In Digital Asset Management (DAM)

As a marketer, I regularly work with visual elements (and digital assets in general) that form part of almost every piece of content I produce. Each one of these pieces of content are distributed through different communication channels (web, mobile, print, PoS, online vendors, marketplaces, etc.), and they all require a specific resolution.

A print document will require i.e 300 dpi, 2×3 and no clipping paths, whereas a web publication will require 72 dpi and 5×8. This all sounds confusing to me since, as many Marketers, I do not possess many (web) designer skills.
Therefore, I am obliged to refer to a (web) designer, and request his or her help each time I produce another blog, another Ebook, another whitepaper, a new catalogue, a new brochure, etc.

However, consumers are more receptive to visual elements when i.e. shopping online, because these convey stronger emotional connections than written media ever could! When wanting to deliver an outstanding visual experience, it highly depends on the way digital assets are managed. Managing unstructured media content, that is hard to retrieve and share will result in inconsistent product appearances that negatively affect the user experience.
This is often a result of storing information in multiple different locations, creating annoying data silos. In alignment with this, according to a recent study¹, “…Brands without a DAM platform locate assets via email (94%), phone calls (88%), Google search (72%), or contact forms (64%).”

To solve these issues, business users decide to implement a DAM solution (Digital Asset Management). Here are three reasons why:

Reason 1 – All round coherence 

To avoid the above mentioned “mismanagement” of digital assets, a DAM solution lets companies centrally handle large volumes of digital assets originating from multiple sources.
By collecting, centralizing and consolidating these within a unique media repository, it orchestrates the internal & external distribution of the company’s digital assets. Everyone always uses the most recent version of a file, and produces and distributes consistent & high-quality multimedia content (catalogues, brochures, presentations, etc.) in accordance with the brand.

Marketers need to have quick and easy access to their media content. Within the solution, they are able to define an appropriate data structure which is flexible and in which digital assets can be assigned to different contexts. Depending on the preference, and to ensure digital assets are found easily, they should be tagged accordingly and in coherence to their value, i.e. after season, or campaign or perhaps date?

Reason 2 – Increased productivity 

“30% of the marketers and creatives surveyed agreed that it takes at least 15 minutes or more to find a single asset. 62.5 hours spent by marketers searching for brand assets on an annual basis.” ³
Having centralized all assets, the need to contact i.e. the designer, media agency, or photographer to obtain a picture, video, or any other media type, becomes redundant. As mentioned above, through the DAM’s media repository, these are accessible at the moment they need them, saving loads of time! At the same time, the production of content turns into a collective space in which interested parties can assist in preparing the content.

A DAM solution enables Marketers to independently create, add, use, and reuse all types of digital assets. Especially the reusage of digital assets turns into a valuable asset because less content is produced over and over again from scratch, and duplicates are eliminated (a good way to leverage data).

Reason 3 – Automation 

By setting up workflows in the solution, sustainable guidelines and policies about the usage and publication of digital assets can be defined and embedded in each file, inducing users to adopt them.
Thus, each department is aware of the corporate branding guidelines, i.e. the official company font and logo used on all documents. Ensuring these guidelines and policies are followed, especially benefits a consistent brand identity!

Guaranteeing the internal compliance also requires the definition of ownership, access limitations and modification rights, which can be realized through the solution’s Rights Management feature.

One of the key facts about a DAM solution concerns the automatic adaptation of media files to the required resolution and specifications of the distribution context – without needing to change the original media file. Marketers are spared the hassle of requesting the same picture in four different resolutions, since the correct resolution is automatically created in the interface.

Summing this up 

Recent research has shown that the implementation of a DAM solution has caused the following percentage increase in productivity levels: “97% have increased productivity by 10% or more.”² Sounds like a safe deal!
Alongside this statement, it creates clear communications streams, facilitates the entire procurement process due to automation, and benefits the entire brand image from a consumer angle due to coherent brand messages.

¹Brandfolder (2016).

²IDC (2016). Proving the Value of Digital Asset Management for Digital Marketers and Creative Teams.

³BusinessWire, January 2016.

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