Brand experience: It’s a glamour profession. Imagine those creative types in their artsy milieu, crafting sharp new logos and cool packaging, shooting TV ads, and writing zippy headlines. It’s the stuff of many a “Mad Men” episode. But behind delivering a consistent brand experience is a more prosaic but equally sophisticated element: digital asset management technology (DAM, as it’s known in the industry).
DAM, which is in widespread use across enterprises today, is typically thought of as a backend repository for centralized, cataloged, searchable content. That is surely a good basic definition, but DAM is much more than that. In our point of view, it is the “holy grail” of enterprise content management that enables consistent brand experience for customers.
In short, DAM supports content governance, rights management, version control, and reuse; collaborative brand-compliant content creation and omnichannel distribution; campaign management; customer relationship management; and marketing processes, including reporting on asset usage. If that sounds complicated, it is – especially in large enterprises, where many different organizations generate content for different purposes. Each group or line of business requires its own processes, access controls, interfaces, and so on to ensure a seamless experience and strong user adoption. For example, each organization might require a variety of integrations with one or more distribution channels and platforms. Thus, a well-thought-out DAM strategy, deployment, best practices, and vigilant continuous improvement are critical.
DAM at SAP
Here at SAP, for example, Digital Library is our DAM platform, and it serves as SAP’s single source for global, regional, and local marketing assets. Digital Library is tightly integrated with SAP.com, for publishing of customer-facing assets, as well as SAPPartnerEdge.com, SAP’s website for partners, and SAP’s internal Integrated Campaign Enablement platform.
Like most enterprise DAM platforms, Digital Library supports multiple teams. These include Studio SAP, a division of SAP Marketing, which provides end-to-end production of assets ranging from demand-generation and customer reference materials to product literature. Through integration between the Studio SAP workflow system and Digital Library, Studio SAP can offer an uninterrupted path from those who create content to those who consume it. That seamless flow also depends on integration with the SAP Image Library, maintained by the SAP Branding Team, to ensure that all marketing assets utilize rights-free imagery.
Different use cases among marketing teams
Another key user of Digital Library is Global Customer Operations (GCO), which is responsible for technical enablement of SAP sales teams. GCO’s primary objective for Digital Library is ensuring easy access to content that properly, accurately, and clearly describes the SAP products and services the account execs are promoting. For the General Business organization, which supports the small and midsize enterprise (SME) market segment, the emphasis is on making localized content sharable, searchable, and accessible.
GCO and the General Business organization both maintain their own content on Digital Library, grouped and cataloged according to their usage needs. Each represents a unique use case, with a vastly different user experience, that requires a separate content store to be built, curated, and maintained while leveraging the core platform. Further, each requires different integrations. For the GCO team, Digital Library has incorporated Edito, a third-party database application that stores articles created for the front-line support team and end users to address issues an account exec might face. Over in the General Business content center, an AI-powered chatbot lets users ask a question with natural language to search for information. When the chatbot finds a relevant reference, it instantly takes the user directly to the exact page, slide, or point in a video where the information appears.
Why internal user experience is essential to the brand experience
Ease of use, searchability, confidence in content accuracy – this all rolls up to user adoption by internal teams. Have we emphasized the internal user experience and technical integrations over the customer’s brand experience? Yes. But you can’t have one without the other. The output of the creatives – the assets they design and produce – will support the brand experience only inasmuch as it is compliant and consistent. The assets are valuable to the brand experience only inasmuch as they are searchable and accessible, both internally and externally, and properly governed and controlled. And that’s what DAM delivers.
Digital Library at SAP is built on SAP Digital Asset Management by OpenText. Read the Solution Brief to learn more.