Five Criteria to Use when Deciding on a Digital Asset Management Platform (DAM)


The new use-case for DAM: Revenue growth and your customer experience strategy

Traditionally, a centralized digital asset management platform (DAM) has existed to ensure that brands could allow all stakeholders to efficiently access all of their assets. That evolved into external distribution (vendors, agencies, partners, etc), but in today’s digital age, DAMs also exist to unify all channels in your stack, streamline processes, and track metrics that matter.

A lot has changed over the last decade. Both the number of marketing channels and the volume of assets needed to support these channels has multiplied. Digital assets must now be personalized and support the entire customer lifecycle, from awareness and consideration, to purchase and advocacy. Brands also collaborate with more people across time zones and languages. On top of all of that, approval processes have become more complex, involving internal and external stakeholders, with increasingly complicated compliance regulations.

Coming from a world where I was managing global accounts for some of the largest creative agencies in the world, I simply cannot fathom properly managing a brand without a DAM. Just think of all the different stakeholders & touchpoints involved today – employees, partners, websites, social, CRM, inputs for actually making the creative – the list is endless. The ability to manage all of that from one source of truth, while simultaneously enforcing any associated guidelines, is absolutely invaluable.

Does your technology support this rapid advance of the digital world? At their core, modern digital asset management software creates a centralized and efficient way for teams to store, share and manipulate creative assets. They empower teams to deliver the right assets to the appropriate channel, at the optimal time and in a compliant way. The correct DAM platform will help you manage all of these new use-cases, leading to a strong brand experience for all of your customers and, ideally, stronger revenue growth.

Five criteria for evaluating modern DAMs

How do you actually evaluate DAMs to choose which option is right for your company? Before you even think about reviewing all of the platforms on the market, you need to completely audit your tech stack, where your content lives, existing pain points, and iron out all of the people & places where your assets will need to go. Here, the old adage rings particularly true: if you don’t know where you’ve been, you’ll have no idea where you’re going.

Now that you’re ready to dive into which DAM makes the most sense for you, there are five key areas that should drive your evaluations:

Ease of Use: What good is implementing new software if your team doesn’t actually use it? We’ve all lived through disastrous software rollouts, resulting in massive wastes of both time & money. When choosing a DAM platform, ensure the software is intuitive, easy to use and doesn’t require extensive training or implementation cycles. You want everyone (even lowly, technically-averse sales folks like myself) to be able to access your platform and easily search, discover, edit and download assets.

Automation: Automating processes so your team can work smarter and faster is one of the most important use-cases for implementing a DAM — especially in today’s world, where consumers demand a high volume of personalized creative. In a more straightforward sense, you want your end-users to be able to self serve the content they need, in any desired size or format, and to be able to quickly do so without emailing seven different people to get it done. As DAMs have evolved, however – this means being able to connect your assets to every touchpoint of your brand (building creative, email marketing, CRM, automating e-comm processes), and managing all of that from one source of truth. So when you update assets in your DAM, that dynamically pushes that new asset to every place it lives online. Technology, it’s crazy.

Asset Reuse and Personalization: According to Forrester, companies that create personalized experiences see an estimated 19% uplift in sales. Unfortunately, most companies today aren’t set up for success in delivering exceptional, customer-centric experiences. To close the gap between what people want and what brands can deliver, companies must ensure their DAM supports easy customization of creative assets.

Mobile first – Can your DAM easily resize and create assets for mobile sites and applications?

Real-time conversations – Can your DAM streamline and automate your processes so you can deliver constant interaction to your consumers?

Rich media experiences – Can your DAM enable your team to produce multiple creative pieces from a single asset, empowering your brand to create innovative content that includes video, animation and audio?

Digital Rights Management, Compliance, and Brand Governance: Brands have always had the need to enforce proper brand usage, brand guidelines, to police version control when content changes. Now, in addition to all of that, the average brand typically manages licensed assets that all have unique expiration dates, usage rules and copyright laws. For enterprise companies, this can mean thousands or even millions of licensed assets, each with a different set of permissions — and remembering all of this manually is virtually impossible. When looking for a DAM, ensure the platform offers workflow capabilities such as permissioning, expiration and approval features to mitigate risks and avoid any fees associated with misuse of an asset.

Brandfolder has a suite of rights management and permissioning features, including asset availability, collection expiration, asset approvals, request access capabilities, and customizable permissions for each Brandfolder collection.

Analytics and Insights: Lastly, your DAM should also provide insights to close the loop on your marketing cycle, and let your team know if the work they’re producing is actually delivering on its intended value. Does your DAM report on insights that can be translated into tangible action items? Here are a few requirements to consider when choosing a modern DAM: Your DAM platform should show you who is using what assets and at what frequency (and alternatively, which assets aren’t being used and need to be updated). DAMs should also integrate with other customer engagement tools to help you gather insights on engagement rates, best times & channels to post on and impact on company sales. Your DAM should show this data in a way that is easily digestible, allowing your team to optimize future creative and learn about what drives conversion.

So now you’ve done all of this – fully audited your content & processes, ironed out existing pain points & needs, and ran through all of the criteria above. What now? Lucky for you, there are a variety of software directories like G2 Crowd, Capterra and Software Advice entirely based on client reviews. Start there, find which options match up best with your criteria, and line up some demos.

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