When you gain control of your brand assets, you can then take control of your corporate messaging and, ultimately, you can begin to efficiently manage the channels through which your customers choose to consume your content. We’re not just talking about having all of your marketing content in one place so someone can find a valid logo or product photo (although that would be an excellent start); we are talking about effectively using the thousands of existing multimedia assets you have already created and will continue to create to grow your business.
Gaining control of your library of brand assets is a crucial step in getting more out of your content. Once you have the tools to effectively manage your assets, you can begin using your content to create a consistent brand experience across all channels.
In order to do this you need an effective digital asset management (DAM) solution. There are several options on the market and it can be overwhelming to try to figure out which solution will be worth the effort it will take to implement it and if any one of them will truly work for you.
There is no doubt that your organization will have unique needs and it is unlikely a single system will meet all of your needs out-of-the-box. However, we have five things you should think about when considering a DAM solution for your company:
- What kinds of media are you creating? How many different file formats will your system need to support?
- Where do you need to deliver the content?
- How will you control access to the all the content on the system?
- Will an out-of-the-box solution work for you, or will you need custom development?
- How difficult is it for you to get IT to implement a solution to meet your business objectives?
Let’s go through them one at a time.
1. What kinds of media are you creating? How many different file formats will your system need to support?
Let’s answer that question with more questions: Does your company share video over social media networks? Do you have images or text documents that you also work with? Do you need to store large files like TV commercials or eBooks?
Some DAM platforms work better with one type of media than another, and still others can support all file formats. Make sure you know what kinds of media your company uses and what kinds of media the solution you’re looking at will support.
2.Where do you need to deliver the content?
Depending on whether you’re a B2B or a B2C company, this could be a two-pronged question. First, where do you need to deliver your content within your company or partners? Perhaps you need to automatically FTP files to franchises or distribuition partners when you upload the content. Or perhaps you just need a system that can be available in multiple languages so your office in Japan can access it.
Do you know where you need to deliver your content to get in front of your consumers? If you’re a B2C company you’ll want to look at solutions that allow you to publish content directly to your end users on your website, social media outlets, or digital signage.
You know your consumers and you know how to reach them, but interacting with them on their terms can be challenging. Not only do you need to make sure that your message is available through the appropriate channels, but you must ensure your message is consistent across those channels.
Make sure you know if and where the solution you’re looking at will publish your content for you and where it can publish that content.
3. How will you control access to the all the content on the system?
Having all of your content in one place is powerful; particularly when you can give users access to just the content they are supposed to see. For example, wouldn’t it be nice for a franchisee to have one source for all the brand assets they need to run their franchise? And, wouldn’t it be nice to keep them from seeing expired content without actually removing the content from the system (that way the social media team can still dig up old ads and use them for throwback Thursdays #tbt)?
You obviously don’t want everyone to see everything, but empowering people to find and deliver what they need, when they need it, makes for an efficient and effective organization.
4. Will an out-of-the-box solution work for you, or will you need custom development?
We’ve been leading up to this question with the previous three. A lot of the time it’ll seem like an off-the-shelf solution will work for your company. But those solutions, while they may have many great features, may not do everything you need them to and in a few weeks/months/years you’ll either be looking for a new solution or an additional solution to help you solve the problems from your original solution.
Answering these questions when you’re looking for a solution will save you time and money. When you look at you and your company’s needs, you can decide if an out-of-the-box DAM solution truly will work for you, or if you really need a customized solution to fit your various needs. If you’re considering a custom solution then you definitely need to ask yourself this last question:
5. How difficult is it for you to get IT to implement a solution to meet your business objectives?
IT people the world over are always busy (not their fault) and their list of things to do is usually far longer than you have time to wait for something to be done. This means you need a solution that will allow you to work independently of waiting on those things that you don’t have control over.
While it’s nice to think that you can build something internally that will work perfectly with all your systems, it’s unlikely that IT will have the time to get something that works well and is done when you need to use it. IT is just busy.
If your IT team needs more time than you have (we’ve heard stories about being on a list for anywhere from six months to three years) then perhaps you should look at either purchasing and installing software, or looking at a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution for your company.
Simple enough, right?
While you take the time to consider these 5 questions, we invite you to consider Mainstream Data’s DAM platform as a solution for your company.
Mainstream Medias is a robust, secure, and feature-rich media asset management and publishing platform that has been in successful operation for nearly 10 years. Medias empowers companies by offering an SaaS solution to help them optimize and consolidate their multimedia content in one place and then making that content available to stakeholders both inside and outside the organization. Additionally, Medias enables an organization to upload, archive, search, select and publish content to their website, social media platforms, mobile applications, digital signage networks – and any channel of their choice – through a click of a button – all from a single platform.
If you’re interested in more information about DAM solutions and what you need to consider, please check out our eBook.