How to be resource efficient and have a positive impact on the environment with Digital Asset Management
It is safe to say that the digital transformation of companies has become a must-have for numerous reasons like increased productivity, streamlined workflows or improved and personalized customer experiences that lead to more sales for your business. But does digitalization also automatically come with an increased digital carbon footprint and thus a negative impact on the environment? Not necessarily! Powerful and intelligent marketing solutions like Digital Asset Management can accompany your business’ digital transformation and also help you make the most of your resources (visuals, marketing content, data, human resources organization, etc.) in a reasoned and sustainable manner, allowing you to have a positive impact on the environment. How? Let’s explore the way to more resource-efficiency thanks to DAM together in this article.
Digital technology and innovation as well as environment and resources have been both identified as two of six megatrends that will shape the world until 2050(!). At the moment we find ourselves in a sort of transition period from the old world into one that is more ecologically smart. So digital technology needs time to realize its full potential.
The influence of digitalization on the environment is a hot topic which leads to controversial discussions, however, there is agreement on one point: A conscious and mindful use of your resources is key for the ecology and taking responsibility in this area is one of the main tasks of our time. It is all about making smart decisions by using the right tools.
Opt for an intelligent and resource-efficient digitalization with DAM
If you want to accelerate the digitalization of your business, you have to first invest in the digitization of your resources. This is essential to drive your digital transformation and to benefit from all of its benefits like better customer experience, increased transparency or revenue growth. Digitalization and digitization are often used simultaneously, so let’s clear things up first:
There’s no digitalization without digitization: Switching your paper-based information and business processes to digital ones will help you drastically reduce all manual labor which is not viable or efficient.
Alone this will save tons of printouts and make all sorts of resources more easily accessible than what was too often found in physical archives. Alone in the U.S., approximately 1 billion trees worth of paper are thrown away every year. We are not saying that you need to say goodbye to all your paper catalogues, flyers etc. and go full into paperless office mode right away.
For your business there might be good reasons to still use paper content from time to time, but digitizing and stocking all your resources in one single-source like a DAM solution will give you a complete overview about your data to then take mindful decisions on which content you still need in paper format which then can be produced in an easy and intuitive way using for example a web-to-print solution.
You should also educate your employees on how to be mindful about the use of paper-based data, media etc. This is way easier if you can provide them with all relevant resources stored online in one digital source.
Say no to waste and yes to being resource-efficient with DAM
If you want to use your resources to the fullest and limit their impact on the environment, your asset organization needs to be well structured. We can not stress enough that a single source of truth (a single database which is also used as a content server, ) is an excellent starting point to have all your media handy in one place, covering storage but also delivery and distribution functionalities. This avoids having several solutions to do basically the “same” thing in different places, on different channels, for different types of media, photo, video etc.
Therefore a central hub not only allows you to avoid duplicates but also to easily reuse and even recycle your assets thanks to automation and regulations which translate into a sustainable way of working. Surely, in order to obtain the best and most environmentally-friendly results, you need to put in some additional effort on a regular basis as well.
From cleaning out your assets and therefore deleting the ones you do not use anymore over getting your metadata straight to going over your security rights, a little clean up will do wonders in order to get the full potential out of your assets. And the best news is: Digital Asset Management will also allow you to cut down on the number of tools by replacing them with one powerful and less-energy consuming solution which is a way more minimalistic technical approach.
Human resource efficiency and its positive impacts on the environment supported by DAM
Mindful and efficient use does not only concern your data and media, but also your human resources: We already talked about automation: this will enable your employees to work better and more independently. You should also opt for templates that are easily accessible, shareable and adaptable within your organization and especially by your local teams.
The results are optimized and streamlined workflows and a greater flexibility which allows you to depend less on external partners and to save time and costs in the long run. Think about the average time you normally spend setting up marketing and communications campaigns: Does it take you several meetings with external partners, searching for the right content, complicated validation processes and many back and forths? This is not necessary or efficient: With Digital Asset Management all this can be done by your own teams.
You can also level up your Customer Experience by pairing a DAM solution with Digital Experience Management. Speaking of local teams: Using an intelligent tool like a DAM solution enables your employees to work from anywhere at any time and therefore facilitates remote work. How? Thanks to Digital Asset Management you can for instance manage the whole creative review process easily and totally online, from searching for the latest creations to commenting on them.
Another example would be the use of templates to facilitate autonomous tool usage and necessary local adaptations. Remote work is likely to reduce their carbon dioxide (CO2) footprint if the daily journey to work is greater than about 6 kilometers. Add to this the number of work trips you can save in this manner. Other benefits of remote work include less plastic (think about your daily coffee to go in the morning) and paper and also possibly less electricity usage. So it has been reported that remote work can eliminate the use of 247 trillion sheets of paper, whereas the topic about electricity consumption is more complex since office buildings are designed to utilize energy better than homes. On the other hand, less employees in the office mean less lighting and usage of other equipment as well as a possible shift to a smaller office etc. So please keep in mind that being mindful and resource-efficient is the totality of many intelligent decisions that will add up in order to have a positive impact on the environment.
Data is key in order to be resource efficient
When it comes to resource-efficiency, you clearly want to avoid useless overconsumption. This starts like we already flagged by reducing the number of tools you are using and replacing them with intelligent solutions that cover a multitude of functionalities and it also applies to all your media and the channels you are relying on. In this case, precise tracking and data analysis is key. You can differentiate between two different types of stats that are covered by Digital Asset Management.
The first are the DAM usage stats that allow you to track your activity, usage and needs. A concrete example would be the possibility to look into all media researches that were not successful – a very useful and powerful functionality to improve the way your teams use the DAM.
The second type of stats are your distribution statistics which (thanks to DXM) illustrate all relevant information about trending content by country, content performance on your different channels or partner websites etc. This will for example help you increase the number of products in the basket, improve your conversation rate and customer experience, but also to cut down on all activities that are not efficient and develop a more straight-forward and minimalistic marketing strategy.
Knowing exactly how your assets perform, on which channels, who is using them etc. will give you the power to take meaningful and sustainable decisions and to develop a frugal but efficient approach, all of which helps in reducing your digital footprint in the long-run. The use of data-sharing and tracking platforms provides both visibility and accountability – often in real time – thereby reducing environmental impacts before they are magnified.
With a DAM solution digital and ecological transformation are made compatible. Digital Asset Management can accompany you in both areas and will perfectly fit in your business ecology plans and complete other environmental efforts you are making such as switching to renewable energies, optimizing e-waste management or integrating circular economy in your company.