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McCormick is a fortune 500 company that manufactures, markets, and distributes spices, seasoning mixes, condiments, and other flavorful products worldwide. Widen’s digital asset management (DAM) system has long been their central repository for brand and marketing content. And with the recent addition of the Entries application, Widen’s product information management (PIM) solution, McCormick is building a 360-degree view of all of their product content — to simplify workflows across their organization.
Companies that make and market products have to create and manage a lot of content. This is certainly true at McCormick — a global leader in the food and beverage industry. With over 14,000 employees and numerous brands around the globe, their marketing initiatives extend across websites, online retailers, digital ads, social media, in-store displays, and more.
Leah Carlson, who leads creative operations at McCormick, said, “It’s not an exaggeration to say that product content really is the beginning of everything in our content supply chain. It’s how our products come to life – and it’s a critical component of our business strategy.”
However, with the rise of e-commerce, the scale and velocity of their content workflows have increased. Customers now use multiple channels to research and make purchases — and their experience needs to be consistent at every touchpoint.
“Efforts across marketing, creative, and e-commerce teams need to come together to ensure the target audience can easily find the product, picture what life is with it, and have confidence it’s going to live up to expectations,” Leah shared.
McCormick rises to this omnichannel challenge, across teams and regions, with the support of Widen’s combined digital asset management (DAM) and product information management (PIM) solution, which they call “DAM for products.”
Single source of truth
Manage brand, marketing, and product content in a single, unified system.
Maximize content value
Encourage teams to reuse and repurpose content to minimize asset creation costs.
Give stakeholders across timezones self-serve access to the content they need, when they need it.
Ensure all teams are using approved and up-to-date brand and product content.
DAM to organize brand and marketing content
Before Leah joined McCormick, they didn’t have a central repository for their brand, marketing, and product content.
Siloed tools made it hard to find the most current version of any file and hindered collaboration. It was also difficult to control how content was used across teams and ensure a unified brand experience.
McCormick implemented Widen in 2017 and Leah said, “it quickly became the single source of truth for all of our brand and marketing content, globally. It’s allowed us to achieve efficiencies across content workflows because everyone knows where to find approved content and can access it on their own.”
DAM for products, with the Entries app
Around the time that McCormick selected Widen they also implemented Salsify, their PIM system. Salsify is integrated with Widen so that approved assets can flow into Salsify automatically, eliminating several manual steps and streamlining content workflows. “Salsify is our tool to syndicate digital assets from the DAM system, along with other product information, across a wide range of digital sites and channels,” Leah explained.
At McCormick, Salsify only stores the assets that are syndicated to sell products — which is a subset of their product content. For example, a product in a bottle will have multiple images for the cap, lid, and bottle itself — along with CGI images, packaging labels, specs, marketing copy, and creative content like related ads,recipes images, videos, and more. Only the assets that are syndicated to the digital shelf are uploaded to Salsify.
“With the depth and breadth of all of these different types of files, product content spans beyond our Salsify PIM syndication for us,” Leah said. “So we decided to implement Entries to help us build a comprehensive, aggregated view of all of that content for each product.”
With the addition of the Entries app they repositioned their DAM system as DAM for products, so that all of their content creators and consumers know they can find all the product content they need, in Widen.
360-degree view of product content
“With DAM for products, we’re able to build and share a 360-degree view of everything associated with every product,” Leah shared. “From specs, marketing copy, and packaging files to brand materials, ads, static assets, videos, and recipes — it’s all in a single location.”
Widen, with both the Assets and Entries apps, breaks down content silos and eliminates confusion around where product content should live. Teams don’t need to wonder if they should look for assets in Widen, Salsify, or another storage tool, because everything can be found in their DAM system. Further, users can transition between Assets and Entries, seamlessly. “Wherever you are in Widen, you can find the assets you’re looking for or the product information you need,” Leah explained.
Enhanced collaboration across end-to-end content operations
Content creation at McCormick spans numerous teams and regions. For example, a recent product launch brought together bottle components that were computer engineered in the US, labels from South East Asia, and photography assets from EMEA.
“We just couldn’t have done this efficiently without one centralized repository,” Leah said. “And other external content sharing tools — like Google Drive or We Transfer — don’t work for us. They aren’t centrally used or governed, and they’re not approved because of IP restrictions…with DAM for products, all our stakeholders have access to the product content they need.”
Unified brand experiences
“Product content is used everywhere — throughout our customer journey,” Leah explained. “And at every touchpoint we need to have relevant, accurate, and consistent content to build an engaging customer experience that drives our sales.”
With DAM for products, content creators throughout McCormick know that the assets in Widen can be used to build unified, cohesive, and effective customer experiences.
“And just to bring this to life, I’ll share a recent example,” Leah said. “I’m working with the internal creative team and our partner agency to produce a video that will be used globally. I’ve had to source several inputs and components from various regions — and we need to make sure all of the assets and information are accurate. If the wrong bottle or wrong label is used during the shoot, it will be an added expense to swap it out or reproduce it later. So it’s critical that there’s a reliable, comprehensive, and global resource for all of the content.”
Increased content use to drive ROI
With Widen as their central source of truth, McCormick expands the visibility of their content — allowing them to maximize the value of their assets through greater use.
“Our product content is in demand by all internal stakeholders because it’s used and repurposed by a wide range of internal teams and external partners to extend existing content or build new,” Leah shared. “We see double the return on investment in Widen each year in the savings we get by repurposing content across our global regions.”
To date, this equates to over $241,000 in annual cost avoidance. And as their content creation continues to expand, so will this savings.
“With DAM for products, we’re able to build and share a 360-degree view of everything associated with every product. From specs, marketing copy, and packaging files to brand materials, ads, static assets, videos, and recipes – it’s all in a single location.”
Global Content Operations Senior Manager at McCormick & Company