Marketers today can no longer win on price or quality of offering alone. The competition is just too fierce. It seems there’s always another brand doing it better, quicker, and with a more steadfast method for keeping customers coming back for more.
So what’s the answer? To gain the competitive advantage, you must adopt a customer-first approach that puts experience at the heart of your strategy. No matter when and on which channels people encounter your brand, you must deliver the same positive, superior customer experience each and every time.
To do this, you need to strategically manage the content you use to communicate your brand. By doing so, you can act smarter and move faster to facilitate deeper audience connections, inspire action, and ultimately deliver a customer experience that’s second to none. Here’s what you need to know.
The role of content in customer experience
Your content — every video, photo, audio clip, marketing material, or other digital asset you put into the world — is a piece of your brand. It’s the DNA that makes up and ultimately defines it. Think about it this way. The friendly video that breaks down the complexities of your offering lets people know that your brand is approachable and easy to work with. The sentimental photos on your Facebook page build brand connection. And the marketing materials you worked oh-so hard to create for your sales teams? Those help too. They empower your teams to tell your unique brand story.
So yes, your digital assets play a major role in establishing the identity of your brand. But what does this content-to-brand connection have to do with customer experience? Well, they all work together. If the sensations, thoughts, feelings, and reactions that people have in response to your brand (and the content you use to communicate it) are positive, you’re also feeding a positive customer experience. In other words, if customers like your brand and the way your brand makes them feel, their experience is better for it.
Brand management essentials that support customer experience
As your business grows, so do your content needs. A few stock images can quickly evolve into a large and growing library of video content, marketing collateral, design files, brand photography, and more. This is a positive sign for your business, but it’s also harder to manage. It becomes more challenging to keep your assets organized and to ensure everyone is using the best assets for the job. Fuzzy images. Outdated creative. And wasted time, broken workflows, and numerous other inefficiencies can slowly (but surely) creep in. What started as a manageable arsenal of brand-supporting content can quickly spiral and end up hurting your brand and customer experience if not managed well.
While there’s no magic formula for success, there are essential elements that every brand management strategy should aim to achieve. Here are five:
1. Flawless brand consistency
Just like the checkout process on your website or the customer service you provide, the consistency of your brand impacts how people will perceive it. Outdated product images or marketing material can confuse people, tarnish your image, and ultimately depreciate the customer experience. Managing your content from an organized, central location that allows you to control which assets and asset versions your teams use, can help safeguard against brand inconsistencies like these.
2. Memorable creativity
Creating a truly impactful and memorable brand experience takes time. To find more hours in the day for truly creative work, your teams need to reduce the time they spend on non-creative, non-impact tasks. What’s slowing them down? Figure that out and then identify the tools and processes to streamline workflows, automate redundant work, and enable data sharing across teams and technologies.
3. Sales enablement
The sales team is an (often forgotten) extension of any organization’s brand. If you want to communicate a consistent brand and make the sales experience positive for customers, you need to enable your sales teams. Giving them 24/7, on-demand access to the marketing materials and tools they need to drive more revenue in their markets is step one.
4. Speed to market
To have the advantage, you need to innovate, create, communicate, and solve faster than your competitors. You likely leverage technology to help with this. But how do all of your technologies work together? To better manage the content that powers your brand, enable agility, and streamline workflows and data sharing, you must get your technologies talking to each other.
5. Risk mitigation
Nobody intends to put their brand reputation and business at risk. However, brand-damaging content misuse, copyright lawsuits, and loss of valuable brand assets are an unfortunate reality. A thorough brand management strategy puts safeguards in place to control how people use assets, and ensures you have security capabilities like data backups and visibility into who uses your valuable assets.
How DAM supports better brand management and customer experience
Brand consistency, memorable creativity, sales enablement, speed, and security. You can achieve all of these brand management must-haves by putting content management at the heart of your strategy. Organizations go about this in many ways, but some of the most successful adopt a discipline called digital asset management, or DAM.
DAM processes and the technologies that support them help businesses manage, organize, secure, and distribute their digital assets from a central repository. Organizations that leverage DAM solutions have more security and control over their brand and how their teams use it. They gain more efficiency in their workflows, and have visibility into content performance and use across the entire lifecycle of their content, from creation to archival. DAM empowers teams to move with more agility and therefore speed, helping them meet customer needs — and gain the competitive advantage.