Simplifying global marketing creation – one integration was all it took for the American Cancer Society

For years, the marketing departments of the American Cancer Society were separated by a DAM that wasn’t fit for purpose. Director of Digital Asset Management Jessica Berlin reveals how a new setup enabled her to leverage and introduce an “Artwork Builder” that unified and empowered her colleagues all over the world by centralizing all marketing creation activities for the first time.

The struggle - identifying the need for change

The American Cancer Society is dedicated to eliminating cancer and raising global awareness of that battle, but for years its marketing teams have often operated in isolation. In 2008, the organization’s 12 separate marketing departments were each producing materials, sometimes outside of its established channels. In 2015, the decision to utilize an online DAM solution was made, but they soon realized their initial setup was simply too inflexible and slow. “People were not using what we had in the DAM because it wasn’t meeting their needs,” explains Jessica Berlin, Director of Digital Asset Management at the ACS.

They were literally downloading what we had and copying and pasting things on top of it, and then making photocopies of that. It was just messy and not at all in line with our branding guidelines. We really needed to put more into that web-to-publish component that was far more flexible – a solution that would really be able to leverage more functionality.

Jessica Berlin

The solution – a tool that combined flexibility with functionality

Jessica and her team needed a dynamic ‘artwork builder’ that would ensure every document was in line with the ACS corporate identity, while letting staff, volunteers and other external partners produce the best campaign collateral possible. CHILI publisher proved to be the missing link in optimizing the marketing material creation chain. Allowing online editing of templatized graphic designs made a real difference to the ACS’s internal marketing procedures. “It gave us the flexibility and the functionality that we were looking for,” Jessica says.

“Being able to choose from different colors and typefaces within a template, offer different layouts within a template, and handle sponsor logos opened up so many options for us. We now find ourselves fulfilling more marketing requests while creating far more dynamic templates for our end users.”

The benefits - a “one size fits all’ graphic solution

Now, more than 4,000 employees at the American Cancer Society can access the automated potential of this new DAM platform. “We often have brochures and posters that differ for every event, and each one will feature different sponsors and logos,” explains Jessica. “Because we have users who have very little experience with graphic design – their job is to raise awareness and cancer-fighting collars, not design materials – we needed a way for them to easily build marketing pieces. Our new marketing flow helped make that a reality.” In 2015, more than 2,000 hours were spent on one-off job requests in for their Distinguished Events alone. By 2019, the ACS has brought that number down to just 117 hours. For their Discovery Shops, just seven templates have replaced 400 PDFs in the DAM, generating an incredible 630 customizations in only 2 months’ time.

“Our designers get to focus on the larger scale priorities for ACS, and our users can self-service whatever they need,” says Jessica. “In 2018, we generated over 13,000 customizations. That’s about 1,200 active templates, and we are constantly revising and tweaking them to better meet needs. As we continue to learn more about the tool, we discover new ways to make templates even more efficient or effective.”

Company profile

The American Cancer Society is a nationwide voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer.

Related links
www.cancer.org/