Companies make huge investments in brand marketing — nearly $500 billion globally each year — to communicate as effectively and beautifully as possible.
But as soon as they distribute their brand content to resellers, blogs, social media and other online outlets, the content becomes out of date, old content gets reused and new content gets misused. In other words, it’s one hot mess.
Why is this happening? Managing distributed content costs 10 times more to manage and update content than it costs to create it. As a result, marketers operate more like brand “launchers” that lose control over their content once it’s “launched,” or sent to others. However, a new technology allows digital marketers to reclaim control over their brands online, even when sharing content on websites they don’t own.
To date, tools for controlling distributed content haven’t been available. Without automated tools, when a marketer wants to update content across 1,000 reseller websites, each reseller has to manually receive an update and then make modifications to its site. For companies with a broad product line, this could mean more than 1,00,000 updates per year or more, with no tools to automate the distribution, updating and compliance tracking of this content.
The problem isn’t isolated. Most companies suffer from issues with online brand consistency. Delivering online brand consistency is difficult for even the largest brands to achieve: A recent test showed that only 37 percent of Pepsi logos online are correct, even though the logo was redesigned more than five years ago.
Also, not controlling the online brand presence has ripple effects on other areas of marketing and business operations:
Productivity suffers. Who wants to waste time? No one. Yet that’s what happens when partners have to be persuaded to update content manually.
Trustworthiness drops. An inconsistent brand image sends the wrong message, especially when partners are becoming more important than ever.
Search gets cluttered. Out-of-date content often gets ranked higher than new, more relevant messages.
Legal hot water. Expired promotional or regulated content that still exists on partner sites can put companies in jeopardy or force a company to honor out-of-date offers.
Poor storytelling. Brand messages get delivered in fragments, forcing customers to “connect the dots” for a bigger brand story on their own.
Blind to ROI. Real content tracking and ROI remain elusive, with little usable data on where and how the brand is available to marketers.
New solutions are emerging that help brands distribute content and still maintain control, even when sharing branded content on third-party sites the brand doesn’t own.
What’s on the brand manager’s wish list? Full-time remote brand management, real-time updates, complete tracking, and the dream capability to “set it and forget it,” eliminating the need to constantly monitor the web for outdated logos, images and offers.
Two new technologies are making this happen:
SYNQY (pronounced sync-ee) integrates and syndicates brand content like logos, images, PDFs, HTML and videos in a way that can be shared, updated and tracked in real time (www.synqy.com).
Dlvr.it (“deliver it”) syndicates social media content — like a wire service, but to social media outlets (www.dlvr.it).
Previously, the only way to ensure brand control and deliver a high-quality consumer experience was to centralise the engagement on the company website and do everything possible to drive traffic there. Today, this model has been turned upside-down, bringing high-quality, controlled and consistent content to anywhere that brand exists online today.
This finally puts the brand manager back in the driver’s seat, and helps deliver content and messaging that properly reflect the brand 24/7, no matter where it goes. n
About the Author
Michael Weissman is Chairman and CEO of Pleasant Hill, California-based SYNQY Corp