healthy bowl of food

Why DAM is Critical in the Food & Beverage Industry

This blog post was originally posted in January 2017 and has been updated.

Whether it’s going out to a nice restaurant, grabbing lunch to-go from a coffee shop or popping through a drive-thru on a road trip, everybody needs to eat. This is why, from a marketing perspective, the food & beverage sector is so unique in that it appeals to almost every kind of consumer. From professionally shot and styled food photos for restaurant websites, well-designed menu boards or on-the-fly social media posts, regularly distributed visual content is key for food & beverage marketers.

After all, don’t they say we eat with our eyes first?

burgerSince we can’t smell, taste or touch food through traditional advertising, marketers in the food & beverage sector have an unusually tough job trying to create the experience through visual content. This fact has made high-quality photo and video an integral part of the industry’s marketing toolkit, as it inspires customers’ desires to purchase and consume their products.

Once that content is created, a new issue arises: how do you manage it? As businesses find they need to generate so much visual content to stay competitive, they’ve become bogged down with an ever-growing collection of photos, videos, and other digital branding assets. Food & beverage organizations are in need of an effective way to store, manage and distribute those assets - this is exactly where a digital asset management (DAM) system can help.

What is Digital Asset Management?

Digital asset management (DAM) systems help food and beverage companies manage, organize, share, and distribute digital assets all from within one central library. It improves productivity and increases the ROI of content and creative programs. Additionally, DAM helps leading companies of the food and beverage industry improve their creative production process and efficiently manage and distribute product to their customers.

Food and beverage companies that are currently not using a DAM struggle with similar issues:

  • Ensuring only on-brand and up-to-date material is used across digital & traditional channels and store fronts;
  • Managing product photos and videos for in-progress and final creative projects;
  • Empowering partners, departments and franchises with logos and product resources they need to represent the brand; and
  • Streamlining content creation across global offices, agencies, and partners.

6 Critical Features of a DAM

If you’re not yet convinced that DAM is the total package for companies in the food and beverage industry searching for the perfect solution, here are 6 critical features of DAM that we know will help.

  1. Organization: Manage content in a single location using a multi-library structure.
  2. Enhanced Search: Easily find digital assets by searching for product, keywords, categories, AI-tags and more.
  3. Accessibility: Enable partners and teams with self-serve access to a library of current and past projects.
  4. Distribution: Preview and share collections of assets, regardless of file size or type.
  5. Uploading: Enable photographers, videographers, and other contractors to upload files from anywhere.
  6. Security: Secure marketing collateral with enterprise-level security and asset recovery.

Benefits of a DAM to Food & Beverage Companies

A DAM can help food & beverage companies:

  • Improve asset discoverability by enhancing assets with categories, metadata, and artificial intelligence.
  • pancake stackEnsure brand consistency by enabling all locations and stakeholders with on-brand and up-to-date assets.
  • Reduce administrative tasks by allowing the marketing and design team to focus on high-value tasks, instead of sharing assets.
  • Improve access security by ensuring each user only has access to assets relevant to their role or location (and is unable to delete assets).
  • Maximize asset value by ensuring all photoshoots, b-roll video and more are readily available and can be re-purposed.
  • Improve time-to-market with faster access to campaign materials.
  • Preserve brand history with a secure archive of all campaigns, product assets, marketing material and more.

A DAM can be especially helpful for franchise companies, which are often working with thousands of visual assets and campaigns that need to be distributed to their franchisees to ensure brand consistency across the board. Read more about DAM for franchises here.

What Size of Business Can Benefit from a DAM?

The food & beverage industry has a diverse range of businesses; large, small, and everything in between. While cloud-based DAM solutions are likely the best option for mid-sized and large organizations, this option can sometimes be too expansive and costly for small operations.

Smaller businesses face challenges unique to them, regarding managing photo and video collections. Many of these companies are still creating and storing more assets than they can realistically handle but have smaller teams managing the process and lower data limits. For these kinds of businesses, an online project management solution, like Wrike can be a great starting point for getting organized. It has a free option perfect for independent restaurants, food trucks, or pop-up restaurants. This allows you to gain project management capabilities while taking advantage of the basic asset library that comes with a Wrike subscription.

Once you’ve started, you can continually monitor your storage and user requirements and eventually upgrade to an enterprise-level DAM system when the time is right. Even better – some integrate directly with Wrike, so you can continue using your existing project management system.

Use Case: How A&W Food Services Handles DAM

A&W opened its first Canadian location in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in 1956. Since then, the hamburger chain has grown to over 1,000 locations across the country, the second largest in Canada. The company is also one of Canada’s leading franchisors serving more than 133 million customers every year!

a&w rootbeerA&W experienced a multitude of challenges dealing with their branded assets before implementing a DAM as their internal library was extremely hard to manage. Building on-brand marketing campaigns for multiple locations to access was a big struggle without an organized, easily accessible home for their digital assets.

Once selecting a DAM solution, A&W could import all their assets into one trusted, central library. Using metadata, their assets became easily searchable for those who needed them. Through user-based permission settings and branded portals, users only have to log in and they immediately have access to everything they need—always up to date, always on-brand. Now, cross-country marketing campaigns are easy to execute, and no one is scrambling to find assets in various locations.

Get Ahead with a DAM

Whether you need a full-service enterprise DAM solution or a less-intensive cloud-based solution, effectively managing the digital assets for your food & beverage operation will lead to more strategic marketing choices.

Marketing food & beverage experiences rely on high-quality visual assets used in the right channels, reaching the right target audiences. Having a well-organized library with easy company-wide access to these assets is an important part of executing marketing campaigns effectively. Implementing a DAM helps not only to organize your assets but makes them easily searchable, and secure.

When you’re selling food and beverages, you're not just selling a consumable product, you’re selling an experience...and DAM helps you to do just that.

Ready to Get Started?

MediaValet makes it easy to manage your growing digital asset library and enables everyone in your organization to access what they need, without confusion. Get ready for on-brand, effective marketing campaigns and check out our DAM demo today!

MediaValet is a leader in cloud-based digital asset management that helps organizations manage, organize and share their digital assets, improving productivity and increasing ROI. See MediaValet in action today.