We see change everywhere: in the people, the processes and the technology which underlies how our businesses operate. But have we become so involved in the details that we forgot to look up and see the bigger picture of what’s coming our way? Have we become too focused on discrete technology advances without considering the effects of that on operating models? Have our processes become so complicated that we can no longer nimbly respond?
Digital asset management is no stranger to these changes. And while the future bodes well for managing digital assets, we need to recognize that change is coming and DAM must now be seen as more than just DAM — it's a critical component of the marketing technology ecosystem.
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The DAM We Know
As a refresher, DAM consists of the management tasks and technological functionality designed to enhance the inventory, control and distribution of digital assets (rich media such as photographs, videos, graphics, logos, marketing collateral). DAM enables the ingestion, annotation, cataloguing, storage, retrieval and distribution of digital assets for use and reuse in marketing and business operations. Great content isn’t really great until it gets found, consumed and shared. We can thank metadata for most of that organization, but there needs to be a willingness if not a mandate to create and support that single source of truth, the DAM.
The opportunity for content owners, marketing technologists, and all those managing content lies in understanding how assets are at the center of digital operations from creation, to discovery, through distribution. DAM was born out of the publishing industry over 20 years ago and has evolved to become a critical tool for media and entertainment, consumer packaged goods, pharmaceuticals and all industries. Increasingly, users have more input into the nature and scope of the content and in many cases exert real-time control over it with robust workflows and other editing functionality.
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The DAM We Need
DAM must be seen as a practice that both embodies and facilitates responsiveness, agility and dynamism. It will be characterized by greater user interactivity and collaboration, more pervasive network connectivity and enhanced communication channels. More than ever, businesses will integrate and connect DAM with other tools. As an energetic force, DAM accelerate the conversation between business and consumer. Businesses creating and disseminating brand and marketing messages and products will engage with the consumer community who will respond with shopping behavior, internet searches, assets and data such as reviews, comments, images, check-ins and other online actions. Content drives the connection between people, process and technology.
Martech consists of the digital tools (products and systems) that can help you automate and streamline processes, aggregate and manage data, and ultimately reach your customers more effectively and efficiently. The martech “stack” is the integrated collection and categorization of those tools. Martech does not work unless the various products and systems are unable to “talk” to one another or have some level of automation and process design enablement. The better the data, the design, and the process, the better the customer experience and engagement. Every piece of technology a marketer uses to reach a potential customer for engagement is martech.
The integrated martech stack allows marketing, operations, IT and others to understand data holistically, from the beginning to the end of the consumer engagement lifecycle. And, when done well, it helps you understand where opportunities for improvement are, and then respond accordingly to optimize with reliability and efficiency. Each component of the martech stack must be seen as a key marketing enabler and an opportunity for orchestrated movement of content across channels.
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The DAM You Want
The DAM you want needs good data to do what you want it to do. As organizations grow in size, evolve and take on additional global market opportunities, change will be the constant for the people, processes and technology that support business and marketing operations. Digital transformation plays a critical role in this change, serving as a focused center for content and operations management. Metadata, workflow, technology, and cultural context all affect operations and must be addressed for many large organizations. Data provides a foundation for digital strategy. Creating an integrated martech with DAM as the “heart” means your digital assets take part in this innovation by generating revenue, increasing efficiencies, and enhancing your ability to meet new and emerging market opportunities for your users.
The power of martech will manage and leverage more data and content across locations, both within and external to an organization. Data will only continue to grow. There has never been a more important time to make data a priority and to have a road map for delivering value from it. New platforms provide great opportunities for communication, engagement, and risk management. Data sharing and collaboration will play an important part in growth as business rules and policies will govern the ability to collect and analyze internal and external data. More importantly, business rules will govern an organization’s ability to generate knowledge, and ultimately value. In order to deliver on the promise, data must be delivered consistently, with standard definitions, and organizations must have the ability to reconcile data models from different systems.
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DAM Builds Connections
Content should be viewed as a constant connection between people, process and technology. DAM is the right thing to do for your content and your brand. When everything is connected, everything changes. Managing knowledge, rights, data, records, etc. brings different frameworks for managing content. DAM is strengthened when working as part of the whole martech ecosystem. When considering moving forward with a martech strategy, be mindful of the people, processes, and technologies that may influence the transformation you desire. You need to get your digital house in order, know what your internal business units and external partners need, and understand how you will need to deliver assets today — and tomorrow — across multiple channels and devices.
Using DAM effectively can deliver knowledge and measurable cost savings, time to market gains, and greater brand voice consistency. Start with a foundation, embrace the transformation and discover the value in content. DAM is the ultimate constant connection.