Continual growth for the Fortune 500
For many companies, the key to long-term success is continued growth. This means continuing to serve current audiences with great products and services while also expanding to serve new audiences. But a growing number of audiences presents unique challenges for marketing. For example, a nonprofit organization has very different company and financial goals compared to a startup retail company, which affects the type of products and offers that will catch the attention of their audiences.
Few companies understand this challenge as well as CDW. Since 2001, CDW has steadily risen in the Fortune 500 rankings as a leading provider of technology products and services. The company offers a wide range of solutions—from hardware to security to software as a service—for an equally wide range of customers, including businesses, nonprofits, schools, healthcare organizations, and government agencies.
With so many potential audiences, competition is fierce for CDW. The company not only competes against specialized companies offering highly focused services for specific industries, but also major retailers such as Amazon that leverage scale to deliver solutions for any customer. CDW differentiates itself by delivering not just great solutions and services, but also meaningful advice and industry news that speak to the unique challenges of each audience. It’s the job of the company’s marketing and communications teams to connect each potential customer with relevant content.
CDW’s Content and Creative Services team uses Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise to deliver the creative content needed for almost all marketing activities, including direct mail, print and digital catalogs, signage, banner advertisements, and digital ads. The team also produces consumable content that educates and informs its customers, including blog articles, white papers, case studies, and six award-winning magazines aimed at specific key segments, such as K-12 education or federal government.
In total, CDW stored four terabytes of creative assets—from articles and social posts to videos and logos—to support marketing activities. But according to Jim Garlow, Director of Content and Creative Services, the lack of a central digital asset management (DAM) system was hindering productivity, and ultimately affecting creativity.
“We stored assets in multiple locations across multiple file server folders,” says Garlow. “We didn’t have any sort of search system, so it was up to graphic designers to remember where they stored everything. Opportunities for improved efficiency were identified as coworkers spent extended time searching for assets and in some cases recreated existing assets.”
Storing assets in simple folders also affected governance and collaboration. Using logos or images not approved for the region or vertical could put CDW at risk of violating partners’ branding guidelines. But there was no automated process for managing copyrighted and branded content, so the Content and Creative Services team had to track expiration dates manually. Designers also could not share assets directly with coworkers, partners, agencies, or other systems, resulting in lost productivity as designers manually uploaded assets and juggled multiple versions.
“We decided to create best practices to improve content creation, access, and management by implementing a central DAM,” says Garlow. “By consolidating digital content on Adobe Experience Manager Assets, we’re improving production efficiency and giving our designers time to create content that engages all audiences.”