Tag Archives: Jan Dejosse

A New Resource Regarding SaaS vs. On-Premises DAM

Marketing software applications have become mission-critical technologies for most global enterprises. The proliferation of marketing communication channels, the growing need to customize marketing messages and materials, and the emerging need to provide prospective customers detailed, interactive product/service information on a real-time basis have made it all but impossible for large organizations to manage marketing effectively without technology.

Choosing the right marketing software tools is, therefore, a major strategic decision, and one important aspect of the decision is whether to opt for software that is installed on in-house servers or software that is hosted by the software provider and accessed via the Internet. While the use of “cloud-based” applications is clearly growing, both delivery models have advantages and disadvantages. The choice ultimately depends on which model is the best fit for your business.

A new white paper by Ralph Windsor and Nick Brookes is a valuable resource for making this important decision. Ralph Windsor is a senior partner at Daydream, a UK-based digital asset management consulting firm, and Nick Brookes is an independent DAM technology and media delivery infrastructure consultant based in London. Both Windsor and Brookes are also members of the editorial staff at Digital Asset Management News.

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Why Blending Brand and Product Content Has Become Critical

Enterprise marketers across all industries are charged to drive profitable revenue growth by delivering exceptional experiences to current and prospective customers. This would be a difficult task under any circumstances, but it is even more difficult today because potential buyers are more demanding than ever.

Several factors have helped elevate buyer expectations, but three technological developments stand out in importance.

  • The appearance and proliferation of online communication channels and digital communication devices – particularly the meteoric rise of tablets – gives both consumers and business buyers more choices for engaging with brands. Rather than treating various devices and platforms as either/or alternatives, buyers are using multiple devices on a daily basis. A recent study by Time Inc. found that “Digital Natives” (individuals who have grown up using mobile technologies) move between devices and platforms 27 times per hour.
  • Today’s channels and devices have enough bandwidth and computing power to allow the use of rich media content such as high quality video and audio.
  • The development of “touchscreen” technology fundamentally changes how individuals interact with their communication devices and experience digital media.

These developments have helped elevate buyer expectations and have substantially raised the bar for providing memorable customer experiences.

  • Buyers now expect interactions with brands to be truly interactive. They expect every communication vehicle – an e-mail message, web page, or Facebook page, for example – to include multiple options that will take them to additional information. I contend that, in the very near future, most buyers will also expect even traditional printed materials (print ads, catalogs, etc.) to provide similar options via QR codes or other technologies.
  • Buyers now expect brands to provide visually compelling information through the use of rich media. If a sweater is available in four colors, they want to see all four colors. A video showing a product in action is more compelling than a static brochure describing how the product works.
  • Buyers increasingly expect to have easy access to detailed information about the products or services they’re interested in. What are the product’s dimensions and weight? What accessories for the product are available? Is there a more (or less) expensive model with more (or fewer) features?

Buyer expectations – enabled by the capabilities of today’s digital communication devices – have blurred the lines between traditional marketing communications content and product information. At ADAM, we believe that delivering exceptional customer experiences in this environment requires the integration of digital asset management and product content management technologies.

We’ve recently released a new white paper on this important topic written by Pieter Casneuf, ADAM’s CEO. You can download a copy of the new white paper here.

Why Big Data Isn’t a Panacea

As people increasingly use digital communication channels to access information, execute business transactions, and interact via social networks, the volume of data regarding these activities grows exponentially. This massive and growing volume of information is now being called big data, and few topics have received more attention in marketing and technology circles over the past couple of years. According to many pundits, big data can dramatically improve the quality of business decision-making generally and the quality and effectiveness of marketing in particular. It can enable companies to develop valuable insights about what current and prospective customers want, what competitors are doing, and how markets are changing.

The hype surrounding big data has been huge, and many prominent voices have been effusive in describing big data’s potential benefits. Recently, though, several articles and blog posts have attempted to provide a more balanced view of big data. The authors don’t dispute the importance of big data or the value of using data to support business and marketing decisions. However, they do identify some of the reasons that big data isn’t likely to be the “silver bullet” that the hype suggests.

Here are brief summaries of two of these recent commentaries.

The Big Data Fallacy And Why We Need To Collect Even Bigger Data (Dr. Michael Wu, Principal Scientist of Analytics at Lithium)—In this blog post, Dr. Wu begins by stating that data is only as valuable as the information and insights we can extract from it. He then argues that data and information are not synonymous and, more importantly, that more data doesn’t produce proportionately more information because of the redundancy that exists in nearly all data sets. Dr. Wu also argues that not all information will provide insights. He contends that a substantial amount of the information in most data sets is not interpretable and therefore cannot produce insights. And, of the information that is interpretable, some will be irrelevant noise that cannot support valuable insights.

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More Evidence that PIM Technology Drives Improved Performance

In three earlier posts (herehere, and here), I discussed the growing importance of effective product information management (PIM), and I described research by Heller Software AG and Stuttgart Media University that documented the major benefits that enterprises will obtain by implementing dedicated PIM software technologies. Some of those benefits include:

  • Lower data management/maintenance costs
  • Reduced catalog creation costs
  • Lower translation costs
  • Greater use of product catalogs
  • More multilingual marketing

Recently, the Aberdeen Group released research findings that further demonstrate the value of dedicated PIM software technology. The Aberdeen research focused on retailers that use an “omni-channel” go-to-market strategy. These firms need to provide a consistent customer experience across multiple interaction channels (bricks and mortar, web, mobile, etc.).

The table below includes some of the findings of the Aberdeen research. These findings show the year-over-year impact of product information management/master data management systems on several key performance indicators. Results are shown both for retailers that use PIM/MDM technologies and for those that do not.

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How the DAM Market is Evolving

Pieter Casneuf, the CEO of ADAM Software, gave the keynote presentations at ADAM’s recent Sync! events held in Ghent and New York City. You can view a recording of Pieter’s presentation at the New York City event here.

In these presentations, Pieter reviewed the evolution of ADAM’s software solutions and announced the upcoming availability of ADAM’s cross-channel campaign management application. Pieter’s presentations dealt specifically with ADAM’s products, but they also generally describe how the DAM market space has evolved over the past decade.

Early digital asset management systems were what might be called “premium file systems.” They provided capabilities that focused on the organization, storage, and retrieval of digital content assets. They typically enabled organizations to use metadata to describe assets, provided relatively robust search functionality, and enabled version tracking and control.

In the first decade of this century, these early DAM systems evolved along three basic dimensions. The evolution didn’t follow a strict chronological order, and of course, not all DAM software providers followed the same path.

One evolutionary development was the addition of business process management capabilities to DAM systems. In fact, ADAM was an industry leader in proving these capabilities. Process management capabilities enable organizations to use their DAM software to manage and/or automate the processes and workflows that are involved in the creation, review, and approval of digital content assets.
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CIO Technology Priorities for 2013

Recent research by Gartner, Inc. shows that the priorities of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) for 2013 are shifting toward customer-oriented and other externally-focused technology initiatives. The Gartner report, Hunting and Harvesting in a Digital World: The 2013 CIO Agenda, was based on a worldwide survey of over 2,000 CIOs working in 36 industries in 41 countries.

Here are the top 10 CIO technology priorities for 2013 identified in the Gartner research:

  1. Analytics and business intelligence
  2. Mobile technologies
  3. Cloud computing (SaaS, IaaS, PaaS)
  4. Collaboration technologies (workflow)
  5. Legacy modernization
  6. IT management
  7. CRM
  8. Virtualization
  9. Security
  10. ERP applications

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Will Shopping Apps Replace Print Catalogs?

A recent article in eMarketer was headlined, “Are Shopping Apps Taking the Role of Catalogs?” The article discussed some of the findings of a December 2012 research study by Adobe . One focus of this research was the attitudes of smartphone and tablet shoppers toward mobile shopping apps. Here’s part of what the research revealed about how mobile shoppers are using shopping apps:

Two of these findings stand out to me. First, about 40% of both smartphone and tablet shoppers indicated that using a shopping app strengthens their connection with a brand. Second, 21% of both smartphone and tablet shoppers said they typically download a shopping app to become familiar with a new brand. These findings clearly show that mobile marketing in general and mobile e-commerce in particular are growing in importance. The second finding indicates that a sizeable percentage of shoppers are using shopping apps for discovery or browsing purposes in addition to actually making purchases. When used in this fashion, shopping apps perform the same basic function as online or print catalogs.

So, are shopping apps destined to replace catalogs, particularly print catalogs? I don’t think so, especially in the near future. For many companies, printed catalogs are still an important part of the marketing communications mix. Research commissioned by the United States Postal Service has shown that catalog recipients are more likely to make a purchase than shoppers who don’t receive them, and catalog recipients typically buy more items and spend more money.

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How Marketing Can Reclaim the Strategic High Ground

Late last year, Marketing Week published a thought-provoking article titled “Death of the CMO?” The article highlighted the views of Dominique Turpin, Nestle professor and president of the International Institute of Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Professor Turpin says that the chief marketing officer position is no longer tenable because most CMOs are simply executing a communications strategy. As Turpin put it, “The chief executive sets the overall strategy, the research and development and innovation teams design the product, and the chief financial officer determines pricing and departmental budgets.” Professor Turpin argues that the CMO should be replaced by a “chief customer officer” whose primary role would be to listen and communicate the views of customers across the company.

Whether or not you agree with Professor Turpin, it seems clear that many CMOs have a significant credibility problem in the C-suite. In a study by The Fournaise Marketing Group , 80% of CEOs said they don’t really trust marketers, and 64% said they have taken away product and pricing powers from CMOs because those functions are too important for business success to let marketers control them.

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The People You Need for a Successful DAM Initiative

In my last post, I reviewed David Diamond’s new book, DAM Survival Guide . A major strength of this book is that Diamond emphasizes the critical importance of the non-technological aspects of a DAM initiative. In his view, a successful DAM project requires a combination of people with the right knowledge and skills, well-designed business processes, well-conceived business policies, and finally, the right technology tools.

On the people side, Mr. Diamond identifies six positions or roles that are essential for a successful DAM project.

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One DAM Book Worth Reading

The implementation of a digital asset management system is a major undertaking for most organizations. At a minimum, implementing a new DAM system will require many people in your organization to learn to use new technology and probably make at least some changes in how they work. Those individuals who are responsible for leading the DAM initiative have the additional burden of planning and managing the project, selecting the DAM software, and winning the support of both senior executives and prospective users.

There are plenty of resources available to help managers navigate the DAM planning and implementation process, but most of those resources address specific aspects of a DAM project (software features, taxonomy, metadata, etc.). Most don’t provide a “big picture” view of what is needed to make a DAM project successful.

DAM Survival Guide (2012) fills this gap and provides an important and valuable resource for those who are responsible for planning and executing a DAM project. Early in the book, the critical point is made that successfully implementing a digital asset management system involves much more than buying and installing digital asset management software. Throughout the book, the author David Diamond emphasizes that people, processes, and policies are equally important to DAM success.

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