By Vandana Singal
The events of 2020 have triggered a realignment in business priorities. While the focus remains strong on delivering a consistent and memorable customer experience, there is a renewed emphasis on reinforcing the brand identity. In a world where the only way to grab attention is to go virtual, the importance of digital assets has increased manifold.
Marketing teams the world over have been leveraging sophisticated digital asset management (DAM) solutions as a single source of truth for all marketing collateral. However, in a remote working world order, Digital Asset Management solutions find relevance beyond marketing – creating impact for internal stakeholders that now need on-demand, and consistent access to company assets. For instance, businesses now prioritize remote learning or skill development programs and need to provide seamless, hassle-free access to learning modules or libraries to employees sitting across the globe. This is perhaps one reason why the DAM market is pegged to be just shy of the $10 million in another five years. Consequently, the expectations from a DAM solution has evolved beyond being a repository or an archive to an enabler for higher collaboration and efficient operations.
To meet the demands of businesses warming up to remote work culture, DAM providers need to broaden their ambit of influence to include internal teams (sales, operations, business teams looking for sales-enablement assets), external partners (such as agencies, channel partners, and resellers) and customers to deliver effective digital asset management solutions.
Here’s a five-point checklist that DAM providers need to consider to ensure return on investment for their clients and emerge as the partner of choice in 2021 and beyond.
The Five Must-Haves
The demands of a remote workforce and the subsequently-shifting business priorities make it paramount for DAM solution providers to augment capabilities around the following:
- Built-in Intelligence: There is an overarching need to optimize workflows and reduce redundancies to ensure remote working does not lead to burnouts. This is especially true when employees need to access assets and search for them with multiple keywords or ask other teams for access. DAM solution providers can leverage artificial intelligence capabilities that intelligently tag and optimize available assets for easier funneling. They can also boost self-service access to content by automating the management of role-based access control to ensure digital rights and privileges are upheld at all times.
- Amp-up on Cloud Capabilities: DAM solutions would need to be scalable, secure, and high-performing to meet the needs of ever-increasing number of users as well as manage a booming database of assets. This is needed as file sharing across geographies and teams needs to be seamless – ensuring classified or sensitive data or assets are secured from unauthorized access. While most DAM providers offer cloud services or collaborate with cloud service partners to ensure highly scalable and secure solutions, this won’t remain a perk anymore. As trends suggest, the prevalence of cloud-based DAM solutions would increase through the decade, compelling those that are yet to make the switch.
- Offer Higher Customization: It is crucial now, more than ever to give businesses a free hand at customizing workflows as per their internal team structures to meet their specific organizational goals, such as achieving faster time-to-market or to drive a dedicated marketing campaign. A DAM solution with an intuitive user interface and easy-to-understand processes will help internal stakeholders get on with their jobs, rather than spending time on getting acclimatized to the (often intimidating) mechanics of the platform.
- End-to-End View of the Asset Lifecycle: As a thumb-rule for collaboration, a DAM solution should act as a single source of truth for all organizational assets used for different activities (marketing/skill development/communication). In times of remote working, this would help local marketing teams assess assets for adherence to brand guidelines, ensuring a consistent brand image throughout the asset lifecycle. It would also give them visibility into where the asset is deployed and which users have access to it. Equipped with advanced analytics, this would also help drive hyper-personalized experiences for end-customers while giving teams insights such as click-through rates or the number of downloads per asset.
- Increased Third-Party Integration: Customer propensity toward social media platforms and other channels optimized has been rising consistently for almost a decade or more, but the pas year saw smartphone-led interactions sky-rocketing to another level. Businesses need to keep customers engaged with high-quality content that could be sourced to these channels, and a DAM solution that helps them modernize and manage multi- or omnichannel engagement strategies would see higher adoption. DAM providers must look at newer ways to build synergies with social media platforms, and be better prepared for the future.
It All Boils Down to Strategic Priorities
Time for a one-solution-fits-all approach no longer exists in today’s fast-paced business environment. The shifting organizational priorities call for flexibility and ease of availability of features that can be rapidly assembled as per requirement. DAM solution providers looking for a larger share of the pie need to bundle services and offer bespoke solutions that can be tweaked or upgraded as per the clients’ needs and wishes.
The way forward would be to treat each client as a use case and then work backward to creating a custom solution portfolio that addresses pain points from client to client.
(The author is Director, Solution Consulting at Pimcore Global Services (A Happiest Minds Company) and the views expressed in this article are her own)