Recently, a brand manager overseeing a new product launch for a big-3 beer company told me that he had spent $10,000 to build his website.  And he hadn’t requested additional budget for next year.

My first instinct was to patiently explain—in small words—the new marketing realities. Circa 1999.

Frosty Cold One - Photo courtesy of jmettraux.jpg

Accelerating change!


Big Data!


<Insert buzz word here>!

After all, I’m a digital technologist. I have spent years working with visionary Chief Marketing Officers to build digital marketing ecosystems that drive huge measurable returns for their organizations.

But during a very short conversation—in which the brand manager was the one using the small words—he convinced me that the web really didn’t matter to his business.  He wasn’t about to start selling online and even the hipsters weren’t doing online research on beer specifications. He needed brand awareness.  Better yet, he needed top of mind awareness (TOMA). Or even better, TOMABUB (Top of Mind Awareness when Bellying Up to the Bar).

And other than contributing brilliant new marketing jargon, I couldn’t help him very much. The best way for him to move those needles was actually TV. Even more Luddite, local event marketing was having very positive impacts.

This interaction was the seed of my realization about the potential of Digital Asset Management. Because web, mobile, social and other digital distribution channels are important—at least to some organizations—but they are only part of the story. As long as we’re spending some of our time in the real world buying real-world products and services, marketers are going to have to run campaigns in real world channels.

But whatever the future may bring or how the past holds on, every campaign will require digital assets across every channel—from Google Glass to Out-of-Home.  And presenting a consistent brand story across these diverse channels will be a management challenge.  Companies that establish processes and tools to simplify this challenge will outperform those that don’t.  Better processes and tools will outperform worse  processes and tools.

And that’s a future that isn’t going away any time soon.