Six DAM Trends that Creative Agencies Should Know About

Since creative agencies can play such a large role in their client’s digital asset management, we wanted to address six digital marketing trends to be aware of.

Of course, some trends come and go, while others become a staple in our industry. These digital marketing trends started to gain real traction in 2013, and have gained more momentum in 2014. Creative agencies that are aware of them, and that implement the ones relevant to their customers, will be able to deliver better DAM solutions to their customers — making the agency a stronger asset to their clients.

Although digital asset management is not a new technology, it’s one that many companies are still adapting to. For many, it’s not an easy transition into the realm of digital assets. Because of this, creative agency clients are becoming more vocal about needing help with DAM solutions so they can utilize their brand assets in a more efficient, easy way.

As agencies take on a larger role in the creation and management of digital assets, there’s a greater demand for them to have a clear understanding of DAM, and be able to share functionality and software benefits with clients. With this demand, the role of the agency has shifted from “creative executor” of their client’s ideas to a thought partner.

Digital Marketing & Trends

Let’s take a look at how being on top of these six digital marketing trends can help agencies better serve their clients — and gain a competitive edge.

The number of digital marketing agencies is increasing.

It’s challenging enough for agencies to keep their status as the AOR for their clients, so as the number of digital marketing agencies continues to grow it will be even harder. Employees at larger agencies have long been spinning off to start their own, more niche shops. Now, with so many digital marketing technologies, there are that many more opportunities for small shops to say they’ve mastered a certain portion of the digital marketing world – CMS platforms, inbound marketing programs, search engine marketing, or social media marketing.

More agencies means more assets being created and clients of any size will need to find better ways to harness, search for, and share their digital assets. Forward-thinking creative agencies will find a great alliance with DAM as a way to accomplish this for their clients.

There’s an increasing demand for big global strategy.

It’s not enough to just develop a creative strategy for clients. Clients need global thinking for their marketing that goes beyond winning awards for an awesome creative campaign. Global strategy means showing you have a keen understanding of the client’s business, the world economy, buying cycles, and more. For example, agencies must fully grasp how to go to market with a new product, the cultural nuances in other countries as products are placed around the world, how to measure the equity associated with an organization’s brand, and how to connect marketing campaigns to dollars earned.

That global thinking needs to be tied to global reach. A solid digital asset management solution enables the right people to reach the right assets, on demand, anywhere in the world day or night. There is a great deal of strategy wrapped up in digital asset management to make it the amazing tool that it is today. Smart businesses know that DAM is core to their marketing strategy, and reach is a key area where organizations can quickly realize it’s potential as a global solution.

Marketers are becoming better at data analysis.

Everyone has been reading about it — CMOs and VPs of Marketing have more data than they can handle and they don’t know what to do with it. Increasingly, clients want their agencies to analyze, interpret, and translate their data into something actionable for marketing purposes. And, rightfully so. After all, that data is no good to anyone if it’s not shared in a meaningful way.

The data that marketers are collecting can come in the form of reports, page layouts, emails, presentations, audio or videos. Often times it’s kept in disparate locations on separate hard drives, desktops, or servers making it challenging to find or secure when necessary. A good DAM system can house any kind of file format – PDF, PPT, Word, Video, Audio, TIFF, EPS, AI, InDesign, PSD, and on and on. Even better DAM systems will convert those file formats to other needed formats, on-the-fly, so you only have to keep one master file in the system. Not 10 different versions so often found in folders on shared drives. All that valuable data can have a home where anyone who should find it, can, anytime. And those who shouldn’t find it, won’t be able to access it.

There’s an increasing demand for deeper technical knowledge.

Agencies are notorious for producing beautiful creative ideas. But, when asked how it will translate online or if it can function in the context of a display ad, they haven’t always had the answers. Clients want more knowledge of back-end technologies from their agencies. They want their agency’s guidance on the right way to set up the back end in order to bring the brand to life on the front end. This is why we’re seeing the rise of marketing technologists, digital strategists, and digital experience leaders on the agency side. Organizations need to trust that an agency can go deeper than simply making something look and sound good.

A digital asset management system is a marketing solution, but it’s also a digital tool that can vary in scope and complexity. The agencies that understand the importance of digital asset management will also take the time to understand how it works and to empower their clients with the right-fit DAM solution. If you don’t dig deeper around DAM, you risk misrepresenting a solution and potentially selling your clients on something it doesn’t actually do. Align with the right DAM provider and they will provide you with all the resources you need to gain solid footing. Then, you can leave the rest (demos, trials, implementation, tech support) to the provider.

There are more software services for content creation.

It can’t be said enough, content is king. It is the key driver of all B2B and B2C marketing initiatives today. As such, there are more software services coming to market to help manage all the content, whether automating content creation or housing and distributing content that’s been created.

As a central repository for housing, organizing and sharing content, you can’t beat a good DAM system. It serves as a window to your brand by making all the content associated with certain campaigns or initiatives visible to those who are looking and should have access. It makes workflows and other marketing activities transparent, so teams can share information easier and be more efficient across teams and different locations. And, it makes it much easier and faster for stakeholders to repurpose content around the world with brand consistency.

There’s an ever-increasing connection between online & offline events.

As organizations become more adept at getting full value from their online and offline marketing assets, they’re looking for a creative agency that can improve their efforts, and bring new ideas to the table. Integration of online and offline marketing is a good thing, but it can also get messy really fast without robust DAM software, along with a competent team that has the software and the appropriate processes mastered. When these contingencies are in place, it becomes possible to seamlessly integrate any and all online and offline marketing efforts — helping clients achieve maximum value from each asset, while ensuring continuity across all platforms.

Digital asset management makes it easy to organize, find and share offline event assets through the use of categories and collections. Once these categories and collections are set up clearly and accurately, a creative agency can simply login to their DAM system, pull the asset they need and repurpose it in additional online or offline communications to further engage with end users.

Ready to learn more about how DAM can give your agency a competitive edge?
Check out our free on-demand webinar, Digital Asset Management for Agencies over at Widen.com. If you prefer to speak directly with our team, please contact us to request a consultation. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have about digital marketing trends, and speak with you about your DAM software needs.

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