Digital globe showing customer profiles and personalization paths
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Editor's Note: This is part 1 of a 4 part series on customer experience sponsored by OpenText

The unified customer experience (CX) is quickly becoming the Holy Grail for marketers and customer experience professionals all over the world. Companies want to know as much as possible about their customers across all of their touchpoints and channels they engage with them on. And with that customer data, organizations can deliver personalized content experiences to the right customers at the right time, provided they have the right software and processes in place.

Getting to a unified CX through a connected enterprise is no small feat though. According to a 2017 report by Aberdeen, 55 percent of companies are using 11 channels to communicate and interact with their customers. With 11 different touchpoints, the first step on this path for any organization is going to be getting customer data from all your channels and partners cleaned and integrated into a single data management platform, like the newly emerging customer data platform (CDP). This type of data cleansing and integration is a step that must happen early on in order to be able to serve up highly contextualized and personalized experiences for your individual customers.

Once you have an understanding of your customers and where they are spending their time and what they are consuming, you need to be able to deliver value to them in the form of content. This is truly where the rubber meets the road for a unified experience. It’s the rich media assets themselves such as video, audio and animations that are critical to creating and delivering customer-centric marketing campaigns and messaging. Marketers need to be able to deliver a consistent, omnichannel customer experience in order to help build trust and engagement with your brand across the whole journey. In fact, according to the Aberdeen report, marketers who provide an omni-channel experience to their customers have a 2.4 times greater annual improvement in customer satisfaction.

Related Article: How AI and Automation Can Supercharge Your DAM

A DAM Delivers on Experience

Your digital assets need to be centrally managed to be able to be fed into marketing automation tools or digital experience and personalization platforms that will provide your customers a unified experience. The software solution that fits this need is the digital asset management (DAM) platform. DAMs, whether they are on-premises or cloud-based, offer the secured centralized repository that is needed to help manage digital media assets and branding for your company.

But not all DAMs are the same and neither do they offer the same level of scale and robust functionality for various enterprise applications. In the average mid-market company, some DAMs may be sufficient for the basic needs of marketing or creative services teams to store some images, video and MP3s. But if you need to deliver content from a large enterprise across multiple channels to create a unified experience for your customers, you need a DAM that is capable of performing at scale for up to millions or even billions of assets.The most robust DAMs can manage the full content lifecycle for marketing teams with integrated processes and functionality for content creation, production, collaboration, approvals, delivery, archive disposition, asset usage metrics and analytics. In short, you want an enterprise-grade DAM that can offer the intelligent creation and delivery of omni-channel experiences at scale.

Related Article: Understanding the Value of a Connected Intelligent DAM

Intelligent Automation is the Digital Media Supply Chain

Metadata is the key to good asset management and the integration of content across multiple platforms and experiences. Metadata ensures your content is able to be classified, searched, and used effectively where and when it is needed. But tagging for metadata across thousands or millions of assets can be a costly and time-sucking manual process, so look for a DAM that provides intelligent automation features that can help reduce the time spent ingesting and tagging assets, as well as provide analytics of those assets. For example, the OpenText Media Management or OpenText Digital Asset Management for SAP Solutions both use artificial intelligence (AI) to automate the descriptive tagging of up to 60-70% of all your content. Once all the content is tagged, the software offers other automation features like allowing content to be routed for scheduled publishing in a content management system (CMS).

AI and automation functionality not only reduces the time spent ingesting and tagging assets, but can help in finding the appropriate assets for particular use cases as well. Just trying to find the right image or video for a campaign can suck up tons of your creative and marketing teams time and mindshare. More advanced DAM systems have robust permissions and security policies with customizable language-independent search that make content easy to find for users, saving even more time and money.

Finally, automation can help increase time to market for media assets. Working in a large and complex enterprise usually comes with it long and complex approval processes to get the material into the hands of your customers and content consumers. These multi-tiered processes of review and approval can bring time to market down to a crawl as your organization struggles to timely deliver material across the full customer journey. A DAM that has tools to manage the creation, revision, review and approval tracking of content can give your company massive time-saving benefits by reducing bottlenecks and improving approval turn-around time.

Is Your DAM a Performance DAM?

If your DAM can’t handle moving, processing, and efficiently storing massive files, work comes to a halt and the value of having a DAM can be seriously diminished. If your business relies on a DAM to serve up thousands, or millions of large assets, and needs to deliver those out to the right customer at the right time, you are going to need a performance DAM. But what is the difference between standard DAM and performance DAM?

A performance DAM is scalable, and ensures you future-proof your platforms to handle whatever your business or customers evolve into. Performance DAMs like OpenText Media Management or OpenText Digital Asset Management for SAP Solutions can support your company’s growth to millions and even billions of assets, and can search across dozens of metadata fields in microseconds, ensuring a DAM that can grow with your business and is easy to access and search for your internal employees no matter where they sit in your global organization.

Performance DAMs are going to have additional functionality that will assist in streamlining your processes to get assets and campaigns to market as quickly as possible. This functionality can include marketing collaboration and workflow tools; robust review and approval management features; the automated scheduled deployment and distribution of assets; the ability to easily create branded microsites; as well as a variety of enterprise-grade efficiencies that enable the creation, curation, and management of the digital media supply chain.

Final Thoughts

When vendors, companies and analysts talk about the unified customer experience, talk tends to drift towards clean data, personalization tools, system integration, and the staffing and skills needed to enable a shift in a company’s focus towards a more customer-centric strategy. But none of that is going to happen without the ability to serve up and deliver millions of branded and multimedia assets to customers when and where they need it. The solution to accomplish this is the DAM, but not just any ordinary plug-n-play departmental, or lightweight SaaS DAM is going to suffice, you will need a real proven performance DAM. An enterprise-grade solution that enables a connected and intelligent enterprise to offer the creation and delivery of omni-channel experiences at scale.

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