Asked to sum up the retail marketing sector in four words, many would probably go for: ‘content-rich, time-poor’. However, this doesn’t always exist in harmony with consumer demand for ‘content-rich, multi-channel’ experiences.
Shoppers browsing retailers’ websites expect an experience that’s engaging, enjoyable, and offers a wealth of relevant visual information to inform their buying journey. According to Synup’s The State of Retail 2019 report, almost three-quarters of consumers put significant weight on a retailer’s visibility when it comes to digital platforms and rely on business content when finding, trusting and choosing retail brands.
It’s no longer enough for a homeware retailer, for instance, to have a single image of a sofa on its product page. Shoppers want a 360-degree view of the product; they want to see different fabric swatches and different colours; and increasingly they want to visualise the sofa – with the help of an AR app – in their own living room.
Marketers meanwhile want to deliver this experience. In many cases they have the images, video, text and logos to create a visually compelling and relevant shopping experience. What they don’t have is the time and the tools to make this happen.
For many marketers, it’ll be a familiar scenario. Your team is preparing for the launch of a new product line, which means a lot of new assets have to be created, named, sized, re-sized, organised and assigned to various folders, and so on. At the same time you’ll want to re-use existing digital assets, which means being able to find, edit and use those quickly and easily.
Without the support of a digital asset management (DAM) solution, this is extremely challenging in today’s content-rich, time-poor world of retail marketing. New images have to be taken by a photographer, then uploaded and re-sized individually, and stored on multiple servers and desktops. Collaborating and sharing images may be done via email or hard drives, and finding assets as and when they’re needed is like looking for a needle in a content haystack.
So, here’s a three-step approach to empower your marketing team, overcome the ‘content-rich, time-poor’ challenge, and deliver a visually-engaging and relevant consumer experience.
- Deploy a single source of truth
Choose a DAM solution that will consolidate all digital assets (including multiple versions of the same asset) into one centralised hub. This will act as a ‘single source of truth’ for all of your brand’s assets, allowing marketers to quickly search for the images, videos, logos etc. using keywords and metadata.
Roles, permissions, expiration dates, as well as tracking and usage rights, should be a core feature of this hub, ensuring that the right images are accessed and used by the right people. Setting expiration dates on images, for example, means teams are prevented from using assets that may no longer be relevant.
- Involve the wider team
Adopting any new piece of marketing/ecommerce technology can be daunting. It’s not only a brand’s marketing team that needs to be on board, but all other departments and individuals involved in managing and using brand assets. Pick a DAM solution which facilitates and encourages collaboration, speeding up workflows and allowing stretched marketers to use their time for creative tasks instead of being slowed by time-consuming content management.
A photographer, for instance, should be able to take photos and upload these en masse to a centralised hub themselves. These can then be accessed by individuals from multiple departments, provided they have the correct access rights. Marketers can quickly publish these on digital channels using sharelinks and embed codes; sales teams can download them in different formats for presentations; and tech teams can use APIs and integrations to extend assets across other marketing platforms like a content management system or relationship management tools.
- Scale for success
Finally, according to our 2020 Connectivity Report, 85% of marketing and creative respondents said it’s important or very important to scale creative and marketing work. This can be done by choosing a DAM solution that enables team members to quickly and easily templatise layouts, reuse and repurpose assets, and share and collaborate on assets across departments. This allows more time to focus on creative problem solving in marketing communications.
An ability to scale creative work helps drive marketing success, but also wider business success. An effective DAM solution will allow your teams to deliver content-rich experiences quickly and easily, allowing your company to scale, move into new markets, launch new products and harness new customer touchpoints.