If you had two minutes to locate the perfect brand image for your company’s Instagram feed, relating to a breaking story, could you do it? Jake Athey, Marketing & Customer Experience, VP, Widen, looks at how digital asset management is a valuable tool for marketers and the brands that are getting it right.
At this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, Mastercard’s Marketing and Communications Officer, Raja Rajamannar, suggested that our attention spans are now only eight seconds long – less than that of a goldfish! Combine our shrinking attention spans with the sheer amount of content we digest daily via social media, newsfeeds and mobile apps, and it’s no wonder that marketing in today’s digital economy has become a delicate blend of science and art.
One way marketers can cut through the noise of competition and grab consumers’ attention is personalisation. A popular marketing strategy, personalisation is by no means a new concept and is well-regarded as common practise. In fact, Salesforce found that 62% of consumers now expect companies to send personalised offers or discounts based on items they’ve already purchased. What’s more, personalised marketing delivers five to eight times the ROI on marketing spend, and can lift sales by over 10%, according to global consulting firm McKinsey & Company.
While personalisation is clearly a win-win for both consumer and brand, brands are arguably only now just realising its full potential. And with technological innovation creating a whole new world of customer touchpoints and potential channels – think AR, VR, and everything in between – personalising content for each individual customer can become a logistical and creative nightmare without a content management strategy in place.
Here we explore the challenges associated with delivering personalisation in the digital age, and how digital asset management (DAM) can help brands deliver impactful personalisation, at scale and consistently – a marketing utopia.
The brands getting it right
Before we start exploring the challenges, let’s look at the brands that are getting it right. Take any one of Forbes’ top 50 most valuable brands in the world: Coca-Cola, Nike, Apple, Toyota. Every time one of these companies launches a new product line or service, targets a new market, or even adopts a new channel with which to engage its audience, it needs new digital assets. Whether it’s pictures of SUVs, Nike’s infamous ‘swoosh’ logo, or promotional videos of the latest iPhone, a company’s digital assets are integral to its storytelling. And the average business has thousands – if not millions – of assets to contend with.
If a customer is browsing Instagram, engaging with an online chatbot from abroad, or opening a personalised, promotional email, the content they see is more likely to be engaged with if it is relevant to their preferences and past purchase behaviours. It is therefore important that, if a brand decides to experiment with new touchpoints or technology, this isn’t to the detriment of a consistent, harmonious brand experience, nor the relevancy of the content the customer sees. Assets needs to be adapted to the channel, local market, and individual.
A digital asset challenge
You have two minutes to locate your company’s logo. Can you do it? Now imagine you have just two minutes to locate a suitable picture for your company’s Instagram feed. Nike, as an example, has posted over 12,000 images (to date) across its 15 Instagram accounts. That means there are at least 12,000 digital assets – approved for Instagram – stored and needing to be managed, for Nike.
In addition to this, what happens if your marketing department is dispersed? Sometimes companies are made up of outsourced teams and freelancers, so insight into available, approved pictures and where to find them, is not always clear. For example, Coca-Cola’s marketing teams need a new picture for a promotional email, but they need to ensure they use the right image: the variety – is it Diet Coke? The language of the ingredients – which market is the advert targeting? The size of the bottle – or is it a can? Finding the right image at the right time can often be very challenging and time consuming.
A DAM good strategy
So, what is the solution for brands and businesses looking to increase their personalisation tactics, expand their product offering, or launch a new customer touchpoint? And what if a brand wants to give access to approved images and other content to a reseller, or a new regional marketing team working from a satellite office?
What brands need is a single, centralised hub which can be easily accessed by marketing departments, creative teams and individuals, wherever they’re based. A DAM solution offers exactly this, not only storing and managing the adaptation, distribution and re-use of digital assets, but it also gives brands a single source of truth from which internal teams can review and approve assets, and share them internally or externally.
Through DAM, the easy adaptation of assets empowers creative teams to collaborate on the design, and others able to approve ideas, all in real time. This efficiency gives time back to marketers to focus on other value-add tasks, and saves brands money in the unnecessary creation (or often replication) of assets. For example, marketers can use an image approved for an advert, edit it, and post it as an engaging Instagram post. The whole process, from identifying the image, to editing, approving, and even posting, can be managed by teams through the central DAM hub.
Once a DAM strategy is in place, brands can also efficiently scale and grow: digital assets can be adapted specifically for new markets and demographics, and teams can expand into new locations, widening their reach and customer touchpoints. In addition to this, brands will be better equipped to deal with advances in technological innovations, like AR and VR, which will inevitably create a whole new set of digital assets which will need to be stored and managed. One hub, multiple channels, the customer always at the heart.
A personalised future
Personalisation will help brands stand out in today’s competitive market, but as we’ve discussed, it is very dependent on being able to find and use the right digital assets at the right time. As brands look to engage customers with rich, interactive experiences that place each individual at the centre of their own stories, the number of digital assets that a company has, or needs to create, is going to significantly grow. And marketers must make sure they’re DAM ready.
By Jake Athey
Marketing & Customer Experience, VP