4 Best Practices for Cloud Digital Asset Management
Companies have never had so many content assets at their disposal. We are creating more information and data than ever before. Companies are increasing their investment in content marketing while sales situations grow more complex meaning reps need high quality supporting content to help close deals. The result is the situation we find ourselves in today where companies are struggling to locate the content they need when they need it.
Without effective digital asset management, inefficiencies are running rife. In today’s enterprise:
- 70% of a Sales Rep’s Time is Not Spent Selling: Among the biggest time sucks here are presentation building, manually updating the CRM system, and navigating multiple platforms like CRM, databases, email, knowledge repositories, and intranets in search of relevant digital assets.
- 90% of Marketing Content Goes Unused by Sales People: Because companies store so much content, it is very difficult to locate anything. In many cases, reps rely on the same outdated pieces of content simply because they are easy to locate.
- Only 7% of Sales Rep’s First Meetings Convert to a Second Meeting: Poor messaging lies at the heart of this problem. When reps can’t find the content or digital asset they need, they create their own. Brand and message accuracy suffer, best practices are overlooked, and deals fall out of the pipeline.
To help you eradicate these inefficiencies, we have put together a list of cloud digital asset management best practices.
1. The Centralized Repository Dream is Over
One of the most common approaches to the cloud digital asset management is the idea that all content should be stored in one centralized location. This approach is outdated and simply can not succeed. There is an enormous amount of manual work involved to set up a centralized repository and even more work to maintain it.
Research shows that 68% of organizations have 5 or more storage repositories with digital assets being stored in places like CRMs, email, intranets, wikis, and sales enablement systems. Now think about all the work involved in consolidating all this content into one magic location. It is enormous and also some of the most painful work imaginable.
You also need to consider your existing workflows. They will have to be dramatically altered for a centralized repository to work. Reps will no longer be able to work where they are most comfortable, instead, they will have to be retrained to change their existing habits.
Another consideration here is analytics. So many digital asset management tools promise the world when it comes to analytics. Unfortunately for them, they can only analyze the content that gets used in their system. If a rep emails a piece of content to a prospect, there will be no analytics recorded thus giving your marketing and sales leaders a very limited view of how content is being used.
2. Integration is Key
Digital asset management storage is heterogeneous and, no matter how much a vendor tells you otherwise, it is going to stay this way. To effectively manage your content, you need a solution that integrates with all your content stores. The best in class next generation solutions can provide you with a connectivity layer that sits on top of all your content stores. Instead of dreaming about a single store for all your content, you should chase after the much more realistic dream of providing your team with a single access point to all enterprise content.
3. Next Generation Search Functionality Is A Must
Research has shown that people now rely on Google to store long term information, they would previously have remembered. Google has also taught us to expect instant information. This change in our mindset has also crossed into our work lives, where we expect instant access to information. Unfortunately, enterprise search has taken a while to catch up with internet search.
It is no longer enough to search for digital assets by file name. The volume of content is too high. Knowledge workers might well remember an important passage of text they came across, but it is highly unlikely they will remember the name of every file they accessed. Instead, they need to be able to search content right down to the page level. Similarly, they should be able to access the exact image, slide, or chart they need. As you decide upon the type of digital asset management solution to implement, make sure you prioritize search.
4. Cloud Digital Asset Management Is Evolving, You Must Evolve With It
Digital asset management continues to evolve. In the early 1990s, the concept of knowledge management or digital asset management became a hot topic. For the first time, companies began to view their institutional knowledge as something which could be leveraged. The first stage in capturing this valuable knowledge saw companies introduce a centralized content repository to house their digital assets. Unfortunately, these centralized repository systems were much better in theory than in practice. Upkeep was too time intensive for companies to realize any real benefit. Documents would have to be continuously uploaded while older files had to be removed.
The next phase in the digital asset management evolution came with the introduction of Microsoft SharePoint in 2001. SharePoint combines a range of traditionally separate functions like intranet, extranet, content management, enterprise search, business intelligence, and workflow management. There is however a significant installation effort required and the limitations of SharePoint’s search functionality become more glaring as the volume of content increases. SharePoint’s most fundamental failing is that it is just another place to store content. Not dissimilar to the digital asset management repositories of the early 1990s, users must upload files to SharePoint libraries for the solution to work. At its core, SharePoint is based on a deeply flawed approach which will only ever connect users with a subset of their company’s digital assets.
For a digital asset management solution to succeed today, it must go well beyond the traditional portal or repository-based approach and bring together the most vital components of enterprise search, content management, and sales enablement to provide a solution perfectly attuned to today’s highly sophisticated and content heavy enterprise landscape.
The following features are vital:
- Connectivity Layer: Your digital asset management solution can not simply be another place to store content. Instead it should act as a connectivity layer which indexes all content stores providing users with instant access to all enterprise knowledge.
- Search Relevance: Companies need a relevance-driven search solution that uses input signals from many sources and includes deep crawling of content and metadata sources, relationships and taxonomies extraction, and real-time change detection – to provide a holistic picture of relevant content.
- Usage Metrics: Companies need visibility into the way knowledge is being used. CMI research shows that 30-50% of marketing budget is being spent on content and marketing leaders need a way to justify this spend. It is important to be able to show which pieces of content demonstrate ROI and – perhaps even more important – which pieces of content don’t. Only by learning how content is being used can the enterprise get smarter. Without a feedback loop, invaluable tribal knowledge gets lost.
- Content Recommendations: With so much content available, it is difficult to pinpoint the exact piece of content for each sales situation. By leveraging content metadata and other usage inputs, next generation digital asset management solutions should be able to provide companies with content recommendations for each situation better than any human ever could.