One of the biggest challenges facing brands as social media platforms continue to evolve is that of brand consistency. In the “old” world, marketers defined messaging and images they felt were most representative of their brand. On the social internet, the community defines the message and may begin to define the images. How do Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems fit into this?They are the central repository for a company’s digital media assets.
As companies intentionally reach out to their communities for input, this input will come in many formats. Brands may invite consumers to create new tag lines. It may come as pictures of users with the product. It may come in the form of home video extolling product benefits. Consumer brands are actively seeking user generated content, partly to attract attention to the brand, partly to gain low/no cost re-usable content and partly to test the waters.
Platforms such as YouTube, Flickr and Vimeo are growing outlets for company created content but also for brand requested user generated content. This user generated content may not comply with corporate defined brand image. How do brands address this? Or by “crowd sourcing” content, do brands give up control of brand identity? The goal for many marketing teams is to create content that can be repurposed across multiple distribution channels and create tighter bonds with their customers. Regardless of their intent, how do companies manage and repurpose user generated assets?
DAM systems can help companies manage these assets. Any DAM solution provides the ability to define the ontology and taxonomy of digital assets. It is possible to create additional categories which identify the assets as user generated, associated with a specific campaign or of certain image quality. DAM systems may also begin to incorporate social concepts such as the tag cloud, which shows the tags associated with specific assets. They could also incorporate features such as reviews & comments, helping marketing departments identify the most popular or useful content.
A digital asset management system cannot control a company’s brand, but it can help that company manage the digital media assets related to the brand. The system provides the company with a tool to review, assess, edit and manage assets with the intent to determine the asset’s alignment with brand image. It then enables companies to extend their brand across multiple channels (i.e., mobile, internet, print, TV, etc.) through re-use and re-purpose of the selected asset(s). Bottom line, digital asset management systems will have to integrate and manage professionally produced assets as well as those imported from social platforms.