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igus Overcomes Global Content Chaos With the Widen Collective®

igus is a global manufacturer and distributor of polymer-based products ranging from ball bearings to 3D printing materials, industrial cables, smart plastics, and more. With the Widen Collective® at the center of their marketing operations, igus teams around the world can now access and find the accurate, up-to-date content they need.

Products used

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 Portals

Share curated subsets of assets with control and flexibility

Workflow online proofing and work management Workflow

Streamline collaboration, reviews, and approvals with online proofing.

Integrations Icon Integrations

Drive marketing efficiency when you automatically connect your tools and data

1.2 TB

Total storage

9m+

Embed views in
the last 12 months

24

# of countries that accessed
the DAM in the last 12 month
 
 

The ROI of better content management

 

Brand consistency in the face of the unexpected

 

Bridging online to offline with Widen’s API

Challenges

With locations in 35 countries, partners in another 80, and nearly 3,000 employees, igus is a truly global operation. Ensuring that their large, dispersed teams have the marketing and brand content they need to serve customers was an ongoing challenge. To help, igus implemented a digital asset management (DAM) solution. However, it ultimately failed to connect their teams with the valuable assets they needed. 

The reasons were plenty. For one, the DAM system was only accessible to people connected to the company server, making it inconvenient for anyone outside the office to retrieve assets. Plus, people could never find what they needed in the system. Without proper training and best practices to follow, system users routinely dumped content into the DAM system without the information (metadata) needed to make an asset searchable. Adoption suffered and people eventually moved to their own make-shift storage solutions. The result was no better. 

“Every asset was somewhere on a local computer or maybe on an internal server,” recalled Armin Gellweiler, the Digital Asset Manager at igus. Without a single, centralized, cloud-based solution to store and manage their digital assets, nobody within the organization could find the images, marketing materials, and creative files they needed. There was no single source of truth — and therefore no way for igus to ensure teams were using the right digital assets for the right purposes.

Objectives

Centralization
House assets in a single, searchable location, so they are easy to find

Access
Empower teams with on-demand, cloud-based access from anywhere

Speed
Get up-to-date assets to people, partners, channels, and systems quickly

Accuracy
Guarantee that the right content is used by teams and across channels around the world

Solution

Centralized, cloud-based library
The marketing team at igus knew there had to be a better way to manage their brand’s digital assets. “We decided to switch to a system which is browser-based, so that everybody could use it,” shared Armin about their move to the Collective. Now, igus teams around the globe have 24/7, on-demand access to the content they need. No more digging through files or disparate storage solutions looking for a photograph or marketing material. Any user with an internet connection can simply log in to the DAM system and search to find or discover assets that best meet their needs. Talk about cloud nine. 

Content delivery built on speed 
With teams located around the globe, igus needs to get their content to a lot of different people, partners, channels, and systems — fast. To facilitate their need for speed, igus connected all of their go-to marketing tools to the Collective. This creates efficiencies by allowing teams to access content stored in the Collective directly from the tool they’re using, whether that’s WordPress, Salesforce, HubSpot, or even the internal server they use for producing print catalogs. Plus, the Collective utilizes Amazon Web Services, which leverages servers and data centers around the world to ensure that content in the DAM system is instantly available to igus users, no matter where they’re located. 

Distribution center for accuracy
The Collective provides igus with a single source of truth for their content and significantly simplifies asset distribution. “If someone is going to update a datasheet or something like that, we just upload the new versions [in the Collective] and on all those download pages around the world, you get the right version,” Armin said. 

Using Portals, igus also curates very specific subsets of assets to share with partners and teams around the world. This streamlines distribution and gives igus the assurance they need that both internal and external teams are using approved, accurate digital assets.

 

Tools to connect and collaborate
To get their project management and marketing teams working together better, igus utilizes Workflow in the Collective to streamline content creation requests. In addition to leveraging tools like this, igus also embraces the community, support, and resources that Widen offers. “We’ve learned we have to train our people,” shared Armin. Resources like Widen User Groups (WUGs) help igus educate their system users and network with other Widen customers to talk through issues and solutions together. “We are not alone in the world with our problems,” shared Armin. “It’s nice to have an exchange [with other DAM users].”

 

“We’ve had a good experience using Widen.”

Armin Gettweiler,
Digital Asset Manager at
igus

 

Benefits

Empowered teams 
Having a cloud-based DAM solution means that igus teams around the world can access the content they need, when they need it. “The amount of users coming regularly to the DAM system increased,” reported Armin. People now know where to go if they need to find a particular asset or to discover the best content for a specific purpose. People are freed from the time-consuming process of tracking assets down. Plus, they can do more on their own. 

Using the Widen API, igus built a custom integration that connects their Wordpress site to the Collective. Now marketers can upload content, such as press releases, directly from the Collective to the igus website — all without the help of their web team. “We’ve given the responsibility to deploy the press release back to the people who are producing it. Before, they had to ask other people,” explained Armin about enabling the marketing team to do more. 

Control of customer experience
Since moving to the Collective, igus has better control over the quality of customer experiences they deliver. All of their images, videos, and other digital content are published from the DAM system via a share link or embed code. They simply update the asset’s master file in the DAM system — and just like that, it’s automatically updated across all of their digital channels. This creates tremendous efficiencies for the igus team, and also reduces the chance of customers experiencing outdated, inconsistent, or inaccurate content. 

The igus team also uses embed codes to keep customers in digital environments that they can control, such as their website. Rather using YouTube for video embeds on their website, igus uses embed codes from the DAM system. This keeps visitors in the controlled environment of their website and free from the  distraction of other YouTube videos that could take visitors’ attention away from igus and their products. 

Return on investment (ROI)
Widen and the Collective are a strategic investment for igus. Widen’s team and the resources they provide have helped igus improve their global content management practices. Furthermore, igus uses Insights in the Collective to gather data on how teams use assets and to inform future business decisions. “It’s also one point of return of investment for us because of time [savings] and having the right thing [content] in the right place,” explained Armin.

Efficiency, time savings, and confidence that customers are receiving the experience they demand, is important to ROI. But when the unexpected hit and the world was faced with a global pandemic, the Collective gave igus assurance that their brand was protected and represented consistently across channels. Remote teams could quickly access the content they needed and igus most certainly saw the return on their investment in ways they never could have predicted.