Manufacturers: Stop Drowning in Your Own Content
Digital Asset Management (DAM) Cuts Costs, Speeds Workflows, and Saves Time
Zebra Technologies has solved a tremendously difficult problem that many manufacturing companies share — the organization of thousands of digital assets into one, easily accessible system. Zebra, which makes mobile printers and computing devices, needed a digital filing cabinet capable of managing everything from product specs and images to catalog entries and sales slicks. What’s more, all of those assets had to be readily available in different languages, and for various markets, customer segments, and device formats.
To bring order to the chaos, Zebra implemented a digital asset management (DAM) system — one that would enable the company to find and deliver personalized customer content, on demand. Now, distributors and sales reps have ready access to the materials required for product marketing and promotion. The end result is greater efficiency in content delivery, lower costs, and higher ROI.
The Content Flood
Implementing a DAM solution helps manufacturers align content to product marketing and customer-targeting needs. This is particularly important when it comes to delivering content with pinpoint accuracy, at precisely the right customer touchpoint.
The ROI rationale for better content management is clear. In just a few years, buyers have become five times more dependent on digital information when making a purchasing decision. They also interact with an average of 10.4 pieces of content before buying. Moreover, according to IDC, 71 percent of marketers create more than 10 times the amount of content than they did in the past.
The challenge is to make it easy for customers to find the information they need. The solution is digital asset management. DAM organizes assets in a way that enables the content to find the customer, instead of expecting the customer to search for content. Buyers no longer have to forage for information. The asset management system anticipates where the customer is on their buying journey, and automatically serves up the correctly-targeted content.
As an added bonus, better asset management improves overall business processes and efficiency, which are two important goals for helping manufacturers compete in the global marketplace.
Why an Integrated Platform is a DAM Good Solution
Digital asset management is far more than just a database of assets. A good DAM system facilitates customized user experiences, automates tools for everyday content management tasks, and optimizes your capability to work at any scale you need:
- Deliver a personalized experience. The most important aspect of implementing a DAM solution is to help deliver an experience that delights customers and partners, using any combination of display devices. The system automatically adjusts for variables, such as language, pricing, regulatory restrictions, and/or branding. This enables manufacturers to customize the user experience with special product websites, custom portals for distributors, product manuals, and even personalized after-sales support.
At DuPont, the Crop Protection division formerly produced a 400-page book once a year to provide customers with information about the company’s chemical agricultural products. It was a one-size-fits-all information solution. Today, DuPont uses a DAM tool to manage all of its assets online, including delivery of that annual print piece in an e-book format. Now, farmers can also use a mobile app that mines Dupont’s database for information on the specific needs of their crops and potential threats to their harvest. This translates into a more cost-effective, tailor-made solution for reaching customers in their localized languages, wherever they are located.
- Automate time-consuming tasks. Another advantage of a DAM platform is that you can control how digital assets are used, and for what purpose. If you need to modify an asset, you change the repository copy so everyone has access to the most recent version at the same time. Everything passes through any set of reviews and/or authorizations you define. Different items can have different authorization paths so, for instance, the person who reviews marketing material for use in France isn’t seeing product manuals meant for the Singapore market. Furthermore, the system helps to ensure that nothing gets released until it has all the necessary authorizations.
For DuPont, the DAM system tracks labels and safety sheets generated for farmers who buy the company’s insect, weed, and pest control products. When customer information is changed, the DAM program drives automatic updates that can be used to customize future interactions with any given buyer. By automating the delivery and updates of buyer data sheets, DuPont saved one million dollars a year, and reduced the time it takes to get materials into the hands of its customers by 50 percent.
- Create workflows at scale. Also, with the right DAM platform, you can update, approve, and deploy content as fast as needed, on any scale, without creating a drag on performance. Managing content and assets then becomes all about quality, efficiency, and velocity.
A case in point is Maxim Integrated, a manufacturer that designs and sells semiconductor-based solutions for automobiles, medical devices, and consumer electronics. Digital asset management enabled the company to implement a powerful search tool that makes information on over 9,000 products readily available to its customers. Currently, instead of constantly combing through digital assets, Maxim’s staff can more efficiently and effectively focus on adding new capabilities, and on improving the information delivered to end users. Using a content management system also makes it easy to make updates without relying on IT. Plus, the company’s DAM solution interfaces with Maxim’s overall content management platform, and scales as needed
- Ease of integration. Another advantage of implementing a scalable DAM system is that it integrates easily with other IT solutions. For instance, when Zebra acquired the enterprise solutions unit of Motorola, it doubled its digital assets to 130,000. There was no need to create a new website for former Motorola customers because Zebra was able to repurpose templates from its DAM system in order to leverage its existing website at a fraction of the cost of building a new, customized site.
A Top-Line Growth Investment
Digital asset management addresses the need for manufacturers to improve both content marketing and the speed at which new information is created and deployed. Your investment in a DAM system is an investment in supporting sales conversions and top-line growth. Moreover, by extending content across channels in ways that can scale as necessary, a DAM solution also facilitates better engagement, response rates, conversion, brand consistency, and, ultimately, customer satisfaction. It’s a win for the company, for the customer, and for your budget.