Pruning shears may seem like a low-tech item, but a leading Swissmanufacturer has a high-tech way to stay ahead of competitors worldwide.

The case study of Felco illustrates how a digital asset management (DAM)system can help companies of almost any type to reduce current marketing costs,update marketing materials and put staff members to better use. The example wasexplored on Wednesday in a CMSWire webinar.

"The benefits to Felco are really reduced time to market in order toremain competitive, better utilization of resources, and repetitive work isreduced in favor of work of greater added value," said Marketing AssetManager Catherine Schmid.  "We have less translation costs, and wehave improved content quality. We are able to do much more for approximately thesame cost as before."

Small World, Big Challenges

DAM HP.jpg

The connection between global competition and the management of digitalassets like videos, photos, brochures and advertisements was driven home by KamTang, product marketing manager in HP's Autonomy group, which sponsored thewebcast.

He noted that a poor customer experience resulted in an estimated $41 billionin lost revenue in the US alone, as customers switched from one competitor toanother, according to a surveyby New Voice Media.

"DAM figures at the heart of that," said Tang. "As we'retrying to give people more active visual experiences, having a centralrepository to act as a single source of truth across your systems as well asyour organization is vital."

A properly integrated DAM system can make it easier to find digital assetswhen needed, adapt them to different communication channels and bypass the needfor a librarian or taxonomists.

HP's MediaBin product, for example, extracts thekey meaning of each piece of content and uses semantic search to locate specificassets as they're needed.

Engaging Customers

Those sorts of advantages make it easier for companies like Felco to engagewith customers, employees, suppliers, partners, journalists, subsidiaries oranyone else, according to Bertrand Gillet, chief operating officer for TBSCG.

Most companies "have assets everywhere," said Gillet, and whereverthey are, they are outdated as soon as the document is updated in anotherlocation.

"For sure, you have dozens if not hundreds of hard drives all over yourorganization with assets," he said. "And that's not the worst thing.The worst thing is they may be the same assets, or more or less the same assets,but not the latest version of the assets."

Learning Opportunities

Media Multitasking

DAM systems make it easier to transform images to different types, managedigital rights and secure the content. Gillet noted some systems can also forcea colorspace, flatten PhotoShop layers for easier transmission, remove JPGmetadata, resize assets, apply masks, transcode videos, or even convert an imageto a PDF or vice versa.

"Once you've implemented the DAM and accomplished everything possiblewithin your organization, it is important to assure that all the services withinyour organization can talk and integrate with it," said Gillet. That alsoapplies to customers and others outside the company, and DAM can provide theproper tier of access for any users.

TBSCG offers a product called the VirageMediaBin Accelerator that transformsdigital assets to mobile, online or any other viewport required. He noted hisfirm had discovered that a single image required as many as 80-90 differentversions to satisfy the requirements of all the viewports that demanded it.

Easy as 1-2-3

Schmid recalled the recent past, when the marketing department stored imageson CDs. They would have to locate them, download them and revise them as neededfor print, online and other media.

"Since we've used MediaBin, things have changed," she said. Today,technology stores and manages all the digital assets, making it easy to generatebrochures in 17 languages and websites in 14 languages.

She cited three areas where benefits have been seen:

  1. Worldwide image and retail distribution. "On this we had animmediate return on investment," she said. "Now only high-resolutionimages are stored and distributed, with no help from Felco."  Users simply fill out a registration form to access the system. It is used forabout 50,000 image a year.
  2. Ads and communication material. "All our distributors are able tocreate their own ads, business cards and letterheads without having the jobdone by a marketing agent," said Schmid. She noted this leads to betteruse of corporate identity and increased brand recognition while reducingworkforce needs by about a half-position a year.
  3. Crossmedia database publishing.  Images stored in database can beused on website, print materials, mobile and other channels.  "Wewere able to offer our distributors the possibility to animate their localwebsites with Felco content," said Schmid. "They are using MediaBinto store the images for their local content."