Ease of use

Akron ad agency Hitchcock Fleming & Associates is using cutting-edge technology to provide its clients with easy access to their marketing materials.

The new digital asset management system is a centralized, Web-based database of electronic marketing components, set up so clients can share, create and distribute ads at any location, at any time.

Companies use digital asset management systems to increase efficiency, minimize costs, improve legal compliance and streamline the entire communications process, says Shirley Shriver, HF&A’s vice president of marketing services.

“All of the assets are in one repository, so you know where it is and you know where to go get it,” says Shriver.

HF&A’s digital asset management system provides clients with access to a private Web site, which guides them through a process to build customized fliers, ads and other marketing materials, based on pre-made templates. The site houses the artwork and text of all of the client’s products, along with current promotional copy. The software guides the user through an easy point-and-click process that builds a piece of promotional material that fits his or her needs.

Once a piece has been created, it is converted into a PDF format, which is then easily e-mailed to other company employees for approval or to a printer.

“The real benefit is to allow field people, if they have 1,000 stores, to go in themselves and develop a flier that meets with the brand constraints, or to give access to local newspapers if they have an access code,” Shriver says. “Clients have control over the brand at a local level.”

She says the system has saved HF&A clients thousands of dollars in mailing, communication and art production costs. Some of the large, multinational agencies use similar systems, but to Shriver’s knowledge, HF&A, with 74 employees, is the only local agency offering clients this advanced level of digital asset management.

HF&A’s interactive division, called Buzzwerks, started developing the system in 1998, based on software customized for the agency. How to reach: Hitchcock Fleming & Associates, (330) 376-2111