The place of DAM and Digital eXperience Management in the Martech stack
DAM and Digital eXperience Management (DXM) take place in an ecosystem where many solutions coexist: Content Management System (CMS), Product Information Management (PIM), Customer Data Platform (CDP)… Making the most of DAM and DXM implies fully integrating them into this environment.
Marketers employ a variety of technology solutions to support and strengthen their marketing operations: CMS, DAM, CRM, PIM, marketing automation, project management tools, the list goes on…As brands select and prioritize their martech stack, Digital Asset Management (DAM) and more recently its natural extension, Digital eXperience Management (DXM), have increasingly entered the picture. And while some may assume DAM is just another platform to add to your martech stack, we’ll explain why it is actually a foundational piece that should be integrated in this environment in order to entirely enable and innovate your marketing. So what roles do DAM and Digital eXperience Management play in the martech stack? And how can these various technologies work together?
DAM and DXM: the new duo.
A Digital Asset Management (DAM) platform is essentially a cloud media library storing all your digital assets – photos, videos, graphics, text etc – so that you can easily produce, find and share content inside and outside your organization. With so many capabilities, DAM has become more and more cross-functional: it supports creative teams, marketing and communications, legal departments, brand managers, IT and even sales. This is because it incorporates planning, creation, organization, storage, – and now with the help of Digital eXperience Management (DXM) – publication and distribution of content. DAM and DXM can serve every part of an organization – but only if this content hub is fully connected to a broader marketing ecosystem, such as websites (CMS), social networks, product data (PIM) and customer information (CRM), analytics (CDP)…
DAM and DXM alongside the CMS.
As its name suggests, a CMS (such as WordPress, Drupal, Typo3, Sitecore…) supports the publication of “web content”. In concrete terms, it applies a style sheet to texts, images, forms, and organizes this content in an information architecture rendered in a web interface. If a so-called “headless” CMS is able to dissociate content management from front-end systems to feed several sites or apps, it remains… CMS. In other words, it is not designed to manage a large number of media files (images, videos, PDF) and even less their taxonomy and multiple format variations.
Here, we are clearly on the playing field of the DAM which is, by its very nature, headless – dissociated from the channels to be served. However, the CMS and the DAM/DXM team work together. The CMS is able to adapt web content (the elements to be displayed, their organization); the DXM for its part, on the basis of information about the user’s context, such as their session, IP address or type of device used, adapts the media itself, its format but also its content.
DAM and DXM alongside the PIM.
In sectors such as the retail sector, Product Information Management (PIM) is a pillar of the information system. It hosts all product data, their hierarchy, the exhaustive list of all their components as well as all the regulatory information (country of manufacture, product composition, instructions for use and safety rules for a DIY tool, for example). The PIM represents a data model tailored to the complexity of the product information.
On the other hand, the PIM is not designed, functionally or technically, to manage all media associated with products. While it can reference visuals, documentation and even a few videos, it is not part of its role to manage the lifecycle of these assets and their variations. To achieve this, it too is in dialogue with the DAM. The latter can import the taxonomy of the products to facilitate integration with the PIM and organize the assets in a way that is consistent with the product ranges. The idea is not to duplicate this information, but to create the conditions for effective co-processing between the PIM and the DAM/DXM pair. In the PIM, the richness of data produced; in the DAM, that of the media.
DAM and DXM alongside CRM, CDP and Marketing Automation solutions.
CRM delivers a 360 view of customers, marketing automation provides order to campaigns, CDP (Customer Data Platform) reconciles prospect and customer data from digital and physical contact points. In the Martech stack, roles are quite well established. And all these solutions are likely to support the DXM to adapt assets and personalize the experience.
CRM, the e-Commerce solution, can thus communicate to the DXM a history of recent purchases to select assets capable of supporting a cross-selling logic. Marketing automation can integrate the media provided by the DXM into its campaigns in appropriate formats. As for the CDP, its audience segments act as referrals to indicate to the DXM the types of content preferred for a given audience. In short, DXM provides the DAM with the ability to capitalize on data from this marketing environment to achieve an optimal experience.
Each of these technologies act as a marketing enabler and plays a vital role in your martech stack: they help your brand attract customers, reach and engage fragmented audiences, and provide valuable input on your customers, your products and your content. By housing all your digital media in a central “Single Source of Truth” repository, DAM and DXM enable these engines to work in synergy: they seamlessly feed your assets and content to every touchpoint – landing page, social networks, email campaigns, e-commerce site, ad network etc – while leveraging data and customer information coming from these existing systems. In other words, integrating DAM/DXM with your broader marketing technology ecosystem means removing the silos between marketing technologies and consequently teams, so that you can activate your content, deliver a unified customer experience and ultimately drive sales across your organization.