And, just as it has in the past, digital asset management (DAM) technologies will continue to facilitate and move digital marketing forward. But before we get into that, let’s talk a bit more about perhaps the hottest trend of all — immersive marketing and how it’ll change the future of storytelling.
Top trends for the future of digital marketing
Great marketing is, and always will be, storytelling. However, as new digital marketing trends emerge and technology advancements take hold, the ways in which we tell our stories will change.
Alongside the rise of the web, social media, and mobile devices, we’ve witnessed the democratization of publishing tools. What was once only accessible by publishing houses, film studios, and ad agencies is now available to the masses. And although the tools for distributing our marketing stories will continue to change, the central role of content in storytelling will remain the same. Furthermore, the methods, environment, and purpose of storytelling will evolve, but again, we’ll continue to rely on content as the vehicle for these stories. The same holds true as we look into the future and consider the storytelling impacts of immersive marketing.
As of late, we’ve seen an explosion of audio storytelling, such as podcasts and audiobooks. We’ve witnessed the rise of raw, short-form video, which now dominates social networks and digital advertising. We’ve also seen the consumerization of virtual reality, thanks to Google Cardboard, Oculus Rift, and other VR headsets.
All these mediums reflect a desire for immersion — an innately human need to be deep in the conversation, at the scene, and out in the world. People feel personally connected to podcasters, social influencers, and the virtual environments they explore. Consumers want to be (or feel like) participants, not observers. So, by tapping into these experiences to get our audiences to take a desired action, we are in fact engaging in immersive marketing.
Immersive marketing will continue to evolve with visual media at its core. Top consumer brands already lead with a visual content strategy because it pays to engage first and explain later. Their next step is to turn visual media into immersive experiences.
Immersion will also take “personalization” to the next level, which, at present, is just an effort to make content more relevant. Immersive personalization will put consumers in the creative driver’s seat because this is where they want to be. They want to choose or design the Snapchat filters. They want to speak with Alexa and Siri, not type into an impersonal keyboard. They want to be the Pokemon catcher rather than control an avatar on a tiny screen. And ultimately, they want to tell the story by being part of it.
In short, people want a better integration between physical life and digital experience. Online marketing will go beyond the screen to serve people who wish to look, talk, listen, do, move, touch — and taste. Immersive marketing will, eventually, serve content for all five senses. This is already underway, as seen through mobile-social environments and the rapid onslaught of the Internet of Things.
The role of DAM in immersive marketing
Every piece of marketing content is what we call a digital asset (also referred to as visual content). Creating and managing digital assets takes talent and time. And, since brands continue to lose efficiency, sanity, and value to disorganized, underutilized assets, they often turn to technologies like DAM systems to store, organize, and find their visual content.
At Widen, we believe the challenges of content management will only grow as immersive marketing continues to take hold. Given its massive content demands, it will prove prohibitively expensive, chaotic, and ineffective without a DAM system in place.
Our mission is to be the content marketing hub of digital marketing — the center from which brands can deliver all content. To fulfill this mission, we must enable and power immersive marketing. Thus, our flagship DAM system, the Widen CollectiveⓇ, helps organizations manage all five phases of the content lifecycle:
Produce: Creative teams get the efficiency and accuracy that comes from connecting their favorite tools, such as Adobe Creative Cloud, with the Collective. We offer DAM system integrations with enterprise systems from web content management to e-commerce, marketing automation, product information management, and more.
Review: We’ve automated the process of proofing and approving work with our Workflow app. Now creative teams can replace cumbersome email chains with smart, efficient processes — helping them create more and manage less!
Manage: The Collective gives system administrators the power to establish an organized and scalable content library and central source of truth. Many professional librarians choose our DAM system for their Fortune 100 and 500 clients, as it helps them tame an otherwise massive, unwieldy collection of visual content.
Publish: Through integrations and automation, our DAM system delivers digital assets to any channel, including the web, social networks, and mobile technologies. The Collective plugs into all the platforms that facilitate immersive marketing experiences. It also makes it easy for people — internal teams, partners, distributors, and more — to access and distribute brand content.
Analyze: Our analytics app, Insights, helps marketers measure and improve content performance across their entire digital ecosystem. It gives teams the transparency they need to understand who uses their digital assets, where, and how they perform. Through asset-level metrics like views, shares, downloads, video play times, and more, we’ve elevated analytics beyond a single channel.
We’re here to help you prepare for the future of digital marketing
It’s exciting to look at how far the world of digital marketing has come in just a short time. With the mass adoption of immersive marketing on the horizon, we, as marketers, must once again adapt the ways in which we tell our stories. We must push our content creation to new limits and arm ourselves with the tools and technologies needed to connect our valued audiences with our powerful stories.
At Widen, we continue to power the content behind our customers’ marketing experiences — no matter where the world of digital marketing takes them. We have the team, technology, and culture to help companies thrive now and into the future.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on February 21, 2017 and has been updated for relevancy.