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Bettina Berntsen: Why marketers must automate digital asset management

Written by Bettina Berntsen, CMO of FotoWare

Data is the heart of digital business strategies in the 21st century. Smart companies need to know how to automate the management of their digital assets in order to take full advantage of their images, videos and other collateral.

It is essential that digital resources are managed via Digital Asset Management. Astute executives are finding new ways to explore the benefits of automation to strengthen their Digital Asset Management strategies.

The intersection between data and Digital Asset Management

The demand for digital solutions has never been higher. Big data has played a key role in driving the future of this growing niche.

While Gartner reported on healthy, consistent growth in companies using content operation technology between 2017 to 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the technological development process to speed up, and moved entire industries towards more digital business models[1]. Businesses recognise that data is a key organisational asset and are using it accordingly.

Businesses have adjusted to facilitate easier remote working conditions, including investing in appropriate technologies, virtual collaboration tools and software-supporting dynamic work locations, to succeed. The pandemic has pushed consumers towards online channels, with a global average of 58% of customer interactions being partially or fully digital as of July 2020. This is a significant increase compared to 36% reported in December 2019.

With this rapid change in retail and work habits, there will undoubtedly be an increase in digital content, and the need for efficient management of it. Digital Asset Management (DAM) software is, to many businesses, absolutely necessary in keeping control of content and marketing material. However, while most marketing leaders either already have access to this technology or plan on acquiring it, many of them have not yet realised its full potential.

The potential of DAM

Digital Asset Management – or DAM – is a solution that enables businesses and organisations to efficiently store, manage, find and share their digital content from a singular central hub. However, how this software is deployed varies, which can result in marketing teams experiencing drastic differences in their ability to improve efficiency and overall performance.

If implemented correctly, DAM software has the potential to help your team locate the right files with the attached information quickly, automate several time-consuming tasks, increase the efficiency of other programs and collaborate with stakeholders.

DAM and SaaS

Some marketers use their DAM software simply to keep their files organised. However, most DAM providers offer the possibility of storing content in the cloud, and not taking advantage of this feature could means anyone responsible for images, videos, PDFs or other digital assets could be missing out on an excellent opportunity to take control, while providing full remote access.

While on-premise solutions work fine, many marketers will notice an overall increase in efficiency as a result of choosing a Software as a Service (SaaS). There are several reasons for this. For instance, its ability to scale and update without manual work. Also, with the rise of remote working habits, storing assets in the cloud makes working with content easier, regardless of where team members are or what devices they are using.

A lot of time and effort can be saved by implementing automated workflows. From executing approval processes to keeping track of license expiration dates, implementing workflows is necessary to make the most of digital investments.

DAM as a collaboration tool

For those simply using the DAM as a storage unit with metadata, teams will be blind to their DAM’s potential. DAM makes an excellent collaboration tool within your team, across departments, and even when working with third-parties. By using comments and annotations, teams can easily communicate on content[2], and by automating approval processes,  a lot of time related to internal communication can be saved.

For example, using DAM to provide automatic notifications when a licensed photo expires or when consent to use an image or several images has been withdrawn. Additionally, DAM is a great tool to use for sharing files with third-parties or the public. For instance, the White House Historical Association enabled a digital library, locating file-links in dynamic albums that are easily shared externally.

Key integrations

High performing brands tend to favour independent software solutions instead of single-vendor suite integrations. Being bound to only a handful of vendors can reduce flexibility, and investing in independent solutions means your team can get the exact functions you need. However, integration between the different solutions is key for efficient work. This goes for DAM software as well. When selecting a provider consider the APIs they offer, and look for integration to popular programmes such as Adobe CC and Microsoft Office.

The future of your DAM software hinges on  taking advantage of its uses

Data is evolving the nature of business in numerous ways. One of the biggest changes is down to the evolution of digital asset management technology.

To keep pace with the drastically changing market and the rise in online content, every marketing team should be utilizing the full extent of their DAM software. By evaluating current DAM software usage, marketers and IT teams can identify areas to further streamline content management and automate notifications. Be it in terms of storage, workflows, collaboration, or integrations, it is essential to find business areas that DAM can help improve that are not already benefiting from it, then to make adjustments so that DAM software can be used throughout the entire digital content lifecycle, to improve efficiency.