DAM: Opening the Flood Gates

DAM: Opening the Flood Gates

Insight

Digital Asset Management (DAM)

So what’s this DAM thing that you keep hearing about, and can it really make a difference to your organisation? Here’s what you really need to know about Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems:

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Secure

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Centralised

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24-hour Access

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Cost-effective

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Intelligent

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Evolving

The best place to start may be to explain what a DAM is not. It's not just a desktop server, online storage account or share drive where files are saved to (or more like hoarded). Think of a DAM as a marketing technology tool. This tool enables an organisation to maintain brand consistency by connecting digital assets with its staff and partners from anywhere, at anytime.
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Centralised

As a marketer and brand manager, there is the expectation to create, manage and share accurate multi-channel content at every stage of the customer journey that is on brand and consistent. This is no easy task with new campaign messaging, re-branding and content adaptations to keep up with the ever-changing consumer landscape. Enter the DAM. The DAM can put all your current campaign marketing collateral access at your finger tips, saving valuable time and even more importantly ensuring control, reduction of errors and improvement in turn around times.
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Cost-effective

Believe it or not, that mockup your creative agency sent you isn’t just a pretty picture, it is a digital asset, and a DAM is a perfect way to store and manage that asset to make sure you are getting the best return possible on your investment.  Other than the convenience of not having to contact your agency to resend your lost artwork (which generally comes with a fee), a DAM allows anyone within your business to access the asset. It’s a company-wide obligation to correctly represent the brand and messaging, not just the Brand Manager. Those producing external communications from PR to corporate communications, sales, and production also need access.  When everyone is using the same material – the source of truth – all communication reinforces the original marketing strategy and prevents duplication of costs in new materials production and edits.
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Intelligent

Now that you have all your digital assets in one place, how does the system allow you and others quick and smart access?

Metadata is the information associated with each particular asset. For example, a campaign poster showing a new product in a runner’s hand could have the following “tags” or metadata attached: brand name, product name, campaign name, outdoor, sport. This allows the DAM to create a searchable database, so if “outdoor” is searched, your poster filters into the search. In a time where content marketers are progressively being pushed to create intelligent content, a DAM supplies the required structure on the back-end making agile content re-purposing possible. Whether you customize the consumer experience based on regions or languages, the metadata is the connector that holds those pieces of content together.

A current trend influencing DAM involves tools that can predict associations between the assets. This allows DAM software to automatically suggest options for metadata, providing more opportunities for effortless searching and cataloging of asset libraries.

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Discount Dependent

Constantly on the look-out for a better deal, this profile is not limited to a specific time of purchase. Email, social media and display ads critical to any type of targeting strategy. The spend peaks around November in preparation for the festive season. Value is extremely important to this profile; making the use of vouchers, discount and cash-back promotions a means of gaining visibility for your brand.
WARNING! Again, a DAM is not one big hard drive where you dump your digital assets; it requires management if you want it to deliver its optimal functionality. Administrators, librarians and tech support are all required to ensure that your DAM runs as intended. So, before you pick an off-the-line solution from your Google search results, make sure you understand exactly what you are buying and the support offered.

What's next?

DAM systems and associated products are evolving fast. Here are some of the exciting developments in this area you can expect to see:

Big Data Integrations & Business Intelligence

Big data in DAM will enable better decision making and demonstrate ROI. Current systems can already provide metrics on the popularity of assets, but there is a new layer of analytic capabilities. These use results from how shoppers engage with digital collateral and track how assets perform across channels, such as the number of “likes” on Facebook or conversion rates.

New Types of Assets

With holograms, augmented reality and virtual reality, there will be a rise of an entire new set of digital assets. This could even include innovations like ‘digital scents’ – odours that are transformed into code which could prove popular with lifestyle brands.

Artificial Intelligence

Sophisticated visual recognition technology will identify people, subjects, locations, facial expressions and more. Machine learning will setup DAM systems to intelligently understand both the asset and the end-user (customer). Resources do not have to be spent on hours categorising and tagging assets as DAM will take care of this itself. This is already possible, but nothing compared to the innovation coming. Artificial intelligence will be able to predict users’ needs based on past behaviour, creating a more fluid, intuitive experience.

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Point Forward
pointforward@pointgroup.biz

Point Forward is a thought leadership article intended to spark conversation and explore new ideas, technologies and trends in the world of marketing collateral. At Point, we actively encourage collaboration, problem-solving and reimagination because innovation is ingrained in our culture and mindset. There is always a better way to approach design, business, technology, and everything in-between, and Point is committed to finding it within ourselves, partners, suppliers and clients.