Step 1 – Admit you have a DAM problem. Step 2 – Seek help.

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Step 1 – Admit you have a DAM problem. Step 2 – Seek help.I’ll be the first to admit… Digital Asset Management is not that sexy. As a marketing guy, it’s hard to get excited about databases. However, the content stored in a DAM system is another story… Of all the content types, digital assets—particularly images and videos—got to be the sexiest! Consider the growth and popularity of online video... Gartner Predicts 25% of content in the workforce to be images, audio or video by 2013.

I understand… you have a limited marketing budget so you’d rather spend that budget on things like social media, search engine optimization, video players and other “cool things.” Isn’t that convenient… Digital Asset Management is the backbone of your marketing efforts because it allows you to better find, manage and repurpose these assets that are the lifeblood of your marketing and promotion campaigns. Social media, digital asset optimization, and video marketing programs all use digital assets as a core part of the marketing message.

If you’re not sure you need DAM, then you may want to read my last post (Why we don’t need DAM…). I apologize for the overabundant use of sarcasm. Yes, small to medium-sized businesses need DAM just as much as marketing teams at Fortune 500 enterprises. And yes, there are still mid-market digital asset management solutions out there… few and far between… but they’re out there.

Step 1 – Admit you have a DAM problem. Step 2 – Seek help.

Now, more on making the case for digital asset management software in your marketing operations. Reference the recent eMarketer article “Marketers Buzz About ROI” that discusses the Marketing priorities for 2010. Many US marketing executives were planning to increase budgets this year as they were much more optimistic about the economic outlook in February 2010 than in 2009 when the recession was in full swing. However, that doesn’t come without scrutiny because the number one priority is focusing on ROI.

Priority #1: Increase Marketing Return on Investment
—according to the “Marketing Trends Report 2010” from Anderson Analytics and the Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG).

Chart from "Marketing Trends Report 2010." Source: eMarketer

Priority #1 as it relates to DAM—explained.
You’ve made investments in the creation of digital media—photo shoots, retouching, video shoots, editing, stock and rights-managed photography purchases, etc. You’ve made investments in assembling the destination points for your digital media—websites, blogs, social networks, advertising, promotions and print. Now, it’s time to invest in a digital asset management product that will help you realize a maximum return on those investments by getting greater use out of your digital assets. DAM tools make those assets easy to find, distribute, reuse and repurpose while also allowing you to track, compare and measure their value.

Priority #2, 3, 4 & 5 will be introduced and explained in later posts. However, point 3 and 5 deal with brand loyalty and branding—another reason why companies invest in DAM technologies.

Focus on Marketing ROI – Reference the 2009 AberdeenGroup DAM Benchmark Report. Best-In-Class companies are using Digital Asset Management systems to improve efficiency, increase brand consistency and improve return on marketing investments. See the key charts from the report in the blog post for “The Marketers Guide to Justifying Investments in Digital Asset Management.”

AberdeenGroup found that best-in-class companies centralizing access to digital assets are two times more likely to use a DAM system for the marketing functions. These same best-in-class companies reported a 23% year over year reduction in time to market and an 18% increase in average return on marketing investments. On the other hand, time to market increased by 11% for DAM laggards and average return on marketing investment fell by 17%.

Top 3 Reasons Companies Invest in DAM. Source: Aberdeen Group, May 2009

Download the whitepaper "Why Digital Asset Management Should Be Your First Technology Investment for 2010" to learn more about how DAM adopters achieve substantial return on investment including reducing time to market, improving the performance of marketing campaigns, reducing marketing costs and improving brand consistency.

The Bottom Line

DAM is not all that sexy, but you can’t ignore the fact that you need it to power your marketing operations and improve marketing ROI. In today’s distributed marketing environment, shared drives, FTP, CDs/DVDs and tape libraries won’t cut it. Your marketing partners need instant access to your digital assets and you must be able to find, reuse and repurpose assets multiple times and in multiple locations. Marketers don’t just rely on one channel anymore. We are all multi-channel marketers and publishers.  To do more with less, be a more productive marketer and get more out of the investments in creating and distributing assets, you need an asset management system.

Step 1 – Admit you have a DAM problem. Step 2 – Seek help.

Lucky for you, Widen provides DAM as Software as a Service provider, which means YOU GET HELP. With 100% DAM SaaS, you keep on marketing – no IT resources necessary. SaaS includes: guided implementation, shared best practices, help desk available when you need it, admin and end-user training, promotional support, automatic upgrades, ongoing maintenance and technical support. Learn more about Widen DAM SaaS.

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