Marketing organizations today are in constant competition to deliver the absolute best customer experience possible. But in a mad dash to achieve excellence, many businesses fall short. They are focused more on speed for the sake of speed, rather than ensuring their teams, assets, and processes can move more nimbly — and therefore more quickly when their customers need it most.
At Widen, we know how important agility is in fueling a superior customer experience. We also know how critical an organization’s digital assets and their content marketing efforts are to this endeavor. After all, a brand’s photos, images, videos, sales content, and other digital assets are how they bring their content marketing strategies to life, tell their brand story, educate consumers, and ultimately mold the experience of their customers.
To explore this topic further, we joined forces with our friends and long-time partners at The Content Advisory (TCA) and Content Marketing Institute (CMI) to discuss how agility, not speed, is the key to better customer experiences through faster content marketing.
Understanding agility vs. speed
Marketing and creative leaders are focused on building stronger connections and remarkable experiences for their customers. To do this, they are leaning harder than ever on content marketing, and are quickly learning to become mass producers of rich, digital experiences via a range of media types. Videos, blogs, infographics, white papers, podcasts, webinars, you name it — organizations use a tremendous number of formats to fuel and support “the experience journey” of the customer.
But it’s not all fun and games. Keeping pace with the content marketing needs of the digital age is not without pressure. According to a LinkedIn study of 4,000 marketing professionals from around the globe, 58% are under pressure to prove the return on investment (ROI) of their marketing efforts in order to justify spend and get approval for future budgets. And to top it off, they’re expected to prove the value of their efforts before they’ve even had time to gain traction.
“Do more and do it faster,” the industry bandwagon chirps. But for what? Speed for the sake of speed doesn’t get anyone anywhere. You can run 500 miles per hour faster than your fastest competitor, just to crash and burn. This obsession with speed causes marketers to hastily develop more and more digital content at faster and faster rates, rather than optimize a group of well-defined digital experiences in an agile way. So instead of the need for speed, organizations really need the ability for agility. After all, isn’t agility the very ability that helps you move and adapt more quickly?
DAM and content agility
There’s a lot that goes into content marketing, particularly “agile content marketing.” Marketers must create their brand and marketing content, store it, share it, control it, promote it, and measure it — all while ensuring that they can quickly and easily change direction at a moment’s notice.
To accomplish this and more, many marketing organizations utilize technology. In fact, according to Gartner, marketing technology will account for the largest portion of marketing budgets (26.2%) in 2020. And even with the uncertainty and economic challenges of the year, 68% of chief marketing officers (CMOs) expect their already significant technology budgets to increase over the next 12 months.
Despite this heavy investment in technology, CMI finds that the majority of marketers (63%) say “lack of processes” is a reason why they do not take a strategic approach to managing their content. To thrive, marketing organizations need to not only put the processes and people in place to manage their content, but they must also funnel budget toward the right technologies to support these processes. Only then will agility become a reality.
To better marry process and technology, high-performing brands are turning to digital asset management, or DAM. DAM is a discipline that organizations adopt to help them better manage, organize, secure, and distribute their content and digital assets. However DAM is also a technology. DAM technology uses a central repository, advanced search, permissions, and other system capabilities to help organizations infuse even more agility into their DAM practices. Process plus technology at its finest.
How do agile assets, teams, and processes work together?
The marketers that understand the differences between speed and agility are the ones creating better processes, leveraging their teams more effectively, and adopting DAM technologies to enable better content marketing and customer experiences. In turn, these brands are making the creation, collaboration, management, publishing, and promotion of their digital content a truly strategic function in the business.
But this move toward agility does not happen overnight. Whether slow and steady or part of a more aggressive digital transformation, organizations that adopt better DAM practices are becoming more agile. Having worked with hundreds of brands from around the world, the teams at CMI have seen a lot. Based on their experience, they’ve identified three emerging trends among organizations on the path to agility.
1. Agile teams = collaborative content
Organizations with DAM processes in place to support better communication and content workflows across the organization are more agile. As a result, they create more collaborative space for their teams to work together to optimize their digital assets at each stage in the content lifecycle — from inception to archival.
2. Agile assets = better brand management
A brand’s content lives across many channels and undergoes many iterations and changes. Ensuring the best assets, the most up-to-date versions, and the proper formats are used across channels is challenging. Brands that use automation, analytics, and controls for their content marketing efforts can deliver a more consistent, quality brand experience for customers.
3. Agile processes = faster marketing
As we’ve learned, fast does not mean agile. But, being more agile does help marketers move faster. As such, organizations that implement agile processes with teams and use a centralized and thoughtfully planned strategy to manage their digital assets can respond, pivot, and market faster and better than the competition.
Get the full scoop on agile content marketing
Agile teams, assets, and processes power more collaborative content, better brands, and faster content marketing. Ready to infuse the right kind of speed into your organization? Take a deeper look at how smartly deployed DAM processes and systems are the key to agility. !