How to build an efficient marketing asset workflow
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How to build an efficient marketing asset workflow

Your day will be more efficient with a marketing asset management workflow that lets everyone on your team stay focused on your overall marketing strategy.

Marketing is about consistently putting your company's best foot forward—not scrambling time and again to make sure your team has the latest marketing assets.

If you have your marketing assets spread across emails and file storage tools, a big portion of your workday probably consists of tasks like:

  • Making sure your storage tools have the most up-to-date versions of all your assets
  • Answering emails from teammates who don't know where to find the assets they need
  • Flagging assets in your storage tools that are outdated

That's time you could be spending actually developing new assets and implementing new marketing strategies.

You can reclaim this time by designing a single marketing asset management workflow that lets everyone on your team stay laser-focused not just on your assets, but also on your overall marketing strategy.

Follow along by clicking the Copy base button—get your own version of this base that you can customize to meet your needs.

Build a network of assets and use cases

If your marketing assets stay siloed in storage software and Slack channels, it can be hard to see the big picture of how those assets are contributing to a single, coherent marketing strategy. Rather than seeing your marketing assets and strategy as two separate things, you can develop a single base that lets you organize your assets according to their strategic functions—keeping the big picture firmly in your mind as you develop and deploy assets.

Instead of dumping your assets into an unstructured storage space, begin by creating an Airtable base with a table that contains records of all the use cases for marketing your product. If you work for a delivery company, for example, this table might include such use cases as “Delivery While in Transit” and “Sudden Cravings.”

The hypothetical delivery company in the above example base has logged over 20 use cases in their marketing asset base's Use Cases table.

Each use case record can feature a long text field describing that use case in more detail—but the main event is linking each of these use cases to records in your other tables. You can make the most out of these use case records by creating two other kinds of tables in your base:

  1. A table for your products. Even if you only have one product right now, try making a separate table where you keep a record of that product with a long text description of what it is and a URL field linking to its main page on your website. This will make it easier to update your marketing strategy if and when you add more products.
  2. Tables for your different kinds of marketing assets. Case studies, tutorials, white papers, webinars, and support articles should all get their own table. You can tailor the kinds of fields in each table to the sort of information each marketing asset contains—if it's a white paper, include an attachment field that contains the most recent version of that white paper; if it's a web page, include a URL field linking to that page.

Once you have these two kinds of tables set up, you can use your use case table to its fullest by creating fields that link each use case to your relevant products and marketing assets. These linked record fields empower you to see at a glance which of your products are serving which use cases, and what specific tools you have for marketing each of those use cases.

A field that links to your Products table relates your use cases to your products, letting you easily see which products serve which use cases—and vice versa.

A marketing strategy is most successful when you keep firmly in mind which use cases each one of your products and marketing assets is serving—these use cases, after all, are the ultimate reasons why anyone would actually buy your products. Keeping your use cases as the front page and guiding principle of your marketing asset base, therefore, will provide you with a better view (no pun intended!) of how well your assets are contributing to your bottom line.

Find and fill gaps in your content pipeline

In the thick of an ordinary work week, it's easy to slip into autopilot and start making new marketing assets with little rhyme or reason to them. Maybe you mock up another case study simply because you like case studies, or maybe you make a new tutorial simply because you've heard anecdotally that your product is hard to use.

The method you use to store your marketing assets can make a big difference in how easy it is to make sure that each asset unequivocally contributes to your cohesive marketing playbook. With the right base, you can immediately see the gaps in your current playbook and work to fill them.

It's a good rule of thumb to have marketing assets ready to distribute for every product use case you're targeting. With the use case table acting as your base's front page, it's a simple task to highlight use cases that are missing marketing assets and assign team members to fix those problems.

Say you want each of your use cases to have:

  • At least one tutorial
  • At least one case study
  • At least one white paper
  • At least one webinar

You can immediately see which of your use cases fail to meet these conditions and which therefore require content by creating a view of your Use Cases table and adding filters to that view so it will show any use cases that are lacking any one of those types of collateral.

This view of the Use Cases table named "Requires Content" uses a four-condition filter to show only those use cases that are missing EITHER a tutorial OR a case study OR a white paper OR a webinar.

Once you've surveyed the use cases that require additional marketing assets, you can @mention your team members directly in a use case record to tell them what you need them to work on. That way, instead of starting a separate email chain and creating the potential for missed or lost communication, your discussion with them literally becomes a part of the record for that use case.

Tagging a base collaborator in a message within the record of a use case that needs new content will situate the conversation within the context of the work that needs to get done: as soon as Robin opens this notification, they'll see not only the message but also all the details about the use case around which they need to create new content.

Seeing the gaps in your marketing assets every time you open your base will keep you focused on what needs to be done to develop and deploy a full marketing program. With your team ready to act as soon as you tag them, your marketing efforts will be coordinated and focused—whether you're a one-person department or a multi-functional, hierarchical chimera.

Connect your assets to the people who need them

Conversations around your marketing assets are most efficient when the assets are right in front of you. The best kind of marketing asset base, therefore, won't just store your assets: it'll also serve as the home for all marketing communications.

You can assign team members to the specific pieces of collateral for which they're responsible and directly notify them about their new assignments with collaborator fields. You also don't need to wait for people to sign up as collaborators to keep moving forward with your workflow—you can invite new team members to Airtable directly from a collaborator field. Say you've hired a freelancer to create some new marketing collateral, but they haven't signed up to be a collaborator on your base yet. Just input their name into a collaborator field on whatever assets you want them to complete—this will automatically add them as a collaborator and invite them to join the base without interrupting your work.

If you need to assign Jerome Xue as the author of a white paper and he's not a collaborator yet, you can click on the Author field, type in his name, and then enter his email in the Invite a new collaborator dialog to simultaneously invite Jerome to the base and add him to the appropriate record.

Beyond letting you talk to your teammates and assign work to them, collaborator fields empower you to see at a glance who has what projects on their plate. If you want to see which writers are working on which white papers, for example, you can create a new view of your White Papers table—you can call it “Author Workload”—and group the records in it by the Author field.

Grouping one of your asset tables by a collaborator field lets you quickly see who's responsible for what tasks.

Sometimes, rather than tagging a team member in a single record, you'll want to wrangle your whole team at once—maybe for an all-hands or for a weekly marketing strategy session. That can be a hard task if your team members all have to toggle back and forth between a group chat and three or four different tabs with all your marketing assets.

To enable better team-wide communication, you can add a Google Hangouts block to your base, creating a button with a unique link that everyone on your team can use to jump onto a group video chat.

The green Hangout button lets you call a team meeting instantly within your base.

Put your strategy first

A marketing asset management workflow that fails to foreground your broader strategy and team communications will cost you time and effort in the long run. You'll end up having to keep your strategy and communications documents elsewhere, migrating back and forth between those places and your assets—and that's how things end up slipping through the cracks.

A functional, use case-driven, collaborative base will keep your ultimate marketing goals firmly in view as you develop and iterate on every single asset. The end result is a different, radically more efficient kind of marketing workflow: one that never requires you to “align” your collateral with your strategy, since your strategy is now the foundation that undergirds every piece of collateral in your toolkit.

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