In business, there is not always a clear threshold to success. Sometimes, it’s a spectrum upon which you measure your efforts, deciding if the results are moving in the right direction or not. To make sense of it all, you set goals and define what counts as a win in your book. What messaging and what content works and resonates with your clients. That’s why tracking marketing collateral is crucial.
If you’re in B2B marketing or B2B sales, this should sound familiar — there’s always a desire for more business, better interactions with prospective and existing customers, and stronger indications that the ship is sailing smoothly. With technology powering the way we do business, there’s more opportunity than ever for data to justify and validate the marketing efforts and results you deliver.
In B2B sales, numbers have always been the name of the game. How many clients have you created? How much business have you won? How much product have you sold?
In performance marketing, there’s KPIs galore: CTR, CPM, site visits. Measuring the target audience engagement and volume have become easier through digital tools that mark the progress of your marketing campaigns and affirm your marketing strategy.
When your B2B sales teams creates marketing materials to support sales reps, it’s crucial to have a file tracking system in place that monitors the efficacy of your digital marketing assets. In this article, we’ll discuss how to track marketing collateral effectively for a better understanding of your clients and the effectiveness of your sales and marketing efforts.
What is marketing collateral?
Marketing collateral is any media created and used to support the promotion and sale of a company’s products or services. Marketing materials could be any print collateral or digital marketing or sales material created by the marketing department for the customer facing teams.
Every kind of marketing content that supports the sale of your products and services counts here, including, but not limited to:
- Sales decks other visual aids
- Corporate brochures
- Web content and digital assets (e.g. landing pages, blog posts)
- Sales scripts
- Case studies
- Product white papers
- Data sheets
- Promotional imagery
- Social media blog posts
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How to track marketing collateral?
Collateral management and marketing collateral tracking is not as easy to approach as it may seem — the right tools and training are needed to establish efficient file tracking systems and filing systems to help your sales reps both analyze specific marketing and sales collateral for effectiveness and organize all materials for future use.
Let’s break down both sides of the effort to understand how to get started.
How do you organize marketing collateral?
The first step to marketing collateral management is to set up a filing system where sales teams can store and manage marketing collateral. It’s important to approach collateral tracking from an organizational standpoint first because having a clean inventory will allow for much smoother sales and analytical processes.
Take inventory of the digital marketing and sales collateral that your marketing team has already created. Run a shallow evaluation first to make sure no pieces are completely outdated or obsolete, and then you can move all of your current materials into a shared storage space — like a cloud-based file folder, for example.
The most important factor in the marketing collateral management side of the process is to ensure that your shared drive is both secure and easily accessible by all of your sales reps and your marketing team. Even though reps are selling from home more often these days, it’s also useful to have your file system be mobile-friendly so they can access on the go as needed.
Any system that also provides specific user permission functionality will be necessary to allow certain sales team members view and download access, while others receive access to change and reupload new versions of the material.
One final tip about tracking marketing collateral and organization is to upload different kinds of file types for each asset, as applicable. For example, it can be helpful for sales representatives to be able to download a deck as a PDF instead of a powerpoint file, or an image as a PNG or JPEG. This provides some flexibility if prospective customers have trouble receiving one file type for some reason. PDF can get large pretty quick. If you are having difficulty attaching a large PDF document to an email, you can compress a PDF in Adobe or if you are using a Mac you can compress a PDF on a Mac too, online and offline.
Once your marketing collateral management system is in place, be sure to offer training to your salespeople so that they are confident they can find files quickly and easily.
How do you track digital marketing collateral?
Now that all the marketing collateral is organized and ready to be used by your reps, it’s time to track them.
Historically, B2B sales representatives selling remotely have sent sales collateral to clients and received no direct feedback about a piece they’ve shared unless the client has chosen to provide it (not a typical outcome). So, if the client never responded, the rep could only wonder what might have dissuaded them. On top of that, marketing teams really had no insight into what marketing content and digital assets were working after they handed it over to the sales reps.
At most, certain email clients enabled sales teams to see when emails or attached files had been opened, giving at least some peace of mind that the message has reached its destination. But modern sales and marketing teams need more insight into how sales collateral is impacting the sales process. They need to know what content is actually winning business.
That’s why the best option for a B2B sales and marketing team is to use an advanced platform built to share and track marketing and sales collateral. A platform like that will offer analytics on every file you share and measure just how effective your collateral is at helping B2B sales reps succeed. With this kind of tool, you can go beyond simple open rates and truly understand what marketing material works best.
Learn more about sales collateral and how to increase its effectiveness.
Why DeckLinks is the best tool for sharing and tracking marketing collateral?
Using marketing and sales collateral tracking tools like DeckLinks helps B2B sales teams extend the lives of their collateral by providing a wealth of insight into how potential customers engage with it. B2B sales teams can now leverage direct insights from every sales interaction to turn outreach attempts into conversations, even when the potential customers don’t directly respond.
DeckLinks makes tracking marketing collateral and managing marketing collateral easy. B2B sales reps can share content with buyers and receive real-time engagement analytics like engagement score, CTR for calls to action, number of file downloads, number of viewers and more. DeckLinks users can upload all kinds of digital marketing collateral, including decks, images, video, audio, spreadsheets, links and other supporting documents.
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What are the different types of marketing collateral used in B2B sales?
Main types of marketing collateral used in B2B sales include sales presentations, brochures, case studies, white papers, data-sheets, ebooks, infographics, flyers, catalogs, videos, webinars, and emails. Each type serves a different purpose in moving buyers through the stages of awareness, consideration, and decision.
How can marketing collateral be used across the buyer's journey?
Marketing collateral can target multiple stages of the buyer’s journey. For example, infographics and blog posts build awareness while case studies and white papers provide consideration stage buyers with in-depth information. Video PDFs and free trials close deals with prospects already in the decision stage.
Why is it important to track marketing collateral engagement?
Tracking marketing collateral provides sales teams with data on what content best resonates with buyers. Metrics like downloads, views, time spent per slide, and overall engagement reveal what materials are most effective at each stage of the journey. This enables optimization and maximizes ROI.
How can marketing teams collaborate with sales reps on collateral?
Marketing teams can share real-time analytics with sales to demonstrate winning collateral. Sales teams can provide feedback on what resonates in pitches. Together they can co-create content that moves prospects forward based on data.
What makes platform-based collateral tracking superior?
Platforms like DeckLinks go beyond basic open/download data. Features like engagement scoring provide granular insight not available in email. Centralization also makes usage and optimization seamless for both sales and marketing.
How can data gleaned from collateral tracking be used?
Metrics identify high-performing assets to expand upon and low-performing materials to eliminate or improve. Data also informs better alignment between sales and marketing around what works at each buyer stage.
How do you track digital marketing collateral?
The best option for a B2B sales and marketing team is to use an advanced platform built to share and track marketing and sales collateral. A platform like DeckLinks offers analytics on every file you share and measures just how effective your collateral is at helping B2B sales reps succeed. With this kind of tool, you can go beyond simple open rates and truly understand what marketing material works best.
Why is DeckLinks the best tool for sharing and tracking marketing collateral?
DeckLinks is the best tool for sharing and tracking marketing collateral because it helps B2B sales teams extend the lives of their collateral by providing a wealth of insight into how potential customers engage with it. B2B sales reps can share content with buyers and receive real-time engagement analytics like engagement score, CTR for calls to action, number of file downloads, number of viewers, and more. DeckLinks users can upload all kinds of digital marketing collateral, including decks, images, video, audio, spreadsheets, links, and other supporting documents.
What are some examples of marketing collateral?
Marketing collateral includes all the marketing materials used to promote and sell a company’s products or services. Examples of marketing collateral include sales decks, corporate brochures, web content, digital assets, sales scripts, case studies, product white papers, data sheets, promotional imagery, and social media blog posts.
What are some best practices for managing marketing collateral?
Some best practices for managing marketing collateral include setting up a filing system where sales teams can store and manage marketing collateral, taking inventory of the digital marketing and sales collateral that your marketing team has already created, uploading different kinds of file types for each asset, as applicable, and offering training to your salespeople so that they are confident they can find files quickly and easily. It’s also important to use an advanced platform like DeckLinks to share and track marketing and sales collateral and measure its effectiveness.
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