DAM in the Bigger Picture

The Delete team attended the recent Sitecore Experience 2019 event and Theresa Regli’s presentation ‘Digital Asset Management (DAM) in the Bigger Picture’ was a particular highlight that our Head of Search, Polly Pospelova, has recapped here.

Theresa Regli
Speaker: Theresa Regli, Author, Digital and Marketing Asset Management: The Real Story of DAM Technology & Practice 04/2019

The Delete team attended the recent Sitecore Experience 2019 event and Theresa Regli’s presentation ‘Digital Asset Management (DAM) in the Bigger Picture’ was a particular highlight that our Head of Search, Polly Pospelova, has recapped here.

What impressed me most about Theresa Regli’s talk was the level of detail she went into about DAM and moreover the useful conclusions she provided for digital marketers to takeaway. She emphasised how ‘DAM strategy, data orchestration, and content stewardship come together to empower digital marketers and content managers’.

Theresa opened her talk by sharing her view that the web strategy and customer experience tend to be at the end of the chain, but that this needs to change and they should be leading elements for most businesses.

More specifically this was in relation to personalisation where she made the point that we don’t necessarily need more content to improve the customer experience, but instead use what we have more effectively.

A common example of this which Theresa then gave was how a lot of businesses don’t make the most of their existing assets and instead invest a lot of time and money into tools and software which only leads to more problems later down the line.

It was at this point where she began to discuss how DAM can be useful for avoiding such scenarios, before going into further detail about what it is and how it works, as well as some other useful recommendations.

She broke this down into the following sections:

What is DAM?

Theresa’s summary of DAM was reassuringly concise. She explained how DAM is essence a specialised technology for managing visual media that’s mainly focused around digital media and brand management.

DAM also isn’t customer facing and is something which will only supply assets to your experience platforms. On top of this, it can be the main hub for your data, it’s multi-channel and can even cover print media.

What can DAM do?

She then discussed the finer details of its functionality and how DAM is an engine with which you can manipulate assets, convert photos, build intelligence and automatically prepare them for different purposes. An experience platform can then take these and use them in any way needed.

Digital professionals need to master the management of digital media so it can be delivered in a targeted and personalised way, facilitating better experiences and driving return on investment. DAM along won’t be enough and a content hub is needed in order to not only orchestrate data, manage content roles, classify and standardise content, add additional layers of data on top of your data entities or it all  to come together to empower digital marketers and content managers.

What is Styleabs?

Sitecore acquired an innovative content marketing software vendor called Stylelabs. For Stylelabs releasing a DAM wasn’t enough. It had to be a content hub for marketers. Assets tend to be all over the place. They are in repositories, spreadsheets, emails etc. Stylelabs wanted to bring data from all of these systems together and make it ‘ready’ to build customer experience. The platform is everything before a CX platform, it is a content hub with all things going into it, including the information about who should be managing what, where people can find it, tag it or associate it with products.

Once we get everything into a content hub, it can get distributed. The web is just one place it can go, but there are more channels including mobile abs, catalogues, brochures, point of sale materials in store where it now can be changed dynamically - so it can be used in a really omni-channel. Digital assets weren’t well managed so far, but we are slowly moving into a data modeling mindset.  Whoever worked with databases will recognise that are moving into entity modeling, graph modeling.

API is instrumental in all of this.

Connecting assets to our products and then to our customers, knowing what they bought in the past, knowing what they liked and how it made them feel is the ultimate goal. We already have the ability to collect is and connect these things.

What is the biggest challenge for the next few years?

The biggest thing for the next 5 years will be getting our multiple repositories to understand each other and alight our data to make personalisation happen.

It is extremely important to exchange data and to be open with our data. It is simply a reflection of the world we now live in.

Connecting things and personalising is one thing. But sentiment should never be ignored. Just because we can now track so many things doesn’t mean we are equipped to personalise well just based on the information we track. Sentiment must always be the key consideration.

What are you doing with your customer data?

Ask yourself what you are doing with your customer data? Are you using it in the right way, or in a respectful way? Are you using it to build a positive relationship? You must always focus and avoid making mistakes.

Experience platforms often miss sentiment, they miss how people feel. It is not just about what customers have done on your website, or what we track. There is no silver bullet. We can involve text analytics, we can try to understand not only what customers say in their comments but also what it meant to them and how they felt when they did it. What is the sentiment of my customer?  - must always be the question you ask yourself. This is the next level of  the customer experience among other things.

What about feeling and emotions…

How do we trigger emotion? This is where CX need to move into. Digital assets can be quite empathetic. If we use not only situational awareness, but the location and history of a customer in combination we can achieve it. Google Music is actually quite a good example of it.

Getting data in order, classifying and built on that - this is what builds loyalty.

Marketers want to be in a position to align their content with what they need to achieve for their customers. A digital asset management platform is what they need for a solid foundation.

Key takeaways

Strive to be innovative, push your organisation to ‘build the right tracks’.

Even despite the silos all around us and lack of consensus we should be better and stronger as marketeers.

Start by getting your data in order, classify it, and you can build great customer experiences and loyalty on it. It took 3 years to standardise time. Nobody expects it to be an easy job, but it will be the only way for your organisation to succeed with omni-channel personalization which reflects and respects contents and sentiment of your customers