“Getting an audience is hard. Sustaining an audience is hard. It demands a consistency of thought, of purpose and of action over a long period of time” — Bruce Springsteen
While The Boss was talking about building his loyal fan base, his words also apply to managing customer experience consistency.
Creating a consistent customer experience is difficult, no doubt about it. It’s one of those things that's easy to talk about, but hard to execute.
But if you succeed, if you deliver a relevant contextual experience, you demonstrate an understanding of your customers and improve their satisfaction, retention and ultimately win their loyalty.
DAMs Deliver Consistency
Digital asset management (DAM) systems can help here. Organizations that are nimble enough to centrally manage and update assets, source and serve them into channels will deliver a consistent look and feel to today's digitally empowered consumer.
Just as Springsteen needs more than just a guitar and bandana to be a rockstar, rock star marketers need the right tools to manage digital assets. First, you need a centralized asset repository to replace the commonly used standalone systems, Outlook or folders on a server or hard drive.
The repository should allow you to source and create digital content. The software should be open, allowing access to import and export of content by all enterprise marketing software, and across all channels — or at least as many as possible. The ability to version, expire and edit content as needed will be crucial as new channels, devices and formats come online.
A Peek at DAM's Future
Software that can check these boxes will work for now, but in the ever-changing world of MarTech, the real question is: How might things change in the future from a DAM perspective?
I see the future changing in three main categories: analytic integration, software integration and asset automation. Together, these instruments will help marketers orchestrate consistent customer experiences.
Many brands today simply create content based on the latest design scheme and push it out to market, while remaining oblivious to how customers and prospects perceive the assets.
Deeper levels of asset tracking and performance will become more prevalent as brands turn to analytics to track and monitor performance of assets.
Analytic integration will make it possible to answer questions such as: How are my ads doing in mobile apps and on social platforms? Are they engaging and driving click-throughs? Are they being opened and viewed? What part of the digital asset is being moused over or viewed?
This tracking will include not only high-level performance indicators and KPIs, but also impressions, clicks and conversions. This will allow brands to identify exactly what content is working and what isn’t, and to assign deeper levels of attribution to those pieces of content.
If a brand marketer can show that a certain set of creative drove thousands in incremental revenue, you better believe that they will get funds to do something similar in the future.
Right now, the majority of DAM systems are standalone — it's hard to pull digital assets from a repository directly into the channel. As a result, processes slow down, users save files locally and frustration often ensues.
Imagine the difference if you could log onto a social platform such as Facebook or Twitter and directly pull content from your master DAM repository. What if you could not only integrate with the DAM, but also view performance and conversion metrics associated with the asset you are pulling — all from one software interface?
Future DAMs will continue and deepen integrations between the DAM, content management and web content management systems, making marketers more efficient and effective.
Software systems of the future will automate the serving of assets into marketing channels.
Capabilities embedded into enterprise marketing software systems, such as machine learning algorithms, will recommend assets for a specific channel or task within a campaign or activity. The marketer can then choose the best asset for use based on either analytical insight or preference.
I believe this style of asset automation is closer than we imagine. As the software learns from data and patterns of usage, it can pull more and more appropriate assets from the DAM systems of the future.
Analytics, automation and further software integration are all needed to support the digital marketers of tomorrow. Without quick and timely access to digital assets for use in marketing interactions, customer service and loyalty will suffer.
We all know what happens when customer service goes down the drain — things like net promoter score, customer lifetime value score and brand loyalty go with it. As a musician depends on consistency in building an audience, brands depend on loyalty for success.
Title image by Mitch Nielsen