EXPERT COLUMN: Online Brand Boss
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as they distribute their brand content to resellers, blogs, social media and other online outlets, the content becomes out-of-date, old content gets reused and/or new content gets misused. In other words, it’s one hot mess.
Why is this happening? Managing distributed content is expensive. It 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. That is, until now. A new technology has been created that allows digital marketers to reclaim control over their brands online – even when sharing content on websites they don’t own.
Why Brand Managers Fail
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 their site. For companies with a broad product line, this could mean over 100,000 updates per year or more. What tools do marketers have to automate the distribution, updating and compliance tracking of this content? None.
This problem isn’t isolated. Most companies suffer from problems with online brand consistency. One survey revealed that most marketers see consistency getting worse, not better. 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 and only 8 percent of Dolby logos are correct – even though the logos were redesigned over five years ago. This is definitely a big issue everyone needs to address.
Equally frustrating, 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 convinced 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. Old content gets in the way of marketers' new messages. Out-of-date content often gets ranked higher than new, more relevant messages.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 the company to honor out-of-date offers.
- Poor story-telling. Brand messages get delivered in fragments, forcing the customer to “connect the dots” for a bigger brand story on their own.
- Blind to ROI. Real content tracking and ROI remains elusive. There is little usable data on where and how the brand is available to marketers.
Clearly, marketers have been set up to fail.
Emerging Technology to the Rescue
Brand managers can thank technology for giving them back the “Remote.” New solutions are emerging that help brands distribute content and still keep control, even when sharing branded content on third party sites the brand doesn’t own. No more wasted time. No more manual updates. No more out-of-date content. No more running blind. Technology can help put an end to the pain points of syndicating brand content.
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.
Here are two new technologies that are making this happen:
- SYNQY is a radical new service that 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.
- Dlvr.it syndicates social media content – like a wire service but to social media outlets.
For decades, the only way to ensure brand control and delver the desired high-quality consumer experience was to centralize the engagement on the company website, and do everything possible to drive traffic. Today, this model is 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 realize the impact and performance that they desire: content and messaging that properly reflects the brand 24/7 no matter where it goes.
Michael Weissman is the chairman and CEO of SYNQY Corporation -- the first company enabling marketers to consistently deliver and control brand experiences on websites they don’t own, transforming static brand assets into a fully functional platform that delivers relevant content and services to the consumer, right where they are already engaged online.