Digital marketing wouldn’t be so hard if there weren’t so many channels to consider, each with their own unique requirements for content and messaging. How nice would it be always to use the same size image, or never again worry about content length or format?

That’s not the world we live in. “Omnichannel marketing”, or the need to deliver a consistent experience across all digital touchpoints, is here to stay. Like many things in marketing, what began as a buzzword is now top of mind for brand teams of all sizes.

What’s frightening is how little progress marketers seem to be making on this front. 64% of marketers cite lack of resources and investments as their top barrier to omnichannel marketing, and only 16% of marketers feel that their organizations are delivering customer experiences that truly fulfill their brand promises. Consider that against the fact that 88% of customers expect consistent interactions across channels, and it looks like we have a problem.

DAM_omnichannel1.png  Source: https://www.marketingcloud.com/blog/7-steps-to-an-omni-channel-marketing-strategy/

The only way for a brand to achieve consistency in omnichannel marketing is to embrace a system built on centralization and agility. Enter Digital Asset Management (DAM), a solution that makes sense of the heap of content sizes, types, and categories needed for that level of consistency.

How can a Digital Asset Management solution power omnichannel marketing?

1. Centralizing content: The first step in having content on every channel is first having it all in the same place

Most brand teams have more assets at their disposal than they even realize. The problem is that those assets exist in disparate locations—some on a local drive, some stored in a cloud application, some exist within a designer’s Macbook—and so on... An organization-wide DAM acts as the central repository for every single piece of collateral a brand is able to utilize. Creating content for new channels is a challenge, but finding all those existing assets needs to happen in seconds to get the process started.

DAM_omnichannel2.jpg

 

2. Categorizing content: Tagging media by channel means you’ll find it immediately when you need it for that channel

A central location for all assets is only as good as its taxonomy and tagging structure. Smart systems will offer the ability to tag and filter assets by any category, including:

  • File Type
  • Department
  • Campaign
  • Theme

“Channel” can also be introduced as a category to filter through. Imagine you need content for a Facebook campaign, you select ‘Facebook’ on the Channel filter, and in front of you appears all your options to use.

That structure improves operations, but it also can inform the omnichannel strategy. Identifying every piece of media by what channel it should appear on allows you to consider the themes and tone that fit each channel. For example, maybe product shots are tagged to “website” and “display ads”, but not Facebook because the strategy on Facebook is not to promote product, but to communicate lifestyle and encourage engagement.

3. Manipulating content: Create channel-ready content with minimal effort

Centralizing content and sorting it by channel is great...if your media already matches the dimensions required for each channel. When it doesn’t, it’s important to have functionality in place that can quickly produce the desired file size and resolution. That can happen in two ways:

  1. Derivatives - A Digital Asset Management system can be pre-programmed so that every image uploaded offers a variety of size options, or derivatives. You should be able to upload one asset and instantly have the option to download multiple varieties, such as different versions of the same asset for mobile, PowerPoint ready version, and each social channel.
  2. Cropping - Sometimes you need a specific size on the fly. That’s where cropping functionality comes in. A DAM should have that enabled so that cropping can take place directly in the platform, so as to not waste time downloading the asset and opening it in another program. 
The challenge of omnichannel marketing
 
4. Sending content: Curated collections that enable teams to be agile

The final step in powering omnichannel marketing is getting channel-ready content to its destination. That can mean an automatic plug-in, through which assets are pulled directly from the DAM to the publishing platform, like a CMS. Or it can mean curated collections within the DAM platform for categories or channels, such as “Facebook” or “Mobile Ready”. These collections have their own unique links that can then be sent out to teams, and these links are dynamic, meaning that when more content is added, you still go to the same destination for channel-specific content.

Conclusion: Omnichannel strategy fueled by digital asset management solution

The goal shouldn’t be catching up with today’s trendy channels, because today’s trends are tomorrow’s afterthoughts in digital. The goal should be establishing a system for consistency that scales. After all, virtual reality and augmented reality are right around the corner, they say.

Ultimately, omnichannel consistency will be achieved by the teams that embrace not only a robust Digital Asset Management solution, but the larger concept of digital asset management, an end-to-end system that ensures consistency and quality for every communication. Every brand strives for delivery of the right message in the right place at the right time. It’s another thing entirely to actually invest in achieving that, from the financial investment involved to the time and resources required to properly execute a DAM strategy.

That investment pays off when the content lifecycle becomes more efficient, because a single system can centralize, categorize, manipulate and distribute content. When that is the case, you might just begin to love the idea of omnichannel marketing.

Is omnichannel a priority for you in 2017?
Continue learning how technology can help in our on-demand video with the Forrester industry expert Anjali Yakkundi: "DAM: A Major Content Marketing Trend in 2017".

Learn more now