A recent press release got me thinking about the role advertising and creative services agencies play in the Digital Asset Management market. I have seen numerous agencies attempt to develop and productize digital asset management solutions and fail miserably. I think the reason behind this is that advertisers don’t understand the processes and disciplines of software development. They usually build the application around a single customer’s environment with little thought put into how best to develop a platform to meet the market’s expectations or needs. They focus on building the brand and not the solution. They assume they will just continue to customize and build upon the application as their customers have the desire and ability to pay for it. No thought gets put into process or future support and this ends up being their downfall. When they finally realize that they can’t support tens, if not hundreds of one-off customized applications the service fizzles away. As advertisers, they have already marketed their solution as the next, best thing and those customers that jumped aboard get left without a suitable platform in the long run.
This isn’t to say that advertisers and creative services providers don’t have a place in the DAM market. Their customers and they are largely responsible for the content that ultimately gets stored in DAM systems. They often find themselves helping customers define their requirements for DAM or even selecting the appropriate vendor. Creative agencies should consider partnering with proven DAM providers so that they can enhance the services they offer to their customers and increase their market share and ours. With the right partnership both companies can focus on what they do best and the customer will get a much better experience.