The world of technology continues its meteoric rise and shows no sign of slowing down. If you’re working for a technology company, you have much to look forward to — at least if BrandZ’s latest Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brand list is any indication.
That said, working in marketing or brand for a technology company is not without its attendant challenges. Considering how crowded the B2B technology marketplace has become over the past few years, making a technology brand stand out has become an even more difficult task. It doesn’t help when you have tool overload to deal with.
Yes, working in a technology organization, while rewarding, is as complicated as it sounds. It’s a process that involves a lot of moving pieces, a juggling act in which you’re bound to drop the ball at least a few times.
As new trends and innovations come into the fray, digital assets continue to proliferate the web—in different formats, shapes, and sizes. It gets even more difficult when you have to navigate through different markets, different platforms, and multiple asset locations.
Which begs the question: How do you keep up with all these assets?
This is where Digital Asset Management (DAM) comes in to save the day.
Digital Asset Management (DAM) is a solution that helps you search, store, manage, organize, and distribute all of your digital assets using one centralized, secure, and web-based platform.
Essentially, a DAM software does the following:
- Locates files and assets with minimal effort
- Helps you maintain brand consistency
- Maximizes the value of your assets
- Keeps you compliant to licensing terms and requirements
- Helps you keep track of your assets throughout their lifetime
By this point, you should have a pretty good idea of how valuable assets are. Assets help you market and sell your products and services to your target audience. They represent your brand.
However, the creation, management, and distribution of assets can be a logistical nightmare for many companies. That’s hardly a surprise when each team is using a different tool for handling digital assets. If you’ve ever heard someone ask where they can find a logo, a campaign asset, or any other digital media file, you know exactly the type of pain point we’re talking about. With that said, imagine how much more your team will be capable of if that process becomes even 20% more efficient.
But wait… there’s more
There’s more to digital asset management than what the standard definition suggests. In fact, a great DAM solution can help your technology organization in ways that go beyond asset management.
Let’s go over them one by one.
DAM helps you nail your branding strategy
Differentiating on product alone is no longer enough for most companies. Many B2B and B2C technology companies now recognize that building a strong brand is one of the most defensible strategies to maintain buyer relevance and preference. This is why companies like Drift have been able to grow and stand out in crowded markets and become a major part of the discourse.
If you want your marketing efforts to bear fruit, you need to adopt a strong brand strategy. More importantly, you need to be consistent with it. After all, 89% of B2B marketing leaders say branding is integral to an organization’s growth.
It bears noting that branding is not just about your organization, it’s also about your target audience. If you want sustainable and long-term success, you need a brand story that anchors everything your organization does and creates. Your brand’s core values must inform every single piece of asset that you bring into the world. This way, your digital assets are more likely to resonate with both your potential and existing customers, earning their trust and loyalty.
The five essential elements of a great branding strategy are:
- Brand promise
- Brand perception
- Brand values
- Brand voice
- Brand message
With a DAM system in place, you (or your users) can use roles and permissions to ensure that every marketing collateral or brand asset that goes into production satisfies all of the aforementioned branding elements.
By serving as your company’s “single source of truth” for handling assets, a DAM software makes it so much easier for a company to enforce brand guidelines. This creates a consistent brand experience, driving impact and building loyalty among your consumer base.
Pro Tip: If you’re going to pick a DAM software, go for one that comes with a smart embed CDN. A built-in CDN allows you to convert, update, and change digital assets on the fly across the web. This eliminates the need to send requests to partners or third-party organizations every time you need to make changes to an asset. As you can tell, a DAM with a built-in CDN becomes especially beneficial during rebranding campaigns!
DAM provides your organization with a user-friendly environment for handling assets
Great DAM solutions come with a user-friendly user interface, so much so that the act of handling assets—from ideation and creation to distribution and repurposing— becomes a walk in the park.
When you see a button, you know what that button will do. When you drag and drop an audio file into Jerry’s folder, you know it’s going to Jerry’s folder. It’s like entering a room where everything is in their proper place. When you move things around, you know where they’re supposed to go. It’s like being home.
Also, a DAM platform comes with built-in permissions and approval processes to ensure that the right assets are used at the right time and at the right place.
Because relevant assets are stored and prepared in one secure and accessible location, managers and employees can do away with byzantine folder hierarchies. This helps them easily identify assets that are made for a particular use case or goal. Workflows become more efficient and effortless, which can do wonders for productivity, employee engagement, and job satisfaction.
The best thing about having a user-friendly interface is that it can reflect on the product your organization puts out. As branding expert Bernadette Jiwa explains in her book “Story Driven,” company culture has a narrative effect that can influence your organization’s work habits.
DAM bridges the gap between organizational silos
Thanks to a DAM platform’s integration capabilities, you can manage your assets across multiple platforms and application domains in one location—anytime, anywhere, and on any device.
These integrations provide your organization’s digital ecosystem a strong foundation, reinforcing a more collaborative environment between different departments and enterprise units.
After all, your company’s design team can get a lot more work done if they can instantly pull digital media files from your DAM into Adobe Photoshop for editing. In the same vein, your sales teams can sell more software and deliver higher returns if the DAM system is linked with their Salesforce accounts.
No matter how challenging the digital environment becomes, DAM can help your organization stay ahead of the curve.
DAM fits into your existing workflow like a glove … and makes it better
A technology organization can get too comfortable with its current tools and processes.
Usually, implementing a new tool or solution disrupts an organization’s existing workflow, at least temporarily. You believe the new solution will prove beneficial to your company in the long run, but at the same time, you don’t want to miss critical deadlines. Considering that each creative or technical employee might have his or her own preferences in terms of tools and procedures, introducing a new tool can become a source of frustration for them.
Thanks to DAM’s brand integration capabilities and intuitive user interface, a DAM platform can fit into any existing workflow like a glove. A good DAM platform can be implemented almost immediately without changing your tools and work processes. When everything is this straightforward, implementation cycles are shortened dramatically and the company doesn’t have to spend money hiring the services of a managed service provider.
To top it off, having a DAM solution allows you to keep track of each asset’s usage history. Has this logo been used before? And if so, for which campaign? Because you’re able to get a more complete picture of all your assets, it’s easier to eliminate any redundancies in your workflow.
DAM and data analytics go hand-in-hand
Data tells a story about your assets and how your audience interacts with them. However, data without context is as useful as, well, a random set of numbers.
If you want all that data to help you steer your technology company in the right direction, you need to manage, measure, analyze, and interpret them first. You need your data to provide you with actionable insights that will help you identify the right opportunities and strategies as you manage your assets.
As a marketer or creative, it’s in your best interest to ensure that every single asset you produce is making a strong impact on both your target audience and your asset ROI.
And you need data analytics to do all that.
But here lies another challenge: digital media files are created, produced, and sourced from different platforms. Which makes things a bit more complicated.
A DAM solution fixes that problem in one fell swoop because it allows you to measure and track the value of your digital assets while you’re working with those same assets, all in one place.
This puts you in a better position to draw actionable insights that will help you maximize the value of your assets. As such, you can decide which assets deserve to be created, optimized, shared, and repurposed, and which ones need to be removed.
Technology is always evolving, and a technology organization must adapt to the attendant changes in order to survive. Having a strong brand identity helps, but only if you leverage your assets in ways that deliver the most impact. It certainly helps when you have a DAM solution that brings it all together.