Here comes the bad news. Most businesses are so caught up with making payroll and managing sales that by the time a marketing team steps into the picture, the necessary tasks of accessing content and determining assets is a pure nightmare.
But here’s the good news: it doesn’t have to be this way! With the creation of a smooth-running asset management system, you can rest assured that when either an internal marketer or an agency comes in to help you, everything is headache-free, easily-accessible and organized.
Why Do I Need to Track Assets?
Defining and tracking your marketing’s assets gives you the ability to:
• See which marketing produces with the business’s investment (which LOBs, products and geographies are getting their fair share of investment).
• Observe spending patterns over time. For example, are we investing more or less in one type of asset versus another over time?
• Evaluate the efficiency with which the marketing produces its assets. Such as: Are unit costs rising or declining over time? Are infrastructure asset costs increasing or declining over time?
What Assets Should I Be Tracking?
This is a great question! Since most marketers don’t have a good grip on this, don’t feel bad if you’re a little lost, too.
In the book Everything They’ve Told You About Marketing is Wrong by Ron Shevlin, he explains the different types of assets a marketing department has (and often forgets to utilize).
In a process that he calls CYA (Count Your Assets), Shevlin groups marketing assets into three categories: Sales, Information and Infrastructure. The following are examples of each:
• Sales assets are banner ads, high resolution images and logos, direct mail pieces, merchandising materials and sales brochures. They touch your end customer and/or the salesperson who’s making a sale. Without having these things organized and easily accessible (by those you give access to) it’s going to be difficult for your team to consistently put out great case studies or web content.
• Information assets are market studies, media tests and account plans. They’re information-based assets that directly touch end customers, but impact marketing decisions made throughout the firm. It’s imperative to track these assets to determine the influence marketing has on how the department invests its marketing dollars.
• Infrastructure assets don’t directly touch end customers or even internal agents; they’re the assets that let the marketing produce the above assets: Information and Sales. Examples of these include agency hours managed, research vendors managed, and media suppliers managed.
For each of the assets that you define, you should be tracking the money and time spent producing those assets, as well as the business unit, product and geographic market they’re intended to support.
Why Should I Use a Centralized Content Library?
Here are some of the reasons why your life will be made much easier using a centralized library:
• Save time. Most people waste a good portion of their time just looking for what they need. Statistically, 36% of employees’ time is wasted in contacting people to find specific information. If employees can organize their things wisely with a single, centralized location, they can find what they need easily and quickly.
• Waste prevention. Up to 70% of businesses try to recreate something that they have already made, mostly because they completely forgot that the content already existed!
• Promote more sales. Your sales teams can take advantage of the content (such as white papers, presentations, and infographics) and share it with new customer leads.
• Create employee advocacy. A growing number of companies are incorporating employees into social media activities to empower them in sharing company messages while serving as brand ambassadors. With a centralized content location, employees can conveniently tap into content and share it, without wasting time finding things to post.
• Support training for new employees. In most cases, newbies need to learn about your products and the new industry they’re working in. You can lighten their load with a required reading section through your content library which may include items like popular white papers, eBooks, analyst reports and essential blog posts.
• Hassle-free assigning. Assign permissions as well as roles for who is able to create content, who is able to add it to the content library, and who is able to share the contents from the platform.
• Provides competitive edge. You can accelerate production and creativity cycles for smoother workflow, seamless asset approval processes and quicker turnaround.
If you have a small business, you can actually create a content library easily through shared-disk space such as Google Drive, Dropbox or Box.
On the other hand, if you’re with a bigger company, you may choose to find a content platform which will allow you to create an efficient content library.
What Should be Eliminated in Tracking?
• Ghost assets. A ghost asset is property that is lost, stolen, or unusable, but is still listed as an active fixed asset in the system. Asset Management Resources repeatedly found that 65 percent of fixed asset data is incomplete, inaccurate, or altogether missing, while 10 percent to 30 percent of fixed assets are no longer owned.
• Outdated or overly-used assets. Keep it fresh! As much as businesses like to use and reuse stuff (and I’m not judging!) be careful of using content in particular that has been used too much or that needs a makeover.