Guinness Brewery at St. James Gate in Dublin
PHOTO: Salvador Maniquiz | Shutterstock

“Archives are a collection of objects gathered to shape a narrative, to assert an interpretation, to evoke memory and reaction —– in other words, to make history.”

Content drives brand. But, do you know where your content is? Are you managing your content well? Do you know what you can do?

The need for creativity and innovation is needed now more than ever before. Our ability to do business as we did before has been compromised by the newly shared global environment with COVID-19. The audience is the same, but the way in which we interact has changed. The people with the content are always at a strategic advantage, as they are able to use that content to interact with their audience. Yet, the fact is businesses cannot simply create new campaigns as they had before, and brands are being challenged — and in some situations, driven — to mine existing content to create new communications quickly and cost-effectively.

Banking on History, No Matter How Old (or Recent)

A good example of this is the global drinks company, Guinness, in its recent St. Patrick’s Day campaign. At the start of the pandemic it was unable to shoot new footage, so Guinness worked with its agency to quickly put together a spot for St Patrick’s Day relying exclusively on old footage. What is interesting is the speed with which it was able to do this using existing content from its archives. The opportunity for content owners, marketing technologists and everyone managing content lies in understanding how assets sit at the center of digital operations from creation, to discovery, through distribution. Guinness succeeded because it was connected to its content.

Businesses creating and disseminating brand and marketing messages and products engage with customer communities who, in turn, respond with shopping behavior, internet searches, assets, and data such as reviews, comments, images, check-ins, and other online actions.

Content should be viewed as a constant connection between people, process and technology. Information management is the practice of managing how structured and unstructured digital content is identified, described, organized, secured and leveraged for use and reuse. If you do not have an archive yet, you need to start one now (it’s never too late to start). Whether you are a born-digital organization, or a 250-plus-year-old institution like Guinness, a data-driven and user-centric approach to information organization allows a company to transform its business and organizational activities, processes and competencies.

In short, creating an archive is the right thing to do for your content and your brand.

Related Article: What's a Marketer's Greater Challenge: Content or Data?

The Power of DAM in Corporate Memory

Digital asset management (DAM) and an effective martech strategy can aid in the preservation of corporate memory for an institution — helping to codify knowledge and also preserve important company information and data. This allows organizations to avoid repeating the same old mistakes and also keeps them from reinventing the wheel, recreating the same content, or forgetting about important learnings or knowledge. Any organization looking to preserve memory, protect company intellectual property and avoid a digital dark age in the history of their company should make using DAM as an institutional repository a core strategy and objective of their DAM program, and more tactically, their marketing and advertising strategy. Furthermore, DAM helps facilitate knowledge-sharing across an organization, especially when asset restrictions are minimized, and user adoption of the tool is high. 

A functional DAM isn't a “dumping ground” for assets. Rather, it's a functional, if not the critical part of the “content factory” of your organization. DAM is not an expensive and complicated FTP server and should never be thought of as such. Nor is it a junk drawer — our shared drives and personal computers are already doing a good job at that. The demand for digital assets is high because the need for digital assets is multifaceted. Brand and market position — and the technologies to support customer engagement and brand activation — are essential to any organization’s growth. Start your archive now!

DAM is a foundational component of this growth, and its ability to serve as a single source of truth in your organization helps quantify the value of digital assets, through their discovery, use and reuse in daily operations. DAM will not solve all your problems, but DAM will serve as the foundation for all your solutions.

The DAM you want needs good data to do what you want it to do. As organizations grow, evolve and take on additional global market opportunities, change will be constant for the people, processes and technology supporting business and marketing operations. Digital transformation plays a critical role in this change, serving as a focused center for content and operations management.

Metadata, workflow, technology and cultural context all affect operations and must be addressed for many large organizations. Data provides a foundation for digital strategy. Creating an integrated martech stack with DAM as the “heart” means your digital assets can be part of this innovation by generating revenue, increasing efficiencies and enhancing your ability to meet new and emerging market opportunities for your users. As an energetic force, DAM will accelerate the conversation between business and consumers.

Related Article: Why DAM Is the Heart of Your MarTech Stack

DAM Is the Glue That Binds

Content should be viewed as a constant connection between people, process and technology. DAM is the right thing to do for your content and your brand. When everything is connected, everything changes. Managing knowledge, rights, data, records and more brings different frameworks for managing content. DAM only grows stronger when working as part of the whole.

When considering moving forward with a martech stack strategy, be mindful of the people, processes and technologies that may influence the transformation you desire. You need to get your digital house in order, know what your internal business units and external partners need, and understand how you will need to deliver assets today — and tomorrow — across multiple channels and devices. Using DAM effectively can deliver knowledge and measurable cost savings, time to market gains, and greater brand voice consistency — valuable and meaningful effects from your martech solution.

Start with a foundation, embrace the transformation, and discover the value in content. DAM is the ultimate constant connection.