The Importance of Brand Consistency

The Importance of
Brand Consistency

Branding is a marketing practice of giving a meaning to specific organization, company, products or services by creating a name, symbol or design elements to create a unique and attention-grabbing profile. It is the set of actions you take to cultivate that brand. This helps people to quickly identify and experience the brand. Distinguishing it from competitors gives people a reason to choose your products over the competition’s, by clarifying what it is you offer that makes your brand the better choice. Brands should be a true representation of who you are as a business, and how you wish to be perceived.

The main objective of branding is to attract and retain loyal customers and other stakeholders by delivering a product that is always aligned with what the brand promises. This affects a range of people, from consumers to employees, investors, shareholders, providers, and distributors. As an example, when as the consumer you feel like the brand offers products that inspire you, you would probably desire to be part of its world. And as an organization, your brand is the way your customer perceives you.

Creating a connection with people is important for all organizations, and a brand can embody attributes which consumers will feel drawn to. Don’t leave your brand open to a variety of interpretations and customizations, as customers can be disappointed or confused when something does not live up to a brand’s promise. Over time, it could diminish the power of the brand and have irreversible effects for a business. Considering this impact, let’s take a closer look and discuss Brand Consistency.

Brand Consistency
The goal of a brand is to stay in the consumers’ minds for a long time. For your product to be competitive it is crucial that the first impression of the brand should be impactful as well as memorable. It’s not only about your business being instantaneously recognizable, it is also about promoting the value of your products and services through messaging and style elements, and, in the process, building trust and loyalty. And in today’s frenzy of content creation, there is a lot of marketing material to keep on-brand and ensure brand consistency across all channels.

Why is it important?
Branding allows you to control how people perceive and experience your brand—and you can ensure that perception and experience stays consistent across all your brand touchstones. By being consistent in your messaging you can set your brand apart from your competitors, which is especially valuable in a highly competitive and saturated market. In doing so, the brand becomes more and more entwined in the consumers lives making it incredibly powerful.

The most obvious benefit of brand consistency is brand recognition. And being immediately recognizable by their target audience helps not only build a strong association between the core values and the visual elements of your brand, but also sets your brand apart from the competition – a particularly valuable perk in highly competitive, saturated markets.

How to maintain it across teams?
For many businesses, marketing is fragmented—one marketing team devoted to traditional, the other to digital marketing. That creates a problem since the goal is consistent messaging across both digital and traditional channels. To reap the benefits of promoting the value of your products and services and in the process build trust and loyalty, teams need to collaborate and design a unified strategy.
The most successful brands keeps a check across their teams by implementing the following:

Building the brand image
The brand image should be tied to an organization’s core values, and relate specifically to the brand’s promise, personality, audience, and competitive positioning. Create a brand style and usage guidelines to ensure all messaging and brand asset use is on-point and consistent. These guides not only help the marketing department, but they also serve as guides to other employees and departments. And above all, the guidelines should align with a company’s vision and mission.

This is a long-term, documented plan that includes scheduling regular (at least annual) meetings to update your plan, review key design elements, and repeat the audit process to ensure your branding sends the right messages to your audience members about what you do and what they can expect if they engage with you further.

Creating or Revisiting your Branding Guide
The branding guide should include several key elements and if you don’t have a clear and persuasive repository of what your brand allows—and what it doesn’t—you need to create one. If you have one, you need to give it a second look.

Without these guidelines, the branding becomes inconsistent across channels. To avoid this eventuality, commit to a plan for the future. That should include scheduling regular (at least annual) meetings to update your plan, review key design elements, and repeat the audit process.

Ensure Brand Consistency with DAM
One of the most common reasons that brand consistency begins to waver is that organizations find it hard to control digital assets. Seamless integration of the digital assets with a Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems will keep you in sync with your brand guidelines.

Organizations can achieve consistent brand experiences by having a central location to store and access the guidelines and digital assets for brand use. It allows you to maintain brand consistency by keeping everyone on the same page.

In conclusion, brand consistency is top priority and is the driving factor in building trust with an organization’s target audience. The goal is to stay in the consumers’ minds for a long time and by following the above strategies for maintaining brand consistency, organizations increase their brand value.

Strategies for Businesses as Lockdown Measures Ease

Strategies for Businesses as
Lockdown Measures Ease

At the time of writing this article, we are entering the next phase of the pandemic where restrictions are easing and organizations are looking for ways to return to a new normal. Successfully returning to the physical workplace requires a balance of the external operating environment, such as regional public health status and work demand patterns, with internal capabilities such as employee wellness.

Here are some top tips you can follow to ease out of the lockdown.

  • Get ahead of the new normal
    Organizations are likely to find themselves in a “next normal” world and managing on-off decisions through different waves of the pandemic. Workplace readiness plans that are iterative, flexible and adaptable will prove invaluable and include ways to audit and measure safety within the worksite. Businesses should base their decisions on solid scenarios, as international events, large public gatherings, and even packed subways are unlikely in the near future. Find ways to make the best of the new situation instead of forcing the old ways back.
  • Get Help
    Governments around the world have introduced emergency tax measures to support business and employees in the Covid-19 crisis. The current emergency has demonstrated just how linked global health matters are to economic health. Government support is being provided to businesses – both employers and employees – to resurrect the economy. Tapping into these resources should be your top priority as the terms of these loans tend to be quite lenient.
  • Realistic Forecasting
    Avoid borrowing the cheery and overly optimistic take on the COVID-19 crisis. It may well enhance our performance, but it also results in participation in activities doomed to fail. Also, pessimism is never a good strategy, crisis or no crisis. Instead, it is better to use right information when making choices; optimism tends to result in faulty assessments and mistaken decisions. Finding a way to balance realism with optimism when talking to clients and employees by sharing the facts will help in emerging from this stronger and better.
  • Establish Communication Guidelines
    Communicating with the clients and employees about the pandemic is a delicate process and businesses need to strategize, communicate, and act with compassion. Clients are understandably most shaken by the economic impact, so it is incredibly important to communicate with employees and all stakeholders by using clear, compassionate and timely messages. Formalize this communication through clear guidelines. Trust is never more important than in a crisis. Keeping clients informed and being honest about where things stand, showing transparency and vulnerability helps build loyalty and lead more effectively.These guidelines don’t have to be exhaustive. In a time when unverified claims and rumors abound, it needs to establish the standards.
  • Rework Sales and Networking Strategies
    Hit by the Covid-19 slump and followed by social distancing and a nationwide lockdown, businesses will not be going back to the days of face-to-face sales and networking meetings anytime soon. They will have to re-look at how they manage and operate their business including re-visiting their business plan.During such testing times, businesses will need to strategize, communicate, and act with compassion. In some cases, the virtual networking events may not work for some people. In other cases, clients may be struggling with technology. It is better to focus, adapt new rules and be mindful of the aspects to alleviate risks and survive the slowdown.
  • Choose the Right Tools
    Even as the Covid-19 lockdown caused disruption in work at organizations, it made employees adept at adjusting to working remotely. When organizations open up their workplaces, they won’t be going back to pre-lockdown ways of working. Instead, it’ll likely be a mix of people working from home and working at the office.To keep the workflow smooth in this confusing and unpredictable times, and to keep clients happy, the right software should help you ensure your employees are on track. Regular check-ins over more informal channels, either face-to-face via a service like Zoom or Google Meet, or in text form using a tool like Slack or Discord have proved successful. JD Flow, our project and task management solution can assist in reaching top performance levels. It combines time tracking with project management, enhancing collaboration and making it easy to manage all the business processes in one place.
  • Conclusion
    As the COVID-19 health crisis turns into a lingering financial and economic crisis, uncertainty and doubt will challenge efforts to restore business confidence. To be able to predict exactly what will happen as the pandemic dies down would be somewhat futile. But relying on the above mentioned practices can help the organization move through the reopening phase with a renewed sense of purpose and trust.

Major Benefits of using a Digital Asset Management Solution

Major Benefits of using a
Digital Asset Management Solution

There are a number of challenges in today’s marketing landscape. With the rapid growth of digitalization, digital marketers, brand managers, website editors, and many other specialists need to be proficient with the management of the continuously growing volume and velocity of digital assets. The creative, marketing, and development teams need a unified approach to manage the entire asset lifecycle, from creation to consumption. The old-fashioned approach with content silos, inefficient workflows, and inability to scale is simply inadequate. Brands worldwide are expected to constantly deliver high-quality content as stakeholders are looking for information exclusively online.

An ideal Digital Asset Management (DAM) platform like JD Vault helps to solve this problem. It is designed to organize, enrich, version, archive and distribute digital files, ensuring a consistent brand and product communication, producing content efficiently, guaranteeing content distribution and maximizing user engagement. While such a solution can have many benefits depending on the specific needs of companies, we have identified some major benefits of using a DAM enterprise solution.

  • Streamlined Distribution
    DAM platforms encourage and facilitate collaboration among users. Centralized control of digital assets with a DAM greatly simplifies access to critical assets because all users with permission will be able to immediately download such valuable materials as soon as they become available. Internal content collaborators, sales teams, and external partners can all have instant access to materials in a self-serve environment. Integrations with other marketing technology platforms can further automate and enhance distribution processes, across channels and other systems.
  • Eliminate cost of lost or misplaced work
    One of the main issues in having more assets, is that there is increased probability of losing or misplacing them. A DAM virtually eliminates the costs associated with losing valuable digital assets because once the assets are hosted by a DAM solution, they are secure and easy to retrieve.
  • Accelerate creativity and production cycles
    DAM tools helps teams to quickly create and repurpose digital assets along with a smoother workflow and approval process. Version control and workflow approval functionality reduce time spent on manual tracking and gives you a competitive edge in your production cycles.
  • Reduce workflow redundancies
    Reducing workflow redundancies means more than just re-producing lost content. DAM systems can extend the value of assets through reuse and repurposing. Further, DAM solutions facilitates cross-team collaboration giving clear insights that enables multiple users to be on the same page, thus reducing the possibility of costly miscommunications.
  • Brand consistency and integrity
    The high degree of control furnished by DAM helps in the maintenance of the brand image. Access to the most up-to-date digital assets is controlled and this helps in conveying reliable messages, imagery, and identity through marketing collaterals or communication. This consistent use of the right content helps ensure cohesive brand messaging at every customer touch-point.
  • Permissioned access
    Permissions provide structure to your DAM and allow you to assign different roles and levels of access to your valuable assets. A DAM system allows organizations to provide permission control down to very specific levels so as to restrict access to sensitive content or limit download privileges on certain files.
  • Improve return on investment (ROI)
    DAM systems include powerful metrics that provide detailed summaries on every asset in your library. This access to data-driven analytics pinpoints exactly where gaps in your content reside, helping you to make budget friendly, strategic, creative decisions. This helps to adapt and improve marketing content strategies and eventually increase ROI.

Optimize Productivity in Remote Workspaces

Optimize Productivity in
Remote Workspaces

At the time of writing this article, the uncertainties caused by COVID-19 continue to disrupt work environments, leaving employees and managers alike to navigate a new work reality. The instantaneous transition to remote work was intended to ensure business continuity, but working remotely under the current circumstances means experiencing an unprecedented fusion of work and private life. Achieving an appropriate level of productivity with remote work is an important consideration for employees and employers.

Productivity is a key factor to measure the business performance of an organization. Teams cannot achieve productivity without a level of trust to work autonomously. Building workforce trust allows teams to explore new ideas and make decisions empowering them to do their job. Productivity of physically isolated teams is all about prioritizing work and being able to adapt to changes on the fly. By optimizing this individual productivity, businesses can significantly improve its performance to ultimately increase business results.

Here’s how three interdependent attributes can help remote teams optimize productivity in the current crisis to eventually increase business results.

  • 1. Agile Practices
    Working in remote agile teams can often present challenges that need to be overcome. The agile approach achieves productivity gains through effective communication and being highly responsive to customer demands. Agile practices such as gaining commitment to a set of goals, using the daily stand-up to ensure alignment, and delivering the tasks still apply while remote working. Agile keeps everyone focused on one task at a time, and this self-organized way of working leads to transparent goals, it promotes communication and, last but not least, increases productivity.
    The agile methodology focuses on learning and adapting to new requirements quickly. Using agile practices to collaborate with a remote team is a continuous process. And for this process to be successful, you need to regularly look for what works and what needs to change. Through commitment to agility, teaming and relentless improvement, agile teams are well positioned to adapt.
  • 2. Employee Autonomy
    An autonomous workplace is based on trust, dependability and integrity. Employee trust at work equates to a sense of ownership; this leverages individual strength and adds more value to the process. Studies have shown that employees given more autonomy were likely to be self-driven, and teams more connected and less susceptible to burnout.
    Autonomy in the workplace has as much to do with access as it does with trust. Employees should be able to create in a style that plays to their strengths. They may need technology, training and input from subject matter experts, and managers should be able to strike the right balance of providing freedom and remaining on hand to provide support and advice.
  • 3. Remote Team Alignment
    Remote working increases the autonomy and self-responsibility of employees. A remote work environment needs structure and a strong direction for employees to be aligned. A formal structure reinforces processes for how employees operate as there are targets to be met.
    Structured communication boosts engagement of team members as they understand that the value of their daily output relates to the success of the organization. The ability of teams to self-organize and generate their own structures takes on an even greater significance in the context of distributed work. The balance of a formal structure and informal communication with employees stimulates engagement, which is critical for productivity.
    In summary, remote working removes all the noise and distraction of the office and replaces it with the much more potent distraction of your home. Maintaining the context around work requires you to be more thoughtful in planning and more considerate in communication. Striking the right balance between the three interdependent attributes is incredibly effective for productivity. An agile organization uses technology to strike a balance between agility, autonomy, and alignment

Characteristics of High Performing Remote Marketing Teams

Characteristics of High Performing
Remote Marketing Teams

At the time of writing this article, businesses across the globe are struggling with the economic impact of the COVID-19 and the current signs are indicating a longer period of business disruption. All this disruption, along with the implications of suddenly moving to a remote work situation and shifting priorities, has created a host of new challenges for marketing.

Two of the biggest challenges that marketers face are – moving fast enough to keep up with the rapidly changing market, and creating innovative campaigns to differentiate and stand out. Although these obstacles are prevalent in today’s digital transformation, here are a few tips to make the most of your marketing teams during this time of uncertainty:

Agile Marketing Team
There are a number of prerequisites for agile marketing to work. A marketing organization must have a clear sense of what it wants to accomplish and have sufficient data, analytics, and the right kind of marketing-technology infrastructure in place. This technology component helps marketers make decisions, automate the delivery of campaigns and feed customer tracking and message performance back into the system. When the structure is centralized, there are clear lines of communication, so employees can be guided toward the achievement of the vision.In the absence of centralized management, there will be inconsistencies in relaying the message to employees because there are no clear lines of authority. Directing the organization’s vision from the top allows for a smooth implementation of its vision and strategies.

Collaborate
Marketing efforts require the entire department – alongside any external agencies they work with – to be fully connected. This alignment is critical in creating consistently high-quality campaigns at both scale and speed.Facilitating collaborative processes between team members and across departments, however, is easier said than done. Increased complexity equals increased odds of miscommunication, misalignment of resources, or general disorganization. To succeed in a distributed team, everyone should have visibility to the status of the project and where it stands. There should be no ambiguity to what’s being discussed.

Running a collaborative team environment takes a concerted effort to integrate co-operative values to leap over barriers and create open interactions among employees. This includes providing clear details, so that employees are aware of the boundaries between what they should be taking personal responsibility for, and what they need to work on collectively. Collaborative workplaces see increased levels of trust, a more engaged workforce, and improved performance.

Streamline processes
To work effectively, remote employees need to understand that there needs to be processes in place to ensure that work adheres to a set of standards, timelines, and workflows. Processes can also help avoid miscommunication, bottlenecks, and delays, which are common pitfalls.It is imperative to have streamlined processes in place that allow employees to complete their work with ease while ensuring consistent quality in their work and the experience they create for customers.

Marketing teams require close collaboration between different disciplines in order to execute on a campaign. Teams can benefit from having concrete processes in place on how to perform tasks. You can continuously refine these processes to increase efficiency and productivity.

Conclusion

Using the tips above, you can make sure that your organization can capitalize on a global workforce. However, in the current crisis, marketing teams need to adopt the tools and technologies that will enable them to achieve the same levels of collaboration and productivity they are used to.

Enable Marketing Teams Go Remote

Enable Marketing Teams
Go Remote

At the time of writing this article, the COVID-19 outbreak has made remote work the most viable alternative for most organizations, including digital marketing agencies. In a situation where the workforce is having to work in a decentralized manner and maintain social distancing, developing a comprehensive remote work policy may not be possible. Notwithstanding, to ensure an adequate level of productivity, you must adopt effective management strategies that will optimize the performance of your entire digital marketing team.

Remote work presents new needs and challenges that impact workforce and processes. Even though marketing teams are typically well-suited to running off-site since most of their work now takes place in the digital realm, remote communication can get difficult when managing intricate work with multiple team members.

Here are a few important tasks on how to manage your remote working digital marketing team-

Dynamic Work
This includes providing flexible work schedules, changing the locations where people work, and repurposing the roles they perform. The current situation is both reinforcing and accelerating dynamic work by restructuring teams and work schedules to identify work opportunities, and mapping worker availability with their skills.

This not only provides employees with the flexibility to work from anywhere, it enables to minimize the absenteeism and ensure operations continue to run smoothly. Like distributed work, dynamic work supports employees with the necessary technology and infrastructure, and also provides employees with work environments and experiences regardless of their location.

Using the Right Tools
During times of transition, Remote teams do require a certain approach to be effective. Make sure that employees stay organized, maintain communication, and use the right tools. This helps your marketing team stay on top of things and to feel a sense of stability as everything around them changed. Marketing teams rely on creative collaboration and constant connectivity to execute marketing campaigns on the fly. To collaborate remotely, workforces should have a reliable arsenal of tools.

Teams can collaborate on marketing team meetings by embracing the services mentioned below:

  • Slack and Microsoft Teams, essentially a team chat room and a private messaging platform for communicating and discussing blockers.
  • Confluence for creating style guides, documenting processes, and creating interlinked documents collaboratively.
  • Trello and Google Calendar for creating shared editorial calendars for managing publication of content.
  • Zoom or WebEx video conference tools for everything from large team meetings to one-on-one meetings.
  • JD Flow, a collaborative work management tool that is useful for creating project workflows, assigning and tracking progress of tasks across remote teams.

These tools work well in conjunction to improve team collaboration especially if your marketing team is scattered across the world.

Change Management
Remote working makes building a connection with your marketing team even more important. Marketing companies transitioning to remote work need to strategize how to communicate and collaborate effectively across teams to protect company culture and meet the larger company goals. For marketing leaders, running meetings is crucial to keep the team in sync on a weekly basis.

Getting your team together can give everyone in the team a chance to know how they contribute to the bigger picture, as well as help team members voice their concerns, stay motivated and productive, and build healthy relationships. Having frequent check-ins via phone calls or video conferencing, sharing updates in real-time, and visualizing the important metrics and marketing KPIs can help ensure that the team is always on the same page. Such routines can give team leaders an opportunity to review performances and tighten strategies for the time ahead before small challenges become large problems.

Creating a common platform for team members to share their work can improve transparency and accountability and build relationships in your remote marketing team. With the right team, strategies, and tools in place, you will find that having a distributed marketing team is just as effective.

Stop Wasting Time Managing Your Digital Assets

Stop Wasting Time Managing
Your Digital Assets

In today’s fast-moving world, driven by the advent of digital, mobile, and social platforms, the ever growing digital assets that marketing and communication teams have to manage has skyrocketed. However, teams continuing to work with traditional methods and tools to manage their digital assets have often caused more problems than they have solved. Their old-fashioned approach is centered around storing digital assets in folders, making it particularly difficult to store, search, find, and share the specific assets they need. Inevitably, these outdated or traditional solutions lead to reduced performance, lower efficiency and frustrated users.

As volumes of the digital files exploded, they became siloed and marketing teams struggle to find and distribute their content. In the context of a fast moving marketing environment, where the pushbacks are costly and deadlines tight, a modern and flexible DAM system helps rapidly create and deliver media-rich experiences at scale.

Here are some of the ways a modern DAM helps creative teams address these digital and physical interruptions to make their work better:

Digital Interruptions
We all know about the complexity involved in sharing revisions of work via emails. On an average, the employee spends an estimated 28 percent of the workweek managing e-mails, and nearly 20 percent tracking down specific files. Email overload engages employees throughout the day.It is easy to miss important notes, and revisions, which can waste time and also cause anxiety. The difference between productive people and everyone else consists of strategies to manage this information overload. Email often tend to become productivity bottelnecks – things that take up valuable employee time and keep them from their real priorities.A DAM system creates structure, by storing digital assets in one location. The design team can devote their time to creating assets; not searching for them. Anyone in the organization can access the assets. This reduces design requests and prevents any rework on assets that have already been completed.

Identifying your system requirements is an essential part of making sure that the DAM solution you choose for your organization will be the right one for your infrastructure and your users.

Physical Interruptions
When you are engaged in a complex task it will require your undivided attention to complete it effectively. Researchers estimate the average person gets interrupted once every eight minutes while they’re trying to work. Even the smallest interruption lowers productivity since focus was broken, and following a distraction it can take considerable time to get completely refocused.And yet, in many organizations, creative professionals get interrupted all the time. They are asked for the latest proofs. Instead of an ad hoc process where the creative team is interrupted for anything, implementing a DAM can better protect the creative team’s time.A DAM system makes it easier for teams to stay on the same page. For instance, when there has to be a logo change, all content with the old logo can be found quickly and updated. After the final version is approved, the new logo design can be added into the asset library and made available for anyone to use immediately.

Conclusion
Constantly having to design new marketing content while still keeping up with tight deadlines is stressful. A digital asset management is one of the best ways to improve results and resolve many of the frustrations so common to marketing. With less effort and greater oversight and control, your marketers can open the content floodgates, delivering a consistent flow of dynamic and engaging experiences to customers across any channel or device.

Benefits of DAM for a Remote Workforce

Benefits of DAM for a
Remote Workforce

At the time of writing this article, remote working and distributed teams have become household terms as the Covid-19 pandemic has forced organizations to operate remotely and embrace it as the new standard. Productively working from home can be challenging with distractions like household chores, easy access to TV, and kids. Teams or business units can quickly slip into confusion due to lack of clarity, preventing remote workers from accomplishing tasks.

Communication among the teams in a distributed set-up presents major challenges. Enabling teamwork and innovation across the geographically dispersed workforce and ensuring productivity requires organizations to adopt modern collaboration tools. Businesses will need to be equipped with the right digital tools optimized for teams to be effective. For communication, there are tools like Slack, Zoom and Microsoft Teams. For collaboration, there is
JDX Suite, Trello, and Google Drive.

Several enterprise SaaS products that enable remote working are changing how organizations increase their operational efficiency. They help businesses improve sales & marketing ROI and deliver better customer service. This article talks more specifically about file storage, and why Digital Asset Management systems are particularly helpful for remote teams.

A Central Repository
A cloud-based DAM – like JD Vault — centralizes the repository for all marketing and communication content such as photos, documents, audios and videos, in one place. This enables assets to be stored, managed and shared easily among teams, ensuring everyone in the organization bases their decisions on the same data.When working remotely, team members working at different locations do not want to be bombarded with emails or chat messages, to find specific assets. With a digital asset management system in place, it is easy to search and refine asset results because of the metadata associated with each asset file. This functionality extends the value of a DAM from sophisticatedly organizing your creative files to empowering teams across your organization to work better and faster.Many organizations share files remotely via a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection. However, this file sharing method often limits users and in addition, DAM systems are not available for remote sharing through a VPN. A DAM platform can be accessed anytime by simply logging into their company’s DAM system from any connected device. It enables teams to work collaboratively on digital assets and ensure faster turnaround time and brand consistency. Without barriers.

Security
A cloud-based DAM system raises significant security concerns. Their open access to the internet, combined with their centralized management, can result in data breach scenarios. Basic security practices such as authorization prevent unauthorized parties from accessing sensitive data.A secure sharing of authentication and authorization data between teams, and a Single Sign On (SSO) mechanism are important for user authentication. Using multi-factor authentication, blocking collaboration with third parties without authorization helps keep the assets in the house. A enterprise-grade DAM will also provide the best-in-class information security practices and help you scale your storage needs in a highly secure manner.

Role-based Permission Structure
Most DAM platforms provide some sort of a role-based permission structure with owners, admins, collaborators, and guest users. This layered structure enables DAM admins to keep permissions at a high level by creating access layers across the entire system and each user is able to understand his or her role better, propelling them to work on assigned tasks with laser focus.
Working remotely with digital assets requires admins to give access to the right users at the right time. Digital asset management platforms offer multiple layers of security to protect and secure assets. It offers a fully flexible permission settings, allowing/limiting who can access, download and share any given set of assets.Other features that improve collaboration might include comments and annotations on the asset level, checking assets in and out to ensure no one is using pending or expired assets, and an audit log to ensure the right asset is being utilized.

Version Control
Version control allows managing and tracking of each version of a file from a consistent location. Aggregating all asset iterations in one place helps eliminate brand inconsistencies, lost time, rework, and even legal dilemmas. With version control, history of the asset is captured — allowing teams to confidently select the most up-to-date and brand-approved file each time.When working remotely, it is difficult to maintain brand consistency. Creative workflows are nonlinear. With each iteration new feedback is added, and images or logos change. Leveraging version control helps manage this process. Employees in different locations may not be aware that the image or logo has changed. This can lead to the wrong file going out for publication. But with a DAM system, as soon as a logo or image is updated, it ensures that only the latest, approved version is available and visible to the team for use.

Distribution
Once the assets have been prepared, they can be saved centrally and distributed. DAM systems provide the option for sharing photos, videos, and other assets via a link. One upload to the DAM system can allow subsidiaries all over the world to access all content.You can set expiry dates on share links for individual assets, and you can also set an identification requirement so you can track who has accessed the assets. Users can access the content they need and convert to multiple file formats or crop to specific sizes without having to bother the creative or marketing team.Quicker distribution of content to all of your partners means better sales enablement, faster time to market for marketing campaigns and e-commerce sales, and increased ROI for you and your partners – even if you’re not all geographically co-located.

Adopting a DAM solution now will enhance remote working by collaborating employees and building upon the existing culture and dynamics of teams. Having the assets centralized and easily accessible at any time of day with a simple search is a benefit to remote teams who deal with digital files on a regular basis, and reduces potential bottlenecks.

Managing Creative Operations

Managing
Creative Operations

Creativity is associated with branding, marketing and advertising. A creative project must grab customers’ attention and show how different you are from your competitors. There must be a brand message that succinctly conveys the most important selling points of your products.

Being a creative professional can feel like an endless juggling act: balancing creative work and managing requests from managers and clients. Far too often, creative projects tend to have miscommunications between teams, bottlenecks during a review and approval process, and missed deadlines. As business challenges grow in complexity, the need for digital marketing firms, advertising agencies, branding studios and other businesses to invest in a creative operations software becomes clear. Creative operations includes communicating and collaborating, and also the automation of a few of the technical and business processes. Unfortunately, putting this concept into practice isn’t always easy for many organizations.

As you would expect from an operational role, there are ways to measure progress in creative operations. An efficient creative operation brings structure, process, and metrics to the creative workflow to optimize timeliness, capacity, and costs. Those companies with mature functions have their key performance indicators like number of revisions before approval, review-cycle times, time from asset request to publishing, and asset reuse, in place.

What is Creative Operations?
Creative operations is the framework that optimizes workflows within creative and marketing teams, ensuring that projects are delivered on schedule. The goal of creative operations is to improve the workflow, making it more structured and effective for content creators. But evolving corporate strategies around missed deadlines, approval bottlenecks and bloated budgets is not an easy practice.

This article will go over everything you need to know about creative operations: how to brainstorm together, communicate seamlessly and reach deadlines every time, and how you can start implementing it within your own organization.

Streamline creative workflows
Creative operations is all about supply and demand: that is, the ever-growing supply of content being created, and the higher demand for that content. As there is a need to repurpose and reformat creatives for various channels, disorganization prevails. Sharing of assets also gets quite complicated when teams use emails, text messages, documents, files rather than a more collaborative environment. Employees are likely to shy away or pass the buck from these difficult situations rather than step up to them.

Reviewing the creative workflow for the existing work processes helps understand exactly where the issues are. Connecting with key decision makers of the company on the root cause of the issues can identify a way out. This visibility over work-in-progress helps to see where the bottlenecks are in the creative process.

Creative operations have to provide creative teams with everything they need to focus on production. By encouraging a truly collaborative workflow, by gathering data, and clearly identifying where the issues are, creative operations aims to prevent this disorganization and streamline the creative process, which in turn provides more metrics and visibility.

Creative team
Faced with marketing demands for more volume, creative teams are struggling to maintain control and visibility into their work while rushing to create more assets and deliver campaigns quickly. They are hampered by inefficient processes that take the creative team’s valuable time away from revenue-generating work, pressurizing them to be productive rather than creative.

A creative team depends on the type of company; a creative team in an advertising agency consists of copywriters, editors, graphic designers, developers, producers and project managers. It’s clear that creative team members need different structures and deadlines within each campaign project. When managing a wide variety of marketing projects with demanding timelines, different team members, and many sub-components, taking the same approach as an engineering department isn’t going to work for a design department.

Ensure creative operations include enough space for different types of members to interact, design and execute campaigns. By adopting an evolved approach to workflow management, you can ensure your creative team stays on top of deadlines, updates progress, and even innovates.

Technical potential
Creative processes can get complicated with the many feedback loops, and a ton of different stakeholders to manage. Workflow technology can help improve and fine-tune your business processes, increasing visibility with valuable analytics that help you understand how long a project is taking or how best to allocate your limited resources. Data should be driving all of your business decisions and this means cracking down on time tracking and reviewing past projects to plan for future ones. These metrics help determine the work creative operations do within a company, measuring success through the use of technology.

Getting the right tool is important though, as one size does not fit all. Adding tools and metrics that can better measure the creative process, creative operations helps you understand and improve the way that creative work is performed in your organization.

DAM for creative operations
One of the most basic forms of a creative operations software is Digital Asset Management (DAM). Linking up creative operations with a digital asset management system makes your marketing department more efficient and productive. The primary purpose of this software is to manage the lifecycle of a brand’s digital assets. It is much more than just a digital content storage solution. It organizes your creative and marketing assets under a single roof, making it easier to find the content you need at the right moment.

Remove part of the creative operation procedure by using the storage provided by DAM. It will keep you technologically current and provide easy access to creative content.

Conclusion
As demands increase and work gets more complex, technology has a greater role to play. However, successfully implementing creative operations into your company will require careful planning – from helping creative teams identify weak points and work more efficiently, to making data-driven decisions. An investment in a Creative Operations Software provides enterprise software solutions that is needed in order to add creative operations to business.

Remote Working: The future for Agencies

Remote Working:
The future for Agencies

As the global outbreak of COVID-19 intensifies, widespread travel restrictions have been announced across the globe affecting the business world immensely. Remote working is shaping how the global workspace operates. According to a survey, more than 50% of the workforce don’t want to return to their office after COVID-19. This means that the demand for remote working is going to increase rapidly.

Even though agencies and tech companies have come up with an emergency plan and have taken this opportunity to shift to remote working, their plan has not been adequate enough to cope with the scale of the outbreak. Though emergency remote working plans are an effective way to separate employees and mitigate the risk of contact with the virus, these plans do not strictly confirm with the best practices. It is important to make a clear distinction between smart plans and less-strategically-conceived plans. There are new challenges that agencies have to battle as the pandemic accelerates the shift to a virtual model.

Both start-ups and large agencies can’t succeed without resiliency in the face of adversity. Agencies contemplating on going remote full-time need to communicate how emergency measures differ from long-term strategies, as this could lay the wrong groundwork for implementing a remote-working plan in the future.

There are long-term challenges that agencies will have to deal with in the future. Here are the hurdles agencies need to know about before making the decision to adopt remote working successfully:

  • Focus on the process
    Too many procedures stifle creativity and productivity, but just the right amount can streamline work, creating an efficient and productive work environment. Processes must match the end objective. Keeping the process simple while following procedures ensures quality and makes the team more efficient. In complex working environments, when there are too many complicated steps, a little bit of agility and adaptation gets things done.
    An efficient process involves –

  • Documentation of project-related information
    Through proper documentation, the expected process is captured and can be used as a standard for process control.

  • Identifying roles and communicating protocols
    This way, expectations are understood and the ability to self-manage the process is driven.

  • Ensuring enforcement of the process
    Strong leaders do have contingency plans and the ability to drive activity through the process even in unanticipated conditions.

  • Communication
    Communication is one of the biggest challenges for agencies transitioning to remote working. It can be difficult to keep remote workers in the loop and establish a clear plan for communicating with each member. The important thing is to make sure processes are communicated to those who participate in them, so that everyone is consistent. By creating the expectation that the entire team will communicate regularly with one another, team members will feel connected regardless of where they are.
    To establish good communication –
    Determine the best mode. (Phone, email, Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc.)
    Make sure everyone knows how to use the selected communication platform.
    Conduct regular check-ins. Schedule regular communication, clarify responsibilities on what’s expected of each employee on a daily basis.

  • Mimic Office Culture Remotely
    Company culture can be partially defined by the connections that the employees make. It is the holistic force that guides actions and interactions in the workplace. A sense of community improves employee engagement because this helps employees feel more enthusiastic about their work.
  • A time of disruption like this presents an opportunity to ensure that remote teams embrace the culture. This is crucial to growth, productivity and professional development for everyone involved.You can do so by
    Hosting virtual team building events. These events can include employee milestone celebrations or company-wide contests. This ensures that your team feels engaged and connected to the company culture.
    By addressing the challenges, you can reimagine your business. To make things easier for teams, the key is to make the transition process as frictionless as possible. It’s crucial that the team thinks ahead and creates a plan that makes sure all team members are provided the necessary resources. Although this is still a developing field, there are some steps you can adopt to transition smoothly to remote work:

  • Embrace digital documentation
    One of the key challenges to remote working is getting access to paper or other physical documents. Today’s advanced platforms ensure that all of this is done digitally and made available to remote workers. Document management saves time and reduces errors associated with having multiple copies of the same information. By digitizing documents, you can ensure that remote employees have all of the information they need to do their jobs, while also avoiding the cost and complexity of managing physical documents. Digital information can be managed in an automated fashion, from the creation and collaboration process to the business support process and ultimately the disposal process at the end of its lifecycle.

  • Create a Remote Work Policy
    In order to have a smooth transition to remote working, it’s important to create a set of guidelines or rules that employees should follow when working from home (or locations other than the office). You can decide which roles can be done remotely. It is important to know from the start which roles can shift from the office to the home in a fluid fashion. It is important to make clear that while employees no longer work at the office, rules, regulations, and policies may still apply.

  • Schedule Virtual meetings
    One of the most common mistakes to avoid when leading a remote team is not checking-in on a regular basis. When your team is transitioning to remote working, it is essential to schedule recurring one-on-one meetings for getting on the same page with your colleagues.
    Carefully set up an agenda, test your tech, make sure the desired outcomes of the meeting are clear and follow up on action items, it can save time and really help your team. Regular team meetings can help you ensure that the team is aligned and motivated.

  • Take advantage of technology
    As remote workers and virtual teams are on the rise, so is the number of tools and software that cater to remote workers. Advanced technology has made remote working possible today. An important part of planning includes arming yourself with a toolbox of software that can help you reach your goals.
    A remote team simply can’t work without everyone accessing and using the right tools for their work. First, know all the tools used by your team and learn how to use them best. This will help you in quick and efficient communication with the team. Next, find out the best remote collaboration tools that can help with your productivity.

  • Adopt a project management system
    If you are not already using a project management system, now is definitely the time. By using the right tools any remote team can become more productive and ensure great team collaboration. Managing multiple remote teams and projects can quickly become messy. A project management system proves invaluable for agencies handling numerous projects simultaneously and remote teams of any size. It helps with almost every project management activity, and also keeps everyone on the same page on both the workflow and deadlines. These tools help employees track their time and manage their productivity.
    Transitioning to remote working allows businesses to continue to operate, but limits the interactions between employees. As we progress, it is important to adapt — and agencies are no exception. Agencies think about new customer needs, employee needs and communication strategy.