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Jake Athey

Jake Athey

I’m Jake Athey+ and I’ve been with Widen since May 2004. I work with a variety of marketing people, marketing technologies and marketing practices every day. That might sound a bit mundane, but if you’re reading my blog you know better! We are in the most exciting time to be in marketing. I’m privileged to be the user and administrator of several popular marketing technologies including customer relationship management, campaign management, digital asset management, email marketing, blogging, and social media management platforms. (If you’ve landed on my blog on purpose, I’m sure you can relate to some the same challenges and experiences...) While the abundance of marketing channels and globalization continue to be key challenges for every organization, the amount and types of digital content is rising exponentially as new marketing channels emerge. This makes effective management and efficient use of content critical to maximizing return on marketing investments. My blog focuses on the technologies that allow marketing departments to capture, store, retrieve, manage and apply digital content. Here, you’ll find commentary and resources about digital asset management, marketing trends, news and events with Widen and the world around us.

Recent posts by Jake Athey:

The Making of a Marketing Technologist

by Jake Athey, February 15, 2021


Around 15 years ago, digital marketing technology was in its infancy. Marketers were searching for ways to sell to individuals rather than to mass markets. They were trying to create the marketing approach outlined in the 1996 book from
Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, “The One to One Future.”

That quest for one-to-one marketing led to a group of new tools. “Contact managers” and “sales force automation” software from companies like Brock Control Systems became best sellers. It was those early efforts that birthed the customer relationship management (CRM) industry, finally promising the holy grail that might deliver on the promises of one-to-one marketing. 

Now, digital marketers have CRMs, digital asset management (DAM) software, product information management (PIM) solutions, customer data platforms (CDPs), and predictive analytics. Consumers have TVs, smartphones, smart watches, social media, Internet of Things (IoT), and virtual reality (VR) at their fingertips. Between all of those, there are thousands of tools, technologies, and apps to tie the customer experience together.

That kind of complexity requires a whole new species of marketer: the marketing technologist. These individuals know the technology and have the organizational skills to make the one-to-one customer experience possible. If you’re one of these rare creatures, you could even aim your career at the role of Marketing Technology Officer or Chief Marketing Technologist. To get started, you need to develop a certain kind of mindset.

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Topics: Marketing

7 Ways to Learn the Tech in Martech

by Jake Athey, February 8, 2021

It’s nearly impossible to keep up with all the new martech tools. Just look at the 8,000 solutions that show up on the 2020 ChiefMartech marketing technology landscape, which grew 13.6% from the previous year. 

While understanding the functionality and benefits of all  these technologies would be overwhelming (to say the least), you can still make learning a priority for you and your team. Well-rounded marketing technologists develop a habit out of experimenting with new systems and technologies, seeking out
martech training, and talking with technical experts.

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Topics: Marketing, MarTech

Adopt a Competency Framework to Build Your Martech Team

by Jake Athey, February 2, 2021


Martech, short for marketing technology, is about much more than your technology stack. While one part of the martech equation is the technology, the other part is the people who use it. You need a team of unique individuals with the right balance of traits and skills that interplay to create success. 

Marketing technologists with the right competencies can seem like mythical creatures. Thankfully, they’re more like butterflies than unicorns — they actually exist. However, it’s easier to find them when you adopt a marketing competency framework to guide your hiring decisions and team development.

With the right framework, you get clear on the skill sets and behaviors you need in your marketing technologist(s) and across your team. Thankfully, you don’t need every attribute in every person. You can map out your competency needs for your team like you can map your marketing technology. Then fill it in across your organization as you go. 

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Topics: Marketing, MarTech, Change Management

Using Image Recognition Software to Streamline Your DAM Workflows

by Jake Athey, September 2, 2020


Not too long ago, artificial intelligence (AI) was just a concept from science fiction movies. But today, AI is changing the status quo of entire industries — including marketing technology (martech). When it comes to
digital asset management (DAM), image recognition software has a valuable and growing role in metadata creation by automatically tagging assets during the upload process.

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Topics: DAM, Integrations, Image recognition

The Widen Brand Management Maturity Model: Your Path to Greater ROI

by Jake Athey, December 11, 2019

Whether you’ve been using the Widen Collective® for months or years, you might wonder: How are we doing?

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Topics: DAM, Brand management

MarTech Meets AdTech: How Sargento’s Award-Winning MarTech Stack Came to Be

by Jake Athey, June 6, 2019

We’re always proud to share the good news about our customers, especially when they’re doing great things with our technology!

Sargento recently won a 2019 MarTech Stackie Award for best marketing technology stack design. While MarTech Today spotlighted the story of how Sargento cooked up their stack, I had the chance to meet with Cami Schenck, the senior marketing manager of media and digital at Sargento Foods to learn more about the secret ingredients.

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Topics: Customer Stories, MarTech

How DAM Will Impact the Future of Digital Marketing

by Jake Athey, January 16, 2019

 
The world of marketing is moving at lightning speed. In just a short time, brands have embraced big data, personalization, and customer experience. The adage about serving the right content, to the right person, at the right time, on the right channel is no longer exceptional. Fast forward five years and online marketing will evolve into a largely immersive experience powered by visual, audio, and tactile content. Consumers will inevitably “live” marketing, rather than be “targets” of it.
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Topics: Featured, Marketing, DAM

Why Choose a SaaS Digital Asset Management Solution

by Jake Athey, December 10, 2018

Businesses are creating more content to meet the demands of new channels, products, and markets. More content means more challenges. Marketing and creative teams are dealing with questions like: What content do we have? Where is it stored? Can I reuse it? Do we have it translated in German? Is this graphic available in PNG format? Is this the most recent version? While file storage tools can work as a temporary fix, more and more businesses are using a digital asset management (DAM) system to centralize, organize, govern, and distribute content.

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Topics: DAM

Digital Asset Management White Paper: What to Know Before You Go!

by Jake Athey, November 5, 2018

Editor's note: This post was originally posted on March 29, 2011. We updated this article and the corresponding whitepaper to reflect the current state of the DAM industry.

The decision to implement a digital asset management (DAM) system is a step towards gaining operational and intellectual control of your digital assets and is not one to be taken lightly. It brings with it great responsibility as to how the organization’s assets will be efficiently and effectively managed in its daily operations. Yet, the decision itself to go with a DAM system enacts a chain of questions to be carefully considered before proceeding down the path to DAM.

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Topics: DAM Implementation

Moments in the Making: A New Model for Brand Asset Management

by Jake Athey, October 29, 2018

What is a brand? Let me illustrate with a brand I'm partial to: New Balance. I used to think of New Balance as the maker of all white, extra wide “Dad” shoes. Now, as the proud owner of a dozen different pairs, I think of New Balance as a hipster modern shoe that goes with my jeans and shorts. I can wear them to church or to walk five miles. I can wear them anywhere!

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Topics: Marketing, Brand management

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