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Marketing technology

5 ways to future-proof your marketing programs

by Canto  |  August 17, 2022

6 min. read
Man looking confused about how the marketing puzzle will get put together.

In periods of economic uncertainty, marketing teams need to be ready to adapt to the unexpected and shift priorities to accommodate changes in the business landscape. By investing in technologies that enhance flexibility and streamline processes, you can future-proof your marketing programs against disruption and downturns in the market.

Preparing for the future

When building out marketing programs, organizations frequently only think about pain points that have caused problems in the past and current challenges that are impacting the present. They then go about implementing solutions and processes that work well for their current needs, but these solutions may not be well suited for the future.

There’s also a tendency for organizations to develop their marketing programs in piecemeal fashion. For instance, they might utilize a legacy system for storing and sharing digital assets internally but use a cloud-based storage platform like Google Drive to work with freelancers and deliver assets to vendors over a SharePoint account. This arrangement is not only complex and prone to version confusion, but also creates problems around managing access permissions.

Even worse, it requires a lot of documentation, training, and institutional memory to maintain. If key team members responsible for managing the system leave the organization, they can take a great deal of operational knowledge with them. In times of economic uncertainty or market disruption, marketing teams need to be able to locate, manage, and share assets quickly to respond to changing circumstances. That’s hard to do when they’re spending the majority of their time searching for the material needed to generate sales, marketing, and brand content.

Two colleagues putting the content workflow of a marketing program together with new tools.

5 ways to future-proof your marketing programs

Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take to future-proof your marketing programs against disruption and ensure that you’ll be able to adapt in times of uncertainty.

1. Consolidate your content

Storing assets across multiple platforms is a recipe for confusion and error. Not only will people waste time searching for the materials they need, but they’ll often end up duplicating work when they can’t find something, which creates even more uncertainty for subsequent projects. If no one knows which version of an asset is the most up-to-date, they could potentially use the wrong one when creating content and undermine your brand integrity.

By consolidating content within a single source of truth, everyone on your marketing team knows where to find assets and can easily determine where, when, and how to use them appropriately. Content consolidation is especially important if you’re working with external collaborators, because it ensures that all creative work is being stored in a single location, no matter where it’s coming from.

2. Streamline creative workflows

Organizational agility often means the difference between taking advantage of sudden opportunities and lagging behind competitors. Content needs to go from concept to approval quickly, with as few bottlenecks as possible. Without an integrated workflow that supports collaboration and review, your team could wind up endlessly passing content back and forth or forgetting to move projects along to the next stage of approval.

Automated content workflow tools can keep projects on track and eliminate unnecessary delays in the review and approval process. Your team can identify key collaborators and notify them whenever actions need to be taken to move projects closer to completion. Enhanced efficiency through automation allows you to adapt quickly to changing circumstances and beat your competitors to market with compelling content.

3. Get more out of your content

When budgets and resources are abundant, it’s easy to treat digital assets as a disposable resource. If a collection of photos goes unused or forgotten about, new ones can be obtained for the latest projects. But when periods of economic uncertainty cause budgets to tighten, there is increasing pressure to squeeze every last bit of value from existing assets.

When assets are tagged and cataloged effectively, teams can find and utilize digital assets in future campaigns more effectively. That not only means using everything you have, but also recycling and repurposing content across multiple channels to stretch your marketing budget farther. Your teams can easily pivot to an environment where they’re expected to do more with less by creatively reusing assets in different campaigns and contexts.

4. Empower users

In a large organization, responsibilities and tasks tend to be divided among many different team members. While this can have benefits in terms of efficiency, it also makes it difficult to adapt to new circumstances if the team suddenly must operate with fewer people. Access restrictions, approval bottlenecks, and a lack of training can leave marketing teams struggling to keep up during periods of economic uncertainty.

Empowering team members to operate more independently and take initiative is essential for scaling content production to match the needs of the market. If everyone knows how to use software tools to locate and share assets, it’s much easier to consistently deliver the right amount of content and to do so efficiently. Productive digital team members are effectively able to function as an “army of one” when it comes to managing assets.

5. Integrate technology platforms

As organizations grow, they adopt a variety of technology platforms to perform essential tasks. When these platforms don’t integrate with one another, manual processes evolve to bridge the gap, which introduces the risk of human error and inefficiency. The situation becomes even more complicated when external partners are involved because additional tools and processes may be needed to transfer assets and information from one party to another.

Creating direct integrations between software tools that allow for easier communications and data transfer is essential for future-proofing your organization. Ideally, content can be managed from one centralized hub that can share assets to and from many different locations. Direct integrations make it easier to quickly locate, access, and distribute content across a variety of platforms when economic conditions are creating disruption in the market.

Image of a library of content surrounded by security, applications, and workflows.

Maximize your marketing flexibility with Canto DAM

Organizations often have a lot of tools in place to manage their marketing and brand assets but lack a platform that brings everything together in times of rapid change and uncertainty. Digital asset management (DAM) software like Canto can serve as the central nervous system for an adaptive creative content team that needs to move quickly and decisively in order to take advantage of opportunities and get the most out of their marketing strategies.

Canto’s powerful DAM platform consolidates your assets into a single source of truth and provides an array of intuitive tools for organizing and distributing assets. Keywords, tags, and metadata make it easy to label and structure your content library into folders and albums for easy searching, so you spend less time digging through the archives and more time working on content that moves the needle. Canto also streamlines sharing and collaboration through the use of customizable portals to help you get assets to the people who need them faster.

With Canto in place to manage content, you can future-proof your marketing programs against disruption and economic uncertainty by empowering your team to take control of your assets. To find out how Canto can provide the tools you need to overcome any challenge, sign up today for a personalized demo.