Streamlining asset organization and distribution procedures is essential to the fulfillment of project needs and will significantly impact not only the effectiveness of your sales and marketing efforts, but your close ratios.
While selling and marketing in the construction industry, a single project opportunity may require you to communicate regularly with multiple contacts – each taking on a different role in the specification and buying process and, thereby, having unique needs. Being able to quickly fulfill the needs of key influencers – especially early in the sales process – may impact your ability to secure a contract for the work as the project opportunity progresses to a bid. Much of what is needed throughout this process requires the distribution of key assets like qualification forms, specification docs, project photography, cut-sheets, etc., before the project can move to the next stage.
Streamlining asset organization and distribution procedures is essential to the fulfillment of project needs and will significantly impact not only the effectiveness of your sales and marketing efforts, but your close ratios. Too often, the dissemination of these assets can stifle progress instead of promoting it as sales and marketing teams attempt to coordinate efforts and distribute key resources in a timely manner. At LarsonO'Brien, it is not unusual to find our clients' assets spread across a tangled web of local server repositories, Dropbox accounts, and individual salesperson's computers, and accompanied with stories about the difficulties faced while trying to provide accurate and up-to-date information in a timely manner.
Working in the construction and building products industry with an executive management team that boasts over 200 years of combined experience, LarsonO'Brien is frequently introduced to marketing departments whose roles have become solely focused on supporting the asset needs of their salesforce. Far too often we see marketing professionals whose workload is dominated by gatekeeper tasks as they dedicate considerable time chasing down information and coordinating the distribution of key assets to their salesforce. The result is valuable marketing time and talent being wasted on administrative grunt work.
The concept of "asset management" is not new. There are countless out-of-the-box tools available that attempt to resolve the asset organization needs of companies, but while many of these tools improve the process, they are typically built on a cookie-cutter platform that presumes that all companies organize their assets in the same fashion and require the same features. More frequently than you might imagine, implementations of these out-of-the-box solutions tend to only create new problems, and while they may provide improved organizational benefits, they continue to perpetuate the problem of asset distribution and still require marketing professionals to provide ongoing administrative support to their salesforce.
A good comparison are CRM applications. The most well-known solutions are out-of-the-box applications with options for customization. Most of these products will solve some of your challenges, but few (if any) will fit your needs exactly. Ultimately, you'll find that, even after the endless customizations, out-of-the-box CRM products still come up short and fail to truly streamline the sales and marketing processes.
To combat this scenario, LarsonO'Brien develops completely custom digital asset management tools designed to specifically meet the unique needs of our clients. These are web-accessible tools, making it very easy to provide uniform access to not only your sales and marketing teams, but your customers, as well. More interestingly, we often deploy these custom tools as add-ons to content-managed websites, seamlessly integrating the asset distribution process with other online marketing initiatives.
With simple role-based permissions, unique organizational strategies, and custom filters, digital asset management tools custom developed by LarsonO'Brien can provide access to a wide array of assets based on the specific user privileges, allowing a single tool to be used by many different audiences simultaneously. Moreover, as a completely custom tool, we develop features that streamline existing sales/marketing processes unique to your business, like generating branded project reference sheets based on user supplied filter criteria, creating on-the-fly sales presentations that include only preferred slide content, and more.
In the same time that it takes for a salesperson to type an email requesting that their marketing team compile such a document, they can simply login into a web-accessible digital asset manager, check off a few boxes, apply filters based on criteria like project region, size, photo type, keyword, etc., and hit submit to automatically generate a pre-formatted PDF sheet that can be immediately distributed to their prospect. Now the only involvement marketing has in this process is making sure the assets loaded into the system are accurate and up-to-date. The end deliverable is created by the user from start-to-finish.
These applications are not cookie-cutter, out-of-the-box solutions. They're not built on an existing template. They are built from the bottom up, specific to your needs – and over time can be further developed to serve the ever-changing needs of your company without losing the investment already made.
Why continue fighting to establish asset organization policies that no one follows? And why shoe-horn your content into a structure that doesn't fit your needs and doesn't improve on your existing process?