Insight - Digital Asset Management Configuration for Financial Services

13 Jun 2024

Imagine this: Your team is managing the feedback and review process for financial promotions through email. A single document is sent to five to a group of stakeholders for comment/review, they all provide feedback and reply to all, you now have 25 emails. More comments are made and now you have even more emails.. The right answer is in there somewhere, but it's buried in multiple email threads. leading to confusion and inefficiency. Moreover, tracking the process is a nightmare, making it difficult to achieve right-first-time approvals. Each time changes are made it becomes harder to track and the review cycle is extended..

In highly regulated financial services environments, marketing and compliance teams face numerous challenges when it comes to effectively managing their digital assets. From ensuring brand consistency and compliance with ever-changing regulations to streamlining collaboration and approval processes, the task of managing financial promotions can be overwhelming.

Many organisations rely on spreadsheets, shared folders, or generic project management tools. But these solutions often fall short, leading to inefficiencies, errors, and potential compliance risks.

While generic Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems can potentially address some of these issues, they often require extensive configuration to meet the specific needs of financial services organisations. These systems may also lack the deep industry expertise necessary to handle the complex regulatory processes and unique challenges faced by financial services providers.

In this article, we will explore the importance of embracing a tailored, purpose-built DAM solution that is specifically designed to meet the needs of financial services organisations.

Build, Buy or Bespoke - Evaluating Your Options

When it comes to developing a DAM system for financial services, organisations have several options to consider. Each approach comes with its own set of challenges and benefits.

Spreadsheets and Shared Folders

Some organisations may choose to stick with using spreadsheets and shared folders for managing their digital assets, often due to cost reasons. However, this approach can quickly lead to errors, omissions, and inefficiencies as the complexity and volume of assets grow. Whilst it may seem like a cost-effective solution initially, the risks and limitations of manual processes can ultimately prove costly.

Generic DAM Systems

Whilst using an "off-the-shelf" Digital Asset Management system might seem like a convenient solution for centralising the organisation of digital assets, it often fails to adequately address the unique needs of compliance and marketing departments. These generic systems are built to accommodate a broad range of stakeholders, resulting in a one-size-fits-all approach that lacks the specialised functionality required by compliance and marketing teams in financial services environments.

Attempting to configure a generic DAM system to meet the specific processes and requirements of these departments can be arduous and frustrating. The complexity and time-consuming nature of this process can lead to significant compromises in functionality, as the system struggles to adapt to the organisation's unique needs

Moreover, the cost of customising and maintaining such a system can quickly escalate, as the organisation invests valuable resources in an attempt to force a square peg into a round hole.

Specialist systems like bethebrand

The third option is to partner with a specialist like bethebrand, who has deep expertise in building and configuring DAM systems specifically for the financial services industry. By working with a provider that understands the unique challenges and requirements of the sector, organisations can benefit from a highly configurable and tailored solution that meets their specific needs.

To illustrate the differences between these approaches, let's compare the key features and capabilities between each option:

Feature Spreadsheets and Shared Folders Generic DAM bethebrand
Custom approval workflows Manual, error-prone Limited configurability Highly configurable
Content expiration management Difficult to track Basic expiration dates Advanced expiration rules and notifications
Final compliance sign-off Manual checks, high risk Limited built-in checks Comprehensive checks and validations
Audit trail and compliance reporting Time-consuming, incomplete Basic audit logs Detailed audit trails and compliance reports
Process optimisation insights Minimal visibility Basic reporting Advanced analytics and benchmarking
UK financial services specialists Limited understanding Some experience Deep expertise and understanding
Pre-built workflows for Financial Promotions Not available Limited and generic Comprehensive and tailored

What are the essential features you need?

Regardless of which route you choose, there are a number of features that we would argue are non-negotiable for a high performing DAM in a financial promotions context:

  • Customisable workflows for review and approval processes
  • Content expiration management throughout the asset lifecycle
  • Built-in checks for final sign-off and approval
  • Full audit trails and evidence retention for compliance
  • Comprehensive reporting and process optimisation capabilities

Read our full guide to 5 DAM Essentials for Managing Regulated Content

Our solution: bethebrand

With 20 years of expertise, bethebrand is the go-to solution for configuring DAM systems that revolutionise the way financial services organisations manage their digital assets. Our tailored approach guarantees a streamlined process and significantly improved workflows, saving time and resources.

By choosing bethebrand, organisations minimise risk, gain cost clarity, and ensure flawless implementation. Our team works hand-in-hand with clients to deeply understand their unique requirements, resulting in a DAM system that seamlessly integrates with their goals and processes, maximising efficiency and productivity.

The configuration process, led by our expert team, is designed to capture every detail of the client's needs through comprehensive workshops. With bethebrand's DAM system, financial services organisations benefit from pre-configured workflows specific to financial promotions, which can be further customised to perfectly match each client's processes, ensuring a perfect fit.

Onboarding is also a breeze. We kickstart the process with a workshop to establish the go-live date and create a detailed project plan. By updating the system based on workshop findings and conducting thorough testing, we ensure a smooth transition and empower end-users with the knowledge they need to succeed through comprehensive training.

Once bethebrand is live, we provide exceptional support to ensure your success. Our team promptly addresses user queries and efficiently executes system administration changes. Your dedicated Account Manager offers ongoing support, conducting regular service review meetings and facilitating access to user groups and product development. They also manage system upgrades and provide personalised configuration and training.

Key aspects of our approach include:

  1. Customisable workflows aligned with the organisation's processes.
  2. Comprehensive compliance features, including checks, approval processes, and audit trails.
  3. Ongoing support and collaboration through a dedicated client services contact.
  4. Client-driven product development to ensure alignment with evolving industry requirements.

What's the ROI?

This is a question clients often ask and while the answer is highly dependent on the specific client, we can offer an example. The following indicative figures are based on our experience of automating processes at more than 10 Financial Services organisations, which range in size from 5-400 people responsible for managing between 200-4000 pieces of collateral.

By reducing the average review cycles from five to three, organisations can save approximately £237,000 to £337,500 annually. These savings are based on managing 500 updates per year, with four people involved in each review.

This consists of:

  • Savings of approximately £162,000 annually by reducing review cycles from five to three.
  • Savings of £150,000 in external agency approval costs and £75,000 in internal agency approval costs.
  • Minimising rejections at the final approval stage saves around £25,500.

Alongside these clear cost savings, clients can also increase efficiency and keep overheads low. One of our clients has achieved a 40% increase in approved documents without changing staffing levels.

Unum Case study

Unum UK is a leading employee benefits provider offering expert health and wellbeing support and financial protection through the workplace. Proud of its heritage and commitment to putting people first, Unum UK protects 1.6 million employees and their loved ones through its policies. Over 9,000 businesses, ranging from FTSE 100 companies to start-ups, trust Unum to look after their people

Senior Manager of Marketing Operations, Stuart Flint, shared his experience:

"I am system guardian of UMAS (Unum Marketing Approval System), our bethebrand system. We have been working with the bethebrand team for over 5 years. We wanted to have a system that was the central point of truth for a wide range of documents from marcomms to technical guides and policy documentation. We have hundreds of assets that need to be governed and managed.

The system has not only delivered what we need in terms of asset management, but also enables opportunities to collaborate and be agile. We spoke to a number of suppliers but bethebrand stood out because of their experience working with like-minded providers with similar challenges, the intuitiveness of their system, and their flexibility. We can make architectural changes where needed enabling us to have a bespoke system that reflect our requirements, whereas other systems we saw were more regimented. Bethebrand have an open mind and a willingness to make things happen collaboratively."

Stuart also highlighted a specific improvement since using bethebrand:

"A great example of this was bethebrand's addition of a financial promotion checklist to our UMAS platform. Through careful user permission hierarchies, assets that are not classed as financial promotions can be certified by authorised non-compliance staff. We are always confident that bethebrand are just a phone call away from creating great solutions that fit our ways of working and work closely with the team on a regular basis.”

Would You Like to Know More?

Wondering how a bespoke bethebrand system could fit your needs? Reach out to Sales Director Ross Jenner, ross@be-thebrand.com, to discuss your options.

You can also check out our Client Stories and Solutions pages to see how we've supported other clients and dive further into the platform's capabilities.

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