The state of connectivity for marketers and creatives: Connectivity and DAM

by Jake Athey, January 6, 2017

Connectivity & Digital Asset Management Software

In Part 1 of this series, we shared our research findings around connectivity for marketers and creatives. Here, in Part 2, we’re going to reveal the relationship between connectivity and digital asset management (DAM) software. After all, DAM is what Widen is best known for!

The reason you create visual content to begin with is to increase and improve connections with your audiences. The creation of visual content like photos, videos, presentations and graphics is at an all-time high. And thanks to social media, smartphone cameras, cloud-based applications, and consumers’ shortening attention spans, the demand for great visuals will only rise in years to come.

But how well is your organization using DAM software to better maximize this proliferation of visual content? This question is on the minds of many content marketers these days. In fact, among our research participants (more on this in Part 1) we learned the following:

  1. 44% of our research participants found that measuring content effectiveness is a top challenge; That’s why Widen has had such a strong emphasis on connectivity, extensibility, linking, and tracking with asset analytics and Insights over the last few years
  2. 34% or participants named finding files as a top challenge for their organizations — amid increasing content volumes, varieties, and velocities

That just goes to show the growing importance of metadata and trained librarians (or DAMsters like you) in roles that can drive mission-critical technologies and processes.

Our interview participants expanded on the barriers to visual content marketing, which I’m sure many of you can relate to. We covered some of these in our visual content marketing webinar late in 2016.

Challenges include:

  • Lack of bandwidth, skills and expertise
  • Juggling too many activities
  • Producing good content

Digital asset management helps overcome these challenges so you can stay focused on mission #1 — creating and sharing great content! Not only can a lack of DAM lead to inconsistent and broken processes, it can also run the risk of getting you into legal trouble with a neglect of proper rights management protocols.

It’s kind of ironic to read this quote from Ashley (who is not a Widen customer, by the way) saying she pulled their logo off Twitter to use in a legal document.

“Every time I go looking for something, it’s a nightmare. I feel like I go to the founders and say, ‘I need this logo,’ and they don’t know where to point me. I’ve actually pulled our logo off Twitter to use on a legal document.”
— ASHLEY POWELL, Business Development Manager, Bendyworks

But at the end of the day, this quote sums it up well:

“Finding the right message for the right person at the right time is tough. And the degree of granularity is getting finer and finer. There are greater expectations on the side of the consumer, and greater demands for the marketing function to deliver on those expectations.”  
— SAM MOSIER, Global Group Communications, Level 3 Communications

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Which tools do you use each day at work?

Here is the spread of tools our online survey respondents said they use in their work today (they could choose more than one).

Content Marketing Tools Including DAM Software

Is there a technology you wish you had, but haven’t found yet?

When asked this open-ended question, our survey respondents replied as follows, unprompted:

  • Assets and content in one-place
  • Agile-like asset management allowing for localization and multiple brands
  • Better asset retrieval -AND-
  • Simple project tracking

Keep in mind, this was research to an anonymous group of marketers and creatives who had NO prior knowledge of Widen. This is great news for us as we embark on new solutions like:

  • Workflow, which is intended to help with your project tracking
  • Portals for better distribution and retrieval to more groups
  • Templates for localization and multiple brands
  • Planner is coming down the road with the goal of giving you a central content marketing hub with assets and content in one place

DAM Software as Your Content Marketing Hub

When it comes down to DAM software and connectivity, there are actually multiple layers. DAM is much more than a simple repository. It’s the foundation to connect people, process, and technologies through visual content.

Digital Asset Management & Connectivity Marketing

PEOPLE

DAM is a hub for connections of people — teams, departments, divisions and external partners — from agencies and suppliers to your sales and distribution channels. With people, the right balance of governance controls and access is not only required, but mission critical.

PROCESSES

DAM creates connections of process — with visual content at a common point between creative and marketing workflows, sales enablement, web management and the teams bridging content across all functions (from product management to customer service and HR).

Extensibility, workflow, notifications and collaboration are essential functions to streamline processes.

TECHNOLOGIES

A DAM system necessitates connections of technologies that connect content to your customer experience.

DAM is at the heart of the marketing technology stack, the proverbial engine that drives imagery, video and creative content throughout web content management (WCM), product information management (PIM), customer relationship management (CRM), marketing automation, social media and more.

Again, DAM takes you beyond a storage space, because DAM is a server of connectivity. And this is connectivity from beginning to end, across the entire spectrum of the content lifecycle — from ideation to archive. This is why we refer to DAM software as your content marketing hub.

The Digital Asset Management Content Marketing Hub

As you can see, with DAM, there’s connectivity of content upstream from the earliest points of creativity, to the furthest downstream points of realizing your true potential and intent of your content in the marketplace — which is where tracking, analytics, and measurement come into play.

Connectivity Marketing is Ultimately Human

After all, content is how humans connect with other humans. Connectivity is human!

And you use data to inform how well you’re making that connection (and how to improve the connection) between humans. So, not only are we finding more connection through content, and content-serving technologies, we (as marketers and creatives) are finding more meaning in the data.

Conclusion

Connectivity is underlined by being human. Digital asset management is the tool you use to make those human connections. It doesn’t replace the human connection, but instead helps facilitate it. With DAM in your corner, it’s possible to connect — even with high volumes of visual content —in an effective, efficient, and relatable way.

Stay tuned for Part 3 of this series, where we’ll be discussing the future of connectivity.

Can’t wait for the rest of the series?

Download the full report now.

Topics: Resources, Content, Marketing

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