If there's one thing your brand marketing team and all of your local marketers can agree on, it's the idea that your technology should be flexible. Using software with limited accessibility, or a tool that doesn't fit your geographically distributed business model, creates extra work and more opportunities for miscommunication.
Today, most business and organizations use at least one cloud-based application to power core business functions. For distributed brands, adopting, implementing, and managing a cloud-based solution can be especially tricky. Unfortunately, on-premise software just doesn't deliver the same kind of value to local marketers or franchisees.
The good news is that distributed digital asset management (DAM) is an emerging category of technology utilized by the world's most successful multi-located enterprises. Most distributed digital asset management providers offer the following features and functions to solve the unique needs of local brands:
Templates: Create ready-access templates for easy and compliant modification by local marketers. This kind of structured approach to asset delivery and management makes it simple and easy to infuse brand creative with a bit of localization.
Structured Content Management: A content management system makes it easy to organize written content. In most instances, DAMs automatically associate pieces of written content with imagery for use in brand templates.
Fulfillment Capabilities: Use completed templates through print vendor integration or fulfillment workflows, email sending, landing page publishing or hosting, banner and display networks, and more.
Payment Processing: Allow local marketers to purchase print materials and other brand assets through convenient and easy-to-use online payment portals.
Permissions Structure: Enable brand management teams to maintain control of the structure and use of brand content and assets by appropriate affiliates.
Reporting: Allow brand marketers to analyze local marketer activity in aggregate. Additionally, brand marketers can drill down on usage patterns and modifications made to brand assets, templates, and content areas.
In your search for a high-value SaaS DAM for your distributed organization, we recommend trialing one of the software providers on our list.
5 Best SaaS DAM Tools for Multi-Located Brands
When it comes to finding the right DAM solution, understanding the difference between cloud-based and software-as-a-service-based solutions is key.
Cloud: A software application that is not located on-premises. With cloud-based software, your organization may purchase an enterprise license, but will not be responsible for hosting via a data center. Cloud offers the advantages of web-based access, and your organization may be responsible for customizing the platform. This could include deploying feature updates, building integrations, and configurations.
SaaS: A software-as-a-service application means that every aspect of the development process is handled by the provider. The application is hosted and maintained by your vendor, and access is based on a standard subscription agreement, with all standard costs built-in. SaaS offers the advantages of fully web-based access, on-demand access, automatic feature upgrades, seamless and/or native integrations, standard feature sets, self-service configuration, and more.
Here are the most effective SaaS-based DAM solutions with some analysis of how these solutions may or may not meet the needs of your distributed organization.
Among the handful of standalone SaaS-based DAM solutions, WebDAM is considered a relatively easy-to-use and results-driven option. WebDAM offers a simple user experience and the solution scales to meet relatively complex use cases. Products include WebDAM with typical DAM feature sets and Brand Connect, designed for internal sharing of assets. WebDAM integrates nicely with CMS options, social media platforms, and stock image repositories.
Clients: Tobasco, Kawasaki, Alaska, Norwegian Cruise Line, Starbucks
MediaValet's delivers a standalone DAM that scales to meet your unique needs and budget. With relatively low initial pricing, MediaValet is pay-as-you-go for additional storage or add-on features. In addition to standard DAM capabilities, there are built-in integrations for Adobe Creative Cloud, Microsoft Products, Oracle, Drupal, Hootsuite, and many other tools.
Clients: Susquehanna University, Razer, Towson University, Experian, Dupont
One of two integrated DAM on this list, Percolate's SaaS offerings are an "end-to-end" content marketing suite. Percolate includes standard DAM features, with an additional focus on production and publishing. While Percolate can easily scale to meet the needs of most digital marketing campaigns, the workflows are not necessarily designed to perform all of the print marketing needs of many enterprises.
Clients: Cisco, Alaska, Mazda, Levis, Johnson Controls, DocuSign
This integrated, SaaS-based DAM tool is focused on the process of content production. Workfront offers a multi-channel DAM for both asset approval and internal distribution within an enterprise. Built-in workflows include options for asset planning, campaign planning, work queues, and even highly complex approval workflows. This DAM is also built to accommodate several different styles of project management.
Clients: Loyola, Fender, Nordstrom, Citrix, Trek, Dignity Health
CampaignDrive by Pica9 is a leading SaaS marketing platform that transforms your brand assets into creative, dynamic, and ready-to-use templates. Our cloud-based tool enables multi-located brands to represent the brand consistently while customizing dynamically for every location. More than just digital asset management, our software is a complete brand management solution purpose-built to help brand managers deliver unparalleled experiences for prospects and customers alike.
Clients: Polaris, Wellbiz Brands, Marriott, De Vere
Winning with SaaS-Based Distributed DAM
For busy designers, brand managers, and local marketers at distributed organizations, SaaS-based DAM is generally a logical choice. In most instances, cloud-based tools are a necessity to provide access to geographically distributed stakeholders. Meanwhile, SaaS offers a serious edge in terms of flexibility, ease-of-use, and on-demand access from the web.
Choosing a DAM that is designed for the unique needs of your distributed organization will help you achieve easier implementation and system management. Additionally, convenient and easy-to-use features like templating, permissions, and reporting can revolutionize the way your distributed organization works.
To get started, we recommend downloading our free guide. This guide explains:
- The types of digital asset management systems that brands can purchase
- How different vendors compare in terms of functionality, customer-fit, and size
- What marketers should look for in a distributed digital asset management tool