Digital Asset Management (DAM) platforms, used to organize, store and provide access to a company’s visual asset library, are essential tools for any business that needs to reach customers. But organization isn’t all a DAM is good for. No longer consigned to a simple storage solution, today’s DAM needs to be more than just asset or visual content management. As marketing departments mature and customer behavior changes, strategies and technologies must adapt to the times.
Visual assets are a key component of a company’s marketing strategy and an effective way to reach customers. According to research, 49% of marketers call visual marketing very important to their marketing strategy, while nearly 20% say their strategy is nothing without visual content. At the same time, the scope of digital asset management has broadened beyond marketing. While historically DAM has been just a way to centralize digital assets, companies these days expect more. Media needs to be delivered and broadcasted from a unique single source of truth (SSoT), which enhances the user's digital experience by adapting to every channel and market. They can’t be siloed or locked away on a legacy system that isn’t equipped to handle how media is consumed in this day and age. Taking all this into account means leaving the legacy DAM behind.
Moving to the Cloud and Beyond
When first introduced, DAMs were installed locally. These days, enterprise DAMs are cloud-first, which expands their scope and reach to affect all corners of the enterprise. Further, today’s DAMs are both cloud-first and mobile ready. By being open to third party integrations with powerful and extended API web services, enterprise DAMs are ready to deliver, distribute and stream new types of visual content (with included video players/viewer) while simultaneously collecting customer data. Cloud-based applications like a modern DAM are becoming mission critical as companies expand and become more geographically dispersed.
From One Department To Many
Today’s DAM stakeholders are more than just marketers. Your brand strategists, sales team (both direct and indirect), Ecommerce teams, product marketing teams, channel ops and social media team are all invested in digital asset management. Media assets need to be used on a number of different channels, not just a company website. This means many people and departments will need to use the enterprise level DAM, including your Digital, eCommerce and Product departments, brand director and many others.
Today’s DAMs also offer greater support to international teams. Content needs to be relevant at the local level, which means marketing localization is critical. A modern DAM solution solves for localization, ensuring a smooth workflow and collaboration among international teams and the ability to provide content in the right language in the right location — freeing your teams while guaranteeing the quality and impact of your branded content.
Let’s not forget a crucial stakeholder: your IT team. Modern DAMs need to integrate with the rest of your martech stack, and IT is heavily invested in ensuring that your tools work and comply with the latest rules and regulations. Today’s enterprise DAMs do just that, with many compliance certifications and security measures built in.
Reacting To Changing Customer Behavior and Offering Dynamic Digital Content Experiences
These days, customers expect and demand more from the visual assets they encounter along their buyer’s journey. Thus, brands need to ensure great, consistent digital experiences.
Consider how customer and brand interaction has changed even in a few short years. These days, online shoppers expect to see at least 8 product images per purchase, up from only 3 in 2016. Further, customers use many different devices when buying products. Smartphones, laptops, tablets, smart TVs and more are all examples of the devices customers have used in online shopping over the last year.
DAMs have also evolved to support new media use cases. The kinds of visuals customers also interact with has diversified, and DAMs need to be able to handle a wide variety of formats. Visual content is more than still images, it has evolved to include videos, 3-D files, CGI, 360-degree tours, AR/VR and more. This is the kind of increased complexity a modern DAM needs to handle and will only increase in importance as niche visual content becomes more mainstream (VR business spending, for example, is expected to reach $9.2 billion in 2021). Thankfully, DAM has evolved to support great and consistent visual experiences, from in-store sales to eCommerce and from product buying to experience buying.
Today’s enterprise DAMs are built for how businesses attract and retain customers. Both DAMs and brands must provide the most engaging and personalized customer experiences across their existing channels. Thankfully, a modern DAM is designed to assist marketers, salespeople, IT departments, international teams and all other stakeholders achieve their goals.
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