Homeowner associations are typically seen in suburban enclaves. Even to the untrained eye, it’s immediately apparent. You’re in a community that’s run by a homeowners association. Using its acronym, an HOA is all about ensuring consistent appearances and uniform practices by the residents who own the neighborhood’s homes.
The board of the HOA acts on the wishes of the (other) homeowners to put in place a set of guidelines that all follow to ensure the desired appearance, among other things, is observed.
One reason is to have the community look in a way those in the HOA want it to. That is, an environment they prefer. It ensures the community is perceived as they want it to be.
Homeowners associations and brand guidelines
To bring that to marketing creation, consider those homeowners association guidelines like brand guidelines. Visitors and potential home buyers get a clear sense of the neighborhood by accepting and adhering to those rules. In marketing, the purpose of a corporate brand guideline is to ensure whatever marketing asset might get created complies such that it appears in a coherent, positive way for the brand’s company.
Let’s just take a look at marketing emails. If there are no rules in place, it’s conceivable that different fonts will be used for headlines and body copy without limits on point size or, for instance, the number of lines in a headline or call to action (CTA). Then there’s the color palette, what kind of images can be used, and how.
Of course, even when a brand guideline is available, how can you be certain those making the emails follow it? The simple answer is to see every email before it gets sent. It is a complex answer when you think about what would be involved. It takes a lot of work to accomplish, just as it takes work for a homeowners association to maintain appearances.
Creation flexibility with control
You need to not only define the rules for creating marketing assets but also have a way to ensure they are followed. A superb way to see that happen is to give creators some flexibility in their creative decisions.
By having rules – that have some bend in them – you can expect to see emails and other items produced that reflect the sort of “look & feel” that should be associated with your brand. Importantly, it tends to allow for more efficient creation of marketing assets as each time someone goes about building something, they’re not starting from scratch. There are guidelines to follow and a way to stick to them. Like in a Homeowner Association, the residents understand what’s expected of them.
You can easily set hundreds of permissions to ensure that every aspect of your corporate brand guidelines is followed along with any industry or government regulatory requirements. You can also manage who has the right to create, comment, approve, or deploy. That avoids design or messaging horror shows and unintended sends of emails you wish never existed.
And when those assets are ready to be reviewed, the approval process will be smooth and swift because all involved can comment and correct in real time. The frustration and time delays that come with an approval process marked by seemingly endless back-and-forth evaporate as it takes place in a collaborative environment that prevents approvers from commenting on different proof versions of the same asset.
QA-related matters get handled at the front end, eliminating the chance for campaign launch delays that occur when technical issues are uncovered at the tail-end of a creation process. Further, elements of your martech stack will perform better and deliver greater value because they integrate with this very real capability, the Stensul Marketing Creation Platform™.
To learn more, download the Stensul eBook “4 ways to enhance the quality of your organization’s marketing creation.” See the Stensul platform in action here.