Marketing Asset Management: How to Find Everything You Need (Quickly)
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“Where’s the blog post we need to publish this week?” You’re shouting across the desks in your office. You’ve been looking for the draft for 15 minutes to no avail. To top it off, the person who wrote the draft is off-sick.
That’s a common occurrence for some marketing teams. They don’t store their assets properly, so they can’t find what they’re looking for when they need it.
There’s one thing that can help: Marketing asset management.
In this guide, we’ll cover what marketing asset management is, and the step-by-step process you can use to make it easier to find what you’re looking for.
Download Your Marketing Asset Management Templates
Make managing your assets easier with these downloadable resources:
- Asset Naming Convention Template: Make sure assets are clearly and consistently labelled.
- File Naming Convention Documentation Template: Provide directions for your team on how to name assets and where to find them.
- Marketing File Folder Structure Templates: Ready-made set of file folders to organize your assets.
Download all three in this bundle, then read on to learn how to files and assets organized across your team.
What is Marketing Asset Management?
Still unsure what “marketing asset management” really means?
The fancy definition of marketing asset management is the process of storing and organizing the assets used by your marketing team, such as:
- Image templates
- Podcast episodes
- Event posters
- Blog posts
It’s worth noting that these assets can be for internal or external use. It’s simply the process of storing them—and making sure they’re easy to find.
Why is it Important to Manage My Marketing Assets?
Chances are you’ve got a bunch of files on your computer. You know exactly where every asset is, so you’re questioning why marketing asset management is important.
Aside from the fact it helps your co-workers find your assets, it solves these three problems:
1. Team Members Stop Asking for Assets From Other Staff
Your Marketing Executive, Sophie, is looking for an image to share on social media that was created by Jane. However, Sophie can’t find the image, so she asks Jane and disrupts her workflow.
This type of multitasking leads to as much as a 40% drop in productivity, not just for Jane, but the people around her, too.
Marketing asset management software would allow Sophie to find the image she’s looking for without the disruption. She can leave Jane to complete her own work and probably find the asset faster than with Jane’s help.
2. Save Time on Asset Creation
Did you know that employees spend 1.8 hours every day searching and gathering information?
Your staff will likely be searching for something when they’re creating a new asset. However, they don’t have to waste time, nor create the same assets over and over again.
They can check your files inside your asset management software and see whether you’ve created one before. If so, they can edit that one—instead of starting from scratch, or creating a duplicate, which is a waste of everyone’s time.
3. Maintain Brand Consistency
Properly storing your marketing assets means staff can browse their library before creating anything new. Not only does this stop them creating things twice, but it gives them the chance to see your style or standards.
Do you have a set of brand colors? What fonts do you use? Do the introductions to your blog posts follow a similar format?
When staff can view a library of assets before creating something new, they can follow those guidelines. This creates brand consistency, which means brands can be 3 to 4 times more likely to experience brand visibility and have an average revenue increase of 33%.
How to Implement Marketing Asset Management Effectively
Now that we understand the benefits of marketing asset management, you might be wondering how you can organize your files.
Here’s how you can implement your own process:
1. Choose One Place to Store Assets
The first thing you’ll need to think about is where you’re storing your assets.
You’ll want to use software that makes it easy to organize files, create folders, and invite new people to (such as new hires, or staff from another department).
This could be your project management tool, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.,but things could get muddled easily.
The easiest option is an asset organizer, which makes it easy to view and store your assets.
If you’re still dead-set on using a tool like Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive, our asset organizer syncs with them. This means you can upload your assets to those tools as normal, then pull them into your asset organizer to make it easier to find what you’re looking for.
2. Develop a Clear Folder Structure to Organize Them
The goal is to make it easy to find a specific asset without trawling through tons of files.
So, make a folder structure that makes it easy to find what you’re looking for—like having folders for each marketing channel you have. That might include:
- Social media
You can add folders within folders to make it even easier, too.
For example: Let’s say you’ve got a blog post titled “How to Start a Blog”. To make it easy for someone to find it, store the file in these folders:
Assets > Content > Blog > Topic: Marketing > Title: Blogging Tips.
Regardless of what you’re storing, make sure your asset folder names make sense. It should be easy for someone to think of the asset they want to find, and pick the most relevant folder names to get them there.
3. Establish Clear File Naming Conventions
Just like folder names, you should set a rule for staff to make the name of the asset itself self-explanatory. Remember: The goal is to make assets easy for someone to find.
You could use naming structures that explain the format of the asset, like “Blog Post: Blogging Tips” or “Image: CEO Headshot,” for example.
Or, you could add the name of the person who created it, like “Blogging Tips - Blog Post [Annie]”.
4. Define a Process for Version Control
Imagine, you’re wanting to publish a blog post that your team member wrote, so you look in your folders to find it. Only problem? You’re met with these files:
- Blog post 1
- Blog post final
- Blog post REAL FINAL
- Blog post REAL FINAL 2
Which option is the actual final draft?
Setting a process for version control can help prevent that question. That’s because adding a number to the file name whenever you make changes to an asset can get confusing.
Does the old file get deleted, stored in an archive folder, or stay there with a different name?
Make sure your entire team knows these version control rules to stop things getting muddled, or even worse, publishing the wrong thing.
5. Audit Existing Assets
There’s nothing worse than having a bunch of assets in your library that nobody uses.
Not only does it clog everything up and make it harder to find what you’re looking for, but some cloud storage software charges you for the extra space.
Combat this by auditing your assets regularly. Set a reminder to clear out any old, unused assets every six months. Look at the file history: has anyone opened the file within that time frame? If not, it’s likely time to clear it out.
However, be wary about discarding files that have been opened recently, but not necessarily used. You don’t want to throw away an asset that somebody relies on, so send an email or Slack notification before deleting the file. If nobody comes forward to save it, send it to the archive or trash can.
The goal is to determine what’s still usable, what needs updating, and what should be discarded. Don’t hold onto assets you’ll likely never use again. It’s a waste of space (literally).
6. Establish a System for Labelling and Tagging Assets
We’ve already got smart folder and file names, but there’s an even easier way to find what you’re looking for—labels.
Adding labels to your assets makes it even easier to find and view similar files. You can use them to show what needs to be done with each, and whether or not they’re ready to be used in marketing material.
Start by using these three labelling categories:
- Needs to Be Updated
Let’s put that into practice, audited your asset organizer, and found an image your social media team created a year ago. Drop a message in your Slack channel and see if anyone still needs it.
You’ll label the asset depending on what they say:
- “I use that file regularly.” > Up-to-Date tag
- “I forgot about that asset. I’d like to use it, but it needs some tweaks.” > Needs to Be Updated tag
- “That was for a campaign we used and won’t ever run again.” > Outdated/Archive tag
Similar to labelling, you can also add tags to show the type of asset or who it’s for. For example, is the asset for your customers, prospects, website, or internal use only? Add a tag to your asset to stop it being used for the wrong thing.
The more information your team has to work with, the better.
7. Make it Easy to Share Your Marketing Assets
You’ve got your assets stored perfectly. Each file has a distinctive name, is stored in a specific folder, and is tagged to show whether it’s usable.
Let’s say you’re in a marketing meeting, talking about a new campaign you’re planning. Your marketing manager wants to see a list of the marketing assets your team has created before going live.
You can make it easier for them to find said assets—without having them dig through folders.
Some marketing asset management tools have a shareable link which you can send internally. You can use the same process to direct marketing staff to an asset they need.
Our asset management software can do this via a secure link. Simply hit the “Share Folder” button and set the permissions for people who can access the folder. Then, copy the URL and send it to your marketing manager.
The link will take them directly to the assets:
8. Get Team Buy-in to Use the Software
It’s no good having a marketing asset management tool if your team isn't using it.
So, invite your entire team to the software and give a mini tutorial on how to use it, including how to:
- Upload/download things
- Name files
- Share links to specific assets
Notice how I said to invite your entire team, not just your marketing department?
You might have your sales team asking for an asset, or your graphic designer needing to store a template they’ve created. By inviting everyone, you don’t need to waste time adding people one-by-one whenever they ask.
The goal is to build the tool into your team’s routine. It should be the first place they check when they need something—regardless of what asset type it is, or what it’s being used for.
You can do this by adding the asset organizer to your process documents. Tell everyone to upload any new assets in there, and make it standard practice to check whether there’s something similar already in your library before creating a new asset.
Stop Losing Track of Your Marketing Assets
An efficient marketing asset management process is something every business needs—no matter how small your department is.
You’re still likely creating new assets on a regular basis. Don’t waste time creating the same thing over and over again. Just look back in your library and see if there’s anything you can work from instead.
April 13, 2020