Digital marketers have a difficult job. Not only are they the guardians of their organisation’s brand, but their goalposts are constantly moving and budgets often cut. Consumers flock between multiple social networks, often differing markedly by demographic; conversations, trends, and even language change so quickly, it’s hard to keep up with the zeitgeist. For some marketers, the experience can feel like a house of horrors, with a new terror waiting around every corner. Being responsible for maintaining and developing an organisation’s look, feel, and voice in this climate is no mean feat.

Being a digital marketer today is therefore a constant learning curve, with the most skilled and most sought-after being those best able to adapt to the trials of the day. As Brian Solis put it almost a decade ago, we are living in an age of Digital Darwinism.

In this fast-moving world, it’s not uncommon for marketers to feel overwhelmed by the many things being asked of them by their teams and organisations. Having to learn so much on the job with limited time can be nerve-wracking and hair-raising – never knowing whether that question will arise in a meeting where you, as the supposed expert in the room, have to say, “let me get back to you on that.”

However, despite all the difficulties detailed above, the job of a digital marketer can be incredibly fulfilling, and for those in the know, there are a few tools, tips, and tricks, which can take the edge off even the scariest statistics.

Personalisation Possible, Probably

In a 2018 report, Widen found that some 93% of marketing professionals surveyed feel personalisation at scale is attainable. However, in the same survey, 58% said they were unsure about how to achieve it in their marketing and creative work. At the same time, Gartner research notes that 65% of marketers indicate they “feel overwhelmed by the need to create more content to support personalisation.” But marketers often don’t need as much content as they think to deliver personalisation at scale.

More than anything, the key to personalisation at scale is technology. While it’s certainly true that training and team capacity also play significant roles, having the core technology platform in place to underpin your personalisation efforts should be a marketing team priority. That platform is a Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution.

Like a good costume on October 31st, a DAM solution can be the marketer’s new best friend, yielding all the treats, with none of the tricks. By using it to centrally host all marketing assets, from visuals, whitepapers, social content and more, this repository can be drawn on by the team to power personalisation – managing content, reviewing and approving it, sharing it internally, and publishing to appropriate channels faster than ever. Indeed, set up your DAM solution correctly, and much of this workflow can be automated.

With the customer at the heart, DAM gives an organisation control over its brand, whilst also enabling the mass personalisation through its digital assets. With McKinsey estimating that personalisation delivers five to eight times the ROI on marketing spend and can lift sales by over 10 percent, it’s time you looked at how your DAM can do the heavy lifting, and ease your personalisation nightmares.

It’s not addressable, if it’s not accessible

You can’t bob for apples in a bucket covered in cling film – you can try, but you won’t have much luck. Attempting to access files in a folder where you lack the relevant permissions is a similar experience – it’s frustrating and you look daft!

Another Widen survey, questioning a self-selecting audience of people looking for DAM solutions, found that 84% of companies report their digital assets are not accessible (or not very accessible) to all of the internal and external groups who need them.

That doesn’t sound entirely helpful, and indeed, it isn’t. But, it’s a common story – how many times have you found that the presentation slides you really needed were saved locally on a colleague’s laptop? How many times have you sent an exploratory email asking the team “where the correct company logo is”?

Things needn’t be this convoluted. Digital asset management exists to prevent exactly these kinds of time-consuming goose-chases. By centralising all assets for shared use, you prevent prolonged searches for slides, speeches, or something as simple as the correct logo to use for letterheads.

What’s more, with a good strategy in place and effective use of metadata, these assets can be listed and labelled according to who can use them, for what purpose, and for which audiences. You no longer have to worry about sensitive statistics in your slides being used in error because your deck has been forwarded around the team without your specific instructions to the contrary being relayed. Those instructions are coded into the system.

Relentless Reorientation

The pace of change isn’t slowing, if anything it’s increasing. Though in marketing the stakes are rarely quite as high as Darwin’s “struggle for existence”, and more about the “struggle for sales”, the evolution of the marketing landscape accelerates every day.

According to the latest Zenith Media forecasts, social media advertising budgets continue to grow at the expense of print, up 20% in 2019, and now accounting for 13% of all global advertising spend. For some, these statistics are enough to turn them as white as a sheet, but as marketers we must be cognizant of where our customers are, how they behave, and how to pique their interests. We want to give them the treats they crave, not trick them into turning and running.

Increasingly, our engagement with prospects takes place online, with more and more of the touchpoints needed to convert sales opportunities involving some form of digital asset – whether that be a tweet linking to an informative blog post, or a gated piece of thought leadership content. Managing, and crucially measuring, the interactions with these touchpoints and success of those engagements is growing in importance. While talk of numbers is enough to scare some into an early grave, it’s not as frightening as all that.

At the scale we’re talking about, this is way beyond a manual process, and requires smart, integrated technology to fuel the commercial growth McKinsey predicts. Thankfully, it has never been easier to install and implement the kind of system that can significantly simplify this task. With a modern DAM solution, marketers can create a few policies, set a few rules, and upload a few assets, and simply let the software tackle the hard work.

While at first the current climate may seem like a living nightmare, marketers have rarely been so well-equipped to deal digitally with the sheer amount of decisions facing brands today. As ever – much like Darwin’s finches – in the right conditions marketers can not only survive, but thrive. By resourcing marketing teams with a DAM platform, and rolling out a slick content operation, organisations can ensure they look like the jazziest jack-o-lanterns, while their competitors slowly turn to a stringy, orange mush.


Written by Sairah Mojib, Head of Marketing, EMEA, Widen.

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