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Digital asset management turns the corner

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Integrating a content and DAM system with an e-commerce platform allows options such as themed product groupings and custom navigation. Products also can be tagged with marketing defined metadata, allowing users to conduct searches that go beyond basic product categories and out-of-the-box product descriptions. For example, marketers and merchandisers can tag products with keywords that are related to specific holidays, such as Valentine’s Day, allowing shoppers to search for “romantic gifts.” CoreMedia LiveContext also integrates with the IBM Marketing Cloud, so branded content and product details can be seamlessly integrated with marketing e-mails.

Because customer information is shared across the various systems, the entire customer experience can be personalized. “CoreMedia LiveContext provides an experience that is content rich and consistent across channels,” Heise adds. “That improves the overall user experience and supports sustained growth.”

Managing brand assets

One of the most compelling drivers that is fueling the DAM market is the need to manage brand assets in an effective and timely manner. “Brands have millions of assets to handle, but they often lack an automation solution to help them,” says Chris Hall, CEO of Bynder. “Marketing is spending a lot of time doing administrative tasks to manage the assets rather than focusing on strategic activities.”

Bynder was introduced just a few years ago, which might seem surprising given the already crowded DAM market. However, Hall saw an opportunity to provide a natively cloud-based, easy-to-use solution that could manage a demanding workflow and scale to enterprise levels. “Many steps are required to move an asset from conception to distribution, including copyright and legal reviews, content editing and packaging specs. Bynder can handle that workflow as well as translating into 20 languages,” Hall says.

The philosophy behind Bynder was also to make it as user friendly as are today’s consumer applications. “People don’t want to take on an application that is hard to use,” Hall explains. “We put a lot of thought into the user interface. If you can use Google or Facebook, you can use Bynder.” Millennials are particularly resistant to clunky interfaces, having grown up with iPhones and other interfaces designed for frictionless functionality. This ease of use combined with the cloud means that companies can be up and running with Bynder quickly.

Among the verticals that are showing uptake with the product are fashion and healthcare. “Fashion brands in particular can feel the pain of poor asset management because their core is their brand, and all their imagery is online,” Hall says. “Their imagery needs to show up in many places such as social channels, so it must be readily available.” Healthcare companies have a lot of product information in image form, and it is often closely guarded so it requires a well-controlled workflow. “We recently received HIPAA certification, so we can manage information in a way that meets privacy requirements,” Hall says.

DAM reaches out

As further evidence of the shift of DAM toward work processes, Widen Enterprises introduced a connector to Salesforce in July. Intended to help sales staff find and use the digital assets they need, the integration places a search bar within the Salesforce interface that allows users to search the Widen Collective DAM from within their primary application. The assets can then be used to build customer relationships through education and promotion.

The links found during the search process go from Salesforce to the Widen Collective DAM and are therefore dynamic; as content is updated in Widen Collective, the searches remain current. A history of the assets accessed is maintained, and sales staff can analyze the relationships between customer views and sales activity. In June, Widen introduced Quick Insights, an analytics tool to enable marketers to measure usage and engagement for digital assets, part of a growing trend to include metrics in DAM systems.

With the increase in use of rich media for marketing, e-commerce, education and many other purposes, as well as continued competition for consumers’ attention, the need for management of digital media shows no sign of abating. It is not overstating the case to say there has been a paradigm shift that will continue to support this market for the foreseeable future.

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