ANA (Asset Naming Assistant) is a tool that helps organizations follow naming conventions across all marketing assets.
What's in a Name ?
A need for following an agreed upon nomenclature while naming files, folders and any other assets is an old one. When organizations grow and each employee takes their own decision to name assets, it becomes difficult for the rest of the team members to use those assets without double-clicking on each of them to know what is inside. It is not fun to double-click through hundreds of assets each time we look for a specific file.
Even tracking all the assets across folders becomes difficult. The larger the organization, the bigger this problem gets. With marketing teams spread across the world and channels, there are pictures, graphics, videos, and text files – each belonging to its own campaign, or sometimes shared across programs stored as per the team’s working style. Others in the team have trouble in finding what they are looking for.
Establishing conventions can save precious time and resources. Working with well-designed folder structures, names and assets is a joy. Team members readily find what they were looking for and could even use the search feature to look for items they are not familiar with.
Organizations realize this, and most teams arrive at a consensus for what the business rules of naming assets ought to be. The patterns, acronyms, dates, and numbers are enshrined into a PDF, and everyone gets a copy. They speak about it in daily-standup meetings, Ask-me-Anything sessions attempt to answer questions and they even make it a part of the new-hire induction process. If followed properly, naming conventions can bring a method to the complexity that large organizations bring. Assets get tagged and tracked; people rarely lose their work and quickly find what they are looking for.
But organizations still struggle in keeping up the naming conventions.
One of the easiest ways to stick to the conventions is to use tools that automate naming. These tools are widely available, easy to use and very affordable. The strategy of these tools is simple: associate acronyms with the various parameters that ought to be a part of the asset name and provide users with options to choose from for these parameters. Based on their choices, appropriate acronyms of numbers are compounded together to form the asset name.
These tools come with additional features like tagging, which is not a regular feature in most stock models.
Some tools even prohibit freestyle naming, thereby forcing everyone in the team to use the tools and hence stick to the naming conventions. Most of our clients would like to keep that option open; our tool instead sends a weekly report to highlight the tool usage by different members.