Information is king, and this is no less true during a pandemic. From which stores have what stocks, to the times shoppers are allowed to visit supermarkets, fast changing regulation brings a cascade of issues which businesses must address with speed. Brands have a real challenge on their hands and many are realizing the absolute necessity of having total control of their information at all times.
And, as we come to the end of a lockdown heavy year, the pandemic’s influence is still felt in many quarters. So what learnings are companies taking with them into the new year?
The centralization of information and the ability to interact with it in real time, drawing upon accurate, up-to-date assets whenever, wherever employees needed them, is of a distinct advantage during times of crisis. Thankfully, it is also the defining characteristic of a Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution .
During the first lockdowns across the globe, companies in every sector moved online as much as possible and the need to efficiently manage every type of digital content was paramount. Workers needed to collaborate remotely while still performing often complex tasks that would normally have involved many physical interactions. Speed was also of the essence as conditions were changing rapidly.
As the year progressed, cost too became a factor. With customer spending suppressed, savings had to be made while customer communication and support needing to be not only maintained but in many cases ramped up. For those brands with some form of Digital Asset Management in place, the central storage of digital assets and associated process automation will have stood them in good stead for create important cost efficiencies without impacting quality of output. In fact, as many companies who used DAM solutions pre-COVID can attest, implementing this solution doesn’t just preserve output quality, it improves it. Swiss grocer Migros uses DAM to manage 14 weekly variants of its customer magazine in 10 regions, with the content in each specifically tailored to each audience.
Digital assets are more than just product information. Companies today need to ingest assets that include videos, customer recommendations, user generated content from social media, editorial and more. This range of assets and information needing to be efficiently housed, processed, delivered, and managed, may now become even important as the long lasting implications of the pandemic continue to effect the way we shop online.
Consumers are now going online at all stages in the purchasing journey. As a result, brands need to deliver content that inspires and entertains, as well as informs. It means an explosion in digital assets, but also assets that are changing all the time. For companies to keep on top of this tsunami of information and resources, DAM can be the key solution.
DAM solutions have been managing huge volumes of assets for leading brands: BSH manages 11 million different assets via its DAM; Spark44 makes 300,000 assets available to its customer Jaguar Land Rover across 18 countries and 10,000 users. Slimming World manages 5,000 recipes and 30,000 images across its publishing arm and customer base. And again, critically the increase in volume and variety of assets needn’t lead to an increase in costs. Jaguar Land Rover saved £55 million in less than 10 years through its agency’s use of DAM, while Hearst UK saved 3,000 hours and 5% of page costs in a year.
For such companies, lockdown and 2020 as a whole was the final proof that they had made the right decision in investing in a DAM solution, as they transitioned seamlessly to a work from home scenario without incurring costs or delays. For others, it revealed just how much such a solution was needed.
But as the globe makes steps towards recovering from the COVID pandemic, this need will not go away. Instead it is likely to intensify as the economy slowly makes its way back to a healthier and securer state. In addition, customers now live online more than ever, and situations where companies need to drive efficiencies or react quickly will recur. An investment into the right digital asset management solution for your organization can well be seen as an investment into the future of your business.
You can learn more about Digital Asset Management here ; how it could help your company to survive but also thrive through this and future crises.
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