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Digital Asset Management in 2020: Trends and Opportunities
Blog

Digital Asset Management in 2020: Trends, AI, and Opportunities

Having closed the door not just on another year, but a whole decade, it’s time to look forward and see what the future holds. The start of a new decade is always exciting and inspiring but now, more so than ever, we begin to see the real influence that technology is having and its transformational impact on business.

The pace of technological change is such that the start of each new decade is almost unrecognizable from the one that preceded it. At the turn of the 2010s, Netflix binges and Snapchat filters were but a glimmer in their developers’ eyes, and “Alexa” was just a moderately uncommon girl’s name. So, as we get going into the roaring 20s, who knows what we’ll be looking back on in 10 years’ time?

In the short term, however, we can make some educated predictions about how the world of digital asset management (DAM) is going to pan out. And it’s not just technological development that will drive the latest trends, but you can expect to see some significant changes in organizational structure, data compliance needs, and marketing innovation. Here are our top seven predictions for the next year and beyond.

  1. Content Hubs

    The centralization of information and assets is going to prove critical to companies if they want to embrace automation, agility and working at speed. There’s no time anymore for data scattered across an organization, duplicated and expensive, losing accuracy and relevance by the minute.

    With industry analyst groups finally beginning to include "omnichannel" as a solution type its own right, things are beginning to look a whole lot more holistic for the DAM user. Merging DAM with product information management (PIM), content management (CMS) , and adjacent capabilities like marketing project planning and localization management, content hubs will be a key trend in allowing businesses to develop content marketing plans, access up to date assets, and create resource banks that will save them time and money. Not only will hubs promote greater efficiency, but they’ll allow businesses to develop more responsive and coherent content campaigns that help attract and engage customers.

  2. Advanced Inputs

    As the need for more ambitious marketing techniques grows, such as AI based applications, chatbots, speech recognition, and mixed reality (MR) environments, more demands will be made of companies’ data and asset management capabilities, particularly cloud applications and associated APIs. In late 2019, ASOS launched ‘See My Fit’ , an AR tool that shows how any one of 800 dresses will fit on a range of models, sized between 4 and 18.

    It goes without saying that brands need automated access to a wide range of relevant assets in order for tactics like this to be successful, but some are indeed already there, using content management solutions which are supported by AI and/or ML technologies, in order to efficiently and cost effectively manage the ever growing volumes of content.

  3. Connected Ecosystems

    There is no silver bullet software package that fits every organization. Each has its own, bespoke martech and workflow needs. To make sure these systems play well together, devising connected ecosystems is going to be another top priority for 2020. Knowing which applications own which step, where the process is falling down, and where extra expertise is needed, will all be on the to do list.

  4. Data Orchestration

    Data is both the lifeblood of a business and its greatest challenge. It flows in a myriad of forms from a huge range of sources with varying rates of accuracy. If content management is to have any chance of making the most of automation and agility, its data has to be in top condition and immediately accessible by the right people at the right time.

    With all this in mind it’s not surprising that data orchestration is a top five priority for businesses in 2020 according to DAM and content maven, Dr. Theresa Regli, as data alignment is still one of the biggest challenges they face. It does exactly what it says on the tin – it’s like an invisible conductor pulling all the strands together, making sure they work together and always hit the right note. With a master data structure, it is possible to break data out of silos, organize and prioritize information, and link it with complementary data to build fuller, more useful business insights as well as informing that all important 360-degree view of the customer.

    Critically, this all needs to happen in real time, giving the users of that data across the organization the confidence that their information is the most current, accurate and appropriate information for their needs.

  5. Data Privacy

    A vital element of data orchestration is data privacy. With many departments all needing to access data for various reasons, and working at speed, the risk of transgressing increasingly complex data privacy laws is high. Systems that are able to automatically categorize and distribute data according to predefined parameters such as ensuring it is GDPR compliant, opted in or regionally appropriate such as the California Consumer Privacy Act, are going to be very important. And privacy regulations are only going to expand, with at least 10 more US states due to launch their own versions in the near future.

  6. Dynamic Marketing and Hyper Personalization

    Real time data has opened the door to real time personalization and, as a result, businesses are seeing the potential of dynamic and hyper-personalized marketing. Adaptive web content that can change depending on the customer’s demographic or behaviour is proven to increase engagement – Toyota drove up test drive requests by 166% using personalized, adaptive mobile web content.

  7. Collaboration

    Organizational ecosystems aren’t just made out of software and machines. Increasingly, global workforces and a growing range of suppliers and partners make collaboration a top trend. Allowing access to the right asset, at the right time for the right reason is increasing business demand for DAM solutions, particularly ones hosted in the cloud, according to the Global Digital Asset Management Market 2020 report.

So, after exploring what the year might have in store for digital content and asset management, it feels as though it would be an understatement to say that DAM is a growth industry both for its vendors and users. Given the trends above, DAM looks set to become not just an important part of and organization’s tech stack, but also its very heart.

Morag Cuddeford-Jones Morag Cuddeford-Jones

Morag has been a marketing journalist and editor for 20 years but is still trying to convince herself that she doesn’t look it. She came to journalism after a brief flirtation with the music and entertainment industry, which ended when she discovered that she nurtured a passionate dislike of any tunes not produced in 1985.

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