also the onboarding of new employees and partners. The latter are enabled to intuitively find all files relevant to them and, if necessary, to edit them without losing information or causing confusion within the editorial process. Different versions of a document should be easily traceable and recoverable for this purpose.
Many marketers get bogged down in endless coordination loops and non-transparent work processes. This is not only time-consuming, but also a motivation dampener - many know the feeling of not being able to control the balls they are juggling. But, when teams and partners work on a project according to structured processes and with clearly defined tasks, the individual balls can be managed better. A simple example: a campaign is created in the system. There are various tasks to be performed for this campaign, and workflow steps and responsibilities for each have been assigned. The correspondence for this takes place within the system. This saves e-mails and cumbersome coordination channels, and consequently processes are sped up. In many cases, it is also beneficial to combine project and content management to further accelerate the outcome.
The creative idea is the common thread throughout all campaign, content, and formats. No matter the medium or output channel, the need for creativity is timeless and ideas must be developed for ever-changing channels and audiences. Here, the requirements of the company and the market dictate which tools are useful. The supporting content management system must be integrated with your other systems, flexibly adaptable and always future-proof. Once this technological basis has been created, nothing stands in the way of creativity.
Getting to the bottom of your marketing content inefficiencies can feel like a dauting task, but here are some useful links and tools which can help to prepare you and kick start your investigations into how and where your processes could be improved, and what tools can best support you:
censhare relaunches the brand to reflect its content leadership in the MarTech landscape.