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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:

Improve DAM ROI by Focusing on Desired Customer Outcomes

by Jake Athey, January 11, 2022


All true digital asset management (DAM) systems have great features and functionality. Capabilities like robust searching, AI-metadata support, version control, digital rights management (DRM), workflow automation, content analytics, and more. More sophisticated DAM solutions meet the complex needs of enterprise organizations with granular governance controls, scalability, security, and enterprise platform integrations with creative tools, product information management (PIM) systems, agile content management systems (CMS), and others. The Widen Collective® does this and more.

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Topics: Content Strategy

DXP and DAM Improve the Customer Journey

by Jake Athey, December 21, 2021


People expect a consistent and relevant digital experience from their home office to every place they bring their smartphone. Your customers might encounter you on a website, app, chatbot, social platform, customer portal, in-store kiosk, digital stadium billboard, and wearable all in the same day. And they’ll want each of those experiences to reflect any interactions they’ve had with you since they woke up and drank their morning coffee.

To create this kind of customer experience you have to get your content and customer data to interact with, update, and trigger personalized events in real-time across all of these channels. Integrating all the required marketing technology (martech) solutions to make this possible is one of the biggest challenges all brands face. That’s why companies across all industries are turning to a combination of digital asset management (DAM) and digital experience platforms (DXP) to power their ever-evolving customer journey.

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Topics: DAM, Integrations

A Model for Brand Asset Management

by Jake Athey, November 3, 2021


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 trendy, modern shoe that goes with my jeans and shorts. I can wear them out to dinner or to walk five miles. I can wear them anywhere!

New Balance fits my dad lifestyle. I feel that lifestyle when I check out their mobile app, open an email, see their sponsored posts on Instagram, or when I walk into the New Balance store and try on a new pair of shoes.

New Balance understands me well enough to offer suggestions for shoes I don’t even know I need – at a time when I’m not necessarily looking for new shoes – and I still want them!

The creative and marketing team at New Balance laced together an incredible string of technologies and workflows in order to create my omnichannel experience. They have shaped my impression of New Balance through a series of purposeful, memorable moments. Simply put, New Balance has mastered brand asset management.

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Topics: Marketing, Brand management

The Content Activation Model: How to Hit the DAM Bullseye With Your Content Strategy

by Jake Athey, October 18, 2021

A powerful content strategy has become the bullseye of modern marketing. But all too often, marketers miss their target.

We might have the sharpest arrows (content), but without the right bow (technology), it’s hard to aim. Digital asset management (DAM) is the bow that allows you to launch content with precision — and nail your content strategy.

To help you hit more bullseyes, we’ve created the Content Activation Model, a game plan that aligns your DAM system with your overall brand strategy. Our goal is to help you build a stronger brand by using DAM software to its full potential.

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Topics: Content, Marketing

DAM ROI: The Business Case for DAM

by Jake Athey, October 5, 2021


If you manage content, brand, or marketing operations you have a wide range of business needs for using digital asset management (DAM) software. Sometimes it can be hard to justify the new or continued investment in technology, but the return on investment (ROI) for DAM is there. It can help you streamline content operations, protect your brand, and overcome e-commerce content challenges.

Of course, everyone knows money will be saved if you can “overcome content challenges,” but how much? You need to be able to calculate the ROI for your DAM investment to show how it supports your strategic initiatives. Before we show you a few ways to calculate ROI for DAM, let’s start by building a business case. 

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Topics: DAM

How DAM Will Impact the Future of Digital Marketing

by Jake Athey, August 18, 2021

 

The world of marketing is moving at lightning speed. In just a short time, brands embraced big data, personalization, and customer experience as must-haves in their marketing mix. The adage about serving the right content, to the right person, at the right time, on the right channel, is no longer exceptional — it’s expected. 

Fast forward five years from now and online marketing will evolve into a largely immersive experience powered by mixed media — including augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) experiences — and immersive channels like 3D installations. Consumers will inevitably “live” marketing, rather than be “targets” of it.

And, just as it has in the past, digital asset management (DAM) and product information management (PIM) technologies will continue to facilitate and move digital marketing forward. But before we get into that, let’s talk about the trend every marketer should have on their radar — immersive omnichannel marketing and how it’ll change the future of storytelling.

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Topics: Featured, Marketing, DAM

Using Image Recognition Software to Streamline Your DAM Workflows

by Jake Athey, July 15, 2021


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.

Let’s take a look at how image recognition software works and the efficiencies it can bring to DAM workflows.

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Topics: DAM, Integrations, Image recognition

The Making of a Marketing Technologist

by Jake Athey, February 15, 2021


Around 15 years ago, digital marketing technology (martech) 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 marketing technology (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

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