How to maintain brand consistency across borders
It has never been more important to ensure your brand message is well executed and consistent across different countries and platforms, says Richard Knott.
In today’s crowded digital marketplace, it’s never been more important to ensure not only that your brand message is strong and well executed, but that it’s consistent across different countries and platforms.
But with organisations today creating more content than ever, in-house and often with multiple creative agencies, to be distributed across multiple digital channels, it’s easy to get lost in your own clutter and for your brand message to drift and blur.
Organisations that take branding seriously need to have consistency throughout the whole process.
After all, how can you be sure that your best-performing ads are getting their best chance of success? It’s common enough for marketers working together in the same office to not always be on the same page, let alone their colleagues in other times zones.
When you are part of a global organisation working with different agencies all over the world, it’s likely that your consumers will see different ads made with different tools and the look of those ads will differ greatly, presenting a confusing identity to the market.
Then there’s the question of performance.
Some ads may perform well above benchmark averages while others fall below. Cultural differences are often the reason behind a creatives success or
failure, but it’s extremely difficult to acquire, and share, proper insights into how all of your different creative assets are performing in different markets when all your critical data is siloed within your organisation and spread across several agencies.
If this is starting to sound familiar, it might be time for you to consider some of the new and emerging options for managing creative assets and performance data from the one central location.
There are a few different names for this concept – such as a creative management platform – but the fundamentals are the same.
Consistent information, such as which ads are created with what technologies, and what formats perform best with which audiences in different countries, should all reside in the same place.
This information should be easily accessible to in-house marketers, agencies and any other stakeholders you chose to include. This is important to maintain and build on the work that has come before, eliminating inefficiencies of duplication or lost creative and other assets, that might typically threaten your marketing ROI.
It also means it’s a lot easier for your in-house marketers and different agency representatives to communicate and collaborate on projects, ensuring better quality work, and more consistent brand messaging. All creative (both live and works-in- progress) reside in the same location in for various
purposes such as reviews, sign-offs, audits, creative workshops and improvement sessions.
Of course, being able to measure and monitor the success of a campaign or set of assets is critically important. Analytics are collected and mapped to creatives for all relevant channels and platforms, integrated with attribution vendors while creating links to conversions. This makes it easier to measure ‘brand lift’ by providing user identities needed to analyse tests (separation of control and treatment groups, for example), and collecting performance metrics – or surveys – for brand recognition.
Brands can then implement controls over the look and feel of the ads, ensuring consistency upon production. They can also create templates to embed particular guidelines and best practices, which can dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes to make new creative while ensuring consistency and performance.
And most importantly, the brand has all of the metrics (such as viewability) systematically collected and linked to all creatives. Brands can compare performance metrics across regions and media partners, further informing media plans. Of course, conducting things like A/B tests is easy too.
With so much information swirling around a growing number of wide-reaching and increasingly complex digital channels, brands are under more pressure to create great messages that resonate powerfully and move audiences to engage. This means having the ability to bring all of your current
assets and resources, people and processes for building on and adding to them, as well as tools for monitoring and measuring their effectiveness, under the one roof.
Driving brand awareness in today’s crowded, and super-fast changing digital world isn’t easy. But with the right approach and platforms for bringing people, creative assets together to reveal what’s working, it doesn’t need to be hard. Maintaining brand consistency across borders is only as hard as
you make it.
Richard Knott is regional director, APAC, at Celtra.
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