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Why Moving Beyond DAM is Critical for a Sustainable Creative Value Chain

Neil Grant Creative Value Chain

I often get asked where the idea for a Global Marketing Supply Chain came from and how it sustains the creative value chain. It’s an interesting evolution that comes primarily from the experiences I’ve gained in the field having been fortunate to work with many thought leaders and clients to understand how their businesses have evolved, and the role content has played as we move into this digital-first world.

The Concept of DAM Isn’t New

In fact, many of the leading Digital Asset Management (DAM) solutions have been around for over 20 years. The concept of placing digital assets into a single, centralized repository so users can have access to the latest and most accurate versions to be used throughout its entire lifecycle sounds efficient – right?

How often have we heard that DAM is going to revolutionize our business? Or that it’s going to give us new insights into how we work that we never believed possible or that we are going to streamline our work so much that DAM is key to our digital transformation?

Well while the concept is a great one, modern-day DAM has become impractical due to the vast amounts of underlying technologies supporting it. A DAM becomes another silo within the organization unless it has connectivity to solutions which support the creation of content and those that provide distribution. Add to this the need to become more personalized, get closer to the customer, no matter how they wish to interact with your brand in an ever-increasing number of channels and it is easy to see how the issue is expanding.

Standalone, custom integrations and vendor-owned technologies remove the agility to adapt to new channels. They simply aren’t built to consistently scale massive amounts of digital media because they 1) tend to be business-focused as opposed to media-focused and 2) are strained to operate without a heavy investment in infrastructure.

To resolve these issues over time we started to deliver the Digital Media Supply Chain (DMSC).  The concept was simple. We created solutions that allowed ideation, greenlighting, and task assignments enabling users to access, review and respond to deliverables at the right time, on time. Portals were used to orchestrate content to different groups, and content was published into the necessary channels for syndication. Because this was all under the control of a single solution, each point could report data for the purpose of metrics.

The problem was the original DMSC concept required DAM with standard business systems, configuration, customization and underlying technology integrations to get to a solution which worked. The price tag that went with it was usually far beyond the initial license and infrastructure investment. Once the solution was in place things worked well, but it became expensive to maintain, upgrade, and modify over time. The barriers to adoption became complex with users having to learn new tools and workflows – often changing their processes resulting in major costs and time.

Moving Beyond DAM

The more we recognized and understood specific needs from enterprise marketing organizations looking to move beyond DAM and towards digital transformation, it became apparent end-to-end global visibility and fluidity of content, processes and data were the backbone to the next generation DMSC to sustain the creative value chain.

Leveraging cloud technologies along with FAANG proven concepts for scalability, Global Media Supply Chain (GMSC) was born as a productized service offering to deliver an ROI that had never before been previously achieved.

By giving enterprises a content-focused digital supply chain that orchestrates the connectivity between existing marketing technology investments, leverages AI/ML, microservices and hypergraph intelligence systems to aggregate performance data and provides global insight to visualize and track content at every level across all channels—the creative value chain becomes unified, adaptable, scalable and future proof.

As mentioned in a previous blog post, the market need and GMSC have finally aligned at the right time. Enterprises housing millions of digital assets will now be able to deliver a certain level of marketing personalization and return on spend that go beyond what DAM systems can do.

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