It’s Saturday night, and you want a new pair of shoes. 

You log into the Big Box Store’s app on your phone and swipe through the promos. Then you see them: a model wearing the shoes of your dreams. And bonus — they're on sale this weekend.

The next morning you pick up the paper and that same image is splashed across the front page of the Big Box Store's circular. You drive to the nearest store and upon entering it, that model in your shoes greets you from a large banner displayed over the shoe department.

You’ve just experienced a brand journey, courtesy of digital asset management (DAM).

A DAM is more than a central library. DAM supports consistent branding across all the channels an organization posts on, giving customers a seamless experience no matter how or where they consume your marketing materials. 

The increasing demand for digital information requires quick creation and delivery on the part of the brand. And keeping the stories those assets tell consist not only keeps your brand and voice aligned in its messaging, it also retains customers along their journey. 

Consistent Brand Journey

Consumers today receive information from numerous digital channels. Print marketing, like circulars, mailings and store signage continue to play a part in the customer experience, but no brand can afford to ignore digital messaging — be it via a website, an email, app or social media message. The ubiquity of smart phones and tablets mean customers have constant access to brands.

People want to read a newspaper, pick up their phone or tablet and drive to a store and see the same brand experience wherever they go. Customer loyalty is based in part on knowing what they will experience when they chose a brand.

A brand logo, the font and color, and the images customers see on their Twitter feed, smart phone app, weekend ad or store windows let them know the brand is there with them on their journey, no matter what route they take to the product or service.

DAM: The Central Truth

The benefits that DAMS provide don't stop with the consumer.

A DAM acts as a center of truth for an organization. Individuals creating marketing materials no longer have to hunt down a product image or logo. Instead they log into an enterprise database of governed assets and search via controlled corporate vocabularies to locate an exact asset.

Finding the right asset to use is the first step in brand alignment, and the metadata and customization of a DAM eases the search process. 

The image you saw on your phone, in the Sunday paper and on the store banner lived as a file in the Big Box Store’s DAM. Members of the online, circular and store marketing teams all had to find that same image to use in their channel.

Beyond Images: Brand Alignment

Once they have the right image, how do marketers stick to the same brand message? 

By having a central digital repository for company marketing assets, a DAM makes it easier for all individuals creating marketing materials to follow the same brand messaging. 

A PDF styleguide is no longer enough to maintain brand alignment. A PDF is a static object meant to instruct people on a dynamic process. 

DAM allows an organization to keep its marketing team up to date on all aspects of branding. It details proper fonts, sizing, logo placement, image use and even voice and copy rules. It also links directly to the most current logos and images, which can change between seasons and campaigns.

Thanks to that central truth, marketers, graphic designers and copywriters alike will all literally be on the same digital page when creating content for various digital marketing channels. After they located the image of that model wearing your shoes, metadata in the DAM instructed them on where, when and how they could use it.

DAM Speeds Everyone on Their Journey

So the next time you’re swiping through your phone or flipping through the Sunday paper, think about what kept you on your digital marketing journey with that brand. Metadata ensured a graphic designer located and used that image. A brand style guide instructed the marketers to follow designated brand messaging. And they kept you on your journey to buy the perfect pair of shoes.

Title image "Sunday Paper" (CC BY 2.0) by JJLosier