Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Marketing Asset Management Systems

More and more marketing companies are storing all their marketing communication assets (meaning all their consumer facing communication elements, including TV spots, Banners, Radio spots, Print ads, Outdoor prints) in an easy to access and distributable system, mainly with the focus to enable their worldwide marketing teams to access the marketing material in a convenient and cost efficient manner. While most of these initiatives start with the urge of saving costs, and ensuring brand compliance on a global scale, some of these marketing organizations are waking up to the potential of marrying these asset management systems with true data intelligence that would help the marketer to decide when to use a particular creative asset (e.g. TV spot, Web Banner, Radio spot) with a consumer at the right time and in the right channel.

I haven’t seen yet any truly successful marriage of these two very distinct capabilities and systems but I know of several Fortune 100 firms who have started projects to make it happen. It should be very interesting to see if they have any significant success in improving the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. Based on my experience with both systems I suggest that a few success factors will determine the true outcome of these initiatives:

  • Are the head of the marketing intelligence team and the owner for the creative work truly aligned in their goals of making this project a success? If not, the failure is more or less guaranteed.
  • Are the systems not just technology wise compatible but has the project team clearly defined the ultimate outcome of the initiative, including user profile, realistic effectiveness goals, and guidelines for internal decision process of how and when to use it?
  • Are the regional marketing teams truly involved in this initiative, so that the system allows for regional particularities without diluting the effectiveness of such a global system?
  • Are the expectations towards the C-level executive team clearly set up-front, so that everyone understands that this is not a silver bullet but a critical milestone of becoming a truly smart marketing organization of the 21st century?

It seems to me that three different types of organizations will be on the cutting edge of combing the marketing asset systems with data intelligence: Highly innovative marketing agencies, marketing pioneers within Fortune 2000 companies, and software companies who are incorporating marketing agency functionalities (e.g. Google, Microsoft). I will keep you posted about any observed progress of teams across this wide spectrum of organizational candidates.