Ever since the internet was first introduced to society, we have experienced an ongoing increase in digitalization. Every company and organization are performing more work through digital solutions than ever before. In fact, according to the 2020 FotoWare Digital Asset Management Software (DAM)report, 72% of businesses and organizations reported having a noticeable increase of digital assets from the year before, a trend that makes no signs of slowing down. In fact, with the covid-19 pandemic forcing businesses to close and adapt to home-offices, it is reasonable to argue that we are at a crossroad where companies who are unable to adapt will fall behind those who do. This is not only the case in the B2C market, B2B businesses also need to be agile and innovative in order to meet the increasing expectations of both quality and efficiency, not to mention governmental demands such as being in alignment with the GDPR regulations.
Digital Asset Management as a prominent marketing technology
Having one or two marketing technology solutions is simply not enough anymore. According to Gartner’s 2020 marketing technology report, there was a drastic decrease in companies preferring integrated suites from 2019 to 2020, suggesting that more marketeers are looking at new and independent solutions and are deploying a larger number of these than before. This trend opens a world of possibilities, both for software providers and for marketeers, who receive a greater pool to choose from.
Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems are prominent in this new way of acquiring marketing software. Solutions of this kind are often independent and offer a multitude of possible integrations to fit your marketing department’s needs, giving you flexibility in the ever-evolving market. They also play an essential part in enabling businesses to meet the expectations of an increasingly digital society by offering a system that lets your business effectively store and manage large amounts of files that can scale as the numbers grow.
For many companies, solutions of this sort are crucial to keep track of digital content. B2B businesses have often invested many resources in their sales and marketing teams. They should have an effective system to make sure that their digital assets are easy to find, with all their important information visible to the ones who might use them. By not having such a system, you risk not only losing files, but it might also cause mistakes, some of them with corresponding, unnecessary fines. Not being able to keep track of image rights and the expiration dates of these, for example, can cause financial repercussions for even smaller B2B marketers. In fact, in the FotoWare DAM report, 31% of respondents report copyright issues to be one of their top challenges, which is why any B2B marketer should consider including a DAM system to the martech stack to effectively handle copy- and license rights, for example.
Getting the most out of your company’s DAM
Because most DAM solutions are designed to fit a wide range of companies and scale to their individual needs, it is seldom enough to make the purchase and expect your files to be managed. There needs to be a process of configuration to make the DAM completely customized to the needs of your business. For companies with several departments, a solution can be to organize their DAM with multiples of archives, configured in a way that gives employees access to the ones that are relevant for them while keeping the DAM organized and easy to navigate within.
Another critical function of a DAM is its ability to speed up and simplify mundane tasks using automated workflows. According to the aforementioned report, nearly half of the respondents cited that they see workflow automations as one of the top priorities for 2021, indicating an increasing need for efficient asset management to compete in today’s market. Those who take full advantage of the workflows offered by their DAM will undoubtedly gain a higher ROI than those who do not, for example, by having files with expired copyright marked immediately after their expiration date.
Data about data to quickly realize ROI
A common challenge many marketers face is spending time searching for files within the organization, firstly which platform it is stored on (cloud storage, hard drive, email, chat tools and more) and second, remembering the filename. Attaching data about data, or metadata, to the file, makes this job much easier, and saves time and money from recreating digital content. Metadata can be any keyword relevant to the content of the file, for example, a product shot of a sneaker will have metadata containing the keywords “sneaker” “color” “brand” “season” and possibly more. Metadata is the first step to realize the value a DAM system offers. Therefore, we recommend everyone who has invested in a DAM to spend some time evaluating their metadata use. If you do a lot of graphic design in your department, it might be useful to create a predefined list – or ‘taxonomy’ that we like to call it – with colors, so you can tag your pictures with their most prominent colors and sort them thereafter. Or, if your department is giving a lot of presentations, it might be important to have all pictures tagged with what target group they represent.
Smart use of metadata is essential to effectively find the correct images, as well as image syndication. However, according to the FotoWare report, many DAM users find metadata helpful in other aspects of asset management as well, such as archiving and providing historical information (31%) and image rights management (30%).
Scale to your needs
No matter if you have a DAM already or if you plan on investing in it, any B2B company must be able to scale for growth. By having a DAM and using it correctly, you facilitate any form of escalation either it is to work more effectively with marketing campaigns, expanding into new markets or taking more control over your brand management and thus, presence.
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