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PHOTO: Pavel Sanchez

“Results are what you expect, and consequences are what you get.” This adage certainly rings true for brand strategy. Without data-driven goals, brands are destined to drift — with their organizations left to deal with the consequences.

This five-part series examined how organizations can enhance the value and perception of their brand through better use of their digital assets. Our previous installments looked at four of the five interconnected elements of brand management: strategy, people, process and technology. In each, a maturity model is used to assess and chart appropriate steps for improvement.

Our final discussion in this series looks at impact: the ability to measure how digital assets can influence brand success, and use data to track towards milestones and goals for brand efficacy.

Establishing KPIs

A digital asset management (DAM) platform helps teams organize, store, and distribute their content. It can also play a key role in brand management. Organizations that are in the early stages of brand maturity have little or no idea how their DAM system impacts their business. If they believe it is beneficial, they don’t know for sure because they aren’t accessing its effectiveness.

It’s critically important to measure and report on DAM impact. Mature organizations use this data to inform strategic brand decisions and support DAM system optimization.

At the highest levels of maturity, organizations fully understand the value of their DAM platform. Return on investment (ROI) models and key performance indicators (KPIs) can help quantify this value across three areas:

  • System usage: This includes the number of assets being uploaded, downloaded, and shared via collections and portals; user log in rates; and fewer email requests.
  • Content usage: How is DAM extending the content lifecycle? This can be measured through content reuse and repurposing, embedded asset activity, and system integrations.
  • Business metrics: Workflow efficiencies can result in numerous measurable outcomes. By eliminating manual tasks, content rework, and even risks related to rights infringement, teams can produce higher-quality content (and more of it!) that supports an expanded market reach and increased sales.

Establishing KPIs and benchmarks for ROI can be challenging, especially because DAM involves process and behavior changes. But setting and measuring success factors over time will clarify the impact that DAM has across the other four dimensions of brand maturity: strategy, people, process, and technology.

Related Article: The Uncomfortable Truth About DAM

Steps to Improve Brand Maturity

It’s possible to make great strides in brand maturity, even within the first 12 months. Here’s how: First, develop a governance document to outline your purpose and guidelines. You’ll find a governance template here.

Second, plan on devoting eight hours a week on DAM maintenance and user engagement, via a dedicated administrator or a team to share tasks. Third, document your process for uploading and tagging new assets as part of your creative workflows. Fourth, map out your marketing technology (martech) stack to identify the role that DAM plays across the content lifecycle in data management, creative workflow, and content operations — all in support of your customer experience.

Fifth and finally, identify two to three KPIs related to content use and another two to three related to platform use. A good DAM system will have analytics tools that makes it easy to generate monthly, quarterly and annual reports.

Related Article: Why Digital Asset Management Is Now Officially Martech

Maximizing Value

A brand represents everything a company stands for. It’s the culmination of every customer interaction: from its products, to its online user experience, to the people who answer the phone.

As professionals in the business of brand management know, it’s not possible to completely control brand perception. But you can influence it, and a DAM platform plays a vital role in this regard. When used to its full capability, a DAM system fosters both control and consistency. It establishes guidelines and workflows that form the nucleus of a successful brand strategy. Use it wisely, and you’ll move your brand from an exercise in unintended consequences, to the most powerful tool your enterprise owns.

To access a PDF worksheet and discovery questions for maturing your brand management, go to go.widen.com/maturity-model.