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Getting the Most From Your DAM System With Widen’s Brand Management Maturity Model

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Widen's Brand Management Maturity Model for great ROI with digital asset management.

Managing your brand to deliver great customer experiences is no easy task. You need efficient content distribution, effective marketing automation, on point social media, relationship management, and so much more. A digital asset management (DAM) system helps teams create, organize, publish, and analyze content in today’s complicated marketing environment. It is the central content hub from which you can deliver top-notch customer experiences.

It’s a good practice to periodically review how your use of DAM technology is shaping your brand experiences. Our Brand Management Maturity Model is a tool to benchmark brand management practices as they relate to DAM across five interconnected dimensions: strategy, people, process, technology, and impact. Virtually no marketing organization enjoys full maturity along all five dimensions. Pursuing this goal, however, will take you a long way toward achieving the brand management success you desire.

Using this model regularly will help you understand how your DAM use has evolved and articulate future goals. It will help you benchmark your current state and offer a blueprint for how to go to the next level, regardless of your starting point.

The first dimension: strategy

Having a clearly defined strategic roadmap is the foundation to brand management success. It not only advances your organizational vision, but also guides continuous improvement across other marketing technology (martech) dimensions. Surprisingly, some marketers don’t take strategy seriously — or if they do, they ignore the steps needed to make their goals a reality.

Moving up the ladder in our model requires initiative. A good place to start is with strategy workshops to facilitate ideas, set goals, and define key performance indicators (KPIs). One of the most important KPIs is consistent use of DAM across teams. A governance document will prove invaluable in achieving this goal, as it defines how the system should be used. If you don’t have one, this governance planning document is a good place to start. 

Once you have your governance document in place, share the results with your internal and external stakeholders to create alignment. Finally, ensure your strategy is broadly implemented, review your results, and make changes when needed.

The second dimension: people

Because digital asset management fits hand-in-glove with brand management, proper staffing is vital to brand maturity. 

A look at the second dimension of the Brand Management Maturity Model: people.

To move from the lowest levels of maturity in terms of staff development, outside coaching can be helpful. A qualified DAM vendor can help define the system maintenance needed on a regular basis. If a small internal team is sharing admin responsibilities, find ways to divide the work, or start a weekly or monthly rotation. You can create a coalition of stakeholders to drive user engagement and identify opportunities for system optimization. HR can assist by making DAM training a part of new employee onboarding. And you can encourage the admin team to join an external user community to learn best practices, share experiences, and gain inspiration. 

When combined, these tactics will give you the momentum to achieve your maturity goals and secure executive support — which will ensure you have the financial and strategic resources to continually optimize your management practices.

The third dimension: process

A formalized process for DAM operations can profoundly improve brand management. Yet all too often, enterprises ignore this key discipline.

So how do you go about maturing your processes? If you're at the lower levels of the maturity model, begin by treating your DAM platform as your central source of truth. By avoiding the use of other libraries or storage systems you'll begin your journey to higher efficiency.

Next, map out common workstreams and roadblocks. Ask for input from every team that has meaningful contact with your DAM system. This will deepen your understanding of how the system is used today, and highlight ways it can be improved to meet evolving needs.

Next, create mechanisms for your users to provide continual feedback for site improvements. You should also conduct regular site audits to evaluate the content you have, and how it’s being used.

As you continue to mature, hold regular training sessions so all users are aware of system changes and enhancements. Create a DAM success roadmap to guide improvements to your strategy and governance plan. Meaningful, data-supported success metrics will help with planning and decision-making. Finally, issue regular company-wide communications on updates and successes as they relate to your brand.

The fourth dimension: technology

Brands run more efficiently when their organization’s tech capabilities are used consistently and at capacity. DAM platforms have immense potential to add sophistication to your brand management ... if its functionality is fully leveraged.

Next steps in maturing use of a DAM investment include creating curated portals for personalized content delivery, and using embed codes to facilitate asset deployment across the web. At the highest levels, organizations deploy their DAM capabilities throughout the enterprise and make use of analytics to inform decision-making.

Mapping how a DAM platform can interface with other martech solutions is a valuable developmental exercise. Take time to chart how your DAM investment can feed data to other content technologies like web content management and work management platforms. By understanding the relationships between DAM and various solutions on the information side (such as product information management, enterprise resource planning, and product lifecycle management), as well as the execution side (including ad networks, web content management, and email service providers), you’ll learn how to use all of your martech capabilities more effectively. Further, because these integrations position the DAM system within your martech stack as the central source of truth, they will support brand consistency across touchpoints and channels.

Another valuable way to use technology to enhance your brand management is through DAM content analytics. These tools allow you to better understand who is accessing your content — and when, where, and how it’s being used.

When used effectively, technology can identify top performing assets, improve workflows, maximize asset ROI, and help create a more positive, consistent brand perception.

The fifth dimension: impact

Organizations that are in the early stages of brand maturity have little or no idea how their DAM system impacts their business. If they believe it is beneficial, they don’t know for sure because they aren’t accessing its effectiveness.

It’s critically important to measure and report on DAM impact. Mature organizations use this data to inform strategic brand decisions and support DAM system optimization.

Sample steps to improve brand management maturity

It’s possible to make great strides in brand maturity, even within the first 12 months. Here’s a sample list of how to approach it: 

  1. Develop a governance document to outline your purpose and guidelines. You’ll find a governance template here.

  2. Plan on devoting eight hours a week on DAM maintenance and user engagement, via a dedicated administrator or a team to share tasks.

  3. Document your process for uploading and tagging new assets as part of your creative workflows.

  4. Map out your martech stack to identify the role that DAM plays across the content lifecycle in data management, creative workflow, and content operations — all in support of your customer experience.

  5. Identify two to three KPIs related to content use and another two to three related to platform use. A good DAM system will have analytics tools that makes it easy to generate monthly, quarterly, and annual reports.

Now that you have a basic understanding of how to apply the Brand Management Maturity Model across the five dimensions of strategy, people, process, technology, and impact, we’d love to hear how you’re applying it. Contact us for a copy of the full model, complete with tips and best practices, or to get help from Widen’s martech consulting team.

Topics: Content Strategy, Brand management

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