Why DAM is critical to global brands (heck every brand)

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Getting your brand story straight, means getting the right brand content, to the right people, in the right format, in the right language, with the correct nuance for each market, at the right time.

It’s always been challenging, and with the soaring demand for content, it’s more time consuming than ever.

Enter DAM, aka Digital Asset Management.

Get your (brand) story straight with a DAM

Brands use content to tell their story across many touch points, and channels.

If you have videos, images, and other content stored in social media accounts, USB drives, online storage services, desktops, laptops or buried deep inside shared network drives, how will your dispersed teams or partners be able to find them? Let alone know which is the correct version – or even legally safe – to use? 

A DAM provides a single source of truth for all your content. 

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A DAM is essentially a content search engine, that will enable your users to not only find content assets, but also surface rights information, and usage rules, so that they can quickly complete their particular task, without having to wait for someone in the Marketing, or Legal team to respond to a request. 

This single source of truth, combined with self-service access, enables your storytellers, to tell the same consistent story using an inventory of curated and approved content assets.

Avoid stuff-ups

The fact is - that it’s no longer just your marketing team telling your brand story.

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Today there is a myriad of people, including your internal marketing team and employees, your customers, your suppliers, and the media sharing your brand story in designs, on social media, blog posts and in traditional media.

You don’t have direct control, but you can influence the story that is told by ensuring that you provide access to free high quality authentic and curated content. A DAM with easy self-service access can help you do just that, provided you link to it on your websites, and business communications, and promote it to your potential storytellers.

A good DAM will be very easy and fast to access, directing users to the right content for their needs, include information like terms of use and brand guidelines, and make the discovery and access to that content as easy as possible. 

Failure to do that will mean that storytellers will resort to (heavens forbid), a google image search, or referencing to some uninformed social media influencer or disgruntled customers. Who knows what story they could end up sharing?

A good DAM can also ensure that all the legalities and usage limitations are clearly and concisely declared and signed off by users, reducing risk of commercial and legal missteps.

Feed the beast

Content is absolutely critical to modern marketing, and a DAM is (or should be) a vital cog in your content marketing machine.

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Marketing has changed a lot over the years. In the past the advertising, or creative agency managed all your ads and marketing content, and charged commissions on placement or print runs.Today the majority of marketing activity has gone in-house and instead of publishing content once a month, or once a quarter, it’s now every single day on social media, in blog posts and email marketing.

The advent of the internet, social media and content marketing, has created a beast that’s hungry for fresh content. Billions of consumers dragging their thumbs across media feeds looking for the next content hit.

Billions of listicles, articles, images, videos, and posts competing for Google’s SEO juice and social media audience’s attention.As a result, the demand for content has exploded, and there are literally 100x more people writing, posting and publishing content now.It’s pretty hard to publish content when you can’t find it, or you don’t know whether you can use it. 

To compete, you’ll need to join the fray. Which means:

  • you’ll need to find, acquire, create and manage a lot of content; 

  • you’ll need a lot (hundreds) of visuals (images and video);

  • you’ll need quality content (not just quantity), which means curating it all, so that it remains on-brand and approved for use;

  • you’ll want to avoid stock image content (if you can), in favour of your own authentic content;

  • you’ll need to share/distribute it to your storytellers, partners, resellers, customers and the media;

  • you’ll need to be publishing it, everywhere it makes sense and as often as possible;

  • you should be regurgitating/republishing older content (because a lot of your audience won’t have seen it before);

  • you’ll need to respond to requests for content in lickity-split time (e.g. can you send me your logo by my deadline at 4pm?).

    A DAM helps with all of this, and will save your marketing team hundreds of hours every year. 

Global and Local

Most DAM’s these days are cloud based, and naturally global in reach.

Typically a DAM can be accessed by anyone, anywhere on the planet at any time, in any timezone.

However the reality is that for global brands, there are many markets, languages and cultures. Content in English aimed at a US middle class audience may not be appropriate for an office worker in Dehli, an Engineer in Perth, or a tourist in Paris.

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A DAM can enable globally dispersed teams, or often these days contracted agencies that specialise in localising advertising and marketing content, to operate locally and autonomously in their own time-zone, without the overhead and back and forth with HQ.

That localised content can be contributed back into the DAM for re-distribution or analysis. Providing a single source of truth for the brand, no matter the locale.

Support remote workers, working remotely

So many of us are working remotely these days, from <em>work-from-home</em> mandates due to the Covid-19 pandemic, to entirely new ways of living and flexible working. Nomadic life appeal to anyone?

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A modern cloud based DAM (most are cloud based) provides remote workers, teams and partners with instant online access to the content assets they need to get their work done. It’s a digital world we live in and business now operates at the speed of light.

There’s no need to visit HQ or get disks sent by courier when you have a DAM on the job. Cloud DAM’s typically support self-service access, enabling efficient asynchronous workflows to actually work, asynchronously. No more 4am calls, or getting up in the night to answer an urgent request from the other side of the planet (although, technically with a cloud based DAM, you can now do it in your pyjamas).

It’s also safe and secure. In fact content assets stored in most cloud based DAMs would be safer and more secure than your average office network or laptop, simply due to that fact that SaaS companies or cloud services spend a huge amount of time on securing their services.

Make better decisions with data

We live in a data rich world and more and more, especially in marketing; we are looking to data to help us make good decisions.!

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When was the last time you had great data from your creatives, or your content team?A DAM not only serves up content to user, it typically tracks every interaction, every download and provide insights into what content is popular, what is being used and what’s performing.  Furthermore, a good DAM will generate first-party data that’s not reliant on third parties, that you can safely use.Armed with these insights you can find the gaps, double down on the heroes, and make better content investments going forward.

What next

In DAM industry circles there is much talk of DAM 3.0 (p.s. it’s nothing to do with Web 3.0).

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DAM like most technologies, is continuously evolving from what was originally a fancy shared file store, to become the centre of a company’s content marketing activity; a content marketing platform that includes file storage, metadata database, search engine, a CMS for written content, and integration with other business applications.

  • DAMs are almost entirely cloud based now, enabling anytime, anywhere access;
  • DAMs are starting to incorporate headless CMS features like written/editable content in the form of press releases, copy, blog posts and providing tools to embed that content in 3rd party websites;
  • A DAM can push out content via API’s into other systems;
  • A DAM can automate publishing to social media channels;
  • a DAM can power a self-service brand portal or in fact a whole website, <em>or even multiple websites;</em>
  • A DAM can be integrated with other business applications to improve management of content, (single source of truth).
Screenshot of illustration Assets in the Admin console

Brandkit® is a modern DAM with Brand Portal super powers, and has just been rebuilt from the ground up for 2023. Brandkit includes: a headless CMS, advanced Asset embedding, improved tracking and insights, new 2-way asset syndication between accounts, new integrations with social media, storage services and more. If you are doing “Content Marketing” at any sort of scale, a DAM is a must have in the modern era.https://www.brandkit.io is decent choice for a modern DAM software as a service that embraces DAM 3.0.

Happy Branding :)

Illustrations courtesy of Streamline

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Why DAM is critical to global brands (heck every brand)

Getting the right brand content, to the right people, in the right format, in the right language, with the correct nuance for each market, at the right time, has always been challenging. With the soaring demand for content it’s more challenging and time consuming than ever. Enter DAM.

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Statistics above last updated 1 March 2024