By Chris Ransick
In a past life, I was a creative director, with 25+ art directors and 4 ACD reporting into me. A large team, yet I never had the resources needed to meet all the work requests. To increase resource availability, I launched a process that had my art directors submitting their image needs to the art buyer. No longer were my art directors spending hours searching for the perfect image and incorrectly documenting the purchase and rights. With our new process, the art buyer was spending one fourth the time to do the same task. Their choices were dead on, and the paperwork was flawless.
While the process worked well, it had significant drawbacks. Content creators had lost personal control and felt they were losing the benefits gained from interacting with the image search process. I personally felt very conflicted since I needed resource efficiencies and compliance accuracy. But coming from the creative side, I understood the tremendous value of interacting with the image selection process. Imagine if I could only get the best of both worlds – an efficient process, flawless compliance, and full creative interaction.
For this to work, several problems need to be solved. To minimize legal risk it is critical to centrally handle the content provider relationships, contracts and license terms. To establish transparency, a central view on all creative content purchases for all brands, country offices, marketing departments and agencies needs to be established. Creatives then need to be able to easily search, find and purchase content by going through approval or on their own behalf. To do all of this manually is impossible because of the lack of systems, controls and human resources that would be needed.
Introducing Enterprise Content Buying
This is where Enterprise Content Buying platforms come into play. It is a centralized hub that enables the management of the full enterprise content-procurement process.
- All contracted content providers are available in one interface, where all relationships, contracts and license terms can be managed.
- The easy management of content providers enables provider independence and helps to establish standard corporate purchasing practices.
- Precise, easy to understand and trustworthy license information is available anytime, before and after purchase.
- All content purchases go to a central transaction protocol, where costs can be settled transparently and cost centers can be applied.
- Creatives only need to search once for the perfect content and find everything available, so they can significantly speed up their search-and-acquisition process.
- Teammates can collaborate inside one interface, instead of wasting time to download images to the desktop and reupload it into a separate system.
- All corporate marketing, brand and country offices as well as agencies have access to the same tools they need to work efficiently.
- Content is no longer being purchased in silos. Instead of each person, brand, and office using their unique procurement process, content is being acquired centrally, following corporate policy.
Enterprise Content Buying and Digital Asset Management
Of course, Enterprise Content Buying software only covers the initial part of the content supply chain. After purchase, digital files need to migrate to the Digital Asset Management (DAM) system so that the entire organization can find and use them.
That’s why Enterprise Content Buying software seamlessly integrates with the company’s Digital Asset Management system, allowing tagging and metadata to be shared. This enables an uninterrupted flow of authoritative, trustworthy metadata right from the content maker to the content consumer. On top of that, assets will become searchable in the DAM system and can be shared across the enterprise easily.
Does This Pay Off?
I think, there is no avoiding the reality that centralized content buying is a huge opportunity for a company to save money, protect itself from rights violations – and will pay for itself many times over.
The data speaks for itself. The need for more and more content grows as marketers continue to increase customer segmentation and personalization. When you have every marketing-content creator, for every brand, in every country, purchasing an increasing amount of content without digital support, efficiencies are lost, and legal risk climbs.
All of this adds up to hours of lost time, lost purchasing efficiencies, unmanaged contracts, and unmanaged content. Thus, do not miss the opportunity. It’s essential that companies assess their content supply chain and bring it under control – and Enterprise Content Buying software facilitates that.
The Sooner the Better
Gaining control over the content purchasing process has traditionally been compliance intensive. And to their detriment, few organizations have tried to fix the problem, but instead handed the problem over to their agencies. Now that the solution exists, your organization can save significantly on your content purchases, while improving your creative output.
An easy to use interface and user experience make it simple for enterprise users to search and find assets they need faster, saving money and eliminating licensing risk. Enterprise Content Buying software is the easy answer for companies seeking to take control of their content purchasing, their content life cycle, and thus the quality of their work.