The digital boom has changed the lives of customers and enterprises alike. Innovations like inexpensive, highly functional electronics, increased network bandwidth, decreased high-capacity storage costs, ever-expanding cloud services, and highly digital infrastructure have given rise to varied opportunities along with new challenges. While customers want a well-organized, personalized, and on-demand digital experience, enterprises strive to keep pace with their expectations while navigating a sea of digital assets.
Enterprises need to sort and find the right digital media assets at the right time and deliver it to the customer on the right platform. These digital assets can be instrumental in marketing, product catalogs, promotions, website creation, and everything else that enrich the customer experience. But along with their increasing application scenarios, the sheer number of such assets is also escalating with business growth. They can exist anywhere in siloed organizational systems/departments, which makes it challenging to manage them.
According to Canto, almost half the marketers deal with scattered digital assets like graphics, videos, audios, photos, and documents.
A centralized solution to manage and distribute digital assets
Digital assets need to be created and organized as per individual asset elements like the format and file type as well as structural and usage requirements like layout and design. Then they are assembled in the right format within the specific production process or workflow. All of this can be streamlined with a holistic solution like Digital Asset Management (DAM).
DAM is a system that stores and organizes digital assets in a central location, thereby providing easy access to all stakeholders. Such a system can support multiple users – ranging from specialized creative wings and generalist production houses, to more operational and administrative roles — both inside and outside an organization. DAM caters to almost every part of the organization, including marketing, sales, HR, technology, manufacturing, legal, finance, customer service centers, third-party suppliers, agencies, distributors, and more.
Digital Asset Management (DAM) and Customer Experience (CX)
DAM is irrevocably inter-related to CX. One cannot indeed provide an engaging CX without mastering the art of managing and distributing digital assets throughout the customer journey. Digital assets act like pillars that support the complete structure of customer experience. They engage the customer, help in developing a personalized touch, and make informed decisions.
- Expanding marketing touchpoints: The proliferation of marketing touchpoints drives the need for accelerated content development and better storage. Marketers that use digital asset management (DAM) solutions are better able to deliver key components for advanced marketing capabilities like personalized marketing across channels at scale and analysis of purchase preferences. DAM creates a seamless, interconnected digital ecosystem by automating the distribution of content across customer endpoints consistently and uniformly. Not only that, at every touchpoint, it also increases security, organization, and searchability of digital assets.
- Demand for transparency and efficiency: With increasing asset volume, the creative cycle time decreases proportionally. In such cases, by leveraging existing assets more effectively and utilizing workflows and project management solutions embedded into DAM systems, marketing leaders are better equipped to meet content development demands with transparency and efficiency. They can quickly locate assets, integrate them into processes, and ensure that the right assets are used in the right places in more streamlined ways. DAM also presents a single interface tuned to user tasks across workflows – automated file routing, personalized interfaces, and functionalities matched to user roles – this simplifies manual tasks and boosts the efficiency of multi-channel marketing strategies.
- Consistent brand interaction: Consumers expect consistency and continuity in each and every interaction with a brand. Through extensive integrations, DAM solutions allow marketers to distribute a vast number of content types to a broad array of marketing technology engines. As a result, DAM solutions have become a vital component of efficient ‘martech’ ecosystems. A single source of truth for all digital assets, DAM ensures maximum value from the assets and complete brand consistency. Furthermore, as marketers increasingly focus on customer preferences, including their browsing history and channel of choice, digital assets are critically instrumental in realizing that goal.
Share, manage, and collaborate – better
Choosing the right digital tools for compelling customer experiences is like crafting a sophisticated cocktail. One needs to find the right mix of ingredients in the right balance. And all that should be done as per your specific taste – or more suitably – your specific requirements.
Fortunately, DAM acts as a one-stop solution for a plethora of issues created by digitalization, data flow, and rising customer expectations. It adds value in different ways to every organization in every industry or geographic location. You can quickly minimize disruption by defining your DAM integration strategy and identifying incoming and outgoing data and asset flows.
Typically, DAM feeds on inputs from data management platforms like master data management (MDM), product information management (PIM), work management platforms, and content collaboration platforms (CCPs). After processing data from multiple sources, it can meet the demands of multiple outputs, including ad servers, content marketing platforms (CMPs), and web content management platforms (WCMs). In the end, DAM can be far more than just an outstanding and flexible digital asset management application. It is a true digital transformation enabler that keeps both the enterprise and the customer happy.
(Shashin Shah is CEO of Pimcore Global Services, an open-source platform for product information management (PIM/MDM), digital asset management (DAM), content management system (CMS), and eCommerce. The opinions expressed here are the author’s own.)