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Elsevier Streamlines Global Marketing Workflows with the Widen Collective®

Elsevier is a global information analytics business specializing in science and health. They use the Widen Collective® to manage the creation, distribution, and use of their marketing materials across continents.

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img_icon-01 Assets

Catalog, control, and distribute rich media assets from a central source of truth.

Insights Insights

Track and measure assets and build site performance dashboards.

Portals-curated-brand-experience Portals

Curate collections of assets and create personalized brand experiences.

Workflow online proofing and work management Workflow

Streamline collaboration, reviews, and approvals with online proofing.

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The Widen Collective® has streamlined Elseiver’s content management workflows.


Using Insights tools to inform system optimization


How roles and permissions can protect brand integrity


The benefits of a multifaceted training program


Elsevier is a global information analytics business specializing in science and health headquartered in Amsterdam. Their Digital Campaigns Asset Manager, Lisette van Kessel, shared that they rely on digital assets to support every stage of their sales cycle. “Everyone needs to be able to find them and use them,” she said.

Before they had a digital asset management (DAM) platform, Elsevier lacked a central repository for these assets. Lisette recounted, “We would have different ways of storing. So some would use maybe Sharepoint, others the network drive. So basically there was not one workflow to get your design, print, or online files.”

Locating specific assets was time-consuming, and sometimes even impossible. Lisette noted lost assets often resulted in rework or brand inconsistencies. After searching for a DAM solution that fit their business needs, they implemented the Widen Collective in 2018.


A central repository
Store all marketing assets in a single location that’s accessible worldwide.

Consistent indexing
Develop a metadata scheme that allows assets to be organized and searchable.

Ease of use
Rely on an intuitive user experience to support system adoption across teams. 


Empowered access through permissions
With Widen’s guidance, Elsevier created a governance structure that controls how different user groups can interact with assets in their DAM system. For example, only the global branding team is able to upload brand assets. “That is how we can protect the brand assets,” Lisette shared. “Because only the branding team is uploading them, we know that it's the right materials.” This confidence that the content in the Collective is current and brand compliant supports self-serve access, across teams and countries. 

This permissions structure is mirrored in Lisette’s user training. “We set up trainings based on their access level,” she noted. “So, we have for instance a download only training which is for people who can only download and share our materials. And we have a contributor training, which is about everything because then you have the ability to upload and edit metadata.”

Multilingual content creation
With customers across the world, Elsevier needs to translate their marketing materials into several languages. The Collective’s instant access to content has completely streamlined their multilingual workflow. “Our marketing team creates everything in English,” Lisette explained, “and then the regional teams can download the files themselves, easily translate them, and then I upload them back into the DAM for them.” This process satisfies their need for localized copy, while ensuring materials stay on-brand and globally consistent. 

Insights to understand system use
Analytics tools in the Collective’s Insight’s app helps Elsevier make informed decisions about system optimization. “I’m especially interested as a marketing person in how it's being downloaded, how it's being viewed, and who is viewing it,” Lisette said. “We can see logins, we can see how many users we have, what teams they are in. It helps me identify where I may need to contact people to see why they aren't using it, or if there are people that have access but don't actually need it.”


A trusted partner
Lisette shared that in their DAM system selection process, Widen’s support services was a key differentiator. “When we chose Widen one of the reasons was also because they have a very good support system after you go live, and we were not disappointed at all.”

“There are a lot of systems that do similar things,” she said, “but the way your support team has been setup and how fast you respond — and how easily you are able to provide a solution or at least give context to the issue or the challenge — I really think that's what makes it such a fun company to work with.”

“They are very happy that they have a place where they can upload all of their materials. There's only one place where it is located, and from there they can go wherever with it.”

Lisette van Kessel,
Digital Campaigns Asset Manager,


Workflow efficiencies
Lisette shared that the Collective has improved their content workflows in significant and meaningful ways. “I have a completely new role,” she said, “because I used to just get all the files and disseminate them to everyone else. And now, I train people how to use the system and upload the materials themselves, and they can share it whomever they want.” Lisette went from being the content gatekeeper to a content enabler. All stakeholders now have access to the right content, whenever they need it. 

Cost savings
Upon implementing the Collective, Elsevier was able to realize an immediate return on investment (ROI) because it allowed them to consolidate systems. “We were able to get rid of other systems that we were using, so it was cost effective,” she explained. 

Brand integrity 
The Collective has given Elsevier employees a central source of truth for their marketing assets. “They are very happy that they have a place where they can upload all of their materials. And from there they can use the share link. They can embed it somewhere, they can use it in their email campaigns. There's only one place where it is located, and from there they can go wherever with it.” 

Further, they know that the assets in the Collective are up-to-date and ready to use. “They can trust now that it's the most recent version,” Lisette shared, which allows Elsevier to tell a cohesive, unified brand story, across the world.