We're having a growing number of conversations with RSG's Digital Asset Management research subscribers on the increased industry specialization that's happening in the DAM marketplace. Certain industries have specialized needs and some vendors are evolving their offerings to respond to these needs.
One industry that impacted this shift is consumer goods and fashion brands. Many CPG firms are on the bleeding edge of positioning their DAM systems as the engine of their digital marketing technology stack. In today's environment where customers are interacting with brands in more ways and more channels than ever, brands feel more pressure to take better control of the core assets that underpin all the stories their marketers are trying to tell.
Here are just some examples of the types of challenges that tend to crop up in the CPG space:
- Model Contracts: Retail advertising is ripe with models showcasing products. Individual models often have strict contracts that allow the usage of their image and likeness in certain ways and for certain time periods. This adds an additional dimension to the traditional problem of rights management. It becomes critical for enterprises to know exactly where assets that contain models are being used, when their rights expire, and how to stop the usage upon expiration.
- Seasonality: Intense seasonality necessitates accurate content delivery in a timely manner across multiple customer touchpoints. You just can't have your winter line coming out in June.
- Scalability: It's normal for events to to cause spikes in content creation and content delivery. Some of these spikes can be anticipated like Fashion Week, Black Friday, and the Holiday rush. But other spikes like a celebrity mention on social media can cause demands for more assets to more channels than expected.
- Partner Demands: Brands who supply their wares through third parties are having to jump through ever-greater hoops to provide their content in the ways that the 3rd parties are demanding. Amazon, Walmart, Nordstrom, Macy's, and an ever-increasing list of smaller e-commerce outlets crave assets from brands, but they want them in their custom formats on their custom schedules.
- PIM integration: Assets alone are not enough — product specs, descriptions, and many other dimensions need to be delivered alongside assets to a multitude of experience channels. Thus, retail enterprises need build a strong connection between their PIM and DAM systems.
- Direct-to-consumer: CPG companies that traditionally went to market via retailers now have new opportunities to sell directly to consumer; to be sure, some brands have always done this — think fashion brands with stores in luxury shopping districts, or firms with a longstanding catalog business. But in an era where you can purchase customized M&Ms directly from Mars, all the traditional lines between CPG and retail are officially blurred. This requires a much more sophisticated mastery of upstream and downstream digital asset pipelines.
- Consistency of experience: Ensuring that the right assets get to the right place at the right time is critical for brands who want their digital experiences to match physical in-store experiences. Having a single source of truth for assets is an essential piece in ensuring that the in-person experience matches the online experience.
- Not just digital: Digital asset management is not just about "digital" experiences. Printed catalogs, in-store signs, and physical displays are still very important sales tools.
Whether you work in consumer goods, fashion, or another related industry, technology is never a one-size-fits-all solution. It is more important than ever to choose a technology that offers the right fit for your unique industry and use-case scenarios.
As always, this starts with getting to the right shortlist of vendors that have strengths in the areas that are most aligned with what you and your enterprise are trying to do.