despite the continued 'on-the-cusp' feel of the DAM industry, it has yet to explode. And,frankly, we question if it ever will. DAM's growth has been more like that of a trusty,stable bond investment than a late-'90s software stock. All the better, perhaps, if DAMgrows slowly but surely, even if it's a bit in the shadows."
Marketing and the broader communications landscape have changed drastically since then, ofcourse. It’s hard, but if we try, we can all remember a time in the distant past when we weren’tbeing bombarded with advertising on our phones, watching video on our tablets, or catching upon the news using our gaming consoles.
Of course, these rapid shifts are a product of better, faster and more affordable hardware anddata connections. Back in 2008, digital assets had only a fraction of the potential value theydo now.
With these changes came not only new opportunities to integrate digital media intocampaigns, but also a clearer justification for investing in systems designed to retain thoseassets’ value. Indeed, for some brands that investment has become more of an immediatenecessity than a newly justifiable convenience.
Can DAM Solutions Keep Up?
So DAM software went from convenient fling to main squeeze. It seems clear now (giventhe benefit of hindsight) that it was hardly up to the industry itself to generate an “explosion”in growth. Rather, it was merely a matter of ensuring that DAM kept up with the pace of thebroader tech industry.
This begs a new question, of course: how much longer can DAM vendors keep up?
After all, acommitment to reacting quickly and wisely to new developments in technology presents its ownchallenges (sometimes more perilous than those of the innovators the DAM industry is reactingto). In other words, keeping up is as much a matter of path as it is a matter of pace. It might behelpful, for the sake of analogy, to think of a manufacturer of home theater equipment, for whomit’s just as important to have gotten products to market on time as it is to have bet on Blu-Rayover HD DVD.
DAM Skill Sets
We can’t know what the next wave of tech advancements will bring. The only way for us in theDAM industry to make ourselves (and our customers) ready for anything is to strive to be goodat everything. We in DAM need to be as good at marketing as we are at metadata, as good atcomposing pictures as we are at transcoding them.
The organizations best-poised to meet the DAM software needs of the marketing world willbe those that see themselves as being a part of -- as opposed to just selling to -- that world.
Whether it’s experience in pre-media and asset creation or a background in image licensingand rights management, DAM vendors need to put a focus on the breadth of their knowledge.In addition, providers of DAM should build their skills as marketers as a means of betterunderstanding the needs and pain points of the industries they serve.
After all, we have a better shot at pulling off this “bride” thing if we can relate to our marketingand multimedia grooms.
Title image courtesy of Virinaflora (Shutterstock).
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