It’s hard to believe, with all the technology available today, how many leading organizations still rely solely on an intranet orCMS like SharePoint, or simple file sharing apps like Dropbox to manage their brand. Often the root of this is lack of knowledge, or decisions being made by departments that don’t understand the marketing need or use cases, (e.g. IT or CFO’s). So is a shared folder approach enough? NO!
Here are three of the many challenges of managing your brand through file sharing software or folders on the intranet.
Finding Assets – Whether it’s a CMS or intranet, these platforms weren’t designed with the intention of brand management and marketing implementation. They were designed to store files in various folders, that’s it. The problem with organizing assets in folders is that actually finding what you’re looking for can be extremely difficult. The search capabilities are very limited in these platforms, and there’s often no way to tag assets with metadata that’s searchable. This causes extra work for the departments managing the platform fulfilling requests because everyone else can’t find what they need.
Usability – In order for marketers or colleagues to use the assets, they must download the file to their desktop and then upload it into the application being used to apply it to the creative piece. This leads to a lot of errors and need for extra review of materials to ensure proper usage and versions are maintained. Additionally, the only way for people outside the organization or department to access the assets are through email.
Support – For the most part, intranets and CMS systems rely on the in-house IT department to handle maintenance and support tickets. If it’s not handled internally, organizations may pay for support from external teams, which can put users in queues , that mean long wait times. In either case, what support users do get comes from people who likely don’t understand the importance of managing the brand. They may not see how addressing the core needs and challenges for marketers and communicators will benefit the entire organization.
Using your intranet or a CMS to manage your brand and marketing efforts is a place many companies start, but it often evolves to a difficult square peg/round hole situation. You can make things work in the beginning, but as needs evolve, (and they always do), it’s typically difficult or costly to make changes so the system supports you, not the other way around.
To be effective and efficient, you should think through the different use cases for your brand assets and how you plan to deploy them. Things like who needs access, and what processes need to be in place to deliver your brand and marketing initiatives as intended. Once that’s established, then look for a platform that fits the way you work. For most, that means a dedicated platform for marketing and branding. After all, your CFO wouldn’t want Marketing to be choosing the accounting software they use for managing the company’s financials.