Digital brand compliance: A new responsibility of content marketing

Karen, the newly appointed content manager of an up-and-coming SAAS platform was befuddled with the sheer magnitude of branding deviations she encountered in the first week of her job. While high profile creatives like brochures and explainer videos were in line with the company brand guidelines, the branding message seemed to have escaped the folks who created the direct mailers and product feature one-pagers. Karen’s first order of business was to make sure all content created, both internal and external was aligned to the brand guidelines. In other words, ensuring brand compliance across all levels of the organization.

This is a task many brand managers and marketing heads face. Brand compliance refers to the broad spectrum of strategies that are employed to ensure the alignment of branding elements with the organisation’s values, philosophy, quality standards and visual identity. This is the only way to make sure that the story you want to tell your audience is consistent across multiple platforms. This consistency is essential for brand recall, trust and loyalty.

Brand compliance is all about making sure that all content creators, whether they are external freelancers or internal resources:

  1. Are consistent with their messaging
  2. Use the appropriate design elements like colours, fonts, logos and graphics
  3. Adhere to the brand voice and tone

Brand compliance is not to be trifled with. According to a report by Marq, delivering content with consistent branding increases revenue by 33%. Seamless branding can also mitigate the risk of false claims. While false claims made in marketing campaigns are often vilified as being deliberately done, it most often is unintentional. If your freelance writer misunderstood the content shared by the technical team and incorrectly described your product features in a campaign, it could lead to legal repercussions. This could be avoided by having a process in place to manage brand compliance.

Easier said than done with the constantly increasing number of digital files being created and used through multiple channels. The problem will become exponentially more difficult as the world inches towards creating 463 ZB of data every day by 2025.

*Digitisation has transformed how marketing teams function. Upstream, marketing teams struggle to coordinate with multiple agency partners and designers to create content in its various avatars. Downstream it’s another ball game, with the content needing to be distributed across a range of channels from social media to print. It is easy to be overwhelmed by the need to keep track of files and brand assets. Keeping track of asset licensing while simultaneously managing version control and access control can be a herculean task. The problem is further compounded by the fact that you need to comply with stringent legal requirements while maintaining your customised branding.

This is where a strong brand compliance strategy comes into play. Here are a few key points to be aware of when designing your brand compliance strategy.

Brand compliance technology use cases

Robert Rose, the Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of The Content Advisory says that an efficient brand compliance strategy needs a well-structured media management system. Let’s take a look at the three systems essential to media management.

Digital Asset Management (DAM) Systems

These are digital asset repositories that enable teams to store and organise content for easy access. There are many cloud-based solutions available today.

Systems for Digital Rights Management

These systems are designed to ensure that digital media is not duplicated and distributed by unauthorised parties. They are also useful to keep track of copyright regulations and usage rights. These systems are also designed to help teams determine regional availability.

Content Quality Management Systems

These systems are quite new in their functionality. They validate media assets and ensure that they are not violating any content-usage standards like expiry dates and royalties.

Get your team’s buy-in

While it’s true that marketing teams and content creators are primarily responsible for brand compliance, it is in actuality a company-wide responsibility. Make sure that the entire organisation is on board with your brand compliance initiative. The C-suite should actively communicate that this is a priority that drives the bottom line. Brand training and initiatives that help the team understand the nuances of branding will drive better outcomes.

If it’s not monitored, it did not happen

Any strategy that you and the team come up with is just the beginning. Monitoring the outcome helps you recalibrate and improve your strategy as you go.

Brand compliance is what keeps multiple teams within organisations aligned to the common thread called branding. It ensures that the brand message does not get diluted or misrepresented. Make sure that the technology you choose for your brand compliance is scalable. A cloud-based solution created with a focus on essential aspects such as licensing agreements, usage rights and copyright regulations, would be the best option.

*For organizations on the digital transformation journey, agility is key in responding to a rapidly changing technology and business landscape. Now more than ever, it is crucial to deliver and exceed on organizational expectations with a robust digital mindset backed by innovation. Enabling businesses to sense, learn, respond, and evolve like a living organism, will be imperative for business excellence going forward. A comprehensive, yet modular suite of services is doing exactly that. Equipping organizations with intuitive decision-making automatically at scale, actionable insights based on real-time solutions, anytime/anywhere experience, and in-depth data visibility across functions leading to hyper-productivity, Live Enterprise is building connected organizations that are innovating collaboratively for the future.

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