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The Modern Marketer Needs a Data-First DAM Solution

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In an era of increasing personalization, the key to successful marketing campaigns is effective storytelling that reaches the right audience with the right message at the right moment. If this chemistry between audience, content, and timing is the key to success, creative and marketing professionals have to rely on next-generation asset management technology that can guide them toward the right combinations by replacing guesswork with data, and surrounding content with context.

Traditionally, Digital Asset Management platforms (DAMs) have focused on assisting teams to manage their digital assets and move them from inside the organization to external partners and platforms. The premise is simple: a central repository where brands can store their assets alongside relevant metadata to make everything easy to find — photos and videos, logos and tear sheets, and any other brand collateral that needs to be used and reused.

At its most basic level, a good DAM solution enables marketers to do their jobs more efficiently. More modern DAMs employ AI and machine learning to automatically add relevant tags to assets, so teams can spend less time on tedious tasks like tagging or finding assets and more time on the creative and analytical areas of their jobs. The most advanced DAM platforms, however, go beyond managing and moving assets, to actually measuring their performance in their context of use.


Building a DAM for the Modern Enterprise

Over the past 20 years, the pace of change in technology has exploded, while the DAM category has lagged behind in innovation. Brands have come to expect an exceptional, personalized user experience complete with smart insights from their marketing platforms, and DAM should be no exception. As marketing becomes increasingly fast-paced and data-driven, it’s time for a completely new and different DAM experience — one that can meet the demands of an increasingly tech-savvy industry and understands its pain points.

The first and most important question that a DAM provider should ask is, ‘how does my solution help marketers do their jobs more effectively?’ That is, after all, the central goal of a DAM system: to make it easier and more efficient for creators and marketers to collaborate to design and execute successful campaigns. In other words, if finding an asset within the DAM system and searching through emails to find it take approximately the same amount of time, the system is not making teams more efficient — it’s simply adding a layer of complexity to their martech stack.


Creating a Seamless User Experience

Not all DAM platforms are created equal. One common issue that many enterprises face is the inability to seamlessly integrate their DAM platform with the rest of their marketing ecosystem, which can essentially negate the efficiencies gained by using an asset management solution in the first place. Considering that the code base of many solutions currently on the market is over a decade old (older, in some cases), this is a problem that will only get worse over time as marketers look to incorporate new tools and technologies into their workflows. Consequently, it’s important to find and implement a solution that leverages the use of modern technologies — such as AI/ML, micro-services, graph databases, and serverless environments — that will be able to maintain its speed and flexibility in the years to come.

An organization’s ability to collaborate seamlessly with team members across — and outside of — the organization is also a key indicator of the success of a DAM implementation. Marketing doesn’t happen in a single silo; from research to ideation, to creation to deployment, marketing is interconnected and interdisciplinary. A modern DAM platform should connect the enterprise in such a way that it simplifies the creative life cycle and enables marketers to reduce the friction and time required to launch each new campaign.


Data-Driven Marketers Need Data-Driven Technology

The reality is that many of the DAM solutions available on the market currently have not kept pace with the evolving needs of the increasingly data-driven marketing operation; they’re often expensive, difficult to implement, and don’t deliver the user experience marketers and creative professionals have come to expect from their technology. Seen from this angle, it’s not surprising that many organizations are hesitant to invest heavily in a new system that is not capable of demonstrating a return on investment.

Brands need modern DAM platforms that not only enable them to meet the demands of marketing in the digital age, but also help them to demonstrate — and improve — their ROI. Marketers should expect their DAM platform to provide:


  • A data-first approach to asset management that allows brands to measure and optimize their processes and their content to provide increasingly personalized experiences
  • A seamless user experience that drives adoption and enables teams across the world to collaborate easily
  • Performance and optimization capabilities underpinned by artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • Continuous improvement and delivery to support the demands of a global omnichannel enterprise

At the end of the day, companies implement a DAM solution in order to optimize their processes and improve their ability to tell the compelling stories that are central to a successful marketing operation. This optimization should come not only in the form of improving the speed of creation, but also the strategy behind a given campaign. A system that has access to all of the contextual data that surrounds your every asset should be able to distill those data into insights that inform the creation of future content.

A modern, data-first DAM should act not only as a content database but also as a source of insight to enable marketers to make smarter creative decisions, which in turn allows them to tell stories that matter to their audience.

Want to know what types of data your DAM should be providing? Read our blog on Capturing Data Across the Story Lifecycle or contact us for more information.