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Brand Management Playbook

How Complex Organizations Are Delivering Consistent Messages And Campaigns Across Channels

Brand management plays an integral role in creating a streamlined omnichannel buying experience for both B2B and B2C customers. In order to serve the complexity of branding across organizations, marketers must ensure their brand is consistent everywhere, from the organization’s website to social channels and beyond. Failure to deliver consistent messages and campaigns carries huge risks — not only to brand identity, but to customer acquisition and retention.

In this report, we’ll cover:

    The biggest challenges of brand management in complex organizations; How to identify relevant touch points and conduct a brand management audit; Best practices for creating, enforcing and delivering customized content that supports the brand; and How technology solutions can help maintain consistent brand messaging.

Complex Organizations, Complex Challenges

The rapid proliferation of paid, earned and owned media and content marketing channels — both online and off — means increased complexity for marketers striving to maintain consistent brand messaging. The challenge is even greater for global organizations with locations targeting customers in different cultures, and for those in highly regulated industries such as healthcare or financial services.

"Buyers are engaging with you through so many different channels, and you have to manage consistency through all the channels," said Kevin Joyce, CMO and VP Strategy Services, The Pedowitz Group.

"Too many cooks" is another common problem.

"Too many people deciding how messaging and design should be applied to communications and content is a big challenge for brands. This is often due to teams working across regions or even teams distributed across the enterprise that may not collaborate with one another."
Ardath Albee, B2B marketing strategist and author of Digital Relevance

Organizations in highly regulated industries face another hurdle: how to address compliance. "Does their approach to compliance change the 'feel' or context of communications that must comply versus those that don't?" asked Albee. "This can result in that 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' experience that all brands would like to avoid."

Brands At Risk

Inconsistent brand messaging negatively impacts the customer journey and the customer experience. "Without brand consistency — of voice, of tone, of look and of feel — in all those different channels and media formats, a brand will get lost," said Rebecca Lieb, an analyst and co-founder of research and advisory firm Kaleido Insights.

Ultimately, an inconsistent brand massage can cause customer confusion and defection. "If their experiences are disjointed or make them question what they thought they knew about a company, they will move on to a vendor they feel is more authentic and trustworthy," said Albee.

Need For Speed

Consistent brand messaging is vital, and in today’s 24/7 business environment, marketers are under pressure to deliver it on demand. Whether your target customers are consumers or B2B buyers, they’re in a hurry. That means salespeople need marketing content and brand assets that are ready to use — now.

66% of buyers say the timeliness of a vendor’s response to inquiries is "very important."

DGR 2018 B2B Buyers Survey
Two-thirds of organizations say they lose sales when needed content isn’t available.

47% of organizations list content production workflow among their top challenges.

Content Marketing Institute

Getting Personal

Content must not only be delivered quickly, it must also be customized to the needs of each country, region and location — even the concerns of individual customers and prospects. Both B2B and B2C buyers expect a personalized customer experience, starting the moment they first engage with your brand.

76% of buyers say it’s “very important” for salespeople to deliver relevant content that speaks directly to the buyer’s company.
DGR 2018 B2B Buyers Survey
42% of marketers with successful content strategies tailor content to the target audience.

CMO Council

When they need custom content quickly, your organization’s salespeople, franchise owners, international offices and other internal customers may overwhelm your marketing team with a barrage of one-off creative requests.

Without the resources to handle the volume of collateral needed, bottlenecks form, backlogs build up and frustrations mount. Marketers working overtime to meet these demands have less time to devote to more important projects.

53% of B2B companies and 55% of B2C companies have a small (or even one-person) marketing team serving the entire organization.
Content Marketing Institute B2B research; CMI B2C research
Only 5% of marketers say their approach to producing, managing and distributing content is systematized.
Content Marketing Institute

Brand Management Best Practices

How can marketers take control and deliver consistent brand messaging across a complex organization? Follow these steps:

Identify relevant touch points based on customer preferences.

Where do your customers engage with your business? Touch points can include social media, online, email, brick-and-mortar or channel partners and distributors. There may be more touch points than you think, especially as your marketing materials spread virally online.

28% of B2B buyers share online content with more than 100 people.

CMO Council

"As organizations get bigger and more complex and own more and more territory, [brand consistency] gets more and more critical. Think of McDonald’s. Every McDonald’s restaurant you go to is different, but it’s also the same."
Rebecca Lieb, Analyst, Cofounder of Kaleido Insights

Conduct a brand management audit.

Use a brand management audit to uncover communications and content being created and used in the field. Albee advises enlisting the help of Sales Ops for this.

To uncover as many marketing assets as possible, boost participation by turning the process into a game. For example, give different departments or locations points for each asset they turn in.

Review existing creative assets and brand communications to determine what to remove and revise, and what needs to be created. You’ll typically find a lot of redundancy, Lieb said, so you can scale down the number of assets needed.

Create, enforce and deliver consistent brand communications, using technology to help.

Going forward, ensure that all communications and creative assets support the brand, and streamline creation and delivery to enforce a consistent brand message. Technology such as a digital asset management (DAM) system can help create brand compliance, advises Lieb.

Albee recommended following these steps:

Develop positioning messaging documents and vet every type of messaging in every channel through the standards in these documents, said The Pedowitz Group's Joyce. "Everyone who interfaces with customers at any touch point should treat that as their Bible."
Create templates for common sales and marketing assets, such as emails, social media posts, promotional flyers or PowerPoint presentations.
    Templates should lock down brand attributes, such as logo, colors, fonts or image usage, as well as anything requiring legal review, such as disclaimers or offer terms.

    Use A/B testing to ensure that content renders appropriately by device and channel.

    Enable customization within specific parameters. For instance, you might allow users to customize dates or locations, but not compliance language, logos or offers.
"The best approach is to create a centralized portal where [people] go to access and share content," said Albee.
    A DAM system containing only brand-approved assets and content helps to ensure your brand is on message, according to Lieb, so "you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time someone wants to run an ad or create a post."

    Look for software that makes it easy to organize, store and search creative assets. Software that integrates with the sales and marketing tools your organization already uses, such as Eloqua, Marketo or Salesforce, is more likely to be embraced.

    A DAM solution using rules-driven “intelligent forms” prevents users from going off-brand. Each selection the user makes in the template drives the other options.
    Restricting access reduces the risk of salespeople "going rogue."

    Look for a DAM system that lets you set user-based permissions so users can access and customize only the marketing assets they need, based on their role, location and other factors.
Ask internal customers what kinds of communications and collateral they need. "Meeting with your sales team to understand what they need is crucial for developing content that resonates," said Albee.

Communicate. "Communicate internally about the content you publish [to the portal]. Don’t expect that if you publish it they will find it," warned Albee.

Show teams how to use the portal and why it’s effective. Lieb said harnessing "What’s in it for me?" is a good way to get buy-in.

Start with a pilot with one team and prove it works. "Once the pilot starts showing success, others will want in," said Albee. "Anything that makes their lives easier and helps them achieve their goals with less effort will be an easier sell than trying to force them to change."
    As time goes on, you’ll be able to see which assets are used most often and which are rarely or never used. Based on this data, weed out poor performing assets.

    Learn from the field. Don’t assume only corporate marketing can create successful content. Continue getting input from different teams, regions and locations.

    "Think globally, but empower teams to act locally," advised Lieb. "Very often, teams act locally and do so with great success. There has to be a mechanism in place to share these successes and enable them to be reinterpreted or translated by peers."


Tasked with delivering customized content communications at a rapid-fire pace, marketers at complex organizations face unprecedented challenges in maintaining a consistent brand identity across channels and touch points. Harnessing technology to create a centralized repository of pre-approved communications and creative assets empowers sales teams and frees Marketing to focus on big-picture projects instead of one-off requests. By implementing a workflow to create assets, enforce brand consistency and distribute content, marketers can truly enable sales.

MarcomCentral® is a leading provider of cloud‑based Digital Asset Management for marketing teams everywhere. MarcomCentral manages and customizes marketing material across entire organizations enabling brand control and asset distribution with anytime, anywhere access. Fortune 500 companies count on MarcomCentral’s powerful platform to scale their marketing efforts and build their brands worldwide.


Demand Gen Report is a targeted online publication that uncovers the strategies and solutions that help companies better align their sales and marketing organizations, and ultimately, drive growth. A key component of the publication’s editorial coverage focuses on the sales and marketing automation tools that enable companies to better measure and manage their multi-channel demand generation efforts.