In part 1 of this series, we examined how digital asset management (DAM) is the content marketing hub for all your content and experiences across marketing technologies.
In part 2, we’ll look at ways DAM can increase your marketing agility — also referred to as agile marketing — by streamlining processes for internal teams and improving speed to market with core business process and content deliverables.
What is agile marketing?
According to Agile Marketing, “Agile marketing is an approach to marketing that takes its inspiration from agile development, which values:
- Responding to change over following a plan
- Rapid iterations over Big-Bang campaigns
- Testing and data over opinions and conventions
- Numerous small experiments over a few large bets
- Individuals and interactions over target markets
- Collaboration over silos and hierarchy
The goals of agile marketing are to improve the speed, predictability, transparency, and adaptability to the pace of change with the marketing function.”
We like to describe it as a fresh, strategic way of looking at marketing that applies key principles of agile software development to increase speed, quality, flexibility, and effectiveness of your marketing department.
How DAM empowers agile marketing
When talking about agile marketing, Andrew Frank over at Gartner says, “The first step to be more agile is to eliminate as many bottlenecks in the production process as possible … making sure that as much of the process is automated as possible so that you can eliminate the friction.”
That means ensuring all the digital assets you’re working with are easily accessible, and that changes are automatically reflected in all versions.
These two tasks are part of the day-in and day-out functions of DAM.
Examples of DAM agile marketing in action
Indiana University Communications views DAM as a production tool, not just a library management tool.
Their entire communications department of 120+ people is reducing the manual, redundant efforts by treating their DAM as a content marketing hub — a central source of truth through every facet of their production processes.
They create all the news and press releases for the university. As part of that, they embed lots of images in those releases, and all those images are being dynamically served by Widen Collective.
Indiana University’s IT department says they use the Collective’s API to pull all the image sizes they need — a thumbnail for the webpage and email blast, a larger image for the release, and a full-size image for print quality, if needed.
All of these images are downloaded and made available on the web server. The images are then served up to the user in the appropriate format and size without the user even realizing there was anything going on behind the scenes.
This is another great use case for what we call the COPE strategy — short for Create Once, Publish Everywhere — which allows the IU production teams to be more agile (with automation).
Zapier Integration and workflow
Market agility also comes from having more of the right content at your fingertips.
The social, local, mobile movements present marketers with a new opportunity to engage customers and channel their experiences to build the authenticity of your brand.
Here is a workflow you can use to supplement your marketing mix with user generated content.
Thanks to Widen’s Zapier integration, customers can easily capture more content from social media channels like Instagram.
This one’s easy — and FREE!
In the image below, IU is using Zapier to automatically capture and archive all of their Instagram photos.
Typical asset lifecycle workflow
Now to "the typical workflow,” as it relates to getting visual content into your single source of truth, and managing the major milestones across the asset lifecycle. This typically includes uploading, editing, releasing, expiration, and archival.
What once took days or weeks — from capture to distribution — now takes minutes.
Agile creative workflow
A DAM content marketing hub provides smart tools to control and deliver the right experience by centrally managing the visual content lifecycle.
When we talk about workflow, we often talk about the detailed process for review and approval tracking.
At Widen, we’re constantly looking to better automate your creative workflow needs with a new creative review and approval tool of our own. There are a number of creative tools out there, as workflow and work management have been necessary additions for marketing and creative teams using DAM.
We aim to facilitate a more agile review process from the submission of creative briefs forward.
Let’s go through what an agile creative workflow looks like, starting with the creative brief. We call this an “epic.”
- A traffic manager breaks that epic into individual stories, each a deliverable.
- The traffic manager looks at each designer’s commitment level to see what capacity they have on a work-in-progress (or KANBAN) board and then determines who has the capacity to handle that story.
- When a designer starts working on the story, they collaborate and iterate with the stakeholders until the acceptance criteria is met, and the approved/finalized digital asset is made available in the DAM system.
- The story is completed and the agile creative workflow allows you to manage more work, with greater visibility.
Ideation to archive
Agile workflow isn’t just for creative review and approval.
Agile concepts can be applied to the workflows across the entire content lifecycle, from ideation to archive, as shown below.
As you can see, DAM software plays a large role in bringing marketing agility, and speed to market, to an organization.
In the next installment of this series, we’ll be talking about content analytics.
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