Thought Leadership

Manage Image Licensing At Scale with Item Library

Track and Manage Image Licenses across your marketing campaigns

Whether it’s a big celebrity endorsement, a brand crossover, or simply licensing images to use across your campaigns, partnering with iconic people and brands and using third-party content are integral components of most marketing strategies. 

While effective and convenient, they come with agreements and conditions requiring strict adherence to avoid legal ramifications. And, when running campaigns in hundreds of locations, managing the images in use can cause significant headaches for even the most vigilant marketing departments. 

If you’re in the midst of an image licensing error or challenge, or you’re looking to minimize future risk, in this article, we explore how you can stay on top of all your image licensing deals at scale.

Expired image licensing graphic

Challenges with image licensing

Picture this: your marketing team has run a campaign across thousands of stores and digital locations, potentially using hundreds of images… Suddenly, they are alerted that some of those images are being used in a way that conflicts with a license agreement.

What is your immediate reaction?

With the real possibility of legal action, fines, and damage to your organization’s reputation – particularly when it comes to breaching a brand license – and no instant solution, panic can set in.

For digital images, tracking them down and removing them might not be too challenging. But, locating physical marketing collateral can quickly feel like finding a needle in a haystack. And that haystack is regularly moving and changing as campaigns are adjusted in all your locations. It’s an arduous and potentially impossible task without the right tools to help you identify where that campaign was executed and facilitate rapid communication with remote teams to correct the error.

And that is just one example. 

Other common challenges retailers and other multi-location businesses face in image licensing include:

  • Difficulty monitoring the expiration dates or specific terms of image licenses
  • Unauthorized image usage stemming from communication gaps, including use in non-designated locations or beyond license expiration dates
  • Challenges in accessing and sharing detailed license agreements alongside images/assets with other teams or departments
  • Uncertainty regarding the compliance of reusing images or past campaign materials in future marketing efforts
  • Struggles in adhering to image license terms when conducting marketing activities across different territories or countries

Why is license compliance so important? 

When it comes to using brand-licensed assets, getting it wrong can result in especially damaging and expensive consequences. Here are just a handful of the risks associated with incorrect usage and management:

Legal Consequences
The brand may take legal action against the retailer for violating the terms of the agreement. There may be financial penalties.

Termination of License
The brand may terminate the brand license. The retailer loses the right to use the brand, which results in a disruption to business operations.

Reputation Damage
A license breach can quickly harm an organization’s reputation. The retailer may be seen as untrustworthy or unreliable.

Impact on Future Partnerships
A history of breaching brand licenses can make securing future partnerships or licensing agreements with other brands difficult.

Whether your organization is featuring a licensed image or brand on promotional materials in stores, it’s your responsibility to adhere to the terms of the agreement for each image. And that the campaigns are removed from display after the agreed timespan.

Managing image licensing in marketing at scale

As we’ve highlighted, managing images used in marketing campaigns across an entire store estate across multiple territories and various online platforms is extremely complex. And physical (i.e., printed) assets are much harder to track down than digital ones.

One way of improving control of images your organization is purchasing and using is to introduce marketing asset management software – Also known as Digital Asset Management (DAM) software.

This can simplify the process of organizing, accessing, and utilizing images used digitally and in print. It offers various benefits when dealing with a large volume of online and offline images, such as:

  • Efficient Organization: A centralized repository for all campaign assets, making it easy to categorize, search, and locate specific images quickly.
  • Time Savings: Users can avoid manual searches through folders and files, increasing productivity. 
  • Collaboration: Teams can collaborate effectively by accessing and sharing campaign assets from a central location, even when working remotely.
  • Cost Savings: Efficient image management can reduce costs associated with duplicate license purchases.
  • Backup and Recovery: Campaign images are backed up, reducing the risk of data loss and ensuring business continuity.
  • Customer Experience: Giving marketers access to a well-organized campaign content library can improve customer experiences by providing relevant visuals for marketing and communication efforts.

Image Licensing Errors: The Solution

Asset management software sounds great, right? But, a catalog of images doesn’t eradicate some fundamental image licensing challenges that organizations like yours might face.

Firstly, it may provide visibility of all the images and their unique license agreements, but you are still unable to track exactly when and where those particular images are being used.

Secondly, these systems may integrate with campaign planning tools, but without being completely interlinked, campaigns can still be planned using images that may fall out of a license agreement. And there’s nothing to alert your marketing team of images that are in use and are nearing the end of their license. 

And finally, they cannot provide evidence of compliant brand image usage like a comprehensive and fully connected marketing platform can…

This is where Colateral’s brilliant new tool comes in.

Introducing Item Library in Colateral

Item Library in Colateral incorporates the benefits of marketing resource management software. However, it is also completely connected and responsive to campaign planning and store or remote team communication.

Colateral Item Library Manages Image Licensing at Scale

Colateral’s Item Library manages all marketing assets, including where they have been used, and when, and highlights when licenses are due to expire.

You have all your marketing assets in a centralized database, AND you have complete visibility of where each asset has been used at which times.

When you have created an item for your marketing campaign and distributed it to your locations, this information is resurfaced straight back in the Item Library.

Not only that, but as the Item Library also holds all the data about what the image is and any associated licensing, the system can create reports to tell your marketing department which licenses are running out. And if those images are being used in any campaigns.  

No confusion, no lost marketing assets, no more mistakes.

  • All your marketing assets in one place for everyone to access
  • Track the usage of assets / items / specific images
  • Instantly access the details of all image licenses, including license terms, usage restrictions, and expiration dates
  • Reduce studio time by quickly reusing items and check instantly if the licenses allow this
  • Evidence that image licenses have been adhered to (or any errors resolved) with integrated store communications and photographic proof

Sound like something your organization needs?

Get in touch with one of our friendly team or book a demo today.

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