Working in a marketing, PR, sales or advertising role involves a lot of trust. In an agency, clients will be putting their intellectual property and brand into the hands of others and trusting them to do the right thing by it. It’s very similar for those that work in those disciplines in an inhouse capacity – they have confidential content and information and are trusted to keep it secure until the time is right for the campaign to go live.

Any marketing content is therefore confidential and sensitive and needs to be protected accordingly. It’s also true that the nature of global advertising or marketing campaigns in 2019 are vastly different to even just 10 years ago. There is much more localisation and personalisation than ever before, and any campaign would typically have hundreds of adaptations – a version of a master asset customised for use in a particular region. This can mean potentially thousands of versions of massive files, digital media assets that need localising, approving, adapting and more.

Keeping those files safe and secure is a major challenge across such a broad eco-system. This was highlighted in recent Nuxeo research with sales, marketing, and creative professionals, in which it revealed that two-thirds (67 per cent) of respondents said sensitive content is accidentally leaked externally at least once a quarter in their organisation. One in five (20 per cent) said this happens at least once a month.

What’s the secret to successful digital asset management in 2019 for marketers? How can they keep their clients’ content safe, secure and accurate?

Client confidentiality and a lack of the right tools

In all but a few extreme cases, people do not leak confidential information deliberately. It happens due to a combination of human error, lack of awareness or a lack of the right tools to manage such content. This was another factor highlighted in our recent research. More than half of respondents (56 per cent) admitted to using systems or tools not provided by their company to store and share company content, the concept known as shadow IT.

Generation-X and Baby Boomers (61 per cent) use such rogue tools for storing and sharing company content more often than Millennials (49 per cent). 30 per cent of respondents say they use rogue tools because they cannot find the content they need using official systems and tools.

Whether an enterprise or agency, many simply do not have the right systems in place for properly securing their sensitive content and data. That’s bad enough when it’s your own sensitive data but arguably even worse when it is your client’s. For that reason, modern enterprises require modern platforms to properly secure their data and content, while also ensuring other authorised users can easily find it.

A next-generation content management platform

In a complex and inter-connected agency / client marketing eco-system, deploying a next-generation content management platform is an effective way of keeping marketing content secure. Such platforms are not only straightforward to use, offering users the ability to search, store and access a variety of digital content irrespective of device or location, but they also come with a range of features to ensure sensitive marketing content stays exactly where it should and is used in the correct way.

Authentication – the first element in security around sensitive marketing content is authentication. Knowing exactly who the user is, and only allowing users to see the content they need to means security is heightened immediately. Each authorised user must be able to access all permissible data and content, and perform all permissible actions – viewing, editing, sharing – but nothing else. Searching for content then becomes more relevant too and the overall experience is improved.

AI-enabled content management – content leaks, and misuse of content can occur in several ways. One example is an influencer contract that expires within the month. Across many territories this could be easy to overlook, but a content management platform that leverages AI could put in place rules to stop content relating to that influencer being published after the contract has ended, and even make recommendations for that content to be deleted or archived.

Protection – when trying to keep content secure, encryption is another important factor. Traffic across a content management platform must be encryptable with SSL and be fully configurable for optimum performance. Further encryption-based protection can be found in AES encryption of content at rest (in storage). It is also possible – and advisable – to encrypt the backend database and search indexes at a system level.

Audit – whereas the other measures allow an organisation to adopt a more proactive approach to securing content, utilising a full audit trail is a more defensive measure. An audit trail provides a detailed history of all historical users and system activity, meaning that if content has been leaked or an older or unapproved version of content is used, it is clear who is responsible. A next-generation content management platform provides this capability.

In an era in which content is more valued and highly-prized than ever, keeping that content – which is confidential and sensitive – secure is now an essential part of the marketing mix. This is no small undertaking, given the variety and volume of different digital content, but by using the right content management platform, marketing and advertising teams can go a long way to ensuring sensitive content does not get exposed, whether that’s a product leak via social media or someone using the wrong influencer content in the wrong territory.

Chris McLaughlin

Chris McLaughlin


VP of product marketing at Nuxeo, a leader in Content Services.