Imagine that you’ve just opened a regular newsletter from one of your favourite brands, and the first thing you see is a large banner with the company’s logo front and centre. Having read the email and scrolled to the bottom, you click through to that brand’s Twitter account only to notice that the avatar features a totally different logo.

This might be seen as a minor discrepancy on the face of it, but it actually makes for a very jarring user experience. Firstly, doubt sets in as to whether you’re looking at a counterfeit or fake page, before that doubt transforms into confusion and eventually a negative perception of the brand in question. All of this due to a lack of brand consistency.

We see problems like this every day through brands that are struggling to thrive in an omnichannel environment, where businesses orchestrate their marketing communications across multiple channels and platforms to maintain high customer interest and engagement. There is little doubt that the omnichannel approach can be a success, but it must be conducted in the right way: recent research found that brands with strong omnichannel customer engagement boast an average retention rate of 89% compared to just 33% for companies with weak engagement.

Brand consistency is a vital factor in determining this success. Customers should be able to instinctively recognise the brands they are interacting with – in much the same way that we recognise the intonations and mannerisms of our family and friends – and this is achieved by being able to identify familiar logos, phrases, graphics and any other idiosyncrasies.

This can be hard enough for small-to-medium-sized businesses, let alone those that operate in numerous countries and time zones. How can the global marketing team possibly ensure the consistency of all brand materials, logos, graphics and videos, in all languages, in all regions and for all channels?

Many might choose to solve this problem by simply hiring more manpower, but this simply means there are now more people to check and approve for consistency. The real solution lies not in humans, but in technology.

For the past few years, more businesses have been adopting digital asset management, content management, marketing resource management and/or database systems to provide a much smoother internal process. These systems essentially help to automate the consistency process, which in turn makes production workflows much more efficient — and this has a positive impact on bottom line.

But how exactly can technology help achieve consistency within omnichannel marketing?

Centralisation

For multi-region brands or even organisations with a multitude of sub-brands, having all assets and materials created, hosted and managed on a centralised platform can bring about stability and allow for streamlined operations. With all materials hosted in one place, brands can ensure only the latest assets are being used, regardless of region, language or promotion. Approvals can also be managed effectively, while any material that is out of date in terms of style, tone or time can be automatically removed, ensuring consistency across the board.

With so many necessary systems and capabilities, there is no one platform that can perfectly execute every task. A much more likely scenario would be to adopt a solution that could do most of the heavy lifting of maintaining consistency of your messaging, the creation of assets, approvals and access. When used by both brand and agency, this solution can deliver truly effective results.

Content In Context

Once this solution is in place, it can also help to inform regional marketing campaigns and promotions. Instead of relying on a weak asset that is designed to work across several countries, brands can devise tailor-made, localised assets for each country that will not simply work, but appeal to each audience. Personalised content that is created based on marketing data can also be used to excellent effect.

A content marketing hub is another valuable asset to brands, as it allows them to gauge the interests of their target audiences and learn how each individual is interacting and engaging with their communications. In an omnichannel environment, being able to learn from audience’s past behaviours and tweak future communications accordingly is extremely beneficial.

 

The popularisation of countless digital channels and platforms has changed a lot of things, but the one thing that remains a constant is that the customer experience is a top priority for all businesses. This is why brand consistency is so important to get right in an omnichannel environment. Therefore, by working with a trusted partner to find a system that allows for the centralisation of various processes and works for specific business needs, brands will be able to enjoy considerably higher customer engagement and satisfaction.