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December 29, 2016

How to Master Design Version Control for Franchise Creative Directors

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Did you know that, with better tools for accessing design files, some Fortune 500 brands estimate they could save up to $2 million a month? The "cost of NOT finding information" is pretty high. Many creative directors and designers know the feeling of that cost first hand, as so much of their time is spent responding to requests and searching for files.

For creative directors managing design for franchisees, the challenges associated with supporting franchise marketing, and managing digital assets, can become almost impossible.

Marketing for distributed locations is never simple, but could a lack of the right tech be making it even harder?

Surprisingly, it's quite common for large organizations with many franchisees to lack a centralized hub for design. This is even more common if the brand has experienced rapid growth.

In this blog, we'll explore some of the most common problems that creative directors face in the distributed marketing field - specifically the issues surrounding version control. We'll look at how companies and brands benefit from implementing version control for design teams, and tips for implementing the process within your organization.

Signs You NEED Tools for Design Version Control

Everyone suffers when an organization employs poor version control techniques and tools. Designers and creative managers often feel like they're fighting an uphill battle to stay on top of hundreds, if not thousands, of design requests raining in – both from central office stakeholders and franchise owners.

Both brand managers and designers often feel frustrated and confused and have difficulty simply channeling the right assets to the right people.

Forget compliance and brand audits.

Inadequate versioning control means that creative teams spend their time fighting fires, instead of propelling the brand forward with inspired ideas and concepts.

Perhaps the biggest impact of poor design version control is seen in overall brand quality. With major delays in getting local outlets the assets they need, franchisees could be deploying incredibly inconsistent campaigns on their own.

The absolute worst-case scenario, when it comes to lack of version control, is the perfect storm of uncontrolled branding. If a design team is so overwhelmed by demands, requests, and revisions from franchisees, there is no time to monitor how the brand is being delivered at individual locations.

Often, this means franchisees are creating materials that haven't been reviewed by the branding experts, and crucial details, like the aspect ratio of the logo(!), get completely missed. A pretty clear sign that something needs to change.

Learn more about CampaignDrive's local marketing automation capabilities and version control system.

Who Benefits from Versioning Control Tools?

Versioning control tools are often perceived as something that can take away from the role of the creative director or lead designers. In reality, the right mechanisms for version control allow your team to focus on what they do best - translating the brand's strategy and goals into beautiful designs.

While not specifically speaking to distributed marketing, design entrepreneur Anatoly Paraev observed key design-specific benefits of version control tools in corporate settings that can be applied to franchise marketing:

  • Helps you keep your files structured
  • Automatic, thought-free asset backup
  • Easy, centralized file access for distributed brands
  • The ability to save - and connect - multiple file versions for franchisees
  • Easier collaboration with developers, designers, and franchise marketers

In other words, adopting versioning tools won't eliminate your value as a visual marketer and designer. It simply eliminates the time you spend looking for content to respond to requests and allows for an easier monitoring of franchisee activity and design modifications.

Tips for Painless Version Control

What do you need to stop fighting fires, and focus more on brand strategy and compliance? The most common, and valuable, features of digital asset management (DAM) version control systems offer the following:

1. Mapping Requests to Division

Instead of fighting a brimming inbox, you can gain the ability to match requests to where they're coming from, CMO to local partners, and respond with available assets quickly.

2. Matching Requests to Campaign

Not only can you track assets against region and internal division, you can improve access by asset campaign, type, or other pertinent data points.

3. Controlling Access

Compliance becomes significantly easier when you can control exactly what your local partners are able to access. With the right versioning control tool, you can allow access to assets according to role, region, segments, and other important distinctions - significantly reducing non-compliant marketing.

Using CampaignDrive for Version Control and Digital Asset Management (DAM)

CampaignDrive is a tool designed for the complex needs of creative directors and brand managers at franchise organizations.

With CampaignDrive's built-in features for local marketing execution, creative directors are free to spend time doing what they do best: translating their brand's image and voice into marketing that sells. The tool enables your design team to make assets discoverable by the right franchise owners, tag content with search terms, and monitor how local partners are modifying the assets.

CampaignDrive has all the tools you need to nail the visual aspects of compliant local marketing and helps your design team execute version control with master layouts, templating, review and approval loops, and local execution capability. The more utilization your assets get by your franchise owners, the higher their value. Waste is reduced, results are measured, and always-on-brand campaigns have never been more efficiently executed.

We've compiled teachings from Franchise Creative Directors at some of the world's best-known brands into an all-in-one guide to improving your franchise's distributed marketing. Get your copy and get ready for even stronger franchise marketing!
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