What is BAM? Everything you need to know
To view the original article from Papirfly, the World Employer Branding Day 2022 Global Community Partner, click here A summarised copy of the article is found below.
At a time where consumers are spoiled for choice as to where they devote their time and money, the importance of a strong, memorable brand grows greater every day.
Your brand is your unique calling card. Your organisation’s identity and personality. The values and components that inspire others to buy from you, join you, engage with you. It’s impossible to overstate its worth, and imperative to nail down in an increasingly competitive landscape.
However, the burden of building and maintaining a global brand is far from easy. It can eat away at time and budget – both of which are often in short supply. You have to manage more channels than ever, with the potential for any inconsistency to hurt your reputation. It is a full-time responsibility, and never seems to get any simpler.
Well, that was until Brand Activation Management (BAM) emerged. With this in place, brands globally are unlocking their brand’s true potential. They are locking down consistency across all channels and markets. They are delivering more while dedicating less time and resources.
Here, you will find out why BAM is fast-becoming the beating heart of marketing teams the world over.
What is Brand Activation Management?
Brand Activation Management is a total, all-inclusive approach to protecting, preserving and propelling a brand to achieve its full potential.
This enables teams to centralise content production and bring it in-house, with no need for specialist expertise or any sacrifice in quality. An infinite number of assets can be seamlessly created, stored and shared with teams around the globe.
Basically, it makes executing your brand easy, as per your brand guidelines, whilst removing traditional bottlenecks for asset production.
In addition, employees can be educated on everything that represents and depicts their brand through a dedicated portal, and asset usage across campaigns can be planned, monitored and analysed with ease.
BAM was developed in response to the ever-growing importance of branding to connect with audiences worldwide, and the pressures teams faced in pursuing this goal. Standing out from the crowd is only getting tougher, and marketers need every advantage they can get.
Especially when brand management is littered with challenges, including:
Limited capacity or budgets to produce assets frequently on all channels
Inconsistencies due to a mismanaged brand guidelines, reliance on third-party agencies or simply time pressures
Lack of in-house designers and creatives
Restrictions on available technology (e.g. video editing software)
Dealing with language and culture changes across international audiences
Difficulties collaborating with local teams to launch timely campaigns
Assets frequently getting lost or forgotten, leading to duplication of efforts
These issues have placed brand managers and marketing teams under unenviable pressure – with repercussions felt on work-life balance and their overall working experience.
BAM meets these challenges head-on, so marketing teams can enhance the power of their brand while making life simpler at the same time.
6 reasons why BAM represents the future of marketing
To explain the difference that BAM makes to teams who want to showcase their brand to the fullest, here we will break down some of the standout challenges marketing teams face and how BAM overcomes them.
Challenge #1: Limited time and/or budget
It’s a problem more and more marketing teams are having to contend with. In 2021 marketing budgets plummeted to an average of just 6.4% of company revenue – the lowest percentage on record.
A lack of time and budget hinders a brand – and the people responsible for managing it – in numerous ways:
Assets can’t be produced as frequently or across more channels
Quality of output is restricted by capacity available
Opportunities for effective campaigns are missed by lack of resources
People work longer hours to get work over the line, affecting their wellbeing
Introducing BAM into an organisation can make an immediate difference to how budgets are handled and how quickly assets are produced:
The use of bespoke, intelligent templates, across all marketing channels, enables assets to be produced in a fraction of the time they would take conventionally
This substantial time-saving means that an organisation can produce hundreds, if not thousands, more assets a month than without BAM
Templates are built in accordance with an organisation’s brand guidelines, so there is no risk of going off-brand, which saves time on proofing and amending assets
Adaptations can be done in seconds, so assets can be reused across multiple campaigns
Fundamentally, a BAM platform empowers marketing teams to create an infinite number of on-brand, studio-standard assets, allowing organisations to spread their branding further – at reduced costs and with no compromise in quality
Challenge #2: Lack of designers and creatives
A big hindrance to marketing teams is a lack of in-house specialists to take ownership of producing brand materials. This is understandable – hiring staff is a significant expense, particularly at a time when budgets are shrinking.
However, this either limits the capacity that teams have to spread their brand far and wide, or results in a lower-quality output due to a lack of time or expertise.
Alternatively, brands can become reliant on agencies to produce these materials. While more cost-effective than hiring in-house, it does represent a drain on much-needed budget. And, because agencies have other responsibilities, there is no certainty that they will be able to squeeze in work when time is of the essence.
Anyone can use BAM after just an hour’s training. Because its templates are so intuitive and leave so little margin for error, someone with little or no design experience can hop onto this platform and produce high-quality materials instantly.
This means organisations don’t have to spend over-the-odds for in-house creatives, or become dependent on agencies to produce the content they need. Instead, BAM upskills existing employees so they can actively create materials when they’re needed.
Challenge #3: Branding inconsistencies
There are many issues that can allow inconsistencies to creep into an organisation’s branding:
Lack of communication and collaboration across teams
Agencies not having a firm grasp on brand guidelines
Brand guidelines not being accessible or understood by team members
Time constraints leading to assets being rushed
These circumstances can have dramatic repercussions on how a brand is perceived by its audiences. They may be confused about its identity, making it appear weak and untrustworthy. Customer journeys become disjointed. Employees and partners are less inspired to become brand advocates.
Again, the locked-down elements of BAM’s pre-defined templates make it virtually impossible for assets to go off-brand. This is a massive relief to marketers, who are assured that all materials presented to their consumers are aligned with their brand values and identity.
Furthermore, BAM’s commitment to consistency stretches further than the strength of its templates:
The potential to introduce approval workflows ensures that any asset produced can quickly be sent to marketing managers to green light before anything goes live
BAM provides a central, online hub for all brand guidelines, training materials and more, so employees can always be informed of their parameters
It offers the capacity for team members worldwide to collaborate and comment on work in real-time
Challenge #4: Assets going missing
Did you know that the average information worker spends 28 days a year searching for documents? The time it takes marketing teams to uncover assets and other resources lost in meandering folders can often be comparable.
This significant waste of time is only compounded when, if the asset being searched for can’t be found, teams then have to devote additional time duplicating the original output.
BAM platforms confront this age-old problem by housing their own in-built Digital Asset Management (DAM) tool. A DAM acts as a central database for all campaigns, imagery and documents – once an asset is saved onto it, a user can quickly locate, download, edit or send anything within the DAM to their teams worldwide for use in their campaigns.
Assets can be stored and categorised by team, sub-brand, campaign or country, making them easy to find
All material is downloaded, saved, shared and edited from within the portal
Different accessibility levels can be set per user, meaning employees can only access content that is relevant to them
Challenge #5: Out of control campaigns
The already vast number of channels that marketing teams use to present their brand seems to expand every year. This puts pressure on these teams to not only produce enough assets to maintain a frequent presence in their audiences’ eyes, but also to manage these campaigns competently.
Without good oversight of all assets that are required for a campaign and when, they can quickly descend into chaos. Deadlines are missed. Opportunities are lost. Brand value is diminished rather than enhanced.
BAM platforms resolve this problem with comprehensive campaign planners. Teams gain a bird’s-eye view of everything created and shared across international teams, allowing them to plot clear timelines for particular assets over the course of a campaign.
This establishes order at a time where it is so easy to lose control. Marketers benefit from an organised plan of action, which can be overseen and updated at any time.
Challenge #6: Language and cultural barriers
Finally, for global brands to truly resonate with consumers worldwide, content must be adapted to meet different languages and cultures. If this isn’t pursued, or not fulfilled effectively, brands are unlikely to form deep, meaningful relationships with customers further afield than those in their home base.
By empowering marketing teams to instantly adapt materials into any required languages, and use a DAM to store an infinite number of culturally appropriate images and assets, BAM helps brands to harness the true power of localisation.
This helps to ensure that brand identity is not compromised across all markets, while any subtle alterations helps to avoid mistranslation mistakes or cultural faux-pas that could hurt a brand’s image globally.
These are just some of the standout ways that BAM platforms will be a must-have tool for marketing teams who want to maximise the potential of their brand for the long term. This approach is an unquestionable time and cost-saver for marketing teams of any size.
But the advantages extend even further when we consider the unique ways BAM supports the work of distinct areas of marketing. Below, we delve into three of the most notable places where BAM makes a big difference: