Put the Management of Your Marketing Collateral on Autopilot
If your company markets through a distributed sales and marketing organization serving multiple target markets, you’re likely experiencing the many challenges of managing your organization’s collateral. MAM (“Marketing Asset Management”) can solve these challenges with a simple-to-use online system that automates on-demand collateral customization, production and fulfillment, with built-in brand control. This guide shows you how.
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Put your marketing collateral management on autopilot.
MAM makes it much easier to manage your marketing collateral.
If your company markets through a distributed sales and marketing organization serving multiple target markets, you’re likely facing these challenges on a daily basis:
• A dizzying number of requests for collateral, including customized literature
• Collateral that quickly becomes obsolete and takes up costly inventory space
• Lost control of the brand as outside staff create their own marketing materials.
A technology called MAM (“Marketing Asset Management”) can solve these challenges with a simple-to-use online system that automates on-demand collateral customization, production and fulfillment, with built-in brand control and inventory management.
Are you experiencing any of these challenges?
If your marketing department is like many, your team is likely facing some or all of these challenges:
• CHALLENGE 1: TOO MANY COLLATERAL REQUESTS. Daily requests for marketing
collateral from the sales channels are keeping your team too busy for other work.
• CHALLENGE 2: CAN’T LOCALIZE COLLATERAL. It’s too hard to customize marketing
collateral for local markets.
• CHALLENGE 3: BRAND CONTROL. Sales staff in the channels are creating their own collateral and compromising your corporate brand.
• CHALLENGE 4: OBSOLETE COLLATERAL. Print collateral gets obsolete too quickly and has to be thrown away.
• CHALLENGE 5: INVENTORY COSTS. Print inventory and fulfillment costs are too high.
The larger and more geographically dispersed your sales and marketing organization, the more likely your team is experiencing these challenges.
A powerful online technology called MAM (Marketing Asset Management) can help you solve these issues by completely automating your collateral management, saving your marketing team significant time and money while greatly improving the effectiveness of your marketing program.
What is MAM?
MAM is an online platform (SaaS or “cloud” service) which allows you to upload and store templates
of your company’s marketing collateral – flyers, brochures, catalogs, ads, direct mail pieces, business cards, stationery, signage, emails and more – and make them available to other users to customize and order materials on-demand. You can set which text and graphic elements in the templates are locked – unchangeable by outside users – and which elements can be freely customized. Users can then log into the MAM platform from any internet-connected computing device with a web browser to select the collateral they want, make changes allowed by the templates, and place orders for the customized collateral which are then fulfilled by a digital print-on-demand service or made available for immediate download as a high-resolution PDF. The process is completely self-service, allowing outside users to do everything themselves quickly and easily, without having to involve your internal marketing team at all. The MAM platform tracks order history and collateral consumption so you can see at a glance which materials are getting the most use and correlate that data with actual sales to get a view of marketing ROI for your collateral.
Who is MAM best suited to help?
Your marketing effort and your marketing team can greatly benefit from MAM if your company has some
or all of these characteristics:
• A distributed sales and marketing organization with many members
• Multiple target markets (by geography, demographics or other relevant characteristics)
• A need to customize marketing collateral to meet the needs of local markets and even individual buyers
• Collateral pieces that change often
• A large variety and volume of collateral pieces
How MAM Solves your Challenges:
CHALLENGE 1: HANLDLE COLLATERAL REQUESTS
Daily requests for collateral from the sales channels are keeping your team too busy for other work.
Every day, your team gets requests from sales channels for collateral. Every time this happens, team members have to stop what they’re doing, take a call or read an email, then fulfill the order for the collateral. If the required collateral isn’t in inventory, then it must be reordered. All of this takes time. The larger your organization, the more requests there are, and the more time this steals from your team. Not surprisingly, marketing teams can at times be fully burdened with this activity, and simply can’t keep up with all the requests. This leaves staff members in the channel waiting for collateral they may need right away for urgent selling situations.
SOLUTION: With MAM, your collateral is available online in a self-service portal that your outside users can access directly, 24/7. Users can place their own orders so they no longer have to burden your team, and orders can be fulfilled immediately by your specified on-demand digital print vendor connected to your MAM platform. Meanwhile, your team is completely freed up to work on other important activities.
CHALLENGE 2: LOCALIZE COLLATERAL
It’s too hard to customize collateral for local markets.
If you’ve got a regional, national or global network of dealer/distributors, retail outlets, franchise locations or other type of distributed sales channels, odds are you get requests to customize collateral such as catalogs, brochures and flyers to meet local market needs. Of course, the more you can tailor collateral to specific markets and buyers, the more effectively you can engage with them. But if you thought keeping up with requests for static collateral was hard (CHALLENGE #1), imagine adding customization to the mix. Fulfilling each request is a time-consuming process. The steps involved include:
1. Internal team members stopping what they are doing when a request comes in
2. Responding to the customization request
3. Approving the request
4. Locating the original artwork for the desired collateral piece
5. Communicating the changes to be made to a production artist
6. Producing the art
7. Approving the art
8. Choosing the print vendor and sending the order
9. Producing the asset (prepping final electronic files for print production or PDF download)
10. Fulfillment and delivery
Most companies don’t have the bandwidth to handle customization requests, leaving sales channels to make do with generic collateral that may not meet their specific needs.
SOLUTION: MAM puts customization in the hands of the outside user via its online platform. Users can easily modify graphics and text – and even put together custom brochures and catalogs by combining different pages – all controlled by rules set in advance by your internal team. Users can only change what they have permission to change. And as with static brochure orders, users can place orders for their custom collateral and have them fulfilled immediately as downloadable PDFs or by the on-demand digital print vendor connected to your MAM platform.
With a MAM system in place, steps 1-8 on the previous page are eliminated for all customizations, step 9 is offloaded to the users in your sales channels, and step 10 is coordinated through the MAM system. Once again, your marketing team is freed up to focus on other important activities.
CHALLENGE 3: BRAND CONTROL
Sales staff in the channels are creating their own collateral and compromising your corporate brand.
If your internal marketing team is too busy to fulfill requests for collateral from your sales channels, your outside team members may be creating their own collateral to fill the gap. What is the likelihood that they are adhering to your carefully-crafted corporate branding standards? It’s more likely that they’re mis-applying your logo, incorporating the wrong fonts, and using unapproved graphics – not to mention creating amateurish graphic designs – all of which casts your corporate brand in a very poor light. Worse, with outside users creating their own interpretations of the corporate brand to suit their needs, brand consistency – which is a cornerstone of consumer trust – goes out the window. And as we all know, while it can take years to build a strong, trusted brand, all it takes is one bad collateral piece to start to undermine your brand’s credibility.
SOLUTION: MAM puts customizable collateral templates instantly at the fingertips of your sales channels, letting them create the collateral they need right away. MAM’s ability to lock text and graphics in your templates allows you to prevent tampering with essential brand elements. For instance, your MAM platform can include a library of approved logos and graphics which can be selected by users – or you can lock logos and approved graphics right into the templates. You can also specify which fonts are available in the templates, and control how those fonts are applied typographically. And you can control what level of access different types of users have to modify elements in the templates. For instance, entry-level staff could be allowed only to make minor changes to things such as local contact information, while higher-level staff could make more substantial changes. With MAM, your channels get the collateral they need, when they need it, while the MAM platform automatically keeps control of the brand for you.
CHALLENGE #4: PREVENT OBSOLETE COLLATERAL
Print collateral gets obsolete too quickly and has to be thrown away.
With the pace of change these days, it often seems that as soon as a catalog or brochure is printed,
it is practically out of date already. This problem is compounded by printing excess quantities of
collateral to gain better per-piece print costs – only to have to throw the majority of them away,
negating any savings. Digital communications such as websites and PDFs help mitigate this problem,
since you can modify them as often as you want without incurring any print or inventory costs. But even with the massive proliferation of digital communications in recent years, there are still many sales and marketing situations where print collateral is preferred. How then to be able to keep print collateral up-to-date without continually having to throw away obsolete print materials?
SOLUTION: Once again, MAM comes to the rescue. Flexible design templates allow your marketing team to quickly update collateral pieces with new text and graphics as required, and make them instantly available to all outside users of the online MAM platform. When combined with today’s on-demand, high-quality digital printing capabilities, MAM lets users order cost-effective short runs of collateral to meet their immediate needs, and simply reorder later when they need more – always from the most recently updated versions of the templates. What’s more, because users can customize collateral for their specific needs, they’re never stuck with generic collateral they can’t use and subsequently have to throw away. In total, MAM helps you significantly reduce costs from wasted collateral.
CHALLENGE #5: REDUCE PRINT INVENTORY COSTS
Print inventory and fulfillment costs are too high.
This challenge comes from having to print, store, pick, pack and ship printed collateral to your sales
channels on an ongoing basis. In the traditional model, you have to estimate future demand for various
collateral pieces, print enough to meet this demand, and store printed pieces until they are requested,
taking up costly space. If your estimates are too low, you’ll have to schedule expensive short runs to
make up for the shortfall. If your estimates are too high, you’ll end up having excess pieces on your
hands which will incur inventory costs until you dispose of them, which then translates into wasted
collateral cost (see CHALLENGE #4).
SOLUTION: A MAM system, linked to a high-quality on-demand digital printing vendor, solves this challenge by allowing the users in your channels to cost-effectively print short run quantities of collateral, customized to their specific market needs, and quickly receive them directly from the printer. This can greatly reduce or even eliminate the need to inventory and fulfill literature to the channels. Everything is handled directly by the MAM solution.
About ZUZA | Marketing Asset Management.
ZUZA supports marketers to be Champions with a web-based platform that automates creating, producing and fulfilling customized marketing materials on demand while ensuring a consistent brand. This powerful solution makes tailoring collateral for multiple marketing channels remarkably easy, fast and cost-effective. ZUZA’s all-in-one marketing solution includes full-service printing and comprehensive mailing support from the company’s state-of-the-art production facility. Learn more about ZUZA’s MAM solutions at zuzaMAM.com.