The Fast Path to Extraordinary Experiences

Six brands share best practices in digital asset management.

Abstract image of a computer.

by Adobe Enterprise Content Team

posted on 02-14-2020

The demand for great content that drives amazing customer experiences is stronger than ever. In fact, developing content at scale is a top challenge for marketers, according to an Altimeter study. Considering the massive amount of assets marketers have to create and manage for each of their audiences, it’s little wonder organizations can’t keep up.

Not to mention the time it takes to review, approve, and later find and reuse those assets. As new channels and connected devices continue to spring up, getting content out the door at lightning speed isn’t fast enough anymore.

That’s why organizations are adopting digital asset management (DAM) solutions. With an intelligent DAM, you can better manage content across channels and regions, between internal teams, and with external partners you rely on to sell your products. Not only that, but the right DAM can help you stay compliant with licensing and other governance requirements, as well as use artificial intelligence to automatically deliver personalized content based on consumer behaviors and preferences.

Let’s take a look at how companies across industries and regions — including Orvis, Dentsu Isobar, and Zebra Technologies Corporation — are creating, delivering, and managing content at scale for more memorable customer experiences.

Amazing experiences start with amazing asset management

Connect your creative and marketing ops teams

Many creative and marketing operations teams work in silos, making it hard to keep content moving along, especially when it gets held up in the approvals process. With a DAM that allows everyone to work in their preferred tools, you can keep approvals and experiences on the fast track. Creatives can search for, edit, and upload assets for approval right from the design programs they use most, while marketers can easily approve and even share image collections with creatives from a simple interface.

Pump up your governance with robust metadata

Having a repository of assets that you can easily pull from is critical when you need an asset at a moment’s notice. But you also need to make sure assets are in compliance with expiration dates and licensing parameters. Your DAM can help with digital rights management tasks like these and more — like keeping tabs on who’s using each asset, tracking which version you’re working on, and ensuring that every asset is tagged with metadata to make it easy for you to find later.

Keep your distribution channels in line

As your single source of truth, your DAM should seamlessly distribute assets to digital channels like web and social, internal business units like sales and service, and external partners like third-party sellers. You also need to know the business impact your assets deliver, including which assets are being used and deployed. When you have a complete view of all your distribution possibilities, you can then measure which assets are being consumed relative to your business KPIs.

Connect your creative and marketing ops teams

Orvis, a 163-year-old apparel and fly-fishing retailer, needed to ensure they stayed relevant to their customers. They were experiencing declining sales, relying heavily on printed catalogs for marketing, lacking a single strategy, and struggling with disconnected technology systems.

In addition, their marketing and creative teams didn’t communicate with each other. Designers simply took orders from marketing at the expense of creativity. In order to create more powerful, agile customer experiences, Orvis began by bringing together elements of their marketing, creative, and IT teams into one integrated team under their new chief experience officer.

To shift from a traditional catalog model to delivering experiences across web, mobile, and email, the company had to reevaluate their technology. Orvis made the move to create consistency across channels by aligning photography, messaging, and product campaigns, storing it all in Adobe Experience Manager Assets. This allowed them to find assets, determine licensing, and get the right asset into production faster and more easily.

“The speed with which we’re able to find assets, determine usage rights, and deploy them is probably 100 times faster. In moments — rather than hours — I can see the new shoot coming in from Austin, for example, and use it right away.”

Paul Vaughn
Director of User Experience, Orvis

Orvis achieved record active file and top line sales growth, and near-record profit.

Like most creative teams in the retail space, the team at Old Navy needs to be able to quickly produce assets to prepare for everything from the launch of a new clothing line to a seasonal promotion. Every month, they retouch hundreds of digital images, including high-resolution images used for print, which can be up to 200 megabytes per file. Working with those files meant a lot of time-consuming downloads and uploads.

In order to streamline content delivery and workflows, they began storing and accessing photos in Adobe Experience Manager Assets. This made it easier for the creative team to share and distribute assets in one place, as well as increase collaboration with marketing. With Adobe Asset Link, the clothing retailer also manages content workflows between Adobe Creative Cloud and Experience Manager Assets, allowing marketers and creatives to save time using familiar tools.

“We want creatives to have time to do more of what they love.”

Jason Wynne
Manager, Global Digital Assets, Old Navy

Old Navy improved efficiency between creative and marketing teams for quicker content delivery and faster time to market.

Pump up your governance with robust metadata

CDW offers a wide range of technology solutions to organizations in multiple industries — from business and education to nonprofit and healthcare. With so many different audiences to serve, CDW’s content and creative services team had to keep up with constant demand for digital and print marketing assets including advertising, direct mail, and catalogs. The team also produces content like white papers, blog articles, and magazines.

Because they lacked a central place to store their four terabytes of creative assets, designers couldn’t easily find the assets they needed, had to manually track content expiration dates, and juggled multiple versions of the same assets. All of which hindered their productivity and affected their creativity.

They decided to consolidate all of their assets with Adobe Experience Manager Assets. Working with Adobe partner NextRow Digital, they established a taxonomy of logical metadata and descriptive tags to make it easier for them to find and share assets. For example, instead of scrolling through thousands of photos to find just the right one for their project, designers now simply type in a few keywords.

With tagging in place, CDW can now track and segment audiences to send them more personalized content. In addition, designers no longer spend time recreating duplicate assets and have improved governance with greater visibility and control over assets.

“Now, we have a better process and system in place to make sure our internal customers are only accessing the appropriate materials for their specific needs — ultimately reducing our risk of violating branding agreements with our partners.”

Jim Garlow
Director of Content and Creative Services, CDW Corporation

CDW saved 20 hours per week by making it faster and easier to access creative assets.

Dentsu Isobar is a global digital marketing agency that provides strategy planning, system development, consulting, and website and mobile app development. Their client Dome Corporation needed help managing the large volume of in-house product images for its websites, including their e-commerce site.

Dentsu Isobar worked with Dome Corporation to implement Experience Manager Assets, which integrated with their existing Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise implementation. The integration provided creative staff with access to assets directly from Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, allowing Dome Corporation to develop a single, consistent workflow by comparing versions of digital assets throughout the approval process. The company is considering using this integration for additional efficient workflows in the future.

“Because they were handling so many images and had a complicated approval process, the cost of asset operations was starting to become an issue. We proposed improving this by implementing Adobe Experience Manager Assets.”

Tsutomu Kawakami
Senior Project Manager, Platform Development Department, Dentsu Isobar

Dentsu Isobar dramatically reduced time spent searching for assets and asset approval.

Keep your distribution channels in line

To promote their products, Under Armour produces hundreds of thousands of creative assets, including product shots, videos, store displays, and marketing copy. With creative assets scattered across multiple tools and departments, it could take several hours or days to pull together content for a campaign or event.

The athletic wear brand needed a central repository to make it easy to find creative assets. They also needed to share with wholesale partners, who needed to access product photos to use in catalogs, websites, and in-store materials. They decided on Adobe Experience Manager Assets, moving five terabytes of assets into the DAM system.

The team also revisited the governance of its digital assets, creating a consistent approach to tagging and workflows to improve access and management of all assets and provide smoother workflows for creative teams. They now automatically apply metadata tags to assets as they’re uploaded to the DAM, saving hours of manual tagging work.

With one place to access tagged assets, wholesale partners can easily find assets themselves by visiting Under Armour’s secure portal. This prevents Under Armour employees from having to gather files and deliver them through Dropbox or some other separate file system.

“Our goal was to create a one-stop shop where you can find any asset you need. Adobe Experience Manager Assets offered a great enterprise option to make a wide variety of assets available both internally and externally.”

Ben Snyder
IT Product Owner, Under Armour

Saved resources by making creative assets more accessible to internal teams and external wholesale partners.

Zebra Technologies Corporation provides organizations across industries with hardware, software, and services that give them real-time information. But with so many products supporting so many different industries and markets, they had a hard time keeping regional websites updated.

In order to reach their global markets more effectively and with better support their regional teams, they decided to centralize their websites and assets. Using Adobe Experience Manager Assets, they were able to store, share, and reuse more than 130,000 assets, including user guides, spec sheets, drivers, and other customer downloads. And because all assets are now in one location, Zebra can easily keep tabs on versions and point customers to the right support materials, wherever they are.

“With Adobe Experience Manager, we can eliminate the cost of a big agency push and easily roll out the information to global websites, providing a better experience for lower cost.”

John Mathews
Senior Manager of Digital IT, Zebra

Zebra managed and supported 130,000 assets centrally.

Get a handle on your assets and unleash the possibilities

Brands across the globe have successfully kept up with the demands for creating and delivering more content in less time by consolidating their assets, refining their governance processes, and streamlining content approval. You can do the same with the help of an intelligent digital asset management system that helps you automate tedious tasks, speed up workflows, and measure the impact of your content.

Because your DAM should do more than just store assets — it should help you set the best experiences free.

Topics: Digital Transformation, Content Management

Products: Experience Manager, Photoshop, Illustrator, Creative Cloud