When you consider the vast amount of digital content today’s leading brands distribute on a daily basis, across multiple channels and formats, it is evident why the traditional approaches for storing these assets are no longer fit for purpose.
Files saved on standard servers with long-winded file paths gradually become massive productivity vacuums, as your teams waste valuable time digging through folders to find the asset. Some will even end up lost forever:
- 49% of employees say they struggle to find documents on a consistent basis (Nintex)
- 90% of consumer brands meet bottlenecks in their handling of digital content (Gartner)
- The average UK employee wastes 1.5 hours a week looking for documents misplaced at work (EDM Group)
The rise of Digital Asset Management (DAM) solutions has gone a long way to correcting these problems that plagued businesses and marketing teams worldwide. By introducing a single, manageable and intuitive space for people to locate the assets they need faster, DAMs enhance productivity and protect against files falling through the cracks.
But, with the demands on digital content continuing to grow in parallel with organisations’ attempts to streamline processes as much as possible, is a single-purpose DAM system enough for modern marketers?
In this article, we interview Phil Owers, CEO at Papirfly, on how investing in a standalone DAM system can only take you so far in your efforts to control your content marketing, and why BAM (Brand Activation Management) represents a more complete solution for the future.
What is a DAM?
Digital Asset Management (DAM) is about organising your assets, images, documents and more in one location, making it easier for users to locate, implement and share these files than a traditional folder-based approach.
While this technology has been in development for several decades, it’s only in the last decade or so that they expanded to incorporate visuals, graphics and further imagery. This evolution no doubt made DAM systems more beneficial for the marketing industry, providing a useful repository for their branded content, raw files, stock imagery, etc.
As well as providing a centralised home for all a brand’s content, a DAM can also offer facilities for the management, manipulation, protection and movement of media files and their associated metadata.
The Global Digital Asset Management Market is set to grow from £904m (2018) to £5bn by 2024 (Research And Markets)
Why might someone choose to invest in a DAM system?
There is no question that DAM systems carry several strong benefits to businesses, particularly those who have identified their struggles with managing and distributing their assets:
- Large files can be shared much more easily across teams, rather than having to devote time to compressing assets and sending them through email or via a dedicated file transfer service like WeTransfer
- By centralising and organising files through unique, recognisable metadata, it becomes significantly faster for people to find the assets they need
- A DAM system gives brands greater control over different versions of the same assets, so that there is no risk of incorrect assets being used over their latest counterparts
- Outdated assets can be archived to prevent their general use, but kept secure in case you wish to revisit and update them at a later date
- The costs of time, effort and resources to replace misplaced work is dramatically reduced or eliminated altogether, as all content is stored in one place
- Brand consistency is better maintained as your employees can scan and identify if any content uploaded to the DAM does not follow your unique identity
These are just some of the prevailing reasons why DAMs continue to be popular, useful tools for brands worldwide. Simply put, the best examples do their job very, very well.
How much DAM storage do you need?
There is no hard and fast answer to this question, as it will depend on your company’s specific circumstances.
How many in your team will need to use it? What types and sizes of files will you be sharing? How often do you produce content? The answers to these questions and more will factor into how much storage your DAM system has to deliver.
With that in mind, consider the following when determining if a DAM solution is suited for your needs:
- Audit your current amount of files you have across your servers and other devices (USBs, hard drives, etc.), being careful to eliminate any duplicate content, and then add to this an estimation of how much content you will be producing in the coming months/years
- Consider your network speeds, and how that will impact the time it will take to upload assets to the DAM system
- Ensure that the solutions you look into are scalable, and the costs that will be involved in upgrading the level of storage – you don’t want to be held to ransom
- Set systems in motion so that when assets fall into disuse or become outdated, they can be archived on your own server to free up space on the DAM
By taking these factors into account, you’ll ensure that you aren’t paying over the odds for a DAM solution that is more capacious than your organisation will likely ever need it to be.
Is digital asset creation a bigger issue than digital asset management?
The scale of your digital asset creation and the severity of the problems you face will depend on both your marketing team’s setup and the needs of your organisation. But, there is no doubting that the challenges surrounding content production continue to grow.
More and more teams are feeling the strain of budget cuts, staffing shortages, or reduced access to freelance support, while the demands on content escalate, with an increasing number of channels and mediums for brands to connect with their audiences.
- Large brands should be aiming to produce 4-5 blog posts every week for optimal brand awareness (Hubspot)
- 47% of businesses spend £7.25K+ on their annual content marketing output compared to 38% in 2019 (SEMRush)
- 75% of marketers intend to increase investment in branded content creation in 2021 (Curata)
This puts more of a priority on asset creation than on how these assets are managed. When you think about it, this is fairly self-explanatory – in order to have problems with organising your digital assets, you have to have processes in place to create them first.
A platform like BAM by Papirfly™ is enabling marketing teams to create an infinite amount of assets with one single, annual license fee. This means they can do a lot more for less – keeping up with the pressures on brands to be ever-present without any further strain on their budgets.
What is BAM?
Brand Activation Management (BAM) expands on the capabilities of a standalone DAM system. BAM software includes an effective DAM solution within it, just as astute at containing an enormous number of digital assets in one place, and making it easy for users to seek out what they need and share it with their colleagues globally.
The difference with BAM though, is that this isn’t where the benefits stop. On top of the same functions as a DAM system, BAM:
- Enables anyone with access to create and edit brand consistent print and digital marketing materials, without the need for specialist design skills
- Becomes a single source of truth for the entire brand, housing all guidelines and standards in one place to be accessed by team members
- Allows users to oversee and manage delivery of assets across their campaigns, and track what assets are being utilised most frequently
Fundamentally, it builds on the platform that DAM systems and similar distinct content management softwares have created, and blends these into one powerful, all-encompassing package for content marketers.
Is a DAM more powerful with BAM?
There is no denying the powerful benefits an effective DAM solution offers to marketing teams worldwide, including:
- Improved efficiency, with a DAM capable of helping employees find resources they need up to 5 times faster
- A dedicated space for company-wide collaboration, with a cloud-based DAM accessible to teams across the globe
- Reduced costs on time wasted seeking out digital assets on a daily basis
- Faster times to market due to the speed at which people can locate the assets they require
For marketing teams, DAM is an ideal “butler” tool. It is helpful, efficient, and does its job very well when called upon. But, it can only be programmed to do so much – it can’t interpret your brand guidelines to determine what does and does not make it onto the system, or provide any assistance in the production of these assets in the first place.
With the support of a BAM platform alongside this, you gain access to a more comprehensive, intuitive and diverse system for the reasons I noted earlier.
This both saves money and makes life more straightforward for your team. Instead of needing to invest in numerous technologies that do one job really well, be it a content creation suite, a dedicated “brand knowledge” portal or, in DAM’s case, a smart storage solution for your digital portfolio, BAM incorporates all of this into one system.
Can BAM help teams save even more time than they do with a DAM?
DAM’s main time-saving benefit is reducing the time it takes for people to locate assets they need, which as noted is not an insignificant amount of time.
However, it typically pales in comparison to the time and resources devoted to the creation of these assets, which could involve the efforts of specialist designers and repeated proofreading sessions, extending turnaround times for content dramatically.
With BAM offering a remedy to those problems as well as being fully capable of fulfilling the issues resolved by a DAM, these platforms unquestionably offer more time and cost-saving potential than even the most sophisticated DAM system can on its own.
What would you say to someone considering investing in a DAM system?
A DAM is great in isolation, and the best examples of these systems available do their job remarkably well. If your organisation or marketing teams aren’t using a DAM, there is no doubt in my mind that it would save you a great deal of time, money and effort.
But, before you consider investing in a DAM system, it is vital to recognise that they only serve one purpose – efficient, effective management of your digital assets. This is an important consideration for content marketers, but it is just one of many. It is always essential to look at the bigger picture, and if a DAM is the only solution your team could benefit from right now.
So, before making this purchase, take time to find out if there is something out there that offers the same advantages of a DAM, but builds on this with even more capabilities. For that, BAM by Papirfly™ represents an ideal evolution.
For teams looking to take control of content production like never before, and reduce their reliance on costly freelancers or agencies to create assets you could produce in-house with the right tool, BAM goes a lot further in resolving all of the issues that teams face day-to-day:
- Content creation is faster and more consistent than ever before
- Brand guidelines are kept at the forefront of teams’ minds
- All assets are securely stored and shared across your global workforce
- Key metrics related to your assets’ usage are tracked and stored
If you want to go further and fully overcome your content marketing challenges, discover the benefits of BAM today. Get in touch with our team for more information