Digital asset management (DAM) technology is nothing new. But in my fifteen years of solution consulting with digital marketing technologies, it has never been an “it” thing, either.

DAMs have just kind of always existed, off to the sidelines, hidden in the shadows. We've used them appropriately in our marketing technology platforms with great success, but they haven't garnered much glamour or excitement.

But maybe there is a change ahead.

Somewhat recently, I've noticed a significant uptick in the interest many digital marketers have in DAM technology.

I work collaboratively with IT and marketing in many organizations. Many of my clients use DAM, however, often only with IT visibility.

But in the past 12 months or so, I've received a significant increase in inquiries from marketing professionals on what a DAM is and what it can do.

Good DAM Implementations

One-to-one personalization has been the holy grail of customer relationship marketing for as long as I have been in this space. Technology is now catching up to imagination and is bringing valuable new concepts to life — concepts that were just sci-fi movie material not long ago.

One side effect of increasing the amount of people you can target directly is the need to proportionally increase the number of creative assets and variations you put out to the market.

It’s only in the past one or two years that digital marketing techniques have gone from being used by only the most progressive companies to becoming more mainstream and more ROI based.

It doesn’t take long for marketers to realize that after launching their first truly personalized campaigns that new insights are quickly developed.

From those insights, content and creative tweaks are needed quickly and often to support both new audiences and incremental improvements to messaging.

The requirements for operationalizing digital asset production and deployment in this type of fluid digital marketing environment quickly makes the common practice of managing your creative process through email and spreadsheets obsolete.

How DAM Operationalizes Digital Assets

Ask any marketer and you'll quickly understand that digital assets required to support personalized marketing efforts are exploding. That's causing both marketers and IT professionals to ponder the question of media management.

 “How do I manage this effectively?” And that sentiment translates to “How do I get faster time to market, with fewer mistakes?”  

Learning Opportunities

DAM systems improve workflow and brand consistency. Those are two clear ROI factors you get almost immediately.

These factors are important to any digital marketing department at any stage. So regardless of whether you have a fully integrated digital marketing platform or a stack of fragmented systems, DAM can support all phases of your maturity model.

Go DAM First

When it comes to activating and orchestrating creative assets, I commonly recommend deploying a DAM early in the process. There are a few reasons why:

DAM can support both your inbound and outbound marketing campaigns. 

Digital assets are used in nearly every channel and customer interaction point. A DAM can support many facets of your overall digital and offline marketing strategy. 

DAM solutions are not dependent on other technologies to deploy.   

A DAM is a great supporting technology and is not dependent on any other products to get started. With other marketing tech platforms, you often need precursors or other activation technology to get ROI.

DAM’s come in many shapes, sizes and budgets. 

There are SaaS, PaaS, Cloud, and on-premise options for deploying a DAM. There is a deployment and product for every budget that will fit your marketing needs.

So the DAM Thing Is ...

While you may not get dazzling revenue ROI numbers from a DAM installation alone, you will get early ROI from enhanced governance and procedures.

A simple DAM project can be up in weeks rather than months.

As you continue on your personalization journey in digital marketing, a DAM will accelerate your ROI in many other areas.  So my answer to digital marketers is to think about a DAM as a great early investment in your digital transformation.

Title image "Overlooked" (CC BY 2.0) by ankakay