At first glance, it may seem that Business-to-Consumer (B2C) has all the sexiest digital asset management problems. Business-to-Business (B2B) typically markets to a smaller set of more educated buyers. As a result, not too many widget manufacturers have to manage talent rights, purchase Superbowl ads, or resort to shock tactics to get noticed by an increasingly cynical and media saturated consumer culture.
I know what you’re thinking: “But then how do you explain GoDaddy?”
For that answer, you’ll need to ask someone smarter than us.
But to understand how DAM can solve 5 really big problems for B2B organizations, you’ll only need to keep reading below:
Sales Collateral and Event Marketing Support: As B2C companies shift more and more budget to digital, most B2Bs still generate their revenue with salespeople that pound the pavement, create relationships, and have dramatic conversations about leads, coffee and watches.
Admittedly, we may have watched Glengarry Glen Ross a few too many times, but the basic point remains that many B2B marketing organizations focus a great deal of resources on sales enablement and event marketing.
DAM can ensure that one-off collateral requests to close a big account can be reused to close the next big account. DAM can more efficiently prepare event collateral and post-event follow up campaigns. Perhaps most importantly, DAM can help keep the sales team working with the latest materials, because none of your customers need to see the absolute disaster that Jimmy in inside sales makes of your logo.
Personalization and Testing Enablement: A few years ago, I ran into a company that did something that seemed borderline magical: they could tell where visitors to a website worked. It wasn’t truly magic. It was just a reverse IP lookup with a large database, so visitors had to be on their work network to provide useful data. But the potential still seemed incredible. As a B2B, you could tailor your visitors’ first experiences with messaging that was/is relevant to the visitors’ industry, size, or geography.
Hello, visitor from Honda! Would you like to see a case study on our recent work for Kia? Hello, visitor from Shell! Perhaps you would like to understand our services supporting capital intensive projects?
Done right, this approach should lower the bounce rate at the top of the funnel and increase the lead conversion at the bottom. And we could even prove that the approach was working by running A/B testing on the personalized content.
So I helped almost a dozen B2B companies build digital infrastructure to do just that. And every single one of them had the same problem: they couldn’t create enough content to support the different experiences. Which meant they couldn’t test whether it worked. Which meant that the personalization and testing infrastructure just sat unused for lack of sufficient creative production.
By streamlining the approval process, speeding up asset search, eliminating duplication of effort and automating deployment of content, DAM can help B2Bs create and tailor content more efficiently, which allows for more targeted and personalized content across every channel.
Customer Self Service: It’s often said that business would be great if it weren’t for the customers. And then that joke is often attacked by management gurus with no sense of humor.
But the grain of truth that makes us laugh at the joke is based on the requests that we perceive as wasting our time. Asking for a document they already have. Asking to resend an invoice. Asking to change something back to the way it was before they asked you to change it in the first place.
And the funny thing is, our customers don’t want to have those time wasting interactions either. No one is adding value or creating relationships with admin tasks—B2Bs can only hurt their relationship with customers by failing to be responsive.
For many B2Bs, DAM can reduce the admin overhead by empowering our customers via very convenient self service. Asset portals built on top of DAMs can provide tailored promotional material for download. DAMs can even interface with a B2B eCommerce site so that promotional materials are available for download based on the products included in an order. Sophisticated DAM deployments can streamline the generation of tailored line sheets and catalogs for distributors, dealers, retailers, and resellers.
Non-Marketing Uses: We often think about DAM as a repository for marketing assets, but the building blocks of storage, search, versioning and workflow can be applied to many different use cases with minimal tweaking.
Many B2Bs have complicated training manuals or specification sheets that need constant updating, regulated version control, and multilingual translation. DAM can bring enormous efficiencies to the creation, management, and distribution of these documents.
Some B2Bs even go so far as to stretch DAM to store legal contracts or in the place of an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system or Knowledge Management (KM) system. It’s certainly true that there are more specialized technologies for each of these use cases, but it’s also true that there is a lot of overlap in the categories. If your annual budget only has money for one system and you need two functionalities, DAM can stretch outside its comfort zone with just a little work on taxonomy and roles. (The converse is actually less true—because ECM, KM and contract management systems are rarely designed to handle images and video, it’s more difficult to stretch those tools into DAM’s wheelhouse.)
Stock Management: This is the kind of problem that never feels very important until it bites you. But a surprising number of Freedom’s clients started to look at DAM after a very expensive six- or seven-figure legal settlement around use of an unlicensed asset.
B2Bs often rely on stock photography, images, and video rather than creating their own assets. This is smart business, but requires a tradeoff in buying unlimited license (expensive) or purchasing a restricted license (risky).
DAM can help right size a company’s stock purchases. By controlling the risk of unlicensed usage, DAM can control the unnecessary expense of overpurchasing rights. And that’s before we start to consider the financial benefits of DAM to the companies who have purchased multiple copies of the same stock asset.
So B2Bs remember, DAM isn’t just for images and videos of partially clothed 20-somethings drinking beer, driving cars, and staring into the camera with a perfume logo somewhere in the near vicinity. DAM can also empower more productivity from B2B creatives and marketers. And more productivity allows you more time to explain to strangers that your company is a multibillion dollar conglomerate that makes the doohickeys inside the whatsits that those strangers use every day.