How to Organize Marketing Materials: Common Issues With Self-Storage

Messy office in need of a management system

In the rapidly evolving business landscape, companies are constantly seeking ways to streamline their operations and enhance efficiency. Marketing, a crucial aspect of any business strategy, involves the creation, distribution, and storage of a wide array of materials, including brochures, presentations, digital content, and more. While in-house storage of these materials may seem like a convenient and cost-effective solution, it poses several significant challenges that can impact a company’s performance, its employees’ productivity, and ultimately, its bottom line.

Typically when stored on site, most materials find themselves in the storage closet- a commonly mysterious entity that lives within company walls, where marketing collateral and promotional items rest until they’re called up for active duty.

Employee Moral

Employee smiling after implementing an easy and effective marketing asset management system

What makes this room so mysterious is that no matter what you do it always finds a way to revert to a disorganized labyrinth of materials. Managing and navigating these storage systems can be time-consuming and frustrating, diverting employees’ attention from their core responsibilities and leading to decreased productivity. Happy employees are better motivated to achieve their tasks and do what they can to improve the business. Interruptions to look through storage add stress and therefore drive contentedness levels down.

Productivity

Moreover, the difficulties in accessing and distributing materials can lead to missed deadlines and opportunities, contributing to employee stress and dissatisfaction. Over time, these issues can compound, resulting in further disarray and impacting the company’s performance. Housing assets this way lack a structured system in place to track them. Companies need different assets for specific purposes. If the last of a specific marketing collateral piece was used a month ago, but you need it for a prospect meeting tomorrow, you then have to decide whether you should run the risk of trying to get it on time or if you should make do with another piece that isn’t really intended for that purpose. Either way, you ran out and now have to scramble at the last minute.

Accessibility

Employee quickly finding a file due to organization

This system or lack thereof can create significant barriers to accessibility, especially for teams that are geographically dispersed or working remotely. Employees may face delays in accessing the materials they need, leading to inefficiencies and missed opportunities. Moreover, distributing these materials to the relevant stakeholders, whether internally or externally, can become a cumbersome process, involving additional steps and potential bottlenecks that slow down marketing campaigns and communications.

Security

filing cabinet with lock to represent security

Organizing your marketing materials and sales collateral this way means that everyone has the key. There are no authorization restrictions set to prevent the misuse of materials. Anyone granted access to the room has the opportunity to handle and use any and all assets stored in that space. This opens the door for the possibility of damaged collateral and excessive overuse of materials.

Storing sensitive marketing materials in-house carries inherent security risks. Physical materials can be lost, damaged, or subject to unauthorized access, while digital content stored on company servers is vulnerable to cyberattacks, data breaches, and hardware failures. The implications of such events are far-reaching, from the loss of intellectual property to potential legal issues stemming from data breaches. Ensuring the security of marketing materials requires significant investment in security infrastructure and constant vigilance, which can be challenging for companies without specialized expertise.

Outsourcing Fulfillment and Storage

Making sure your marketing assets are accounted for, preserved for high quality and available to you at a moment’s notice is important to the overall success of your company. A marketing asset fulfillment vendor is one way to forgo the above-listed complications. They will house all or the majority of your collateral to ensure its quality. All assets will be printed and distributed by your fulfiller which will prevent improper branding.

Another solution is to set up a marketing asset management system. This will allow you to know what assets are being requested and used by who and when. Should you choose, you can receive notices for when your inventory is running low and when you’ll need to restock. You can set authorization channels in place, so members of your team only have access to the materials that pertain to their needs and track the data for what assets are popular or which you may not want to reorder.

Visions FCU Federal Credit Union

This is exactly what Visions FCU Federal Credit Union elected to do to solve these pain points. Visions FCU has been established and operating for over 50 years, with locations in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Prior to outsourcing their asset management, fulfillment and storage, Visions FCU managed the ordering, storage, inventory, and fulfillment of their promotional materials at their main office located within their retail branch in Endicott, NY. This manner of operations was causing the branch many challenges and impacted the efficiency and effectiveness of their other branch locations. Employees’ productivity suffered, often taking an hour out of their workday to unload, verify, sort and unpack materials as they arrived. This commotion also affected the environment of the credit union’s main office and negatively impacted customer experience.

Now assigned users at Visions FCU branches can log in to the storefront, choose the items they need, select a pre-programmed shipping address and order, bringing the entire process down to 6 minutes on average. Velocity quality checks and monitors inventory, so they don’t have to. Certain items are programmed to be automatically reordered when they reach pre-set minimums to ensure these items are always available at a quality needed for their business and all storage of materials is handled at Velocity’s warehouse, giving Visions FCU headquarters their basement back.

Since instituting the virtual storefront, Visions FCU can glean insights into demand and spending by location to determine the budget and what materials to fulfill for the upcoming year using bespoke reports. Mandy Dehate, Associate Vice President, shared that “the best part about all of this is that it has left my staff with more time for other projects…and when it comes to the disadvantages, there really aren’t any” She hopes that Visions FCU serves as “just one example of what a great process this can be for you.”

Making the Shift:

Transitioning to a more structured and efficient system of managing marketing materials can significantly benefit your company. Inspired by the successes in credit unions, as Mandy DeHate describes, these strategies can lead to better resource utilization, improved employee satisfaction, and enhanced professional representation in the market.

Speak with An Asset Management Specialist at Velocity today.