To paraphrase Shakespeare, the course of love or creative digital asset management never did run smooth. Is the industry holding on too tightly to legacy practices around readying the creative for campaigns? Have marketers experienced the frustration of seeing the most brilliant plans launch late or hit executional snags because the creative asset workflow is disjointed and inefficient? Shakespeare provided an insight more than 400 years ago when Juliet said of Romeo, "'Tis but thy name that is my enemy."
Marketers' approach to managing creative assets across screens calls for a shift to a better, more reliable way: Adoption of a central, integrated, enterprise workflow solution for connecting the creative with the media that helps marketers and their agencies keep pace with the speed of innovation. Given the simplicity and ease in embracing a single supply chain approach, the transition from point-solution stacks doesn't require a full-blown rewrite of existing campaign strategies, just some editing around the edges of how the creative assets are managed.
It's critical to build a better way now that sets up marketers and their teams for whatever new devices and services — and new lingo — may emerge in the years ahead. With help from the Bard himself, here's why marketers need a re-imagined creative asset workflow.
"Under Love's Heavy Burden Do I Sink"
This may be a lesser known quote from Shakespeare's grand love story Romeo and Juliet, but it can speak to marketers' need to embrace new ways and new approaches to managing and deploying their creative assets. Running campaigns across today's multiscreen media landscape requires a single creative supply chain so that every media moment lights up with the right creative in perfect quality to spark brand love as intended.
Marketers have plenty of challenging things to think about with their media and creative teams: How do I tell my story so it connects with my best prospects? How much should I invest in this uncharted territory? How will I measure new platforms? How will I know if it's working? Answering those questions is real and important work for the industry. But what marketers and agencies should not spend time on is the mundane. Hunting down and preparing creative assets through disjointed and manual steps wastes time and resources and leads to missed connections and love's labour's lost. Such inefficiencies result in campaign delays, unnecessary below-the-line costs, rights infractions, and overburdened teams.
If the industry could have a do-over, no one would design the creative asset workflow as it exists today. Seamlessly connecting creative with media is highly complex, and it encompasses more paths, processes, and functions than anyone cares to truly understand. The journey a single ad takes to play on every screen includes a plethora of functions, including talent and rights management, asset preparation, traffic and clearance, TV distribution, and video ad serving. It's a dizzying array of interrelated hand-offs, and it's buckling under the weight of the modern media landscape.
"That Which We Call a Rose By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet"
Marketers need not assume that different names for various methods of media buying or that new technologies like CTV or OTT require individual creative workflow strategies and service partners. Delivery is delivery is delivery, whether one calls it linear TV distribution, video ad serving, or advanced TV workflow.
Though Shakespeare cautions that "the course of true love never did run smooth," marketers' creative workflow can, and should.
Marketers who increasingly embrace the need for a better way to control, share, and archive assets and their corresponding data are making workflow a competitive advantage. A single, unified, coordinated creative-asset supply chain can unlock the potential of all the new ways available for bringing brand-love to the consumer. It is also key to future-proofing a marketer's speed-to-market — no matter what new "names" come next.
By Melinda McLaughlin is the CMO at Extreme Reach, a partner in the ANA Thought Leadership Program.