Part 1 in a 2-part series
So you’ve started hearing more and more about Marketing Asset Management, or “MAM,” as a way to boost your marketing ROI. You’re intrigued, and looking to understand how to quantify ROI more tangibly for your organization.
Let’s look at how MAM will boost your marketing team’s productivity while producing significant cost savings.
How MAM Works:
MAM takes your marketing assets – collateral, direct mail, emails, web landing pages, POP and more – and creates templates for them. Core branding elements are locked in the templates to guarantee brand consistency. Other text and graphics are variable to allow customization and localization for different target markets. A MAM system stores these templates online, along with a library of available graphics to insert in the templates, and makes them available in an online portal to users in your outside sales and marketing organization. These users can then log into the portal, customize assets within the boundaries set by your internal team, order the exact quantities they need on demand and track delivery to their locations.
This is all automated within the portal, requiring no involvement from your marketing team. The MAM system also tracks asset consumption rates to help you gauge which assets are most effective in your campaigns.
Will your company benefit from MAM?
If your company has any of the following, there is a high likelihood that you’ll reap a significant return from investing in MAM:
- A distributed sales and marketing organization with many users
- Multiple target markets (by geography, demographics, other characteristics or a combination of these)
- A need to customize marketing assets to better sell to target markets
- Marketing assets that change often
- A wide variety of different assets
Here are the benefits you can expect from having MAM:
- Massive time savings: Before MAM, your marketing team would have to manually customize and produce many versions of marketing assets for local markets. This is laborious and time consuming, and can require several internal personnel and outside contractors – a hugely inefficient process. The steps involved include:
a. Team members stopping what they are doing when a request comes in
b. Responding to a localization request
c. Approving the request
d. Specifying the changes to be made by a production artist
e. Producing the art
f. Approving the art
g. Producing the asset (printing, prepping final electronic files for online communications)
i. DeliveryBy using MAM, you can remove steps a. through f. for each customization request. Asset customization and order fulfillment essentially become self-service. Instead of your internal team tending to every request manually, the MAM system lets any number of outside users customize and order their own assets using pre-approved templates. Design parameters are preset and the process of customizing assets, creating production-ready artwork and sending it to a production facility is fully automated. The result: your internal team no longer has to spend any time fulfilling requests, and your users can receive customized assets much more quickly. The more users in your organization and the more campaign assets you produce, the more time and cost you’ll save by having MAM. Potential savings: substantial.
- Much faster campaign roll-outs: By eliminating multiple steps in the asset customization process and automating the others, MAM can literally shave weeks or even months off the time to roll out new marketing campaigns. Your users can respond to customers much more quickly with tailored, up-to-date assets, driving revenue that much faster. Quicker roll-outs also make it easier to test campaigns and get timely feedback on whether they are working or not. Potential increase in return: substantial.
- Opportunity costs: The time your marketing team spends fulfilling customization requests means time away from more important activities, like developing campaign strategy and creative executions. How much productivity is your team losing because of fulfillment activity? With a MAM solution in place, your marketing team is free to focus on revenue generating activities without interruption. Potential productivity boost: substantial.
- Brand control: Templates protect your corporate brand at all touch points while allowing whatever level of local customization you require. Brand consistency is a cornerstone of winning and keeping customer loyalty and may be considered priceless. Value to the brand: incalculable.
- Greatly reduced waste: A constant challenge for marketers is estimating the right quantity of marketing materials to produce. Typically, significant quantities of marketing inventory sit unused on shelves, either because pieces are too generic for specific needs or because simply too many were ordered. Eventually these pieces become obsolete and must be thrown away. MAM can dramatically reduce waste by allowing users to order materials that are custom tailored to their exact needs, in just the quantities they need. Potential cost savings from reduced waste and inventory costs: substantial.
Sounds great, you say. But, how about some numbers? How can we quantify these benefits? Your actual savings will depend on your specific business case. In Part 2 of this blog series (to be published December 13, 2011) we’ll help you do your own calculations with a basic MAM ROI equation and some real world examples of applying it.