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3 Ways to Improve Collaboration with External Agencies

Published on
May 17, 2022
Steve Ferris
iconik Blog

3 Ways to Improve Collaboration with External Agencies

Steve Ferris
Published on
May 17, 2022
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There's nothing quite like working with an external agency. The constant back-and-forth, the seemingly endless cycle of revisions - it's all just so delightfully stressful!

But seriously, collaboration with an outside agency can be difficult. Trying to align your company's vision with that of another organization is no easy feat. And when you're trying to do that under tight deadlines while minding the budget, it can be downright daunting.

But it's not impossible.

In this post, I'm going to highlight how iconik customers are collaborating with external agencies by using iconik to unite their internal and external teams. By centralizing media, communication, and data in iconik, creators work faster, managers spend less time sorting through the details, and all stakeholders can quickly get up to speed.

The end result is that everyone knows where everything is and you can experience a network effect on your whole marketing ecosystem.

To kick things off, let's visualize what's happening. In this diagram, you can see how an in-house team can use iconik to collaborate with their external agencies.

Let's go a level deeper to see all the moving parts that make this possible. 

1. Share a Creative Drive for Raw and Final Assets

As more teams work remotely, the need for creative unity and tracking new assets is extremely important. This is where having an easily accessible and organized creative drive can make a huge difference.

A centralized creative drive can offer a holistic view of all your content, making it easier to know if deliverables are aligned with your brand and your message. This is especially helpful for large or complex organizations with many different divisions. 

Familiarity with cloud-based file-sharing services can sometimes cause organizations to look to those first as a “media management solution”. These services can do well for documents and images, but almost none of these solutions were designed to efficiently handle video. There are often limitations on your ability to preview and navigate content which can cause users to download many massive files they don’t actually need.

Read More: File Sharing vs. Media Management - What Do I need?

With a cloud-native solution like iconik, media assets are always available for collaborators to search and preview from any device. You can connect any storage, and iconik will begin to fill with beautiful smaller proxy files of all your media. 

“Couldn’t having thousands of files dumped into iconik get messy?”

Not if you’ve already structured your media in folders. Iconik will actually preserve that structure in collections to keep everything neat and easy to find—the old way.

There is a new way to find files in iconik though:

Even if your existing media library is a mess (no shame), iconik can take that in and search for a lot more data points other than a title, plus there’s a whole panel of handy filters to quickly narrow down results. You could even go a step further and use AI to auto-tag your media so you can search for very detailed information like objects, colors, moods and more.

And with that accessibility also comes security. As an iconik administrator, you can use detailed permissions and roles, asset blocking and warnings in addition to iconik’s thorough IT security measures to keep media safe.

Everyone who should have access to your collateral will have it, and nobody will need to ask you to send the most recent logo for the 10th time this month.

2. Organize Feedback and Version Management

As new media for your ads are delivered to you, they’ll require feedback. Having a review and approval workflow will go a long way in tracking each revision request to know the status of each asset. And sometimes, as a result of unclear expectations or a very discerning/picky eye, revisions of the same asset can pile up, and there needs to be a way to organize each version. 

Our users can do all of this with out-of-the-box iconik features like:

  • Review and approval workflows
  • The ability to share or invite anyone to review and upload media
  • Time-stamped comments
  • Time-stamped drawings for visual feedback
  • Revision management with comment history

The freedom to collaborate with anyone removes bottlenecks and friction in working with external groups. Even if they don’t have an account, they can still give feedback and approval. And the best thing is that they can only see and upload media that is in the iconik collection you’ve shared with them. 

Bonus Tip: With a little technical knowledge, you can automate some of these processes. For example, you could automatically email certain people to review and approve content that is tagged with their company in the metadata. And when they approve it, you could automatically move that content to make it available to more users or remove any warnings or download restrictions. More on automation

3. Add Marketing Data to Your Media

Apparently, there once was a time when advertisers could succeed just by using showmanship and poster board pitches to wow customers in a smoke-filled conference room, but now data runs the world. Marketing data tells us what really is and isn't working with a marketing campaign. Having this data allows you to iterate your strategy over time for better results. 

With this knowledge you can answer questions like:

  • What campaigns did well? 
  • What assets did we use? 
  • How much did an asset cost?
  • When did we last use this asset?

You can answer some of these questions by reviewing your own channels, but it can be a pain to collect and view external data from agencies at the same time for a complete picture of your marketing output. 

Our customers are using iconik to collect this data and optimize their marketing campaigns more and more. By using custom metadata fields for data like performance metrics, ad spend, revenue, and other campaign details, external agencies have a place to add their data to media. And the best part is all of that data is searchable in iconik.

To collect all the campaign data from your agencies, you can integrate their 3rd party services with iconik. If you want to collect data in order to use it in another application, you would use an API to automate that process—and the full iconik API that is used by the iconik development team is available for anyone to build the integrations they need.

You could wire data directly from your e-commerce analytics to the corresponding media in iconik. You could have your performance marketing agency pushing ad data into the metadata of your video ads. From here, there really isn’t a limit as to what data you can pull into your media.

Uniting your teams might be easier than expected

Managing internal and external teams is tricky, but with the right systems in place, it will require a lot less work to get everyone on the same page and ready for effective and productive collaborations.

If you'd like to test these solutions for yourself, contact our iconik experts who are available to walk you through iconik, offer solutions for your unique challenges, and start your free iconik trial.

Give iconik a try

Schedule a personalized iconik demo with one of our experts and start your free trial today.

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Steve Ferris
Marketing and Content Creation | iconik

Steve Ferris is content creator and marketer from Indiana, USA who is based in Stockholm Sweden with his family. Since 2019, he's been with iconik using his 20 years experience in storytelling to share the stories around iconik and media professionals.

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