Taking luggage on an airplane.
Public restroom use.
Access to digital assets.
What do all of these things have in common you may be wondering?
In my humble opinion … they should all be free.
Okay, so that might be a bit of a reach as far as analogies go, but bottom line is that it’s time to democratize and free-up access and encourage widespread use of the organization’s digital asset management system.
Digital asset management (DAM) has gained its place amongst marketing technology royalty in the past several years. No longer relegated to the servants’ quarters equivalent of file-sharing tools like Dropbox and SharePoint. Today’s successful companies, no matter what the industry or size, have realized that its digital assets are the cornerstone to delivering upon its customer experience goals and enabling dynamic customer engagement. These orgs, and their DAM teams, understand that the right digital asset management solution can help maximize the value of creative assets like images and videos beyond just making them easy to organize, access, and distribute … which in itself is no small feat and shouldn’t be undervalued.
DAM implementations and roadmaps need to go beyond the technology’s repository origins and offer its users functionality such as:
Marketers, sales professionals, graphic designers, product designers, and others, need an effective and efficient manner of accessing and sharing digital assets. Access may be for various reasons; distribution of publication-ready media, collaboration, review, etc.
Enterprises typically employ digital imagery from multiple sources in marketing campaigns and corporate communications across different channels. Usage restrictions apply to third-party content per the licensing terms that specify how that content may be used such as timeframe, frequency, channel, geography, and/or context. Enterprises must pay special attention to these terms – or risk stiff penalties.
With today’s distributed workforce model, using an Excel spreadsheet to manage team resources – people, tools, budget – doesn’t cut it. Companies looking to maximize efficiencies and productivity, use technology to help track projects, timelines, tasks, time, budgets, and enable collaboration.
Embedded in many technologies, workflow is a must in managing digital assets effectively. To be effective, the workflow must be able to manage the end-to-end sequence of processes through which a piece of work passes from initiation to completion.
Media Asset Management
The velocity at which content is generated today means orchestrating assets, metadata, workflows, and processes across multiple and diverse production and distribution systems is becoming an increasingly complex enterprise challenge. Effectively managing assets, metadata, workflows, and processes throughout the multimedia production and distribution chain are one of the factors setting apart those companies from realizing customer experience success.
With today’s enterprise having to manage hundreds of variations of customer-facing websites, mobile sites, mobile applications, and any number of IoT-enabled devices, a dynamic digital asset management solution is imperative to its success. Going beyond technology that merely provides for access and distribution of these rich resources, today’s enterprise needs a DAM solution that facilitates and enables a dynamic, smooth, and efficient asset management process from ideation to archive across silos.
Underutilized and ignored
CMI’s 2021 marketer’s survey results reported that 40% of respondents said that their organization isn’t using their existing tech to its potential. This is not surprising.
DAM solutions are often one of the most underutilized tools in the marketing technology stack. Digital asset management systems that only provide centralized access to assets aren’t enough anymore. The velocity at which content is consumed, and therefore demanded, requires a much more responsive and dynamic solution. Dynamic digital asset delivery has to go beyond traditional, simple DAM, by delivering rich media that’s optimized for any screen or channel — on demand. This level of asset management/customer experience responsiveness needs to be frictionless, fast and optimized for each user.
- Frictionless in that customers at any and every stage of their engagement are enabled by being able to access and consume the content that they want, and need, regardless of where they are or when they take steps in their journey.
- Fast so that as they mature and change in their expectations – which can take seconds or years – companies can respond to that change in content need in real-time, based on real data.
- Optimized for any device and any browser, on the fly; all possible layouts of the content for whatever device a reader uses. This goes beyond just ensuring the digital asset is formatted for the device – being truly dynamic requires leveraging the implicit insights gathered from available data streams, as well as explicit data gathered from the consumer, and others like them, to deliver personalized experiences.
Each of these critical features unto themselves is a challenge many organizations continue to face today. Bring them into, and try to address them together in a traditional DAM and those challenges become virtually insurmountable. Without the ability to streamline the Create – Collaborate – Manage – Deliver processes involved in end-to-end digital asset management into one technology, teams will continue to battle the burdens of legacy DAM boundaries.
Breaking the chains of legacy workflows
A dynamic digital asset management system connects the people, process, data, and technology; integrating existing creative workflows, providing distributed teams with a centralized location to manage and deliver engaging, channel-optimized experiences across a customer’s journey. The biggest challenge most companies face in embracing this (and other) new, enabling technology is the legacy factors, namely people and processes. Real change will only happen when we can break through route, yet accepted, legacy thinking and operationalization.
Moving beyond these heritage handcuffs is not an inconsequential thing. To truly take advantage of what dynamic DAM has to offer, requires a comprehensive, if not complete, dissociation from past practices and mindsets. A change that requires organizational change that prioritizes customers over silos and agility over hierarchy.
Dynamic digital asset management connected workflows bring together ideation, creative applications, collaborative editing, publishing, and tracking, all in one tool. It enables a virtually seamless process of Listen – Predict – Assemble – Deliver at the last millisecond of the workflow process to deliver a tailored, personalized experience.
> Customer service
> Relationship surveys
> Social media
> Sales database
> Information seeking
Experience enablement: creating and supporting fluid customer experiences
The explosion of content can be at least partially attributed to the CMI finding that marketers use content marketing as a foundational piece of their strategy. This is driven, both in the B2B and B2C worlds by customers spending more time researching and purchasing online than ever before. More time online requires more content. More content requires more digital assets. More digital assets require, or at least should, an optimized digital asset management process and enabling system.
Having a DAM benefits marketers, and the company in multiple ways: reduces asset creation costs, reduces the risk of penalties and fines for asset license breaches, and increases productivity. But to realize those gains, you have to get teams, all teams, working with the DAM.
So, the big question is when it comes to digital asset management: How do we create an environment that helps cross-functional teams create and actively manage the content customers need as efficiently and effectively as possible?
The answer … it’s not easy, but it starts with a solution that:
- Empowers users to create assets within the tool.
- Enables collaboration, editing, and review cycles to happen in real-time – either through built-in workflow or integration with a work enablement tool.
- Enhances production-ready assets with automated tagging, metadata annotation, and rights management through artificial intelligence-enabled logic.
- Excels at managing master files and versions to automatically deliver optimized and personalized experiences across all channels.
This last point is critical. Brands that can interact on an individual basis with customers — from personalizing journeys to providing informed and unique customer care, to better understanding a customer’s unique needs, are the brands that are gaining customer share. This is not theory – a recent Salesforce study found that 91% of those polled were more likely to make a repeat purchase after a positive experience, and 71% said they’ve made a purchase decision based on experience quality. In other words, consistent, fluid experiences, across channels, and brands are essential to any business’ success, and those experiences are fuels by enable, accessible, and empowered digital assets.