Three Tips for Fostering Content Creativity and Collaboration with Technology

Oct 20, 2017

Article ImageCreative teams play a pivotal role in driving the success of digital assets — whether being utilized across content marketing campaigns, ecommerce platforms, or social posts — but they are often hampered by inefficient design, and approval processes.

To realize the full potential of their creative talent and execute effective omnichannel strategies, marketing leaders must empower their creative teams to do their best creative work while guiding content and creative through the production process and measuring performance for continuous improvement. This is often easier said than done. However, by executing three best practice strategies, marketers can use technology to establish marketing and creative synergy and optimally generate content that propels on-time and intended business results. This includes establishing a common set of standards for style and image requirements, defining effective workflows that take unique creative processes into account, and offering easy access to the tools, files and categorized content details that marketers and creatives need to be successful. 

Get Aligned on Content Standards

As creative directors, agencies, and brand managers are working around the clock to push out the latest content-appropriate images, it can become confusing and time consuming to wrangle different variations of images for a multitude of use cases. For example, a dress image is likely part of a large collection of product content such as images of the dress appearing on a model and in different colors, videos of the dress taken at different angles or on a runway, and varying formats of the image based on channel requirements for the brand’s ecommerce sites, mobile apps, social media channels, and the list goes on.

In retail, for example, many companies are now committing to align with the GS1 US Product Images and Data Attributes standards, which are uniform image naming, formatting, and attribute standards that apply to the management and exchange of product data throughout supplier distribution channels. This initiative helps retailers work more efficiently with suppliers and ensure accuracy and consistency throughout the imagery that is used across suppliers in terms of size, file formats, resolution, and other elements.

On the whole, more marketers are turning to technology automation to help manage their images and image standards – freeing creative teams to focus on creating the most effective imagery possible while saving their work in the desired formats and locations for easy access throughout the marketing organization. This approach also helps marketing operations leaders collaborate better with distribution partners by establishing a set of consistent expectations for the types of images and visual content that will be available, as well as how and when they can be retrieved for use.

Rethink Creative Workflows

Another way that creatives and marketers can achieve more success together is through technology-enabled workflows. It’s common for these two groups to focus on siloed activities but this often creates friction and inefficient processes when it comes to reviews and approvals – resulting in unnecessary delays and frustration. Many marketers utilize digital asset management (DAM) systems to store and organize content, but they should also examine their workflow processes to identify roadblocks that repeatedly slow their teams down or create misunderstandings.

“Creator” and “reviewer” roles span a web of creative, marketing, product, legal, and other lines of business departments, so it is helpful to establish a centralized digital home for tracking the development progress and shepherding the approval process in a transparent way. With roles and responsibilities clearly defined, all relevant departments and team members can lend their expertise and participate at the right points in the flow to ensure assets are approved for use in a timely manner. As marketers are constantly jockeying for position across the omnichannel landscape, implementing an automated workflow helps them stay relevant by rapidly pushing out new content while also ensuring brand protection. 

Offer a Gateway to Categorized Content Access

Simply storing visual content in a centralized repository is no longer enough for marketers trying to maintain a competitive edge across all digital channels. Creative directors and designers are often inundated with requests for different variations of images and require an effective way to determine if those images and dimensions already exist or whether a new format is needed to meet these needs. With thousands of images being managed across the company, rich image data must be properly metatagged to generate accurate search results within a DAM.

Providing a gateway to rich, metatagged content is a helpful way to ensure that marketing assets are available to all who need them in the appropriate format, without an overload of manual requests. To deliver the right level of detail, creative and marketing leaders should establish requirements for including metadata attributes for proper cataloging as well as tags that refer to particular product categories, seasons, materials, managers involved, etc.

By implementing technology-driven collaboration strategies, marketers, and creatives can drive more effective campaigns with clear and consistent expectations regarding image standards, workflows, and access to properly categorized content. This results in improved business outcomes, better brand visibility and ultimately, more sales.

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