Delivering Immediate ROI with Content Tracking

Delivering Immediate ROI with Content Tracking

As brands’ digital asset libraries continue to grow, using a digital asset management (DAM) platform to store, secure, search, and access digital content has become an essential for efficient use and reuse of creative materials. The addition of Digital Rights Management (DRM) increases the capabilities and value of a DAM by accelerating time to market, reducing legal and campaign costs, and bolstering asset reuse. Still, the functionality of both DAM and DRM is generally limited to the pre-production and production stages. What happens after a campaign is released?

Given that effective customer interaction today involves omnichannel marketing, keeping track of assets after distribution is increasingly becoming not only a challenge, but a substantial, non-budgeted expense if those assets are in violation of their usage terms. Even when the violation is inadvertent, brands could still be exposed to lawsuits and on the hook for overage fees, causing them to exhaust precious resources to find the offending content. This shifts the focus of the marketing team from creating revenue-generating campaigns to searching for needles in a haystack that could cost the company millions.

These costly risks have given rise to the need for post-distribution content tracking capabilities. In this article, we explore five ways content tracking provides an immediate return on investment.

1. Automating searches for live content

Manual searches are both time-consuming and error prone. Let’s take an example: a multinational consumer goods company’s DRM notifies them that several of their assets featuring a certain model have expired. The problem is, the model appeared in both images and video segments that were used not only across their own website and social media channels, but also posted to their subdomains, on third-party e-commerce sites, and to multiple Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube accounts and channels. All told, the content could potentially appear on nearly three hundred media channels that are a mix of owned and controlled sites as well as partner and other sites where there is less control over content.

Conducting a human search of all of these outlets could take weeks or even months, and it still may not be exhaustive. Videos in particular pose a problem, as a three-second clip could be embedded in a minutes-long video—something that could be easily missed by fatigued reviewers. While Google reverse image search may capture some instances, it does not search video and only partially indexes websites and social channels.

Automating searches for live content can reduce search time by up to 98%, plus increase accuracy, offering peace of mind that the brand will not face recurring violations in the future.

2. Better resource allocation

Manual searches also shift the focus of resources from their core tasks. This not only impacts campaign schedules, it underutilizes specialized employees and contractors. Since expired content poses a significant monetary risk, locating it can quickly escalate to top priority, requiring all hands on deck to search for violations and grinding creative initiatives to a halt. And when those searches are not moving fast enough, brands will often turn to external agencies for reinforcement. This results in paying top dollar to overqualified creatives to laboriously review site after site for expired content. 

Automated content tracking keeps creative teams on track while expediting asset searches. Content tracking marketing technology can search across hundreds of sites and hundreds of thousands of assets in a matter of hours, flag violations, notify teams for immediate action, and even automate takedowns— allowing marketing teams to get back to creating compelling campaigns.

3. Avoiding litigation fees

When a copyright owner comes across an asset that is being used in violation of their contract terms, they will generally send a cease-and-desist notice. If a brand has been informed of the violation but continues to use the content, it can be held liable for copyright infringement. The problem is, when assets have been used for multiple campaigns across multiple channels and in multiple formats, live images and videos can slip through the cracks, leaving the brand exposed to litigation risk.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) protects intellectual property in digital formats and carries both civil and criminal penalties for violating copyright laws. Lawsuits can range from hundreds of thousands of dollars to millions in cases of celebrity talent infringements. Content aggregator Buzzfeed was sued by Mavrix Photo Agency for $1.3 million for publishing nine of their celebrity photos without permission. And movie megastars George Clooney and Julia Roberts sued Beyond Audio and Digital Projection, Inc. for misappropriation of publicity rights, trademark infringement, and negligence when they discovered the companies were using their images on their websites. Especially in cases of celebrity talent infringements, brands could end up paying millions even when a settlement is reached. 

In addition to the possible settlements, there are also legal costs, whether for internal or external counsel, to respond to cease-and-desist letters and lawsuits, which can amount to tens of thousands of dollars a year, even if attorneys are able to resolve the dispute without monetary penalties. 

4. Savings on overage fees

Having authorization to use an asset like a photograph, for example, carries its own rights terms, however the talent depicted in the photograph may have a separate agreement in place. The talent’s terms could have more stringent expiration dates, territory restrictions, media channel limitations, and specifications on how the media may or may not be used, e.g., to promote certain products or services. If these terms are violated, the brand may have to pay overage fees for using the asset beyond its license terms. Content tracking can help identify usage violations before they happen.

5. Gaining insights into top-performing content

The final ROI factor is an opportunity rather than a preventative measure, and that is the ability to glean insights into the usage and popularity of assets and talent via content tracking. Marketing teams can gain visibility into where assets are being used and by whom, then cross-check against likes and shares to measure engagement. By better understanding which content and layouts are being adopted by partners and how those are resonating with consumers, creative teams can create “lookalike” content to better appeal to target audiences.

Mitigating risk and reaping rewards with content tracking

One thing is certain—the volume of digital content and distribution channels will continue to grow. That means that putting processes in place to address end-to-end management of digital assets before the challenges become insurmountable is crucial. Ensuring that you can properly manage the rights and usage of the assets in your DAM throughout the content lifecyle will help you not only mitigate non-compliance risk, it will help you proactively use and reuse your most valuable assets for greater campaign impact.