Even though we associate manufacturing companies with products, there is another thing those businesses regularly produce – digital assets.
Product images, data sheets, and countless other digital assets not only help them increase their customer base. They also help resellers and distributors market and sell those products to end consumers.
This means that, as a manufacturing business, you may have hundreds, if not more, digital assets in production at any given time.
That’s where a content supply chain comes into play. It’s what manufacturers use to approve, manage, route and excite their audiences with their growing asset library.
In this guide, we’ll show you how you can do the same. But first, let’s discuss the challenge you face in more detail.
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What challenges manufacturers face with content production
Think about how you market your products. Most of the time, you rarely speak to the end user. Your marketing efforts aim at distributors, resellers, and procurement departments. This means that, instead of talking about the benefits of the product, much of your marketing efforts focus on supporting those companies as they distribute your products to customers.
This, in practical terms, means creating an insane amount of content. Unfortunately, that’s also where the problem starts.
- For one, you have to manage a continuously growing library of product assets. Almost every day, your repository of product images, packaging files, videos, promotional materials, etc. is getting bigger and bigger. This results in challenges with storing, managing and finding all those file types.
- You also have many routes to the market too and a similar number of marketing channels to manage. As a result, you have to continuously ensure that relevant assets get routed to relevant channels without any errors.
- Not to mention that you, most likely, work with distributed teams, with colleagues and third-party vendors scattered worldwide. This can make allowing relevant people to access files a challenge.
All these challenges mean that managing digital assets with just a shared folder or hard drive, a common way that many companies try to do this, is simply unsustainable.
Sooner or later, you’re going to end up with chaos in folders, files going missing, and unauthorized stakeholders using the wrong version of an asset.
What’s the alternative? It’s to implement a content supply chain (CSC) with digital asset management (DAM) at its core for manufacturers.
Before we show you how such a DAM system helps manufacturers streamline their content supply chain, let’s see the process in practice.
How manufacturing companies use digital asset management?
As you’ve seen in the section above, as a manufacturing business, you need to continuously facilitate content creation and a large set of digital assets. Here are the three most common use cases for digital asset management in manufacturing:
To manage product assets
In this use case, the DAM system allows you to store, organise, and give stakeholders access to a whole range of product-related content assets:
- Product imagery
- Packaging files and associated visuals and documents
- Product information sheets and brochures
- Product 3D visualisations
- CAD files
- Demo videos
- Product manuals
- Product walkthroughs, and so on.
To manage marketing assets
Manufacturing companies also use DAM to manage the creation of marketing collateral, manage any associated assets, manage the entire online proofing process, and route the finished collateral to relevant marketing channels.
This includes facilitating the creation of:
- Project briefs
- Website imagery
- Social media content
- Ad content
- Content marketing assets like blog posts, guides, etc.
- Product tutorials and help guides, and so on.
To manage brand assets
The company’s and product’s brands are often your two most important assets. But given the complexity of what constitutes a brand, it’s easy for all the relevant assets to get out of hand. DAM systems help manufacturing companies manage their entire brand asset collection to ensure brand consistency across all channels.
Typically, those brand assets include:
- Color palettes
- Brand templates
- Brand guidelines
- Fonts, etc
How to use DAM to manage all three use cases in your manufacturing business
First of all, digital asset management delivers three core benefits for manufacturers:
For one, DAM helps centralise all digital assets in a single location.
Without such a system, manufacturers often resort to cumbersome ways to manage digital assets. Files get stored on shared folders across a range of computers, or on basic cloud-based solutions like SharePoint. Unfortunately, these and similar approaches often result in chaos in file management, and wasting precious time trying to locate correct versions of files. Or worse, wasting time recreating assets you cannot find.
DAM solves this problem by providing the company with a centralised content hub where all assets get stored and organised in a logical system. This fits a wide range of file types such as:
- 3D renderings
- and pretty much any other file type you work with.
DAM also makes it easy to facilitate collaboration across remote teams.
With DAM, relevant teams can independently access whatever assets they need whenever they need to. They can also use a visual markup system to end back-and-forth emails when content needs to be changed. As a result, these teams can complete projects without having to spend time searching for files or getting lost in “which version is this now” confusion.
How to use CELUM to manage digital assets in a manufacturing business
So far, we’ve talked about using DAM in marketing in more general terms. We covered why to use digital asset management, and what benefits it would deliver to your manufacturing business.
So, now, we’d like to show you how it happens, using our very own product, CELUM, as an example.
So, what is CELUM?
CELUM is the first content supply chain platform with the world’s most powerful DAM. Why content supply chain? Some of our very first customers were manufacturing companies. We understood their supply chain system and implemented it into a content supply chain system.
With CELUM manufacturing marketers create and approve, find and manage, route and share, and excite and gain insights with marketing and product content.
On top of that, CELUM gives you access to advanced project management, file sharing, agile task management, online proofing, and other capabilities to allow you to manage the entire digital asset lifecycle and more.
Here are just some of CELUM’s amazing features that will help you track your asset usage:
- Easy access to product assets. With all images and other product information in one place, even the most distributed teams will have no problems with finding and retrieving whatever product assets they need.
- Advanced filtering options that make locating the correct version of an asset easier.
- Advanced asset organisation and management. And this goes beyond just folders. With CELUM, you can specify and map asset metadata, and specify other information about each file to make it easy to find and retrieve.
- User roles and permissions. With this, you’ll be always certain that no unauthorised person will access assets, and only the right people will use the right files.
- The ability to set up custom content workflows to make content production fast and seamless.
- Online proofing capabilities that greatly speed up reviews, feedback collection, and project sign-offs.
- Routing capabilities and integrations that ensure that relevant assets are sent to the right marketing channels.
All that content doesn’t do much if you don’t get it to the right people, like your sales team, retailers, and distribution partners.
That’s why CELUM offers portals. Within just a few clicks, you curate a portal for each audience group with exactly the content they need. After all, a retailer in South America is going to need different content in a different language than a retailer in Europe.
With CELUM Portals you can:
- Deliver unique content that is relevant to your specific audience. Give them exactly what they need. Make it easy to access, search and download from.
- Control who sees what. Create portals for each of your target audiences and provide access to only the assets they want. For sensitive information, request login information. This reduces the demand for complex user permissions.
So now you’ve created the content, you’ve delivered the content, but you still aren’t done. You need to have the ability to analyse how the content you’ve created and provided is performing.
Are your sales team, retailers, and partners actually using the content you are giving them? If they are great, you have a better understanding of what they need to sell. If not, you can improve on the piece of content and make it work.
- With advanced content performance insights, see who has visited your portals, most downloaded assets, highest searched terms, etc.
- Utilise the information to analyse what is performing best and make changes and improvements to help reach your goals.