Cloudinary Blog

Bringing the Digital Ecosystem Together with a DAM Platform

Digital Asset Management Platform: Meeting Customer Expectations

Consumers today expect media-rich experiences. No longer a novelty, it’s second nature to swipe through multiple photos on mobile apps, zoom in on product images for a closer look, visualize online travel reviews, socialize cool video clips while browsing, and encounter brand messages when walking into brick-and-mortar stores. These experiences weave together visual cues and clues with relevant content to create meaning and more authentic connections for customers.

Meeting Customer Expectations

Yet while customer expectations are rising, managing digital assets for engaging experiences is hard and getting harder. Consumer brands, retailers, distributors, and manufacturers are struggling to corral the many photos and videos needed to produce media-rich applications, render them correctly on multiple devices, and rapidly update them in a timely and cost-effective fashion. Businesses must contend with the ever-rising volume, variety, and velocity of digital assets.

Adding creative staff to marketing teams is not necessarily the best option for overcoming this rich media tsunami. Manual and disconnected business processes just do not work any more. Needed is a digital asset management (DAM) platform -- a smart repository of record -- for easily storing, organizing, sharing, and distributing rich media on demand and in multiple and web-optimal formats.

A Hub for the Digital Ecosystem

A DAM platform becomes the hub and the single source of truth for managing many thousands and often millions of media assets, including images and videos, across an organization. Consider how a digital retailer relies on a DAM to accelerate business-critical activities.

  • Marketers are continually updating photos and video clips displayed on multiple websites and mobile apps. Using their own web content management and marketing automation tools, staffers browse through the shared repository, search by descriptive categories, and select the best digital assets for their campaigns.
  • Merchandisers rely on a product information management system to update digital catalogues. They access the same-shared repository and search by product categories to quickly find the images that highlight product features.

There are tangible results. Business teams quickly find the assets they need. They continue to rely on their familiar desktop tools that are seamlessly integrated with the DAM platform through open APIs and microservices. Tasks that once required hours are reduced to minutes. Team members increase their productivity and have the time to launch many more revenue-generating projects.

What a DAM Platform Delivers

A DAM platform simplifies the complexity of rich media distribution. No longer do business teams require technical support when producing images for different devices and screen displays. A DAM automatically manages the digital transformations and bit-rate renderings for smartphones, tablets, PCs, and digital signs, connecting over high-speed wireless and cellular networks. The digital assets adapt and scale to look good on different devices – not stretched, not tiny, but just right.

Moreover a DAM platform expedites image production tasks. Creative professionals have a shared venue for organizing and producing their work. Photo and video editors upload images and share updates during production processes. They can coordinate digital asset reviews, selections, and approvals, saving time by managing these creative activities through the shared repository. When complete they can release the branded assets to the business teams, delivered in their full fidelity, and then monitor how they are being used.

Finally a DAM platform makes it easy to find just the right images within very large collections. Categories are the key -- a DAM platform organizes images by descriptive terms. Certainly digital librarians can continue to tag images during production processes, using predefined taxonomies. But time-consuming manual steps are no longer the only option.

Rather, with ever-increasing precision, a DAM platform automates image tagging in multiple ways. It can:

  • Automatically categorize images by the metadata embedded within the assets themselves, including locations, dates, and creative sources.
  • Recognize things inside images -- such as faces, landscapes, animals, and colors -- and then automatically tag the assets by their contents.
  • Detect scene changes, analyze images, and transcribe audio tracks, enabling automatic tagging within the video stream.

Through machine learning, object identification gets better over time. With automatic tagging and machine-readable descriptions, images become just another set of content types and, like text-oriented documents, can be easily incorporated into line-of-business applications.

Contending with the Rising Tide

In short, a DAM platform brings together multiple elements within the digital ecosystem. Consumer brands, retailers, distributors, and manufacturers can finally deploy the necessary tools needed to produce media-rich experiences. And businesses can cost-effectively contend with the rising tide of digital assets required to meet customer expectations.

Recent Blog Posts

The Visual Media Report: Visual Engagement and User Experience

With privacy top of mind, we wondered what we might learn from analyzing the large volume of data. What user behaviors would we discover, what regional differences might exist? What insights or early hints from different industries could we extrapolate? These questions guided us as we analyzed millions of anonymous end-user experiences and asset interactions across our platform.

Read more
How a Cloud-native DAM Platform Optimizes Customer Experiences

In today’s digital age, brands rely heavily on rich media to tell stories, foster engagement, and make emotional connections that drive results. Marketers use videos and images, tuned to customers’ interests, to create dynamic visual experiences. Digital campaigns about trips to Florida, for instance, have separate plot lines, depending on audiences’ passions for golf, deep sea fishing, or kid-friendly versus romantic getaways. Marketers expect to detect preferences, produce personalized experiences highlighting different desires, and turn digital prospects into vacationing customers. The ultimate success of a marketing campaign relies on the consistent delivery of these customer experiences, at scale.

Read more
Cloudinary’s Media Developer Experts Program

Cloudinary was founded by developers and developer-centric thinking is in our DNA. Our work with developers helps them better understand all things rich-media management and delivery is crucial to us. Now, in an effort to recognize, support, and reward the innovative leaders in that technical community, we’re excited to introduce a new Media Developer Experts (MDE) program! MDEs will leverage the Cloudinary platform to foster a community of media-management professionals; receive training and certifications to become experts within their field or audience; advance the state of media management, adoption, and best practices; and make the web more accessible.

Read more
An Eye-Opening Talk: Building Apps for the Next Billion Users in Africa

William (iChuloo) Imoh, who hails from Lagos, Nigeria, recently embarked on a U.S. speaking tour, February 20-March 12, during which he powwowed with technical and product teams and communities at such renowned enterprises as Netlify, Pluralsight, Lucidchart, Twilio, and more in Salt Lake City, Dallas, Las Vegas, and San Francisco. On March 5, he gave an enlightening talk, entitled International Developers and Development: Building for the Next Billion Users at Cloudinary in Santa Clara, California. Below is a synopsis. For details, see the related slides.

Read more
The Debut of the Cloudinary Customer Advisory Board

Focus on customers has always been Cloudinary’s mantra. Because we owe them our success, we are constantly reaching out to our customers, not just for feedback on our offerings, but also for their vision, wish list, and buy-in of what Cloudinary can do to meet their needs and make them succeed. About six months ago, it occurred to us that it would be beneficial if we could meet regularly with those who are behind innovation at our key customers—executives, product gurus, developers, content managers—to swap strategies, product roadmaps, best practices, and such. In particular, we’d like to solicit actionable feedback as a foundation for our plans of product enhancements.

Read more