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Capitalizing on DAM trends in MarTech, part 1: content and experiences

by Jake Athey, July 22, 2016

These days, it’s critical for your digital asset management (DAM) software to play nice with your other mission-critical marketing technologies, or MarTech tools.

Luckily, when you’re using a DAM system like the Widen Collective, there are several ways to extend assets via integrations and extensions that leverage your central source of truth.

Every year, we ask our customers to rank the top critical marketing technologies that help them get the most value out of their visual content. The following chart identifies their top answers: 

MarTech

As the chart depicts, DAM has a seat at the “big kid table” and often plays the role of the marketing content hub. That being said, let’s take a closer look at what DAM actually is.

Distinguishing characteristics of a DAM system

A successful content marketing hub is made up of people, processes, products, platforms, and of course visual content, which allows for efficient and centralized management and distribution of visual content.

Here’s a breakdown of the 10 characteristics of DAM systems, as identified by the DAM Foundation. 

MarTech

All 10 of these characteristics revolve around one central theme — visual content — which is what makes or breaks your experiential marketing initiatives.

This is no surprise, as content has always been the coin of the marketer’s realm. It’s our currency of trade. In the last 10 years, content has exploded in volume, velocity, and variety, which parallels the explosion in big data — massive data, moving at a blistering pace, both structured and unstructured. Content is also created by more contributors and consumed by more people and applications than ever before.

DAM is more important than ever for today’s marketers

Digital asset management makes it possible for a small team to be the master of all this visual content. Without DAM, it’s impossible to efficiently manage all that content, even with a big team.

Digital asset management gives you the power to manage and govern assets, which helps you avoid duplication of efforts, wasted time searching for assets, legacy risk, brand inconsistency, cost overruns, missed deadlines and delays, etc.

If you visualize modern marketing as a bicycle wheel, DAM is the hub (what we like to call the content marketing hub). The audience is the rim, and channels and strategies are the connecting spokes.

MarTech

The quality of experiences inflates or deflates the tire. The integrity of the wheel depends on DAM, as without the hub, it would collapse.

Your DAM content marketing hub — literally and metaphorically — structures, organizes, and turns the wheel from a common point, where all content begins and returns.

Since experiential marketing is a wheel of experiences, systematic transformation and growth begin at the hub.

DAM trends

Part of the focus of today’s article revolves around the following DAM trends:

  1. Content and experiences across marketing technology ecosystems
  2. Marketing agility and agile marketing approaches — supporting speed to market
  3. Content analytics and marketing insights aiding continuous learning and process improvement

MarTech

Content and experiences

In this article, we’ll be covering the DAM system’s role in powering content and experiences across marketing technologies, because we’ve seen a phenomenal shift in this area over the last few years. In subsequent articles, we’ll be covering the second and third trends mentioned above.

Digital asset management has evolved from being “just a media library” for your creative team, into a true content marketing platform that serves visual content and experiences across other technologies.

The marketing technology landscape is huge. Many people look at this chart and think ...

… OVERWHELMING! 

MarTech

And although this is overwhelming, it can also be an incredible OPPORTUNITY.

It’s an opportunity for you to get more value out of your marketing content, streamline processes, break down silos, connect teams, leverage more insights, increase consistency, and bring simplicity to others — making you the DAM hero your organization needs.

Since your DAM system is so much more than a simple “library” of visual content, isn’t it time you treated it like the content marketing hub it’s meant to be?

Mini-case studies

Digital asset management gives you the tools to control and deliver the right experience, at the right time, to the right audience. It helps you reuse and repurpose your content assets so you can reduce waste and unproductive content spend. Here are a handful of case studies that show how some of Widen’s customers do just that.

Sub-Zero

Sub-Zero and Wolf, maker of high-end kitchen appliances, sought to deliver a rich, unified digital experience across all channels, starting with their new website (launched in 2015).

They turned to the COPE strategy — short for Create Once, Publish Everywhere — to streamline their effort in managing content and bridging all digital experiences from one central source (their DAM).

To do this, they needed to integrate their Widen Collective with Sitecore. An integrated DAM system and web CMS offer a powerful combination to control and deliver a unified digital experience.

How it works for Sub-Zero and Wolf is they simply collect images in the Widen Collective and sync with Sitecore to maintain one central source of truth for all photos and creative content.

MarTech

They sync assets to the Sitecore Media Library, which automatically pulls new images and updates to existing assets. This ensures the web team is working with the same content as the creative services team.

MarTech

From there, web designers can place the image and publish the page.

The hero image is automatically resized to fit the space on the page, so the original image in Widen Collective can be used in multiple places without their creative team needing to create and maintain multiple versions of it!

What’s great about this is that it supports their COPE strategy and you can do this, too!

If there isn’t an out-of-the-box integration, or you don’t have developers to help, you can still use the COPE strategy with share links and embed codes from your DAM system.

Look for all the places you can extend visual content to other websites, blogs, email marketing, and other online destinations.

By leveraging the power of share links, embed codes, and collections, you can COPE!

Dynamic imaging and online video capabilities, along with an Amazon-powered Content Delivery Network, make your DAM a powerful content marketing hub that connects content and experiences with your audience.

Steelcase

This next example comes to us from Steelcase, a leading manufacturer of furniture for offices, hospitals, and classrooms.

The Steelcase Village is their dealer portal built on Jive enterprise social collaboration software.

MarTech

 

It contains all the resources for their global dealers and sales staff to sell their products. The European market does not have any guidelines for selling competitors’ products, so it’s critical that Steelcase presents their dealers with easy access to product information and branded marketing content.

To do this, they have used our embedded collections within Steelcase Village to announce product launches to their dealer network.

By using collections to share videos, Steelcase controls assets in one location, shares with the people that need this content to sell their products, and saves on bandwidth and infrastructure by avoiding duplicate libraries.

In addition, integrations and APIs offer a very capable means to integrate DAM with just about anything.

MarTech

 We’ve heard customers say “the API is our greatest asset.” That’s because it’s what makes information accessible, linked — and in sync.

About one in three Widen customers are making use of the API to serve content and share metadata between systems.

JL Audio

Extensibility is not always about system integrations. Sometimes the right process integration is just enough.

JL Audio, maker of consumer audio products, uses public collections and portals to share marketing assets for their new Powersports product line with their dealer base.

Ease of access to official, high-quality visual content ensures greater control over the brand downstream through its distribution channels.

JL Audio relies on their DAM system to easily share reusable master assets, and they leverage content analytics to know how assets are being used. This level of insight helps the company’s creative, marketing, and production teams plan for future product launches and promotions.

It also provides some leading indicators to dealer sales. 

MarTech

 We’ll be talking more about how analytics work within your DAM content marketing hub in part three of this series.

If you can’t wait for more information, feel free to visit our Resource Library for an abundance of white papers, infographics, and more.

Or, just get in touch with us anytime to ask questions or schedule a demo. We’re always happy to help!

Topics: MarTech, Integrations

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