Welcome to the Tuesday 2¢ . It’s Tuesday, the weekend is a distant memory and it’s time to let off some steam and give our 2 cents on a hot industry topic. This week, Ian Truscott shares his thoughts on which next generation systems will help us bust the silos and help us achieve a centralized content management.
As an industry, I think we agree that centralizing content management makes a great deal of sense as organizations continue to adapt to this digital age – the debate now seems to be around which technology should an organization use for this transformation?
We agree that consumer demand for seamless engagement which is personalized and relevant across the channels of their choosing as they hop around the previously well-disciplined industrial age customer journey of marketing, sales and service has created an explosion in the demand for content, requiring organizations to optimize their content operations.
We are also all agreed on the fact that data and content silos are bad - we need to either bust them or integrate them.
Even the typically fractured and siloed analyst’s view has reached that consensus, that something needs to sit in the middle of all this and that this “something” is probably a next generation of one of the silo’d systems we have today (PIM, DAM, DXP and maybe WCM).
Of course, as analysts stake a claim to their own little acronym hill, be it PIM, DAM, DXP, MRM or whatever, where they all disagree is what system should sit at the head of the table. Which system should organizations be building their digital operations around?
Personally, I think right now it’s a safe bet that PIM or DAM, that DXP, WCM and MRM (and seemingly several dozen other little niches) are really systems of engagement whereas the future single source of the truth or system of content and data record should have the attributes best described by PIM or DAM today.
However, it’s a next generation of these systems. To broadly generalize, today’s PIM is strong in metadata management and the complex content model that makes up a product, and a DAM system is strong in managing the rich media assets that are essential to the consumer experience. But the “something” at the centre of our content universe needs to do both.
And this is also where some industry analysts agree. However advice on where to start usually begins with ‘DAM plus’ or ‘PIM plus’, it just depends on who you talk to.
We have shared some research from Gartner (for free) that expresses this point of view but starts with PIM. In this whitepaper “ Create Powerful Customer Experiences With a 360-Degree View of Your Products ”, Gartner analysts Simon James Walker and Michael Patrick Moran discuss how a hybrid of master data, product information and digital asset management is the way forward.
Alternatively, I recently spent some time with former analyst, author and all round Digital Asset Management expert Theresa Regli , who is seeing in her clients a trend in centralizing around a DAM or are looking to upgrade their existing old school DAM platform to move to something that satisfies this new breadth of requirements. An opinion that’s shared by Nick Barber of Forrester, who refers to DAM as a hub in his research (and in this blog post from last year).
Take a deeper look at these perspectives, they could both be right and the answer to where to start, which system your organization should put at the centre of its content operations depends on the kind of organzation you are and what content dominates your customer experience. It seems really obvious, but if you are a product centric company it should be PIM, if you are an art gallery then it’s a DAM.
Although not all use cases are quite as clear cut as that, the devil is in the ‘plus’ requirements - things like the depth of metadata you need in order to manage on your digital assets, the complexity of your content relationships, the richness of the digital experience around your products, the number of channels, languages or personalized content variants you need to manage… etc…. etc….
At censhare, we describe this content management convergence as Universal, Smart Content Management and whether you approach this from a product first or creative first perspective, there is potential to fall short with these best of breed siloed platforms when you are looking for that ‘plus’.
Yes, our client projects are implemented under the banner of a PIM, DAM, WCM, MRM or Print Production, as these are recognised labels. But in truth, our clients chose us as they are looking for the ‘plus’ and these projects have a broader scope.
Apologies for sounding a little salesy there, so let’s move swiftly back to the title of this post and the question at hand - who rules the no-silo roost?
It depends, it’s all in the ‘plus’