Brand Control With MAM
Learn how to keep your brand fully protected while allowing your team at the local level
to make changes and customizations to marketing materials that suit their individual needs.
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Keep Control of Your Brand:
How your sales channels can customize collateral themselves without compromising your corporate brand.
The larger and more widely dispersed your local-level sales and marketing organization is, the higher the potential for local staff to create or modify marketing materials themselves – without carefully adhering to your company’s brand standards.
MAM (“Marketing Asset Management”) solves this by allowing you to fully protect your brand while allowing staff at the local level to easily customize materials for their customers.
Using Technology To Automate Brand Compliance
Brand consistency is critical to building and maintaining customer loyalty and trust. But if you market and sell through a distributed organization, you may find it difficult to maintain brand consistency. As in many organizations, your distributed sales and marketing staff may be taking matters into their own hands, creating their own marketing collateral, promotional pieces and ads to meet their immediate sales needs. This leaves all kinds of opportunity for your corporate brand to be misapplied, creating myriad interpretations of your brand. Logo colors can shift; tag lines can change, fonts can be substituted, wrong colors may be chosen, incorrect verbiage may be used — the list goes on. This lack of consistency undermines all the hard work you’ve done at the corporate level to connect with customers and cultivate their trust with a uniform brand experience.
We can represent the brand consistency challenge with a formula.
Brand Consistency Challenge Formula:
Brand Challenge Quotient = H / ( A x Bx C )
The lower the quotient, the higher the challenge
H = The number of internal staff hours available to ensure brand consistency
(i.e., personally overseeing the creation and distribution of all marketing assets).
A = Number of sales distribution points in your organization
(reps, channel partners, distributors, retail outlets, franchisees, etc., all with a potential need to customize collateral for their local target markets)
B = Number of marketing assets in your marketing program
(brochures, flyers, ads, direct mail, point of purchase, etc.)
C = Obsolescence rate of marketing assets
(how often new assets must be produced to support evolving offerings)
In other words, the larger and more distributed your organization, the more marketing assets you have,
and the more often assets change, the more likely your brand can and will be misapplied. By the same
token, the lower the number of spare staff hours you have, the more challenging it is to ensure brand
consistency. So, the lower the resulting quotient in this equation, the more likely your brand will
You can mitigate this by insisting that only your internal team can produce marketing assets — but you’ll be limited by the number of staff hours you can make available for this task. The fewer staff you have, and the more busy they are with other tasks, the less time they will have to keep control of asset production and fulfillment — and the more likely your outside staff in the field will resort to creating their own assets and misrepresenting the brand.
What we need then is a technology that automates the production and fulfillment of marketing assets,
enabling your local-level sales and marketing staff to get the assets they need quickly and at the same
time preventing misapplication of the brand.
This technology exists. It’s called Marketing Asset Management, or MAM for short.
MAM automates asset production with full brand control
MAM is the generic industry term for a system that protects corporate brand elements while allowing
your distributed staff, or “users,” to customize marketing assets themselves, with no intervention from
your internal marketing team required.
Here’s how it works. Your MAM provider will help you convert your marketing assets into templates.
The templates contain both variable and locked fields. Corporate branding stays in the locked fields.
Variable fields allow your users to insert whatever information is relevant for their sales efforts.
Some examples of variable fields:
• Contact information
• Specific products, including descriptions and photos
• Pricing and discounts
• Campaign messaging
The beauty of the MAM system is that you have full control over just how variable each variable field
is. For instance, while the field for contact information may be left completely free form, you can restrict the choices of products, descriptions, and photos; pricing and discounts, canned messages, graphics, and more using pull-down menus or check boxes, presenting only the choices you allow. For instance, you might only allow discounts from 5% to 20%. You might provide a choice of four different campaign variations, such as “Winter,” “Spring,” “Summer” and “Fall.” You could provide a choice of five approved graphic backgrounds for post card designs. And so on.
Meanwhile, essential brand elements like logos, tag lines, font choices and common graphic elements
can be locked so users can’t alter them. Or, you can provide certain amounts of access based on the
user’s role in the organization with the rule-based permission setting built into the MAM system.
Variable elements like products, photos, descriptions, graphics, etc. are all stored in a digital asset
library as part of the MAM system, available for use in templates according to rules you set.
As your offerings evolve, it is relatively easy to update templates and replace assets in the digital
library to ensure users have access to the very latest elements.
Once the templates are created, they are stored in an online portal that users can access with any
common web browser. Users are free to log in at any time, select the templates they want, customize the
variable fields to meet their sales needs, and order just the quantity they want on demand for delivery as either PDFs or printed pieces. The system then provides PDF downloads or sends the order to a printer for production and delivery to users.
The online portal is self-serve. Users do all of the customization and ordering themselves. Your internal team members no longer need to be involved, because the MAM system fully automates the production of brand-compliant marketing assets.
With a MAM system, the Brand Consistency Challenge Formula becomes irrelevant because internal
staff hours are no longer required to ensure brand consistency. MAM does this for you automatically.
No matter how many sales distribution points there are, no matter how many marketing assets there are
and no matter how often assets must be revised, the MAM system can still fully protect your brand for
you while allowing users to fulfill their own asset requests immediately. The number of available internal staff hours is no longer a gating factor.
The Solution For Many Industries
Companies in a wide variety of industries meet the criteria in the Brand Consistency Challenge
Formula for benefiting from automated brand control. Here are some:
• Restaurant chains
• Retail chains
• Manufacturers selling through dealer/distributor networks
• Pharmaceutical companies
• Healthcare organizations
• Insurance providers
• Real estate groups
• Financial institutions and broker/dealer networks
• Membership organizations with multiple chapters
• Educational institutions
It Goes by Many Names
Have you heard of Marketing Asset Management (MAM) before? If you haven’t, you’re in good company.
The industry is still relatively new, having emerged in recent years to meet the burgeoning need for
brand control in this age of increasingly complex multichannel marketing. And it goes by many names at
this stage. You may see it alternatively described as:
• Brand Asset Management
• Digital Asset Management
• Marketing Supply Chain Management
• Marketing Resource Management
Or just, “Technology for automating the customization, production and delivery of branded marketing
assets for _______ [insert industry here].”
However, the term that has become the industry standard for this type of automation is
Marketing Asset Management. As the industry grows toward maturity, you’ll hear more and more
about this enabling technology under this name.
Is MAM for You?
If your organization scores a low quotient in the Brand Consistency Challenge Formula, maybe MAM
is just what you need to help you automate your brand control and marketing asset fulfillment. As a
provider of MAM, ZUZA is well qualified to assist you. ZUZA’s all-in-one solution puts the online portal, printing, mailing services and fulfillment under one roof for a seamless solution. If you are interested in learning more about Marketing Asset Management in general and the ZUZA offering in particular, we would be happy to talk with you. Please contact us at 800.350.9411 and ask to speak with a ZUZA MAM advisor.