Hypertrophy might be the first word that springs to mind when we think of the digital content market.
This uncontrolled data mountain needs to be managed and categorized, which is why DAM (Digital Asset Management) solutions have become more popular, to the extent that the Henry Stewart Conference named 2018 “the year of DAM.” DAM has become a bona fide part of the Martech stack that businesses must have if they are to offer a customer experience that meets expectations.
Looking at new generation DAMs
Tony Byrne, founder of Real Story Group, has identified several trends in the world of DAM.
From content “archive” to marketing enabler.
Integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) functionality, such as machine learning, speech-to-text, and image recognition, into DAM means an organization’s many digital resources can be tagged automatically, freeing users from having to do it manually.
Tagging is critical when you want to find something quickly, it therefore optimizes the workflow by simplifying the search and reuse process.
Metadata = Context = Meaning = Value
Metadata is basically contextual information about the content. Knowing more about the context the data originated from and in which the content “moves” gives it a meaning and hence also value. The fewer variables we have about how content is used, the less able we are to interpret and use it correctly. Many businesses have still not realized this.
In actual fact, the only way of knowing the context of our digital resources is through metadata and such a delicate task should be assigned to someone with in-depth knowledge of the business’s broader objectives.
If we want there to be less noise and to retrieve only the most pertinent responses, a taxonomy (dictionary of tags) that is specific to the requirements of a given business can be uploaded to AI engines. This process can be perfected over time.
The advantages of applying AI to DAM can be summed up as follows:
- less time needed to look for resources and resultant optimization of work processes
A favorite AI function is visual recognition APIs that save huge amounts of time in the coding of multimedia files. This is remarkable when you consider how Marketing is increasingly reliant on visual messages (videos, images, etc).
- centralized access to files after they have been rationalized by AI, and resultant ease of management.
- easier to reuse digital content instead of having to continually create new content.
- the burden of tagging removed from the shoulders of content creators, freeing them to concentrate on developing deeper engagement
- real-time information on customer interests based on how they use content (we will say more about this later).
Tighter integration between Creative/IT/Marketing teams
Many organizations end up with what can only be called data “silos”; this happens when departments within the same organization do not easily share information with other divisions, causing a situation in which the business’s long-term objectives are displaced by the individual priorities of each division and the overall shared vision lost.
A rationalized, shared archive where the value of each resource is captured through metadata and the contents can be structured into folder “trees” enables tighter integration between Creative, IT and Marketing teams, and the resultant output, namely communication with customers, is “reinforced” insomuch as it consistent and contains nothing that might jar.
Increasing adoption of agile methodologies
There is an increasing trend towards the building of a single DAM environment from which to share and oversee information. The resulting ability to send or retrieve data quickly greatly facilitates smart working methodologies.
The key word is therefore interoperability: DAM is moving away from being a “static” content archive to becoming a centralized system containing digital resources from many different sources and making them available or forwarding them to other people through various connected systems.
These developments were made possible through the emergence of the cloud. New generation DAMs with flexible, scalable and modular cloud architecture are the future. They easily adapt to both business and customer requirements and have the benefit of being pay per use.
- Emerging Consensus on Metrics
Everybody wants more metrics. Here are the ones we think are most important:
- report repository, or tracking actions performed on resources and who made them. This makes Identity Management and Platform Audit essential functions, which must be built into every DAM.
- content performance reports.
Applying Artificial Intelligence to content in a DAM platform, as THRON did (see module on Content Intelligence!) means content performance can be measured across multiple channels and insights gained into how said content is influencing conversion rates and what results it is generating. This information is essential for Digital Marketing teams who need to understand which content is performing better.
According to Forrester, future DAM vendors will not only archive and manage digital resources; they will also integrate the customer experience. THRON is already in tune with the above trends (automatic categorization by AI engines, Identity Management, Platform Audit, Integrated Delivery, cloud architecture, interoperability, metrics etc.) and offers many more functions, such as Content Intelligence.
Using first-part data collected through CI, THRON helps brands to improve how they communicate with their audience in order to get the right messages to the right people and increase engagement and conversion rates.