The Difference Between Reusing and Repurposing Digital Assets

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What does it mean to reuse a digital asset? What does it mean to repurpose a digital asset?
These two terms are used interchangeably all of the time in the Digital Asset Management (DAM) space.

Do these terms mean the same thing to you?

The goal of this post is to introduce how I distinguish the concepts of RE-USING and RE-PURPOSING digital assets. Join the conversation by submitting a comment as I’m interested in understanding your take.

Digital assets are generally developed for one of three reasons:

  • To make money in businesses where the assets are the actual products being sold, like digital music or movie downloads.
  • To market and/or sell products or services where the digital assets represent the product(s) being sold—for example, product images in a catalog or Web site.
  • To reinforce a brand image or build brand equity, like a brand logo or logo representing a special occasion such as “60 years of service.”

The goal for any digital asset produced is to get as much value out of that asset as possible. Maximizing the value of a digital asset is accomplished by getting as much use (work) and result (return) from that asset. The way we measure results and return varies because there are tangible and intangible methods of measurement. I’ll save the methodology for determining the value of digital assets for later posts…That's a complex subject. For now, let’s clarify the difference between re-using and re-purposing digital assets, as I see it.

RE-USETo reuse a digital asset is to employ the asset for the purpose in which it was created more than one time.

Re-using Digital Assets Example

For example, this image was developed for use in a specific PowerPoint presentation. The first time that presentation is “created” or “given” then that is the point in which the asset is first “used.” The more times the asset is used in another presentation (separate slide deck – OR – staged appearance), then it is being “re-used” for the purpose in which it was produced. Reusing or re-presenting the original PowerPoint presentation or re-deploying the slide (or slides) that contain that digital asset would count toward the number of times it is “re-used.” Again, the reason the image asset was produced in the first place was for use in one or multiple PowerPoint presentations.

RE-PURPOSETo repurpose a digital asset is to utilize the asset (in its original form or modified) for a new and different purpose than which it was originally produced.

Re-purposing Digital Assets Example

Again, let's say the common image in these examples above was originally developed for use in a PowerPoint presentation; however it was “re-purposed” for use on a website, in a brochure, in a promotional video, conference poster, Facebook page, and Twitter background. It is used in places different than its original intended purpose, thus it is “re-purposed.” The more an asset is repurposed, the more value it provides.

Repurposing is so commonplace in today’s multi-channel marketing environment that it is the standard. Everyone must deploy their message across multiple mediums in order to get the greatest impact and maximize the ROI in the time and money spent producing that asset. As marketers, if there is one thing we have learned over the last few years, we are expected to “do more with less.” It is also incumbent upon us to take advantage of all the latest cost-effective digital marketing vehicles that have come about. Advancements in technology, creativity, digital media management and digital asset optimization mean the emphasis is on efficiency.

Learn about the four key ratios in digital asset management that help customers realize the value of their digital assets. Among those four success metrics with digital asset management programs is the Repurposing Ratio. Download the whitepaper – Maximizing the Value of Digital Assets – to learn more about the Repurposing Ratio.

Read the related article on – Derive More Value From Your Digital Assets.

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