In our increasingly digital world, where customers expect appropriate search results with appealing media, and at the same time product life cycles are becoming shorter and shorter, companies need to be able to adapt their product communication to customer needs more quickly. The efficient management of digital content and media (digital assets) across all relevant customer touchpoints is therefore becoming increasingly important for those responsible for product management, marketing, and sales.
Today, it is almost inconceivable to run a successful company without having digitized its own data. The amount of data required depends on the scope of the product and the size of the company. The larger a company is and the more products it sells, the more data it usually must manage. In this context, the following questions emerge: How can I manage my data and media centrally and control their distribution? How can I make them efficiently available to my various stakeholders (e.g., employees, agencies, suppliers, sales partners, online marketplaces, etc.)?
Digital Asset Management – much more than cloud storage
Some companies use cloud storage such as Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, or Google Drive to manage and organize their company’s digital assets. These file hosting services are widely used because they are easy to set up and compatible with various third-party office applications. Their main purpose lies in secure storage of data (mostly documents) as well as their location-independent provision, often via apps or online via a browser. However, as soon as large amounts of images and videos from different data sources need to be managed and enriched with metadata, these applications quickly reach their limits. The same applies to efficient collaboration in the content creation process with multiple employees and partners.
This is where Digital Asset Management (DAM) comes in, by covering organizational and technical functions in the production and distribution of content:
- Receive, upload, and edit digital assets from multiple sources.
- Enriching media assets with relevant properties such as item numbers, prices, titles, descriptions, etc. from third-party systems (e.g., PIM, ERP)
- Customize and format assets for different output channels (online store, marketplaces, social media, print, etc.)
- Store and tag files in all common formats
- Quickly find digital assets via metadata, tags, or filter searches
- Preserve changes and versions of the master file for seamless tracking
- Define access and usage permissions for different stakeholders
- Preview digital assets online without the need for a download
- Offer files in convenient download packages
The result: Digital assets in the desired variations can be made available and distributed for all uses. Everyone involved in the content creation process knows which person or department is responsible for which data, which data has been approved for further (commercial) use and where the data is centrally located.
Enhancing the digital experience and content strategy
Purchasing behaviour is constantly changing due to increasingly transparent markets and decreasing information asymmetries between suppliers and consumers. Customers today no longer want to contact sales personnel at the beginning of their purchase decision. They usually obtain information and make their purchase decision online, preferably based on the content provided by the company. If this content is not sufficient to convince them of a product or service, a potential buyer is very likely to shift towards a competitor’s offer, which is more likely to meet their expectations. For this reason, it is important to provide customers with high-quality content, whether in the pre-purchase information phase, during the purchase, or in the after-sales phase.
Content production is an ongoing and living process. The more products and brands a company maintains, the more target groups and target markets it serves and the more channels and platforms it plays on, the more data it accumulates, which must be efficiently managed and organized. To avoid data chaos, successful companies help themselves with a DAM system.
“More than 60% of all companies want to manage their content more efficiently. For successful companies, a DAM system is an extension of their digital experience and content strategy, not just a data management solution.”
Source: Forrester, The Digital Asset Management Cookbook 2020
Single source of truth for consistent brand presence across all channels
A DAM system contributes to consistent branding and therefore a positive brand experience. Corporate Design is kept coherent across all brand touchpoints and target markets, as approved content is always used in internal and external communications. In a DAM system, images, audio files, videos and 3D visualizations are managed in different formats, resolutions, and versions. In this context, the DAM system can be regarded as the single source of truth in the company. It is the universal data repository that is seamlessly integrated with all other existing data management systems in the IT infrastructure.
For example, the data used in a content management system (CMS) or shop system (e-commerce) often originates from a DAM system, where it is structured, managed, edited and stored. Asset variations are combined with each other, put into the right formats, and finally released by responsible employees for communication in various output channels. This makes working with multiple output channels much easier and faster. Media content does not have to be researched and manually adjusted for a long time, minimizing error rates in the content creation process, and achieving image conformity and brand consistency.
What scenarios can be considered for DAM integration?
- Integration with creative applications – While working in a creative application (e.g., Adobe CC), images and media are retrievable from a DAM system. The revised versions are eventually stored back in the DAM system. Versioning is available for a complete change history or transparent tracking. Depending on the development status (e.g., draft, under review, release), access and usage authorizations can be defined for individual assets.
- Enrichment of product data – The company uses a product information management system (PIM) or master data management system (MDM). There, product data from the DAM system is imported, consolidated, and harmonized quickly, reliably, and automatically. Finally, in the PIM/MDM, a simple assignment of assets to item numbers or product categories takes place.
- Office applications – Employees can access shared images and logos from the DAM system in common office applications. This minimizes unnecessary requests to the marketing team and emails with large attachments. The latest versions of assets are always available, in the right format and size – without additional staffing.
- Online store and web catalogue – Using an API, data from the DAM system can be automatically synchronized with the online shop or web catalogue. This allows products in the shop or catalogue to be easily and quickly assigned to associated media data and media information, e.g., via media name or item number. Changes in the DAM system are automatically applied in the target system.
- CRM and marketing – By connecting a DAM system to a CRM system or marketing cloud (e.g., Salesforce, Hubspot), marketers can accelerate campaigns and avoid process bottlenecks when creating and delivering content.
With a DAM system, a company saves a lot of time using digital assets in different surrounding systems by minimizing coordination efforts. Employees can streamline the way they work because they are better connected to the data and the systems. Therefore, higher efficiency is achieved and the return on investment in content marketing is increased. Another benefit is the minimization of error rates. Using a media file from a DAM system ensures that the latest version is always in use. This in turn helps to create a seamless customer experience along the customer journey. Content can only be aligned and delivered consistently if the media is centrally managed, from creation to publication.
Learn more about how DemoUp Cliplister’s cloud-based DAM software can help you to optimally map the lifecycle of your digital assets and accelerate your digital market development. Our experts will be happy to demonstrate the advantages of our DAM system for your industry and business model, regardless of whether you are a manufacturer or reseller. As a unique addition, DemoUp Cliplister also offers Automatic Content Syndication for brands and retailers, extending your content distribution or visual asset repository even further. Arrange your personal online demo now.