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All roads lead to digital asset management

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Six digital marketing trends for 2013 and their impact on creative agencies and DAM

Earlier in the year, I read a great article from iMedia Connection about the top 6 digital marketing trends for 2013. The trends identified were not a huge surprise, but it was nice to see them summed up so nicely for digital marketers. Each trend is of importance for creative agencies trying to deliver the best digital marketing solutions to jittery clients in a cluttered marketplace.
The advertising industry is a living, breathing thing. It is constantly in flux, with technologies and trends spreading through the industry. With new technologies appearing seemingly everyday, agencies need to innovate and adapt in order to be of real value to their clients. 
Digital Asset Management is one of the technologies that’s top of mind for agencies today. Though it’s hardly new, clients are asking their agencies about it more and more often as a way to harness the power of their brand assets. That interest will only continue to rise. DAM software is about providing efficiencies in a business’s asset lifetime, and since agencies spend a great deal of time creating and managing the digital assets for their clients, it’s becoming their responsibility to understand and share how DAM can be a digital marketer’s best friend. 
Digital Marketing Trends in 2013
Looking at the six trends outlined in this article, agencies should expect to see more in each area this year. With this demand comes the need for agencies to possess more first-hand knowledge to better position their offering, and to specify that they are a thought partner, rather than a creative executor of other’s ideas. They truly need to be a global resource for their clients’ brands because organizations are stretched too thin to add one more thing to their plate. Digital asset management programs are a marketing solution that can help agencies stay on top of these six trends and, at the same time, gain a competitive edge.
The top 6 trends 
1. More digital agencies
It’s challenging enough for agencies to keep their status as the AOR for their clients, so as the number of digital marketing agencies continues to grow it will be even harder. Employees at larger agencies have long been spinning off to start their own, more niche shops. Now, with so many digital marketing technologies, there are that many more opportunities for small shops to say they’ve mastered a certain portion of the digital marketing world – CMS platforms, inbound marketing programs, search engine marketing, or social media marketing.
THE DAM CONNECTION: More agencies means more assets being created and clients of any size will need to find better ways to harness, search for, and share their digital assets. Forward-thinking creative agencies will find a great alliance with DAM as a way to accomplish this for their clients.
2. More demand for big global strategy
It’s not enough to just develop creative strategy for clients. Clients need global thinking for their marketing that goes beyond winning awards for an awesome creative campaign. Global strategy means showing you have a keen understanding of the client’s business, the world economy, buying cycles, and more. For example, agencies must fully grasp how to go to market with a new product, the cultural nuances in other countries as products are placed around the world, how to measure the equity associated with an organization’s brand, and how to connect marketing campaigns to dollars earned.
THE DAM CONNECTION: That global thinking needs to be tied to global reach. A solid digital asset management solution enables the right people to reach the right assets, on demand, anywhere in the world day or night. There is a great deal of strategy wrapped up in digital asset management to make it the amazing tool that it is today. Smart businesses know that DAM is core to their marketing strategy, and reach is a key area where organizations can quickly realize it’s potential as a global solution.
3. More marketers playing data geek
Everyone has been reading about it - CMOs and VPs of Marketing have more data than they can handle and they don’t know what to do with it. Increasingly, clients want their agencies to analyze, interpret, and translate their data into something actionable for marketing purposes. And, rightfully so. After all, that data is no good to anyone if it’s not shared in a meaningful way. 
THE DAM CONNECTION: The data that marketers are collecting can come in the form of reports, page layouts, emails, presentations, audio or videos. Often times it’s kept in disparate locations on separate hard drives, desktops, or servers making it challenging to find or secure when necessary. A good DAM system can house any kind of file format - PDF, PPT, Word, Video, Audio, TIFF, EPS, AI, InDesign, PSD, and on and on. Even better DAM systems will convert those file formats to other needed formats, on-the-fly, so you only have to keep one master file in the system. Not 10 different versions so often found in folders on shared drives. All that valuable data can have a home where anyone who should find it, can, anytime. And those who shouldn’t find it, won’t be able to access it. 
4. More demand for deeper technical knowledge
Agencies are notorious for producing beautiful creative ideas. But, when asked how it will translate online or if it can function in the context of a display ad, they haven’t always had the answers. Clients want more knowledge of back-end technologies from their agencies. They want their agency’s guidance on the right way to set up the back end in order to bring the brand to life on the front end. This is why we’re seeing the rise of marketing technologists, digital strategists, and digital experience leaders on the agency side. Organizations need to trust that an agency can go deeper than simply making something look and sound good.
THE DAM CONNECTION: A DAM system is a marketing solution, but it’s also a digital tool that can vary in scope and complexity. The agencies who understand the importance of digital asset management will also take the time to understand how it works and to empower their clients with the right-fit DAM solution. If you don’t dig deeper around DAM, you risk misrepresenting a solution and potentially selling your clients on something it doesn’t actually do. Align with the right DAM provider and they will provide you with all the resources you need to gain solid footing. Then, you can leave the rest (demos, trials, implementation, tech support) to the provider. 
5. More software services for content creation
It can’t be said enough, content is king. It is the key driver of all B2B and B2C marketing initiatives today. As such, there are more software services coming to market to help manage all the content, whether automating content creation or housing and distributing content that’s been created.
THE DAM CONNECTION: As a central repository for housing, organizing and sharing content, you can’t beat a good DAM system. It serves as a window to your brand by making all the content associated with certain campaigns or initiatives visible to those who are looking and should have access. It makes workflows and other marketing activities transparent, so teams can share information easier and be more efficient across teams and different locations. And, it makes it much easier and faster for stakeholders to repurpose content around the world with brand consistency.
6. More connection between online and offline events
Organizations are getting savvier about leveraging their offline and online marketing efforts, so they’re looking at their agencies to enhance what they’re doing or to innovate new ideas. Tradeshow booths, hosted events, print ads, and brand campaigns should be used to drive email marketing, online webinars, content in social channels, and website/blog traffic. Most agencies already do a great job of this, but expect clients to ask more from you in this area.
THE DAM CONNECTION: All content used at any offline event can easily be stored and organized in a DAM system via categories and collections. This makes the event assets easy to find and share. All an agency needs to do is login to the DAM system, go to the collection and easily repurpose their client’s digital assets in online communications they build for maximum engagement with customers.
To learn more about how digital asset management can give agencies a competitive edge, see our recorded webinar all about DAM for agencies.
Request a consultation to talk with one of our DAM experts about your digital media needs today.

Topics: Content, Marketing

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