Does your organization need a digital asset management platform?

While DAM platforms can help marketers deliver consistent experiences, there are questions of process, training and budget to answer before beginning the buying process.

Customers’ expectations are rising and marketers are working to meet those expectations with personalized content at a growing number of touchpoints — from social, to website to mobile app to drive-through menu to virtual reality experience. It’s that need to maintain a compliant, on-brand experience that is leading more marketers to adopt or upgrade digital asset management systems.

But before jumping into the purchase process, you should follow the same steps involved in any software adoption, including a comprehensive self-assessment of your organization’s business needs, staff capabilities, management support and financial resources.

The list of questions below should help you and your team to get started:

How do we currently manage the incoming and outgoing digital assets in our marketing systems today?

If you use martech that features lightweight DAM features — like content management software, a digital experience platform or a web content management system — you may not need additional functionality, depending on the sophistication and geographic scope of your marketing operations.

What are the processes we follow internally to vet assets and prepare them for distribution to marketing outlets?

Companies with complex brand standards and legal approvals processes — those that operate in a highly-regulated industry like insurance, for example — will want to ensure the DAM can enable and provide documentation of the necessary signoffs.

What digital asset management capabilities does our organization need?

Prioritize the available digital asset management features based on your most pressing business needs.

Who will use the platform? At what level in the organization will it be managed?

C-suite buy-in and appropriate staffing are crucial to the effectiveness of any digital asset management platform. Increasingly, martech platforms such as digital asset management are being managed by the CMO – and not the CTO or CIO. In either case, without the proper skilled human resources in place, the platform can end up becoming an expensive reservoir of untapped data with unfulfilled potential to increase revenue and improve customer experiences with your brand.

How much training will we need?

Different platform vendors provide different levels of customer service — from self-serve to full-serve — and strategic consulting services. It’s important to have an idea of where you fall on the spectrum before interviewing potential partners. Training is essential. If your organization chooses not to hire internal staff, then consider whether you need to use an add-on or third-party consulting services to effectively use the platform.

Can we successfully integrate a digital asset management system with our existing martech systems?

Many enterprises work with different partners for email, e-commerce, social media, paid search and display advertising. Investigate which systems the digital asset management vendor integrates with – whether natively or via API – and find out if they offer seamless reporting and/or execution capabilities with external vendors. If a connection can be made only through an API, ensure you have the internal or external resources to develop the necessary integration.

What are our reporting needs? What information do marketing managers, salespeople and customer support teams require to improve decision making?

You want to know the specific holes in your current reporting that will be filled by additional functionality and, more importantly, you want to be sure that that extra information will drive better decisions and ultimately more revenue for your business.

What is the total cost of ownership?

Enterprise digital asset management platforms’ pricing can range from a few hundred dollars a year to nearly half a million a year. Examine your feature requirements closely, as modular pricing models mean vendors vary in their inclusion of some features as standard or add-on.

How will we define success? What KPIs do we want to measure and what decisions will we make based on digital asset management data?

You should set your business goals for the digital asset management platform in advance to be able to benchmark success later on. Without them, justifying the expense of the platform or subsequent marketing campaigns to C-suite executives will be difficult.

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About The Author

Pamela Parker is Research Director at Third Door Media’s Content Studio, where she produces MarTech Intelligence Reports and other in-depth content for digital marketers in conjunction with Search Engine Land and MarTech. Prior to taking on this role at TDM, she served as Content Manager, Senior Editor and Executive Features Editor. Parker is a well-respected authority on digital marketing, having reported and written on the subject since its beginning. She’s a former managing editor of ClickZ and has also worked on the business side helping independent publishers monetize their sites at Federated Media Publishing. Parker earned a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.