An explosion in digital production techniques, media channels and agency partnerships, means the marketing industry has become increasingly fragmented and chaotic, making managing your brand’s digital assets seem almost impossible.

Amongst this frantic fragmentation, as a marketing professional, you have to plan, budget and prepare, not only for proactive marketing spend, but also reactive marketing opportunities; jumping in on conversations with their audience in real-time, as and when they’re happening.

So how do you empower your team and partners to be agile? To react to marketing opportunities whenever the lightbulb moment strikes? How do you get the best value from your ever-increasing pool of advertising content? And how do you handle the growth of your creative content into the future?

Efficient brand asset management is one of the key focal points for marketing leaders today and can mean the right teams, get the right messages into market faster than the competition. And that’s exciting.

There are three simple rules for finding a data asset management solution that’ll ensure your marketing efforts outperform the rest:

  1. Keep your independence

Be your own lead agency; the custodian of your content. Make certain you have complete, untethered control of your creative assets.  No matter when, where or by whom they were created.

Over time there is no question that your marketing partners, teams and suppliers will change. And that’s a good thing. The abundance of specialist agencies and project-based partnerships means brands can curate a hand-selected team of experts, on a campaign by campaign basis and the long-term lead-agency model becomes no longer the norm.

It makes sense that to safeguard your brand’s assets against instability and change, it’s important to keep them independent of transactional suppliers.

Forward-thinking brands see content asset pool as exactly that – valuable brand assets which should be owned and controlled by them; holding a company legacy to the past and form cost saving opportunities, through reuse and repurposing well into the future.

  1. Make collaboration, control and change pain-free

The barriers to entry in the supply chain in today’s marketing landscape are zero. Which means people and agencies can specialise. Really talented people are drilling down to what they are great at and opening small companies, that are truly the best at what they do.

Which is exciting. It means you can have the very best creative team in the city, working alongside the very best social media specialists, alongside the coolest film director, alongside the best PR, alongside freelance editors and digital specialists.

There is no chance, however, that these people all work at the same place. But, they still all need access to your pool of creative assets. And they will probably need it simultaneously. And some might be overseas, working in different timezones.

A cloud-based interface for your content pool is the answer. At the same time, however, you need control. Some suppliers might be working on your competitor’s business, or moving on with passwords stored in their phone.

So you need to store your content to a degree that enables easy, clear collaboration across a village of suppliers, yet has trackable footprints, watermarks, or confirmation protocols, so there is accountability and clarity of use.

Plus, you need the ability to grant or revoke access in a moment. You should be able to open the gate to your pool for new suppliers immediately, so they can create value from day one, while keeping control of access and the content created, as partnerships change and evolve.

  1. Sophisticated search capabilities is a must-have

You should be able to locate a particular file with speed and ease, no matter how far down the haystack that particular needle is hidden.

Look for a solution with some serious search functionality, one that uses key search terms that make sense for your business’ filing system, uses the latest tech, AI to aid tagging and is organised in a truly sophisticated way.

The system you depend on to do this needs to be secure, with a robust archive storage system that’ll keep files damage-free indefinitely. With the lifespan of an external hard drive, averaging 3-5 years, it doesn’t take long to work out this is not an appropriate long-term data storage solution – yet it’s the device of choice for most businesses large and small.

If you collate, store and manage your brand’s content properly, they can be considered exactly that – brand assets that add real value to the business.

But, like any other asset, the digital asset has to be considered useful and in working order – so you have to take care of your pool of assets well, and keep them safe.

That’s why industry-leading brands are actively seeking out a service-based solution, one which can collage, tag, upload and take care for their content for them, ultimately helping them to regain control of their content library.

And when you’re in control, your team can get messages into market faster, make your existing content work harder, turn content into legacy brand assets and protect the brand against the industry fragmentation that we see happening all around us.

When it’s put like that, these three simple rules for data asset management, don’t really seem like too much to ask.