In this day and age, companies have to include visual elements as part of almost every communication, be it their marketing campaigns, sales presentations or recruitment efforts. For many businesses, teams across multiple departments require quick and efficient access to images, photos, videos and other types of brand and corporate materials that can be incorporated into emails, presentations, blogs and more. However, many organizations have been using the same process and/or technological solution to manage their photo, video and other digital media in their collection for a decade or more. We’d like to share with you 4 common marketing failures and explain how they can be avoided with a digital asset management system (DAM).
1. Inability to find assets
Ability to find the right image at exactly the right time can mean a difference between winning or losing a customer, meeting or blowing up a campaign deadline and issuing a release on time versus running into legal compliance issues. Inability to find the needed assets can result from many things: not having a centralized system to manage digital assets, having an outdated or legacy system with unreliable search or unintuitive structure, overall poor tagging and assigning metadata practices or even access issues where users can’t use the resources they need. Whichever the root cause is, the results can be disastrous for the business and the marketing team gets the blame.
A Real-World Solution
ATOMIC is a great example or relying on their DAM system to win the business with just-in-time search. ATOMIC is a Pennsylvania-based company that builds sets and stage design for a wide variety of live events from music concerts to academic panels. The marketing and sales teams use high-quality images and videos to show prospective clients the value they can provide and discuss aspects of their past work to create a vision for future clients. With a shift in their client base that came from their expansion into non-musical markets, their legacy system was holding teams back from showing off their best work to new clients. ATOMIC needed a solution that never failed to produce the images they needed when they needed them.
One team member said, “The biggest thing we wanted was a cloud-based digital asset management system that had impeccable search capabilities.”
Being able to locate very specific assets at the drop of a hat became a dire need that their old system could not fulfill, but with an updated DAM all employees are benefiting from easy and quick searching. The employees are happy with the seamless workflow around the digital assets, and potential clients benefit because the employees are able to present the best-fit examples of past work.
Taking It Up a Level
Providing a centrally managed repository for corporate digital assets is a great first step. The next step is integrating these assets seamlessly into the company-used applications, removing the steps and placing marketing assets at the employee fingertips. We expand on these idea in our latest eBook – Maximizing Value of Digital Assets.
2. Failure to share images and media effectively
For many organizations action happens in the field, where their customers are, especially if they have global operations with offices located across the world. Marketing’s role is to support every team, regardless of their location with materials that represent their brand, help win new customers or support existing ones. On the other hand, it is employees across the organization that are able to provide the marketing department with the visual resources that fuel social strategies, event follow up and impactful customer stories. Where previously many teams were able to rely on email, as the image and video size increase, volumes of images have increased ten-fold. The real problems occurs when the images get lost or can’t be sent over with the existing technology solutions. Photos from events need to be sent and uploaded while the event is going on and the attendees are still engaged in sharing event photos. Customer video testimonial must be approved and edited in time for the release. Additionally, the latest updated booth design needs to be shared in its highest resolution. Failure to share any of these assets drastically effects marketing team’s performance and can jeopardize thousands of dollars invested into the success of the initiative.
A Real-World Solution
Canadian Blood Services is the organization responsible for collecting and managing blood donations and supply across the nation. Before adopting a cloud-based DAM, Canadian Blood Services experienced a work process break down because staff, employees and volunteers had no way to get photos and videos and use them in their campaigns. For them, the issue had been getting photos into the hands of staff and volunteers who were working tirelessly in the field. The non-profit noticed impact of social sharing of emotional images immediately and realized that they had a huge positive effect on their initiatives. But their 13-year-old system required that someone in the central office search for, download, and then attach every single image or video in an email. These emails ended up with piles of attachments, sometimes files were too large, and staff wasted time rendering new file sizes as well as creating multiple emails for each-and-every person who needed an image. They solved all of this by deploying a cloud-based DAM that would provide instant access to all field-based employees and drive social reach with powerful event images.
Taking Social Sharing to Another Level
Using a DAM helps seamlessly and effectively share media and marketing assets of any size between teams and ensure that no files or assets are lost in transition and there are no delays. Integrating the company’s media library and DAM solution right into the tools, such as Hootsuite Enterprise, enables even more employees to share the brand story with approved images at their fingertips. Take a look at the discussion on the power of visual images and social sharing in Maximizing the Value of Digital Assets Enterprise-Wide.
3. Misused Assets
Sometimes the issue isn’t just a lack of access, but a failure to make it clear to employees which images are the most up-to-date. A major nightmare for marketing teams is for promotional materials to get sent out live with unapproved images or outdated logos. This happens more than you’d think it would, and when it does, the corporate brand suffers.
A Real-World Solution
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is a non-profit who aims to significantly increase funding and eventually find a cure for pancreatic cancer. Their primary pain was similar to Canadian Blood Services, but the manifestation was a little different. While they had never formally adopted a digital asset management system, they had been creating an ad hoc solution on their own system since they came together as a formal organization in 1999. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network stored all of their visual materials on a diverse set of corporate servers and personal hard drives located across multiple locations. The problem arose because their community outreach and fundraising events across the country had grown significantly since the late 90s, yet their system for accessing and using visual materials had not changed. No one had a clear understanding of what images and videos the organization actually had, and even if they did know, they had no way to access them without a request and search process. Multiple times, outdated materials were sent out live because there was no central collection of images and no process to manage that lack of centralization. Once they adopted a DAM, volunteers and staff had access to all the organization’s assets when they needed them, no matter their location. Essentially, this tool has allowed them to streamline their photo, video and other digital asset sharing process both internally and externally.
4. Unknown Assets
Speaking of unknown assets, this is something that happens more than you’d think. Often the problem is that long-standing employees who previously handled the management and distribution of digital assets leave the company and take valuable knowledge of current digital media files and folders as well as their locations with them. Without the knowledge of what media materials currently exist, teams don’t have enough information to make cost-effective decisions on what photos and videos to shoot in the future. Marketing teams are likely to back-track and re-create items that already exist, as well as draw from an incomplete library when creating new marketing and promotional products.
A Real-World Solution
When the Portland Japanese Garden embarked on their $33.5M garden expansion project, they had no idea what they would unearth. The expansion was a major transformation of the garden itself, but the marketing team also used the project as an opportunity to re-evaluate some of their internal process. One of the biggest pains experienced was around photos and videos of the garden. Employees that were no longer with the organization had created a file-naming system in which individual files and folders were given arbitrary names that contained no reference to the content of the actual image or video. Without the person that originally set up the file names and folders, searching for a photo was nearly impossible for the new additions to the marketing team. The team knew they had to completely overhaul the organization structure of all their photos and videos. They chose a DAM as their solution, and once the Japanese Garden began uploading their assets to the DAM, they uncovered hundreds of photos no one even knew existed because they were hidden by unsearchable file and folder names. The process of onboarding their assets to the DAM recovered hundreds of valuable photos, and now they have all of their files located in one central media library.
How to Move Forward and Reach a Successful Solution in Your Organization
All of these organization chose to adopt a DAM because it was one of the only solutions to completely solve these aches and pains. If you are experiencing similar issues or other kinds of failure to manage your digital assets, consider downloading this ebook, Maximizing the Value of Your Digital Assets.
Inside you will learn more about what a DAM can do. The book provides a set of case studies and specific action items that will help you clarify the needs of everyone in your organization. It will help you take stock of what digital assets you have. The book also helps you understand the value of a DAM that integrates with the tools your employees are already using, such as Office 365 and others. Finally, it teaches you how mobilize a team that will choose a DAM vendor that is a perfect fit for your organization.