Home » Future of Retail and E-Commerce » Understanding the big benefits of effective digital asset management

Erica Gunn

CMO, Canto

It’s critical that companies effectively curate and control their digital assets content with the right digital asset management systems.

In the fast-paced world of e-commerce, it’s imperative to visually stand out from the retail crowd. That’s why organisations in the industry have vast troves of digital assets — everything from photos and videos to logos and documents — to help tell their story and drive their advertising strategy across multiple digital platforms.

Effective management and distribution of this material at scale can be a problem, however. “It’s become a real challenge in recent years,” says Erica Gunn, CMO of Canto, a company offering digital asset management solutions.

Different types of assets

“Digital assets must be properly curated so that they can be easily found, used, approved and shared with the right people at the right time. This has become more complicated because retailers have so much digital material in their possession — thousands and thousands of assets in some cases — and because so much of that content has to be formatted differently for different digital platforms.”

Gunn divides digital assets into two categories. The first are ‘e-commerce assets’, such as product shots. If products are seasonal, these images can have a very short shelf life — so it’s important to have a mechanism in place to automatically take content out of circulation the minute it becomes outdated or discontinued.

Then there are ‘brand assets’, such as company logos, graphics and colour palettes (which are more constant) and brand images that may be used over a longer period.

Digital assets must be properly curated so that they can be easily found, used, approved and shared with the right people at the right time.

Benefits of digital management platforms

Gunn points out that ineffective management of both types of assets can create all kinds of risks. Featuring a product that’s no longer available may spark customer complains. Editing a partner brand’s images without their permission can sour the relationship. Companies may even face legal action for violating copyright or publishing an image with an expired model release.

Using a digital asset management platform neutralises this risk by effectively centralising and organising digital libraries, managing digital rights and asset lifecycles, and speeding up and simplifying campaign rollouts.

Working from a common library also makes sharing material easier, improving collaboration with internal creative teams and external agencies and partners as well as driving productivity. Flexible user permissions allow brands to give collaborators access to everything they need (and nothing they don’t), and sharing portals provide a convenient way to share curated collections with external partners.

More and more companies are getting the message that digital asset management really matters. “Retailers who want their digital media and marketing presence to grow are realising that this is the best way to manage it,” says Gunn.

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