Mukul Krishna is global director for digital media with research firm Frost & Sullivan, in San Antonio. BtoB
recently asked him about trends in digital asset management.
BtoB: Digital asset management (DAM) seems to transcend marketing, doesn't it?
: It really spans all different functions within the enterprise from art and production, to marketing, finance, accounting—you name it. It includes word processing files, spreadsheets and presentations, but also images, marketing collateral, logos, CAD files, engineering drawings, corporate videos, emergency broadcast files. There is a ton of stuff out there, and everything nowadays is digital.
BtoB: Where is the primary pain point?
: No one really has known what to do with this flood of digitized content. Someone in marketing might create something, but [then] he leaves and now nobody knows where the content is. So now it's duplicated unnecessarily. That's lost money. But lost time isn't helping you get to market faster either.
BtoB: So it's an organizational nightmare?
Yes, but also a management issue. Sales, for example, needs collateral for all its different markets where products are being launched. And you want the messaging, logos and colors all uniform, but also with some small part of it—but only that part—customized to meet local requirements. You also want everything up to date; otherwise, you're open to litigation.
There's this level of complexity in the marketing department that if you make one small error, everyone is trying to sue you. Thus, you want to assure brand uniformity, so that Kuala Lumpur and Amsterdam each have the same logo and color, and that multilingual translations are approved by corporate.
BtoB: How do DAM suites interrelate with other marketing tools, such as campaign management?
There's a distinction between true DAM vendors, like ClearStory, North Plains, Interwoven, Open Text/Artesia and others, and other companies like Aprimo, Assetlink and Oracle that offer a DAM subsection to their campaign management and budget allocation tools. But some DAM suites do have the capability of tracking the entire life cycle of a sales presentation, and thus have become very useful tools. M