The Future of DAM – 10 Ways Digital Asset Management is Evolving

Digital asset management (DAM) best practices continue to improve over time. As enterprises demand more effective ways to store and leverage assets, the discipline is required to move forward into a more integrated, comprehensive whole.

The future of DAM software is bright. Let’s take a look at 10 of the top ways that the industry is evolving.

1) Not Just For Marketers Anymore

The customer experience is now a problem for the entire company, not just the marketing department. Cross departmental use of images and other content demand that a wider variety of business users learn the ins and outs of content distribution, utility and organization. There is a need for both internal and external use in the following ways, among others –

1) The legal team must access content to ensure that the company remains within the auspices of public regulations as well as internal corporate guidelines. This is especially important in highly regulated fields such as pharma/healthcare or finance.

2) The sales team needs access to digital content to distribute directly to prospects instead of needlessly extending the sales funnel.

3) Project management teams need access to pinpoint exactly where the project is within its lifecycle. Teams will sometimes send assets directly to customers as well as to other team members.

4) Customer success teams work up close and personal with marketing to ensure the content reflects customer feedback and addresses all concerns on the marketing message, product positioning, and other important things.

5) HR teams have been dealing with an overload of content such as recruitment videos that must be consistently created, updated and accessed. The right DAM can help HR with shared services collaboration, centralized access to recruitment marketing content and collateral. It can also help to oversee employee performance. As the newest hub of data stewards, HR’s approach to content management can have a huge impact on the ability of the entire company to respond to changes in the business strategy.

2) Main Pillar of MarTech Suite

In previous business generations, DAM has been somewhat esoteric and segmented away from mainstream operations of most companies. Specialists handled the heavy lifting. However, DAMs are increasingly becoming one of the pillars of the Martech suite. As such, it is beginning to fit into the bigger picture of consumer-centric digital marketing. Some experts refer to DAM as the foundational element of the marketing technology stack because it is where the content is stored.

3) Digital Experience Management

DAMs will soon morph into a comprehensive contextual experience instead of just a place to store, access, manage, organize and distribute content. Content will naturally become more dynamic as technologies including machine learning, AI, predictive analytics and content automation become more advanced and mainstream. Content will also have the ability to move through omnichannel delivery, adapt in a responsive way to various devices, and become more personalized to each user. DAMs will also provide content insight through links to data and analytics. Eventually, the DAM may grow into a more general Digital Experience Management system (DX Platform) and expand its focus into the overall digital management experience of the user.

4) Full Feature

DAMs are becoming full featured and wholly integrated content hubs incorporating vast integrations and APIs. These features include design software, project management and marketing automation tools, among others. Consumers are beginning to expect additions such as image/facial recognition, video speech-to-text, predictive analytics, and advanced security features.

5) Configuration More Than Customization

The modern concept of a DAM is no longer the stand-alone customization. Today’s products are much more configurable and flexible, able to integrate more quickly with third party applications. This does not mean a lack of customization – it simply means that personalized customization is needed less because the DAM already works well within a company infrastructure.

6) Brand Automation

Brand management activities are now streamlined through automation features informed by the core principles of DAM. With brand automation, data scientists can better ensure the information exchange between producer and end user occurs in a precise way. Today’s branding tools have the ability to brand from end to end, connected through a centralized hub. This dramatically improves the process of digital file creation, organization and utility. Automation also helps companies find their actionable items more quickly.

7) AI

Image recognition, facial recognition, contextual and automated metadata and voice/personal assistants all owe their existence to the proliferation of AI technology. Additionally, companies now have the ability to utilize a predictive workflow to proactively communicate with prospects based on behavioral trends.

AI is set to be one of the definitive evolutions of the future of digital asset management. Many of the administrative duties of the marketer will be taken over by AI, freeing creatives to focus on more creative things. For instance, AI now has the capacity to accurately tag a majority of the images in APIs including Google Cloud Vision.

8) Data-Focused

DAMs will soon need to encompass full content and asset reporting. If similar content is being used in other places across the Internet, how does a company find the value add in the next piece? How are business units utilizing assets? Asset/content use analytics will increasingly be more of a bi-metric as well.

As data becomes more precise, it will also reveal more of itself more quickly to business people. Asset ROI will become a more quantitative discipline, which will improve DAM adoption across the board. Companies will have the ability to become more focused on data without a need to scale up expenses for analytics.

9) Graph Database

Companies will be able to breeze through analytics using graph databases. Because everyone across the company will need the ability to translate the results of DAM analytics, visualizing the process will only help those outside of the marketing department.

A graph database allows a company to see the relationships between data as well as the data itself. This is transformative in terms of how a DAM is used. Businesses like KPMG, Apple and Square that can see the writing between the lines have the ability to move ahead of their competition using proactive marketing. It also allows a company to improve its KPIs more quickly.

10) Partnerships

Digital asset management vendors are outsourcing to specialized third parties to enhance their offerings without bloat in the internal budget or an overload of manpower focused in one direction.

Improving the relationships between data through a DAM system has the ability to improve the relationships between companies. With its big data in context, a company can explore its industry relations with a fuller knowledge of its own place in the market. The result is better partnerships with a more specific purpose. Because DAM systems are also more inclusive of each other, two companies do not have to run the same infrastructure in order to be compatible.

With the evolution of digital asset management comes the evolution of the entire digital business ecosystem. Companies that hope to improve their key metrics in the future will need to adapt to the expanding nature of the technology. Those who do can expect a bright future, complete with more cost effective processes and higher marketing ROIs.

Want to learn more about how you could leverage the power of a Digital Asset Management system? Download our white paper, “5 Ways Digital Asset Management Helps Your Teams Meet Deadlines Efficiently.”

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