Like many companies, you’ve probably spent a lot of time and money writing your unique story and developing your individual brand. Now you need to protect it! Sadly, many companies forget about this fundamental step in brand management and their brand quickly gets watered down and starts blending in with everything else. Other companies may be aware of the importance of brand management, but simply don’t have the tools or resources to manage the task.
Fortunately, technology has made it easier on marketers and business owners to maintain their message. Marketing automation platforms are an effective way to not only automate your processes and lead nurture activities, they also help reign in the “creativity” that we sometimes encounter in the field or outside of the marketing department. By making it possible to build out consistent templates, branded materials and targeted campaigns, marketing automation simplifies the task of keeping your brand under control.
5 Ways to Manage Your Brand with Marketing Automation
- One-Stop-Shop - I’m sure we all remember the days of storing various types of collateral in multiple folders and having to remember if you saved to the right place. Some things might be saved on desktops (an entire issue in and of itself), some might be in Google Drive and others might live in a shared environment visible to only a few team members. Each of these three scenarios have limitations and cause a bottleneck in terms of accessibility, not to mention the consistency risk they create. With marketing automation, materials are template-based and can easily be stored on one place. Now your sales team (and whoever else needs it) can immediately see what types of materials are available and access them whenever they are needed.
- Personalized Templates - The days of manually creating collateral for each individual person are over - we know, music to your ears, right? We think so too. Because the system is template-based, you can pre-build your materials based on your brand guidelines and then allow your users to personalize them as needed. This way, you know what is being sent out and can be sure your team is always on-brand.
- Reducing the “Rogue” - We all have at least one. That person who never likes what is already created and seemingly has to make their mark on every piece of collateral in your library. Or maybe they think they are marketers and like to create their own unique materials. One of the great benefits of marketing automation platforms is that they solve for “The Rogues”. Approval processes can be put in place up-front and can allow for certain changes (if any) to be made within the platform and then approved by specific individuals. For the overachievers who design their own materials, once they start to see how easy it is to create collateral within the platform, they will eventually come around.
- Compliance and Tracking - It’s a bit like the chicken and the egg conundrum - what comes first...compliance or marketing? You can’t create materials without a brand, but your brand needs to be compliant before you can create materials. Solving that mystery has been a big pain point for marketers in the past, but now there is a solution. Templates can be created in such a way that they allow for any and all compliance/legal requirements to automatically be populated. The system logs every piece of material that gets created so not only do audits run smoother, but you as a marketer, can determine where to focus your efforts.
- Making campaigns look easy - If you’re still sending out individual e-blasts, you’ve got a problem. It’s very easy to let go, as time goes by, and allow changes that eventually alter your original look and feel. Maybe you win a big award and you want to brag about it. A one-off template doesn’t account for your overall brand guidelines and, depending on who’s creating the piece, you will get different outcomes. Once that happens, you’ve lost your customer. When you build your campaigns in a marketing automation platform, you have everything in one place (there’s that #1 again) so you can easily add new pieces that are consistent with the rest. As an added bonus, you can schedule your campaigns to go out according to specified criteria – hello automation!
As more companies continue to utilize marketing automation platforms, they are seeing the many advantages. Brand control is only the tip of the iceberg. If you’d like to read more, we suggest continuing to our other post Marketing Automation: Why You Need It.