Who owns your marketing materials?

You do of course…but do you?
I keep meeting business owners who when I do a bit of digging turn out not to own some of their most valuable marketing assets, stuff they have paid for. When I explain it to them they are usually horified.
The two most common examples are websites and graphic design. It seems that lots of small businesses started their on-line marketing by getting a web designer to register a domain name and then build a site for them. Over time the site gets extended, maybe re-designed to the state of the art experience that they are proud to represent their business in the virtual world. However, did the web designer transfer ownership of the domain or is it still in their name? Is there a back up copy of all the website design, templates and content?
When it comes to graphic design, has the copyright been transfered from the designer to the business? This should usually happen on payment, but often gets overlooked or is not spelled out in the terms and conditions. Also, there should be a back up copy of the design available to the business owner.
Don’t get me wrong I’m not suggesting that there are web designers and graphic designers who would even considerthat they still own domains or design material, but sadly in 2011 it’s a reality that some marketing services businesses are under pressure to survive – if the worst happened and your web company ceased trading, could you transfer your website to another company with a minimum of disruption? If your graphic design supplier went into administration, could another designer find the latest company brochure artwork you have paid for and update it, or would you have to pay someone to create it all over again?
Taking a few minutes to check what is backed up and registered to your business could save you a lot of money in the long term.
If you would like to discuss this or any other marketing issue, please give us a call or send us an e-mail.
Successful marketing!