“What platform should we use to manage our digital assets?”
It’s a common question bandied about in many an executive meeting, and you may have heard it in your own organization. While there’s nothing wrong with this question itself, it has to be asked at the right time. So many organizations put the proverbial cart before the horse when it comes to managing their digital assets, looking for the right tech solution before they’re actually ready. It’s akin to charging ahead with marketing tactics without having your strategy set.
Before answering that question, you need to stop and take a look around your organization to determine the best place to start.
Take Control of Your Digital Assets First
For many organizations, the optimal starting point is taking control of their digital assets. What does this mean? As organizations grow and corporate structures become more complex, a once-well-oiled and streamlined asset management process can quickly breakdown. Things spread quickly, version control grows out-of-control, and no one in the organization has a good idea of what exists, and where.
Start with one simple question: Who in my organization needs access to these assets?
While it’s true that the marketing team will need the company’s digital assets for projects like product catalogs and promotions, others in the organization may need access to the data as well. You may also have distributors or vendors outside of your office walls who need the latest information to accurately represent your product in the marketplace.
Step one is to identify all of the potential stakeholders and gather requirements from them, in order to develop a true and accurate picture of the digital asset landscape.
Coordinating how you communicate new digital assets to these stakeholders is an important consideration that will influence your path forward. Explore how you are currently providing information about updates to existing products, new product launches, and even changes to individual product features.
It’s not simply about making sure the digital asset itself is communicated accurately, but that the stakeholder gets the appropriate education about this new information. A brand representative with incomplete knowledge about a product can be just as dangerous and damaging as one with no information at all.
Supporting with Technology—Important Considerations
Now that you have a better handle on these preliminary questions, you’re almost ready to choose a platform to help support your digital asset management. Consider these important issues when selecting that platform:
- Implementation: Do you have the resources in-house to support implementing the platform, or will you need to hire a consultant to help get it running and support all of the touchpoints and stakeholders you’ve identified?
- Integration with Existing Systems: What else is part of your infrastructure? You may have a CRM system, marketing automation tool, and a variety of other software and services that should be considered when choosing a platform,
- Security: You don’t want to inadvertently open your organization to a potential security hole or flaw. While a well-implemented and maintained platform should not create any risks, it’s a question worth asking—especially given that a variety of users will be accessing the platform.
- Usability: Speaking of users, usability should be a key consideration in your selection criteria. The best platform is the one that gets the most use. Sometimes an overly complex platform with all of the bells and whistles may seem like the best option, but it could overwhelm a typical user. You may want to bring a representative sample of stakeholders and users—not just your tech team—to the demos to get their impressions.
- Cost and ROI: Every new technology is an investment. You’ll need to determine your break-even point to see if the ROI on the platform makes sense for how you’ll use it.