Digital Asset Management Software: 4 Things Every Retailer Should Expect

When Katie Melua sang ‘Nine Million Bicycles,’ she could have just as easily have been talking about digital asset management software solutions. In the 12 years we’ve spent working with retailers, we have encountered them in all shapes and sizes: homegrown, customized, and the obscure.

What we have come to learn in that time is that there are four key features that effective digital asset management software absolutely must have to best support your retail marketing organization:

Connect Assets to Marketing Calendar Activities

The most important way digital asset management software needs to deliver value to your organization is by having assets connected to the central marketing calendar. What we mean by this is when anyone pulls up a campaign they should be able to view all the associated media for the particular job. This not only makes it easier for members of the marketing organization to find things, but the merchant and buyer teams will also thank you if they can quickly find an ad from last month’s digital flyer.

Integrate Ad Planning

We’ve found that when the digital asset management software is tied into the ad planning and building process it not only reduces proofing cycles, but also improves time to market and accuracy. Typically, merchants and buyer submit excel spreadsheets with SKUs and offer descriptions to the marketing operations team, who then has to translate this into a grid mock-up. There’s plenty of opportunity for miscommunication, and we have seen teams spend multiple cycles on this before it even reaches the creative team.

The key to solving this is having the digital asset management software connected directly to your offer planning system, so merchants can select their items in a visual manner, and easily pinpoint feature items in their offer versions. Additionally, these visual offers can be easily populated in the ad grid tool to provide a quick visual mock-up of the ad layout.

Integrate Ad Building

With merchant and buyer teams building offers using assets housed in the digital asset management software, it only makes sense to share the same information with the creative and layout teams to streamline the ad building process. In an ideal process, there would be a plug-in for the asset management software that tied it to an ad building tool like InDesign, and the artist would be able to drag offers on to a templated page or search for items and assets. A side benefit of this would be to allow the artist to push their finished creative back into the asset management system for markup and review.

Merge Soft Proofing

By this point, every retailer should be using a digital soft proofing solution to manage and track their changes. When it comes to certain changes, like an item swap, having the soft proofing tool connect to your digital asset management software allows the reviewer to make a markup and point it to the replacement item at the same time.

The best advice we can give as it pertains to digital asset management software for retail is to watch out for one-size-fits-all solutions. Retail is unique and deserves to have highly focused tools.

Visit CrossCap’s Digital Asset Management solutions page to find out more on what we think about the matter.

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