Following up on her feature in the Techies Silicon Valley diversity project, Webdam CEO Jody Vandergriff switched gears to talk about the marketing technology landscape and the future of digital asset management on the Elegant Workflow podcast hosted by Dave Ginsberg.
Check out a few excerpts from their discussion below, or listen to the podcast on elegantworkflow.com.
What advice do you have for someone looking for a DAM for their organization?
There are so many types of digital asset management systems out there. Some are built for specific workflows, some for specific industries. So the most important thing, I think, is to interview key stakeholders across the organization and really understand the needs of the entire business and be able to address those needs with the right solutions.
With the explosion of marketing solutions, things like marketing automation solutions, social media marketing and content marketing, we’re even starting to see some of these types of solutions claim to have DAM components in their offering, but they’re oftentimes just simple file storage that are intended for content that’s going to be used within one specific marketing channel, whereas DAM is broader than that and is covering a lot of other things.
Make sure you pick a solution that’s going to be able to grow with your needs. So really think a few years out. This is the thing I love about cloud solutions: They’re very dynamic. They’re managed by service providers that are providing regular updates and ensuring they stay on par with the latest and greatest technology. So it gives you the ability to stay cutting edge with your system.
What challenges and opportunities do you see as the marketing landscape continues to evolve?
Marketing is becoming more and more analytics driven, and we need more and more solutions to be able to handle that. I think it’s a big opportunity for DAM because one of the commonalities between all the different solutions is they all interact with rich media content in one way or another.
You don’t launch any kind of campaign today without visual content. When you think of DAM as the central source of truth for all that content, there’s a big opportunity for Webdam to be the heart of that and connect all these different solutions to power the content as it flows across technologies.
How do you see the marketers of the future relying on asset management?
I see assets living in the DAM from the point of ideation through the entire lifecycle, and then the DAM integrating and interacting with solutions that are more specialized and powering specific workflows.
We look at the entire lifecycle of an asset: from the point of ideation to all of the iterations it goes through as part of the production and approval processes all the way through the distribution of the content and analytics. When you feed the analytics back into the lifecycle for another iteration of the content, it could be very, very powerful.
It truly is a life cycle for the asset. You don’t just finish it and then it’s dead. It should be repurposed. We should be looking at what content is working well, what’s not working well, and we should be using that to drive our future ideas.
When you’re looking to buy a digital asset management system, the finance people are always going to ask about return on investment, and it’s not always the easiest thing in the world to compute. Any advice around that?
Today, given how fast the space is going, most of the customer we’re working with are implementing a DAM for the first time. So the ROI conversation is absolutely part of the process for them.
There are several ways to show ROI for DAM. At its core, DAM is an operational solution for these marketing teams, so being able to measure the efficiency gains and time savings (are part of it). Time spent looking for assets, the number of requests a marketing team gets for their brand assets, the amount of time spent reproducing assets because you can’t locate the original, which is one of the most immediate benefits we hear from customers – all of that goes into how we think about ROI.
And if you ever think of the amount of money a large company spends with creative agencies to produce this content – it’s often many millions of dollars annually – the investment in DAM to safeguard those assets and be able to leverage them later is well worth it. So measuring the value of the DAM relative to the value of the assets is a very powerful thing as well.