At Nuxeo, we talk with prospects all the time who have a sense that their organization can and must do a better job of managing digital assets. Who are on a personal mission to help their businesses take advantage of the rapidly changing content landscape.

Unfortunately, leadership can be a lonely road. Having a vision of your organization being different than it is today necessarily means seeing what others do not.

Forrester TAP

If you’re a leader looking to up your team’s game, a recently published Forrester Consulting study[1] shows that your organization’s journey needn’t be a lonely one, and your vision and ambition is shared by other leaders.

Nuxeo commissioned Forrester Consulting to survey over 100 marketing and technology leaders at multibillion-dollar enterprises across North America and Europe. We asked about their use of Digital Asset Management (DAM), their expectations, and their successes and disappointments.

I was heartened by the results: by and large, the market is thinking about a lot of the right things. Those organizations that can deliver on their ambitions will reap big rewards (and those that can’t deliver – or worse, even dream – will unfortunately be left in a tough spot).

Here are three highlights, and some of my interpretation:

Today, less than 40% of firms have a single enterprise DAM solution used company-wide

This isn’t that surprising. DAM as a category started out as a repository for final assets. An asset graveyard. That idea, DAM 1.0, was hardly an enterprise solution. As it grew up, connections were added to upstream asset collection and downstream distribution points. This concept, DAM 2.0, was more interesting, but still department-centric.

Now we’re in the midst of a shift to DAM 3.0. As enterprises outside of the media industry become content publishers, and execute campaigns and content strategies with ever more moving pieces across more geographies, customer segments, and channels, with ever-shortening timelines, leaders are recognizing that they need to manage the whole supply chain of content – where it comes from, how it’s created, recombined, edited, reviewed, distributed, and measured – as one critically important business process. Consequently, they’ve realized they need enterprise DAM, but most are still in the early stages of the journey.

Current DAM solutions fail to properly integrate and boost productivity of existing tools - and - Some of the most important DAM solution characteristics relate to integration capabilities – with cloud services, creative tools, or existing enterprise systems

On one level the first point above is surprising – I just wrote above that DAM 2.0 was all about connectivity upstream and downstream. On another level, it’s not surprising at all. Since 2011, the number of software tools in the martech landscape has grown from 150 to 5,000, according to Chief Martec. Every large organization has a great many tools, in unique and continuously changing configurations, in its marketing stack, and many more beyond it (like CRM, servicing, invoicing, and more) that need access to key digital assets.

A number of the legacy DAM providers that defined the DAM 2.0 era focused on integrating their DAMs into their own wider marketing suites, like web content management systems, to create cross-selling opportunities, instead of acknowledging and addressing the diversity of needs in their customer bases.

For enterprise DAMs to work within this complex ecosystem, they have to be much more integration-friendly, and the second point above shows that firms clearly understand that. That means modern APIs, design for extensibility, and a culture of openness.

Campaign uplift, on the other hand, is a more commonly realized business benefit of DAM implementation than many anticipate

I’m a bit surprised about this one, to be honest. I would hope that anyone doing a DAM implementation would have a plan for boosting the effectiveness of their content and campaigns as part of the logic driving the effort, but only 30% of our respondents expected to boost their campaign success. Perhaps they have been hopeful before, only to be disappointed. Or they’d rather build a case on more predictable footing, like IT cost savings (the top expected benefit). Or perhaps they aren’t sure how to attribute campaign improvements to a DAM project.

Personally, the hard benefits I’ve seen DAM vendors highlighting the most have been cost and risk reductions. I think as an industry we have more work to do here to help draw that link and bring expectations up to the much more heartening reality!

There are many more interesting insights in the study that can help you build a case for change, spot risks in your plans in advance, and ask better questions to your stakeholders, consultants, and prospective DAM vendors, such as:

  • Key actions firms are already taking to implement DAM, and those they are planning to take in the coming year
  • The top 8 DAM solution characteristics firms are looking for
  • The top 10 expected, and the top 10 experienced, benefits from those who have implemented enterprise DAMs

Interested in learning more? Download a complimentary copy of the Forrester Consulting study here.

[1] Unlocking The Power Of Digital Asset Management Solutions, a June 2017 commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Nuxeo.