DEAR DR: DAM: Hi there. My name is Phil and I need some advice about online digital asset management to make some critical marketing decisions. I own a small chain of fishing tackle stores in the southern part of the country with a focus on fishing for Largemouth Bass. I have had the business for around twenty years and it was growing at a steady rate until two years ago. I had the toughest time figuring out what the problem was until a computer savvy nephew of mine showed me that most everyone I was competing with were selling everything from steel leaders to carbon fiber rods online!
I took this to be a serious wakeup call and have therefore been adapting a business model with a much stronger Internet presence. It has been much more of a challenge that I expected it to be especially because there is so much more to it than just putting up a high quality website. In addition to taking high resolution images of all of our products (because we are selling EVERYTHING related to bass fishing from our site), we have also been making dozens of bass fishing videos. Once again, it was my nephew who convinced me of how important videos have become for marketing online when he showed me what a few of our competitors were doing with YouTube. So, we have got the platform for selling and the materials to do it but I am running into more obstacles than casting to monster bass in a sunken brush pile!
The problem with catching big bass that live around underwater snags and sticks is that it’s easy to snag and lose your bait or lure. I mention this because it seems to be a good analogy for the problem I have had with using images and videos for marketing. We had as many made as possible but now, I have discovered that because we have so many digital assets, I am wasting way too much valuable time in searching for them! Not only that, but they are seriously slowing down our network. To sum things up, I can't use those valuable marketing assets to reach my “big fish” because they get stuck somewhere along the way! I feel like I am not getting the ROI I need from those assets to keep this business afloat and am wondering if I need a stronger solution for digital media asset management.
DEAR BARELY FLOATING PHIL: To quickly answer your question, yes, it sounds like you most certainly do need digital asset management tools to keep your business from sinking. I am sure that when you go bass fishing around those big brush piles, despite the difficulties, you know the tactics and measures needed to avoid snags and get to the fish. It’s the same case here with your digital assets reaching those potential customers. The strategy you need is DAM hosted out of house and provided as a service. When your images and videos are hosted on servers other than your own, precious bandwidth is freed up for your office computers and they will function at the appropriate speed. With Software as a Service such as that developed by Widen for online video management and rich media management, highly trained customer service people will also help you organize your digital assets to make sure that you can quickly find whichever image or video you need. In addition to using DAM, it sounds like you should also hire your nephew if you haven't done so already!