Why you should have a Digital Asset Management (DAM) strategy if you’re selling more than 1 product
As the digital transformation goes deeper into the Marketing and Sales activities of the brands, one issue coming up frequently is the difficulty to manage product information. Either it’s titles, descriptions, attributes or pictures this is caused by the lack of a Digital Asset Management strategy and it happens specially with brands who’s presence varies on multiple platforms like mobile Apps or eCommerce.
It can seem obvious, but both big and small companies often use different approaches depending on the department that is handling the data. If they use an ERP like SAP (or similar), data is normally handled by IT and exported to Marketing. This means product information is exported and re-imported to many other platforms in order to fill up catalogs (paper and digital), corporate and eCommerce websites, Apps, and the like.
At this point, technology is moving towards many directions where data can be shown, let’s think about Apps (Android, iOS), wearables, IoT or VR and if we continue exporting-importing data every single time we need to showcase our products we will end up with expensive and laborious tasks that are also very much prone to errors. Got a new color option? Cool, let’s edit the ERP, the eCommerce website, send an email to the guy taking care of the paper catalog and to the mobile App developer.
if we continue exporting-importing data every single time we need to showcase our products we will end up with expensive and laborious tasks that are also very much prone to errors
DAM (Digital Asset Management) to the rescue
The analogy couldn’t be better: you need a dam to avoid data from flowing freely between all your platforms, agencies and colleagues in order to have less errors and reduce manual intervention. You need to kill Excel spreadsheets.
The first step is to control and predict where product information might be needed — you don’t have a mobile App and think it might be relevant for your business in the future? Do you want to try what can be done with IoT? A proper platform strategy is very important at this point because after you set your bases right, data will be available cleanly and in a standardized way, allowing you to react quicker in the case you want to integrate with a 3rd party partner or try other platforms like IoT.
Choose a technology
There are many solutions to manage product information, and some of them are even open-source but what’s really important is that the provider offers the constant support and updates so brands can connect / dynamically export to multiple platforms like Drupal or Magento.
Developing a custom solution is also an option in cases the brand have such a huge amount of requirements for its products that none of the available solutions are valid. Imagine a car company for example, how many specifications and dependencies would be needed? In this case, the natural way to go is to internally develop a platform that can aggregate the specifications.
Get ready for the future
As stated in the beginning of this article, the digital platforms environment is diversifying a lot and brands should be ready for that. Many growing technologies like Progressive Web Apps from Google are seen by many as the future of Mobile Apps and data storage is fundamentally based in json objects, which is currently accepted as the standard way to transfer data between the server and the client.
If a brand is serious about managing its products properly and want to constantly offer the best experience to your users, the only option is to start today, before it get’s too complex to manage.