2023 KMWorld Media Kit Available Here 

The Interactive Content Management Opportunity

Digital media and Web content are rapidly evolving into an integrated, dynamic and distributed information store, addressing virtually all subject matter. As more daily life migrates online, users are increasingly consuming data through digital sources. And today it is a large and growing group of individuals, rather than professional publishers, that is producing rich-media and Web content in a volume that outstrips all printed material. Obviously, we are creating and consuming information at a feverish pace.

By making content creation accessible and affordable, technology is driving the change in how—and how much—information is produced and consumed. Anyone with a budget PC and some creativity can become a publisher or media outlet using a blog or a wiki. Individuals can sell their goods via eBay to a global market. RSS feeds allow people to tap into any information or news source worldwide. In short, Web 2.0 technologies have raised the expectations of online consumers.

An IDC white paper, "The Expanding Digital Universe," forecasts that information created in 2007 will surpass, for the first time, the available storage capacity. Imagine: in 1996 only 48 million people routinely used the Internet. By 2006, that number was 1.1 billion. By 2010, the Internet could welcome another 500 million users. All of them consuming, and many of them creating, digital content.

As people spend more time online, companies need to shift the way they reach their current audience and potential market. In just two decades, we have changed our communications from text-based content to immersive experiences that stimulate more of our senses and have greater staying power. For businesses to effectively compete for customer mindshare, they need a more streamlined approach to communicating information across all media forms.

Trends in Digital Asset Management
Not surprisingly, the digital asset management (DAM) field is growing rapidly. According to a 2007 Frost & Sullivan report, "An Introduction to the World Digital Asset Management Market," total world DAM system revenues increased 20% in 2006 to approximately $300 million. A similar rate of increase is projected for the next few years, which will push the DAM market across the billion-dollar mark in 2011.

The media and entertainment, and enterprise, markets are the two main contributors to this rapid growth. In media and entertainment, DAM applications are in post-production workflows related to broadcast, IPTV and publishing via print, Web and mobile wireless channels. In the enterprise sector, DAM is proving to be an integral part of marketing and corporate communications processes.

"The User Revolution," a report produced by Piper Jaffray’s Internet Media and Marketing research team, notes that consumers are obtaining an increasing amount of information, content, ideas and entertainment within an online social context. This information exchange is replacing other, more traditional forms (e.g., television, magazines, big Internet sites) and, over the next decade, will account for more than half of all content consumption.

Given the usage trends, DAM systems need to evolve from basic media repositories to ensure they continue to effectively deliver communications through all distribution channels. Future DAM systems will have to:

  • Manage both rich-media and Web assets; that is, a DAM system must include Web content management;
  • Support the creative process; and
  • Analyze how assets are being consumed.

From DAM to Interactive Content Management

Many techniques now used to engage consumers, such as direct mail and print advertising, are losing effectiveness—the intended audience increasingly perceives such messaging as invasive, not persuasive. And as consumers take control of content consumption and branding, businesses are struggling to differentiate their messages from competitors’. Reaching customers is getting more difficult.

Interactive content management (ICM) marries rich media, multichannel distribution, Web 2.0 technologies and content usage analytics for a more compelling and participative communications experience. Interactive content enables a true two-way dialog and ICM provides tools that enrich this communication. Using interactive content, companies can form deeper and more persistent relationships with their customers, partners and employees. In short, ICM provides the means to reach the "engaged audience."

ICM includes technologies for managing the production process and content types that deliver compelling communications. Interactive content includes, for example, Web pages that combine Flash animation and streaming video, PowerPoint presentations with still images and audio clips and marketing collateral rendered for multi-channel distribution. The sheer variety of potential format combinations presents challenges that go beyond traditional digital asset management.

The Four Pillars of ICM
Interactive content must be intelligently managed using streamlined and automated processes that can help meet revenue objectives. An ICM platform built on top of an enterprise content management system can leverage value-added services such as scalability, security, application flexibility and version and process control.

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