Brand management software is designed to help companies of all sizes organize, manage and advertise collateral for their products and/or services to potential customers in the most effective manner. These solutions, which fall underneath the larger category of marketing software, help business owners and proprietors manage key elements of their product(s) and brand(s), including:
We’ve created this guide to help potential buyers learn more about what brand management software is, what features and functionality it offers and what benefits it can yield. With this information, buyers can make the best decision when selecting a brand management system for their organization.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
Brand management software helps business owners and brand managers manage the overall brand messaging of their company. These tools provide a single, centralized database in which users can create, manage, store, share and distribute assets and files in order to ensure brand consistency across all channels.
Brand management tools also help teams manage workflow processes for creating and approving new marketing assets and collateral necessary for launching new marketing campaigns and other activities that help boost brand awareness and loyalty.
Most of the brand management tools available today offer some or all of the following features and functionality:
|Alerts||Allows users to create and send alerts at various stages of the brand management process (e.g., content review and approval stages), and/or send custom email alerts to selected groups.|
|Approval process control||Enables users to manually or automatically approve posts before they are posted to social networking websites.|
|Artwork automation||Allows users to streamline design processes and ensure brand accuracy so assets can be pushed live more quickly.|
|Asset management||Allows users to store, manage and share all marketing and/or design assets within a centrally located online portal or database.|
|Fulfillment distribution||Enables users to access a central warehouse of data and files for efficient and controlled distribution of assets.|
|Multi-format output||Allows users to create content in various formats, such as print, PDF, HTML and more.|
|Project workflow||Provides users with the ability to design, track and approve various branding projects quickly and identify potential delays or disruptions in advance.|
|Search functionality||Provides users with enhanced search capabilities and functionalities in order to be able to locate the right asset every time.|
|User-defined permissions||Offers permission-based asset distribution so all necessary users and groups have access to the right assets and workflows.|
|Real-time analytics||Provides users with access to key data points and provides critical insights in real time across the complete brand management process.|
|Social media integration||Allows users to share branded content directly on social media websites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, LinkedIn, etc.|
Different organizations will have different requirements and criteria they should look for when evaluating brand management solutions. Below are a few things all buyers should keep in mind.
Deployment type. Buyers should select the deployment method that best suits their company and budget. For smaller organizations, a cloud-based solution may be a less expensive option that can be up and running more quickly than an on-premise solution. Larger organizations with a dedicated IT department, on the other hand, may seek an on-premise solution in order to bring everything in-house to have the control they want over the software. Organizations should also consider the type of operating system they wish to employ (e.g., Windows, Mac, iOS, Linux or Android) depending on which users/teams will need access to the software.
Supported third-party integrations. When evaluating brand management solutions, it is important to think about various other tools that a solution will be required to communicate with in order to reduce the manual work necessary to transfer information from one system to another. For example, integration with an email marketing system such as Marketo or Pardot might be a necessity in order to incorporate brand assets into nurture streams or email marketing campaigns. Other potential integrations include Salesforce, Wordpress, Shopify and others.
Choosing the right brand management software also depends on the size of the business. Consider the following buyer types:
Small and midsize businesses. These businesses generally operate in the range of 100 employees and may focus in a niche area. Such businesses might consider a best-of-breed solution to address their specific requirements. Since smaller businesses generally must operate within tighter budgets, these companies should focus on the most critical features needed, such as alerts and asset management.
Large enterprise buyers. Such buyers generally require flexible brand management features based on their regular and continuous branding projects. They may want to consider a brand management system with a modular suite that offers the ability to pick and select modules based on their unique needs.
As you evaluate the best brand management software for your business, consider these market trends:
Big data and analytics. With the continuous growth of big data, brands can use software to discover useful insights related to their existing target markets, as well as potential new markets they may be able to enter. This information can help them better forecast consumer needs and develop suitable branding strategies that address these needs. Brand managers may also need to employ other third-party, data-driven tools such as Salesforce, Marketo or Hubspot for generating critical insights.
Mobile consumer usage. More and more brands are integrating mobile into their overall branding and marketing lifecycles as more users interact with organizations primarily through mobile devices and/or dedicated mobile apps that require their own unique branding. One survey found that nearly 50 percent of customer interactions with brands occur on social media channels alone. Brands should ensure they are reaching their target consumer audience on the devices and platforms they access the most.
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