Does your organization need a digital asset management platform?Does your organization need a digital asset management platform?

Customers’ expectations are rising and marketers are working to meet those expectations with personalized content at a growing number of touchpoints — from social, to website to mobile app to drive-through menu to virtual reality experience. It’s that need to maintain a compliant, on-brand experience that is leading more marketers to adopt or upgrade digital asset management systems.

But before jumping into the purchase process, you should follow the same steps involved in any software adoption, including a comprehensive self-assessment of your organization’s business needs, staff capabilities, management support and financial resources.

The list of questions below should help you and your team to get started:

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How do we currently manage the incoming and outgoing digital assets in our marketing systems today?

If you use martech that features lightweight DAM features — like content management software, a digital experience platform or a web content management system — you may not need additional functionality, depending on the sophistication and geographic scope of your marketing operations.

What are the processes we follow internally to vet assets and prepare them for distribution to marketing outlets?

Companies with complex brand standards and legal approvals processes — those that operate in a highly-regulated industry like insurance, for example — will want to ensure the DAM can enable and provide documentation of the necessary signoffs.

What digital asset management capabilities does our organization need?

Prioritize the available digital asset management features based on your most pressing business needs.

Who will use the platform? At what level in the organization will it be managed?

C-suite buy-in and appropriate staffing are crucial to the effectiveness of any digital asset management platform. Increasingly, martech platforms such as digital asset management are being managed by the CMO – and not the CTO or CIO. In either case, without the proper skilled human resources in place, the platform can end up becoming an expensive reservoir of untapped data with unfulfilled potential to increase revenue and improve customer experiences with your brand.

How much training will we need?

Different platform vendors provide different levels of customer service — from self-serve to full-serve — and strategic consulting services. It’s important to have an idea of where you fall on the spectrum before interviewing potential partners. Training is essential. If your organization chooses not to hire internal staff, then consider whether you need to use an add-on or third-party consulting services to effectively use the platform.

Can we successfully integrate a digital asset management system with our existing martech systems?

Many enterprises work with different partners for email, e-commerce, social media, paid search and display advertising. Investigate which systems the digital asset management vendor integrates with – whether natively or via API – and find out if they offer seamless reporting and/or execution capabilities with external vendors. If a connection can be made only through an API, ensure you have the internal or external resources to develop the necessary integration.

What are our reporting needs? What information do marketing managers, salespeople and customer support teams require to improve decision making?

You want to know the specific holes in your current reporting that will be filled by additional functionality and, more importantly, you want to be sure that that extra information will drive better decisions and ultimately more revenue for your business.

What is the total cost of ownership?

Enterprise digital asset management platforms’ pricing can range from a few hundred dollars a year to nearly half a million a year. Examine your feature requirements closely, as modular pricing models mean vendors vary in their inclusion of some features as standard or add-on.

How will we define success? What KPIs do we want to measure and what decisions will we make based on digital asset management data?

You should set your business goals for the digital asset management platform in advance to be able to benchmark success later on. Without them, justifying the expense of the platform or subsequent marketing campaigns to C-suite executives will be difficult.

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Digital asset management platforms: A Snapshot

What is it? Anyone who’s struggled to find a file on their computer or shared drive understands the pain of tracking down content. And when you consider the sheer amount of files you need to sort through when many versions are created to resonate with specific audiences, these tasks can feel overwhelming. Digital asset management platforms simplify these tasks by bringing all of your marketing content together.

Why are they important? Marketers are creating engaging content for more channels than ever before, which means the software used to manage these assets is gaining importance. What’s more, the communications between businesses and their customers are increasingly digital. Marketing content today is created in a wide variety of formats and distributed wherever consumers are digitally connected.

Why now? More than half of 1,000 consumers recently surveyed said they’re more likely to make a purchase if brand content is personalized, according to the Adobe Consumer Content Survey. Digital asset management platforms help marketers implement these personalization tactics. They also provide valuable insights into content interaction and the effectiveness of their assets.

Why we care. When those creating and using content aren’t near one another, having a central repository for assets is helpful. Finding the right content for your audience is made simpler when each version is organized in the same location. For these reasons and more, your marketing operations could benefit from adopting a digital asset management system.

Read next: What is digital asset management?

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