Blog | Marketing Strategy

The Rise Of The (Marketing) Machines

Blog, Marketing Strategy

Digital Asset Management as a Critical Business Function

It used to be that Digital Asset Management (DAM) was back-office stuff: the organization and process of storing images, media, video, and other assets used in marketing. With the rise of content marketing—DAM has gained a new, and huge importance within the marketing organization.

The consumer expectation has changed, and DAM must be a direct support to the experience of your brand, your products, your message from the outside. Every consumer must have at-a-tap access to all those digital assets that used to be buried in the digital catacombs. It’s a core technology that supports the customer experience—from the first impression to the first-time site visit; from target to qualified lead; from the on-boarder to the evangelist. We’ve also come to realize that DAM’s influence goes even further, supporting the enterprise’s very foundation.

At every stage of the customer lifecycle, a company’s digital assets—marketing’s heart and soul, certainly, but the company’s as well—need to be at the ready: Filed, tagged, accessible, with rules about their use clearly associated, and compliance measures in place. Relationships between and among the assets, their subjects, their creators and their context also need to be clearly defined and understood. In addition, assets generated by adjacent areas (product development, product management, corporate, etc.) need to be included in the mix.

DAM’s increasingly larger role in an organization’s ability to advance the pipeline, as well as support the operations of the company, is coupled with growing availability of solution options. That means it’s more important than ever to understand the steps that need to be taken to create a smart DAM strategy, and to select the system(s) that gets the job done.

Developing a DAM Strategy

Understanding your asset ecosystem is essential to developing a DAM strategy that accomplishes the goals of your organization. When Coffee + Dunn works with clients (reference For Want of an Asset case study) we focus on key elements that comprise the DAM ecosystem, including: Source; Granular Assets; Composed Assets; and Channels. Each are building blocks to this entity that DAM must support.


Where do you get the information needed to develop digital assets? It comes from a variety of areas, encompassing product and service, the customer experience—and the very brand itself. What you offer, how customers benefit and what your stand for are the wellspring for digital asset development.

Granular Assets: Each granular asset, like the elements on the periodic table, are singular components: a logo, an image, a color, an illustration, etc. And each are vital to the DAM ecosystem, and could well number in the millions for a global enterprise company.

Composed Assets

As granular assets are combined composed assets are created. Content, logo, colors, a template, a concept become an ad—a composed asset. Multiple ads become a campaign—another composed asset. Versions based on personas, geography, cultural differences—each are distinct composed assets. Understanding the unique ways assets can be combined—and keeping them straight and current, is key.

Channel Deployment

How do you get your assets out there? Through channels, or combinations of channels. Many organizations leverage scores of channels to make sure their messages are seen and heard at the right place at the right time by the right audiences.

Once your ecosystem is mapped—and clearly understood, leaders are able to get the big picture view they need to develop a digital asset strategy. The ecosystem allows you to answer the questions that are the basis of the strategy, and subsequently select the tools needed to manage the environment.

Questions that need to be answered as part of strategy development include:

How will the taxonomy of our source and our assets across the organization and among outside vendors, including agencies, consultants and creative resources be standardized (or not)?

• What critical data and metadata are needed when, where and by whom?

• What assets are needed when, where and by whom?

• Who manages/administers the automated DAM processes?

• What checks and balances need to put in place to assure control, accuracy, currency and compliance?

An agreed-upon DAM strategy that meets current and future needs is the foundation upon which technology decisions are made. Only with articulated vision and a detailed grasp of the ecosystem can marketing leaders move from current state … to competitive advantage. For more information reference C+D’s Digital Asset Management whitepaper.

Watch this blog for a follow-up post about how to assess, source, select and deploy the digital asset management tools that meet your needs

Join the conversation: How is DAM’s role in your organization impacting more than just marketing?


Coffee + Dunn is an industry leading connected experience partner uniquely focused on building effective customer engagements through the strong alignment of technology, operations, and strategy.​ Our award-winning services enable customers to drive growth and optimize value across various industries, including financial services, professional + collegiate sports, manufacturing, healthcare and education.