In February of this year, a market research firm announced that the digital asset management (DAM) market would be worth $4.12 billion by 2019. As 2015 comes to an end, it’s an interesting time to look back at trends in digital asset management.
While digital marketing and the need for rich media increase, the rise of DAM makes sense. How it fits into the larger marketing technology landscape can be less clear, though. A DAM system does more (much, much more) than simply house and organize a company’s digital assets.
To provide some context into what it means to take DAM “beyond the library,” we are bringing you some key strategies from the 2015 Widen Summit.
- How DAM powers and streamlines marketing workflows
- Improving the customer experience with a DAM
- The role of DAM in content strategy
These strategic directions not only signal the future of DAM but also parallel larger trends in marketing technology.
DAM streamlines marketing workflows
DAM can serve an essential function as the content command center for marketing workflows. It stores all assets in a single location and tracks use across multiple locations. This allows users to deploy the right visual content to the right channel, in the right format, at the right time, for the right audience. In doing so, DAM facilitates efficiency, security, and collaboration.
Teams can achieve an even greater level of agility with DAM by integrating it with other technologies. The application programming interface (API) in the Widen Media Collective allows teams to seamlessly connect the rich media in their library with a host of other systems. The Media Collective currently connects to the following:
- Publishing and design platforms WordPress and InDesign
- File sharing applications like Zapier and Dropbox
- Content Management Systems like Salesforce
When DAM operates at the center of the marketing technology ecosystem like this, teams can create content that is made available across customer touchpoints.
This centralization links directly to the larger marketing trend of providing a united customer experience. An effective customer journey engages individuals and responds to their actions and preferences with content delivered via social media, websites, streaming data, news feeds, and mobile devices.
DAM’s ability to interface with the technologies across brand touchpoints makes it the bedrock of marketing operations. It allows teams to be flexible, responsive and nimble. And it helps maximize the value of the content.
Careful orchestration of this collective experience is incredibly complex given the varying expectations, messages, and capabilities associated with each channel.
DAM powers the customer experience
This strategy builds on the topic of DAM as the content command center by focusing on sharing. As author Bryan Kramer observed, “sharing is how to be human, online.”
In the Media Collective, assets are shared through linking, embedding, publishing, and integrating with other systems. Your audiences share by writing, tweeting, and posting their ideas, opinions, reviews, stories, comments, images, and videos via websites, social networks, and blogs (to name a few).
DAM can capture and curate this authentic, customer-generated content. Through relationships with Zapier and other file upload platforms (and via the API), a DAM system can collect, store, and even display images and video content from your audiences.
DAM tools then allow teams to manage brand experiences that are fluid, dynamic, and hugely collaborative. And it positions DAM technology at the point of convergence between content creation management and global distribution across the customer experience.
Gathering and repurposing user content plays into larger trends around storytelling and making emotional connections. Marketers have always been storytellers, and digital platforms have expanded the reach of their narratives.
Storytelling is now often more than pen and paper, with a visual vocabulary (the digital brand assets housed in a DAM system) as part of the plot.
Channeling customer-generated content and interactions empowers marketing teams to be more effective storytellers, which allows for further engagement and even emotional connections with these customers. After all, great storytelling requires an emotional connection. It’s what allows you to pull people in and make the story theirs.
DAM analytics inform content strategy
The final Summit strategic connection deals with data analytics, a popular subject across marketing specialties these days. The Media Collective has an application called Insights that provides the following information:
- Where assets are being published and by whom
- Asset performance across channels
- A better understanding of the ROI of the DAM site
With Insights teams can have centralized data, measurable goals, data visualization, and a smooth path to taking DAM beyond the library.
Data collection is accomplished through the use of embed links, which track all views and downloads of the embedded assets. Insight then facilitates analysis through easy-to-understand dashboards and charts, to visualize how, where, when, and by whom those assets are being used.
This analysis paints a picture of user engagement, driving content strategy. For example, the analysis might prompt the promotion of popular content, the design of new content based on often-viewed or downloaded assets, or validate the current campaign strategy or product design.
No wonder they say knowledge is power. This parallels an industry-wide focus on using tools to gather and leverage customer data. In various market segments, a wide spectrum of tools capture information about consumer behavior at brand touchpoints, including cameras, online surveys, web profiles and downloads, and reward programs. Using this data to make better marketing decisions can increase productivity, improve products and services, and even improve customer loyalty.
The strategic priorities that were explored during the 2015 Widen Summit forecast the direction of both DAM and the marketing industry. Marketers that take their DAM beyond the library will maximize content value, create emotional connections, and ultimately improve the customer experience. That is why Widen has been promoting the power of using DAM as the central source of truth. It’s the truth.