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  • 1. Whitepaper What is Marketing Asset Management? Many organizations rely on completely manual or semi-manual processes to organize and locate marketing assets, thereby limiting the ability to respond quickly and appropriately to sales opportunities. Marketing Asset Management (MAM) is the process by which the lifecycle and content of marketing assets are managed. This whitepaper discusses why MAM is becoming a priority for most businesses and the potential impact of MAM mismanagement.
  • 2. Contents What is Marketing Asset Management? ...................................................................................................... 1 MAM Mismanagement - Revenue and Cost Impacts ................................................................................... 1 The Lifecycle of a Marketing Asset ............................................................................................................... 2 The Power of a MAM Solution ...................................................................................................................... 3 Potential MAM Solutions .............................................................................................................................. 5 Shared Drives ............................................................................................................................................ 5 Electronic Document Management Solutions .......................................................................................... 6 Web Content Management Systems ........................................................................................................ 7 Digital Asset Management Systems .......................................................................................................... 7 Marketing Resource Management ........................................................................................................... 8 Hybrid/Collaborative Solutions ................................................................................................................. 8 Conclusion ..................................................................................................................................................... 9 A Call to Action .............................................................................................................................................. 9 About RDA ................................................................................................................................................... 10
  • 3. Page |1 What is Marketing Asset Management? Businesses use marketing collateral to create corporate identity and to generate demand for their products and services. Marketing collateral may utilize many types of media – from rich multimedia (video, audio, images and photographs) to printed materials. It may: Be created and delivered not only by people within a business but also service providers retained by the business (publishers, distributors, advertising agencies, etc.) Use a variety of communication conduits (from websites, computer-based presentations and email to brochures, scripts and white papers) Be utilized in different scenarios (exhibitions, sales presentations, telemarketing) Like any product, marketing collateral typically has a lifecycle during which it requires resources and investments to create, maintain, deliver and retire. For the purposes of this white paper, any marketing collateral that has a lifecycle is a “marketing asset”. Marketing Asset Management (MAM) is the process by which the lifecycle and content of marketing assets are managed. This whitepaper discusses why MAM is becoming a priority for most businesses and the potential impact of MAM mismanagement. It also discusses options that businesses have for the implementation of solutions to manage their marketing assets. MAM Mismanagement - Revenue and Cost Impacts Many organizations rely on completely manual or semi-manual processes to organize and locate marketing assets, thereby limiting the ability to respond quickly and appropriately to sales opportunities. This in turn can have a ripple effect into lost revenues, lengthier sales cycles and operational costs. For example: Hours may be spent unproductively by sales and marketing professionals, tracking down the current version of marketing assets each time they are needed or “reinventing the wheel” due to their inability to find the right marketing asset. Inconsistent and possibly inaccurate or outdated information being communicated to prospective clients as multiple versions of the same marketing asset exist in circulation. Lack of consistent formatting, branding and professionalism, conveying the wrong image for the organization. Prospective customers may view the lack of consistency as a reflection upon the organization’s ability to deliver quality products or services. New or inexperienced sales professionals having difficulty understanding how to acquire marketing assets, resulting in excessive supervision, training effort and lack of productivity. Materials not complying with current legal, financial or regulatory issues, which could result in anything from reprint costs to action by authorities. Inconsistent use of marketing assets makes it difficult to measure the effectiveness of messaging. If mistakes are repeated they will lead to lost sales opportunities. Most significantly, time spent locating, recreating and checking marketing assets detracts from time that could be better spent elsewhere, for example creating content that is targeted to particular market segment, vertical or audience.
  • 4. Page |2 The Lifecycle of a Marketing Asset Marketing assets have a definitive lifecycle – they are planned, created, updated and must be eventually retired. Between creation and retirement, these assets must be disseminated and maintained. The lifecycle of a marketing asset incurs costs to the organization that include personnel, storage media, production, print, and potentially outside service providers. The lifecycle associated with marketing assets consists of five (5) basic stages: Planning Creation Disemination Maintenance Retirement Planning - Involves a governance process that includes answering questions related to the need and business justification around an asset: Do we need a new version? What format will it take? Do we have existing material that may be modified or repurposed? Who owns the marketing asset? Does the asset have a life span? etc. The answer to these types of governance questions provides the high-level information required to initiate the creation process. The same questions may be asked when a marketing asset requires a periodic update. Creation - Involves the design and assembly of the now approved marketing asset. Creation may involve the participation of external organization such as advertising or creative agencies and printers. During this phase one or more revisions are typically created and circulated for review and approval. This phase also includes conversion of the marketing asset into the desired distribution media (i.e. print, web etc). At the end of the Creation phase, the digital source of the marketing asset is placed in a repository. Dissemination - Ensures users are aware of the marketing asset’s existence as well as making it easy to find and use. It is also essential that users are made aware of key lifecycle events – updates and retirement or replacement – on a timely basis so that they only use the most current version. An effective dissemination process will ensure marketing asset reuse as well as ensuring all users are using the intended version. Maintenance - Is a multi-faceted phase that encapsulates most of the remaining lifetime of the asset including ensuring the “gold source” is stored in a secure location where changes can be managed. Most importantly, trigger events that may require review and potential modification or enhancement of the marketing asset are monitored. Trigger events may include price changes, corporate factual updates and regulatory issues. Of critical importance is that when a trigger event occurs, all marketing assets affected by the change can be identified, along with the impact of the change. The incremental update should occur in an automated fashion along with identifying and retiring the now outdated version. Retirement - A marketing asset also has a finite lifetime, like any physical asset. The lifetime associated with an individual asset will vary based on the nature of the content, as well as the nature of the asset
  • 5. Page |3 itself. For example, a product price list may only be valid for a quarter of the current year, while a corporate logo exists for decades. Thus rules must be defined to determine when a marketing asset should be retired and an authorization process for retirement to be initiated. Retired assets may be archived in a secure repository or destroyed, depending on many factors including corporate policies and regulatory requirements. The Power of a MAM Solution Demands on marketing groups are increasing: to do more with less, to reduce the development time and cost for marketing assets and to be increasingly agile and responsive to business and economic events. In this business environment, managing the lifecycle of marketing assets either manually or with ad-hoc, and stovepipe technical solutions is costly and inefficient, and at worst results in lost revenue dollars. A comprehensive yet flexible solution, such as that provided by a Marketing Asset Management System (MAMS) will enable sales and marketing professionals to be utilized in the most effective and efficient way possible. An effective MAMS provides a measurable, repeatable process that is under the direct control of the marketing department – but at the same time empowers the producers and consumers of the marketing assets. A MAMS enables organizations to be nimble and proactive in their creation and delivery of marketing assets, while providing lifecycle support and management – all with greatly reduced costs. A MAMS will reduce the time, effort and cost required to navigate through the marketing asset management lifecycle by providing key capabilities including electronic workflow, version control, business rules and security. A MAMS should have certain key capabilities to address all phases of the marketing asset lifecycle: Capability Functionality Tool Independence A MAMS should not enforce which tools are used to create, assemble and maintain distinct types of a marketing asset. In many cases a marketing asset will be comprised of multiple components each employing a different format (e.g. printed material to accompany a video product announcement). The MAMS should be tool independent, file and format agnostic and should manage all forms of material, from word processing and PDF files to full- motion videos, in a consistent and comprehensive manner. Integral Reporting Reports on the age/last access times of materials, versions, and other Capabilities characteristics can aide in not only the management of storage space, but in the timely removal of materials which provides the basis of lifecycle management. Storage A central repository of assets via a controlled, managed approval process only exposes the latest official version for dissemination – all within an appropriate security framework. Security Provide the ability to apply levels of privileges across all materials and processes – including granular control around creating, editing or accessing older versions. Search Provide a centralized and easy to use search mechanism (intuitive search parameters and meta-data) to obtain the latest version of a required asset, as trying to fine the latest version of a marketing asset is probably the most time consuming, wasteful and frustrating aspect of a user’s day. Collaboration Allow multiple people to access and edit simultaneously the materials
  • 6. Page |4 associated with the asset along with appropriate safeguards to prevent loss/inadvertent replacement. Geographic Context The MAMS should be accessible wherever a user needs it, whether in the office in the USA to a hotel room in Europe. A complete system needs to provide the tools to not only share a completed asset but provide a mechanism to engage in the development process, regardless of a person’s location. Workflow A MAMS must provide a definitive, automated workflow process that provides for the initiation, task assignment, review and approval for all activities and to provide full accountability and transparency for all processes. Alerts The ability to subscribe to one or more areas of interest and to automatically receive notification of new and/or changed materials. Version/Change Version control of all assets throughout their lifecycle. By maintaining not Control only the current version but an appropriate number of previous versions, a MAMS not only creates an in-place archive mechanism but also promotes the ability to revisit and reuse information. Audit Trails The actions taken against an asset including revisions and who made changes are an important part of that asset’s history as well as notes related to the original purpose/justification around initial creation. Platform A MAMS should be built on standard, commonly available and maintainable technology platforms that do not require extensive modification to provide variations in the way that marketing assets go through their lifecycle. Avoiding proprietary solutions will minimize cost of ownership and risk. One key way to promote a low cost of ownership is for the MAMS to be managed and controlled by the marketing organization, not by IT. A successful system while technically sophisticated must be easy-to-use and not require specialized technical skills or specialized training. A MAMS consolidates disparate data types and data sources into a single, unified system for managing these assets. In turn the management system, while acting as an electronic repository, supports and enforces best practices for electronic asset management and maintenance. By replacing the current ad- hoc solutions, organizations protect against data loss and data misuse.
  • 7. Page |5 Potential MAM Solutions Like most decisions related to the implementation of a data management solution, there are multiple choices available to an organization. Shared Electronic Web Content Digital Asset Marketing Hybrid / Drives Document Management Management Resource Collaborative Management Systems Systems Management Solutions Systems The selection of the implementation is often an exercise in compromise and the mapping of desired business functions against available resources including personnel and budget. This section is intended as an overview of potential solutions for implementation of a MAM solution, and should not be considered an all encompassing list or review of any particular system. Shared Drives Ironically the most common “solution” for managing marketing assets is the least effective, riskiest and most costly. Marketing assets (includes items such as word processing files, PDF, PowerPoint presentations, JPG images, digitized video, etc.) are often maintained on shared network drives or even on protected internet web sites. Printed materials, if not produced on-demand, may be stored off site or at production sites or fulfillment houses. This type of solution is typically implemented for cost reasons (i.e. the network devices are already owned), or through a decision to leave the status quo. Solutions such as this are problematic for multiple reasons including: No Central Location/Management - Files are managed in multiple places with different systems, different access rules and even different storage formats. Thus resources are often stored in information silos that are poorly managed, not shared and not maintained. Increased costs include not only storage media and system maintenance, but software licensing, duplication, maintenance and user training. Lack of Search - No inherent ability to search without employing additional tools or technologies. While many modern operating system provide a rudimentary search capability, it is primitive when compare to featured search implementations. Lack of Version Control and Storage limitations - Shared drives typically become an unmanaged dumping ground for files of all types and become littered with multiple versions of the same material with little to no mechanism to identify current/accurate renditions. In addition, there is little or no taxonomy applied to the location under which files are stored. Instead, users resort to file folders and/or long descriptive file names to attempt to provide structure and metadata for the contained materials. Process and Access Bottleneck - Basic actions, including the ability to share or permit access to the marketing materials often requires a support ticket or other IT involvement as the required functions are often restricted or secured per having file assets located on corporate shared drives. Derivatives of this solution include the utilization of secure web sites and FTP sites as electronic repositories. While this may alleviate certain issue such as off-hours and remote access to electronic assets, these solutions inherently contain an almost identical list of problems.
  • 8. Page |6 Electronic Document Management Solutions As organizational needs grow both in complexity and number of assets that require management, a logical progression is the implementation of an Electronic Document Management Solution (EDMS). Typically, an EDMS consists of a group of related technologies that are integrated to provide a comprehensive solution for the creation, capture, indexing, storage, retrieval and disposition of information assets. Major components of an EDMS include imaging, document management, forms processing, electronic forms, reporting and workflow; many are capable of managing still images, audio and even video files. A full featured EDMS provides many of the functions required to implement a complete MAM solution. In many cases, producers of EDMS software are adding specific MAM modules to enhance, tune or augment their current offerings. The major component technologies included within an EDMS solution include: Capability Functionality Imaging/Scanning Captured images are often stored in PDF or TIFF formats with textual renditions being indexed for search and retrieval purposes. Most scanning operations are optimized for standard office materials (8.5 x 11, B&W), not the high quality materials typically employed by marketing departments in their collateral production. This is not meant to imply that it is not possible to implement a compatible solution, just that the environment for a MAM solution would not be an out-of-the-box solution. Document Provides the basis for the management of storage repositories utilized by the Management EDMS system. The storage/retrieval technologies provide secure locations used to store electronic objects and well as search/metadata mechanism to act as a location mechanism for retrieval. In addition, these document management components of the system typically provide: security version control change/audit logs search capabilities change/creation alerts storage management Records Management Provides the electronic filing implementation required to manage electronic records (as opposed to documents) including archival and disposition. Records management solutions are often employed by highly-regulated industries (e.g. pharmaceuticals, insurance and financial) and are often large, corporate-wide installations. Typical MAM implementations would not require this type of technology, although some of the materials created and managed by a MAM solution may need to be submitted to the corporate RM system. Electronic Workflow Provides the electronic framework for the orderly, rule-based processing of information. This technology is often applied to approval/submission processes, but may be adapted to any business process. The intent of an EDMS is to provide secure access to all authorized users to information required to effectively complete their tasks, regardless of physical location - an important criteria for a MAM system. In addition, recent implementations include the concepts of virtual documents in which portions
  • 9. Page |7 of documents in differing formats may be assembled into a final product by combining the disparate files. One area of weakness in most EDMS implementations is the availability of a robust collaboration capability. While several vendors have offered modules to attempt to fill this shortfall, the basic nature of the EDMS often does not lend itself to a collaborative environment. Cost of ownership/acquisition can be relatively high and systems are often proprietary in nature. Notwithstanding this issue, however, EDMS systems, with proper implementation and configuration can be a strong contender for the basis of a MAM solution. Web Content Management Systems Web Content Management Systems (WCMS) are typically concerned with the web publishing/portal requirements of the organization. Web content management systems are typically involved with the delivery of dynamic content to the public and or trading partners, and in some cases produce highly- personalized content. WCM solutions assist in the creation, management, and publishing processes associated with the delivery of this diverse content. These solutions are typically targeted at the production of HTML and XML content for web delivery. Features of a WCM typically include: integrated support for desktop and third-party HTML and XML editors template creation tools multi-lingual development support workflow and lifecycle management document conversion facilities Because these systems are highly tuned for the creation, control and management of content to be delivered via the web, they may not be efficient at managing materials for other media. In addition, they are often highly coupled to the design and development/authoring process and may not be tool independent or capable of managing all file types in a transparent manner. Like EDMS, WCMS are not typically strong collaborative environments. Digital Asset Management Systems Efficiently managing graphics files, photographs, streaming audio and video, and other media-intensive assets requires different capabilities than managing standard office documents. Designed specifically for the management of digital media, Digital Asset Management Systems (DAMS) implement specialized methods for the storing, organizing, distributing and tracking digital media. Traditionally, DAMS have targeted industries which are heavily invested in digital media versus print/text materials stored online. Industries such as news, media, publishing and other graphics/media intensive groups have numerous commercial choices available. These solutions, however, are typically tuned for their content and include features such as: digital media preview -- thumb nails, short clips, previews picture sorters and storyboarding embedded editors -- still and full motion metadata extraction from standard file formats such as JPG and TIF image format transformation pre-press capabilities
  • 10. Page |8 Marketing Resource Management Marketing Resource Management (MRM) represents a set of capabilities aligned with improving a company’s ability to effectively and efficiently leverage both internal and external marketing resources. An MRM solution typically has the following set of critical attribute areas: Strategic Planning Marketing calendars, budgeting, program reviews Production Cycle Management Team setting, program deadline escalation, integration with external creative agencies Knowledge Management Content management, search and version control, knowledge repository Marketing Fulfillment On-demand printing, collateral portal, online procurement of collateral Marketing Performance Management Competitive analysis, dashboards with KPI measures, data mining These critical attribute areas provide the foundation for a company to strategically plan, set goals, budget, as well as manage the creative process around their marketing needs. Hybrid/Collaborative Solutions Web-based collaborative platforms are quickly becoming the preferred mechanism for workers to coordinate, communicate, and collaborate with each other and with external parties. Collaborative tools provide a dynamic and flexible environment for bringing people, marketing assets and process together in pursuit of a common goal or product. Combining the technologies associated with EDMS, WCMS, and collaborative platforms provides a team with the necessary tools to develop product while capturing, storing and controlling the content that is produced during the collaborative process. A single solution integrating these technologies provides a marketing team with the ability to plan, develop strategies, make decisions, and produce the required product quickly. A typical collaborative solution includes: Capability Functionality Information Exchange Real-time information exchange through various mechanisms including discussion lists, blogs and shared libraries. Collaboration and Sharing of and collaboration on key content both within the team and with Content Sharing external parties. Project Management Various tools to assist with the timely production of the required materials Tools including shared calendars, alerts, and projects task lists. Virtual Teams Creation of virtual team within the department and across multiple departments and even organizations. EDMS Integration Full integration with EDMS features including version control, access control and archive storage. Security Ability to apply security not only around the individual repositories or files, but throughout the entire collaborative environment. One of the strongest providers of collaborative systems today is the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) platform. Originally introduced as a portal solution, the latest release of the MOSS system
  • 11. Page |9 provides a complete platform for the creation of MAM solutions. In particular, the MOSS platform provides these key asset lifecycle management capabilities: Collaboration and Project Management Robust web-based platform to facilitate collaboration across all members of the team -- from inception to retirement. Collaborative and content sharing capabilities include features such as shared libraries, shared meeting/document workspaces, calendars, alerts, discussion boards, Wiki's, blogs. Versioning and Security Complete document management capabilities including version control, full security, and archiving. Advanced Authoring and Creation Capabilities Integration with standard office tools including word processors and presentation creation tools. Image format transformation and metadata extraction from standard file formats such as JPG and TIF. Content Management The ability to incorporate content management, content publishing, records management and even business intelligence technologies. Search Comprehensive search capabilities including content and metadata (tags). Business Process Automation Workflow capabilities to manage asset approval processes. It should be noted that while the MOSS platform provides a complete basis for a MAM solution, it is just that - a platform. Creation of the complete MAM implementation requires development and customization, although both of which are easily accomplished within this environment. Conclusion With marketing budgets under increasing pressure to show tangible results and justification of expenditure becoming a necessity, it is essential that marketing departments manage organizational marketing assets and their lifecycle as efficiently and effectively as possible. Traditional methods of managing marketing assets are costly, risky, and often require marketing personnel to spend time performing clerical activities at the cost of more productive, value added activities. Furthermore the effects of poor marketing asset management often result in wasted time on the part of other personnel, particularly sales people, looking for current versions of information that should be readily accessible. Marketing Asset Management Systems have a significant impact on all aspects of the lifecycle of marketing assets – planning, creation, dissemination, maintenance and retirement. MAMS enhance the productivity of anyone that touches any aspect of the lifecycle or uses a marketing asset. Most importantly MAMS can have a positive impact on an organization’s ability to present itself consistently to its customers and markets – something that can have a big effect on revenues if its competitors can’t do the same. A Call to Action RDA's Collateral Connection Solution RDA's Collateral Connection solution is a comprehensive system, developed and based upon the Microsoft SharePoint platform, for creating and managing sales and marketing assets and developing targeted messages and campaigns for specific scenarios and clients. It is appropriate for any business that relies on documents, presentations, and other types of collateral to support its sales and marketing efforts.
  • 12. P a g e | 10 Benefits of the Solution RDA's Collateral Connection solution enables account executives and other users to benefit from accurate, relevant messaging that is consistent in its format, branding and professionalism. Users are able to quickly create highly targeted sales packages for any number of clients and sales opportunities using a simple tool. RDA's Collateral Connection solution is custom tailored to meet an organization's specific needs. Collateral Connection is more flexible than a generic document management solution that might work for legal or HR, but is not designed for the rapid fire world of sales and marketing. Developed using Microsoft SharePoint, Collateral Connection leverages technology investments already made by many companies. RDA's Collateral Connection solution includes built-in workflow features for the development of content. The solution also includes permissions-based security features that enable system owners to control access and edit rights. Content creators are able to spend more time focusing on developing effective, creative messages. Collateral Connection also features a built-in “Accuracy Engine” that ensures that content is always up to date with the latest approved verbiage or statistics. Additional information about RDA's Collateral Connection solution is available here: Collateral Connection main page Contact an RDA account executive to learn more about Collateral Connection or to set up a free, onsite demo of the product for your decision team: Visit our Contact Us page on RDA's website, or Email sales@rdacorp.com, or Call us at 1 888 441-1278. About RDA RDA is a world-class development organization that has helped hundreds of companies leverage their IT investments to achieve tremendous business benefits. Our solutions include marketing performance management, business intelligence, collaboration and workflow, enterprise application integration, and custom solution development. Our passion is helping our customers increase efficiencies and generate growth by building systems that enable them to meet their potential. RDA Corporation | 1 888 441-1278 | www.rdacorp.com Atlanta Baltimore Charlotte Philadelphia Seattle Washington, D.C.