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How metadata transforms the user experience for digital asset management

February 23, 2023 | Samuel Chapman

Digital Asset Management gives organizations a single source of truth, which can significantly improve the content experience in market. Marketers can reach customers faster, educate them more effectively, and scale personalized content to deliver exceptional experiences. But when managed effectively, DAM can also dramatically improve the user experience within an organization.

By establishing a single source of truth for all assets across the business, marketers can work smarter and faster. Using AI, DAM can automate mundane work, increasing marketing’s productivity with the ability to search and find the most up to date and compliant content quickly and easily. With the ability to be more creative, productive, and effective, employees are happier and derive greater satisfaction from their work.

Metadata plays a key role in this success. Essentially, metadata is a description of an asset provided by an individual when they upload the asset to DAM. It can include:

  • Words or phrases associated with a piece of content that are commonly searched terms.
  • A longer, text description of the asset once users click on the asset for details.
  • Terms specific to a business, like if the asset is associated with a specific product or part of a campaign.

A best-of-breed DAM enables AI-powered metadata, which can completely transform the user experience. AI can auto tag assets using capabilities like image recognition, speech-to-text transcription, and optical character recognition (OCR). Not only does this improve user productivity, but it also increases the value of information included and supports modular content strategies that help scale content operations for everyone involved.

A great user experience hinges on findability

For most of us, storing files and keeping them organized on our own systems can be challenging enough. When it comes to managing a DAM with multiple users, oftentimes in multiple locations, that challenge can seem even more daunting. Even if your taxonomy structure is comprehensive and well planned, your DAM can still have issues or, worse yet, go unused if your metadata guidelines don’t work for your users.

This can be detrimental to productivity, campaign outcomes, and your return on effort (ROE). For this reason, over 50% of executives recently surveyed for The State of Content Operations report believe they need to plan and produce content more efficiently and improve content findability, re-use, and personalization.

DAM is more than just a parking lot where your assets sit. DAM is an interactive solution that enables you to create a true hub for all your customer experience content. The key to being a content hub, rather than a parking lot of content, is the use of metadata – it unlocks content to business users (searchability), but it also plays a huge role in automation (processes and rules).

Aprimo product screen with AI smart tags and similar face search features

AI-powered metadata transforms the user experience

There’s so much promise when it comes to AI. In the past, tasks like tagging assets with metadata for your DAM were done manually. Today, AI can auto tag assets thanks to image recognition, speech-to-text transcription, and optical character recognition (OCR). This eliminates the need to input every data point when tagging, which saves serious time. It also makes assets easier to find and use.

Some DAM AI services only work on images and only tag assets. But you need AI services that extend beyond just tags and include descriptions, OCR, video and audio text track creation, similar item searches, facial recognition, and even the option to create customer-specific AI based tagging models. When it comes to metadata, today’s modern DAM should offer the following AI-powered capabilities:

Smarter content personalization: Automatically send metadata-enriched tags to personalization engines that can then match content with the right, targeted persona.

Smart tagging: AI creates descriptive “tags” and visual descriptions of assets upon upload to improve findability and reuse.

Learned AI tagging: Train AI to learn your company-specific terms, brand, or product characteristics and create custom tags.

Metadata templates: Apply the same metadata to multiple assets with just a couple of clicks.

Localized metadata: Manage assets by different regions, languages, and channels.

Visually similar assets: Search for and view all visually similar images and faces of an asset.

Search on speech in video: Search for fragments of speech to find a video; speech-to-text transcriptions can be shown as subtitles, ingested as metadata, and are fully searchable.

Optical character recognition: AI automatically extracts and stores credits and written text in videos and images to improve findability.

These capabilities ensure that the content you invested so much time in isn’t going to waste and can be easily found and reused across the business. And that ability to keep assets up to date, organized, and enriched will ultimately lead to richer, on-brand customer experiences. This eliminates the need to input every data point when tagging, which saves serious time. It also makes assets easier to find and use. AI has become so intuitive in some DAMs that it can even bring up results that aren’t fully tagged.

Using metadata to power a modular content strategy

Modular content is the key to content reuse while also optimizing marketing teams’ time and resources so they can quickly and easily deliver great, on-brand, and compliant customer experiences to market. Modular content helps teams manage, create, and deconstruct content experiences into distinct blocks that can then be mixed and matched into exponential combinations to create new experiences faster.

“Relationships between metadata descriptors allow marketers, developers, and designers to deliver relevant content chunks in an infinite array of valuable combinations.” The Forrester Wave for Digital Asset Management

To power an effective modular content strategy, your DAM should enable metadata inheritance, which is when an asset or a content object automatically inherits some or all of its metadata from a parent asset, which it knows through a relationship. For instance, if you want to localize a content set or experience that was created for your main market or your global market, it’s highly likely some of the metadata of the localized version will be exactly the same as the metadata on the asset for the global markets. In addition to being more efficient, this process also ensures that if something changes within the original or parent asset, all localized versions will be updated as well.

Support for modular content allows for more dynamic content operations – creating more agility and flexibility and empowering your teams to deliver the right content, to the right customer, in the right channel, at the right time.

Benefits of modular content include:

  • Optimizing user productivity and improved user experience
  • More contextually relevant experiences
  • Reacting faster to market opportunities
  • Accelerating time to market with content and experiences
  • Exponentially improving content reuse and managing content costs
  • Creating high-quality and consistent customer brand experiences
  • Scaling customer experiences
  • Lowering regulatory and brand reputation risk

Although modular content can transform your content operations, it cannot do it alone. DAM is critical to an effective modular content strategy. A DAM helps your teams create content blocks, content sets, and content experiences from any content type, make data-driven content decisions and supports the building of compound content by stitching together different modules.

Aprimo Leads the Way with AI-Powered Metadata and Modular Content

Every DAM has metadata capabilities. What separates Aprimo from the average DAM?

  • Localized metadata to manage assets by different regions, languages, and channels.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) to auto-tag assets with image recognition, speech-to-text transcription, and optical character recognition.
  • Metadata templates, to apply the same metadata to multiple assets with just a couple of clicks.

Our approach to metadata gives customers the ability to power a modular content strategy, which can deliver tremendous benefits including an increase in content reuse by at least 10%. For a company with $1B in revenue, adopting a modular content block strategy could mean $4M in savings each year.

Forrester Wave Leader 2022

Aprimo’s superior metadata capabilities have been recognized by the industry. Forrester gives Aprimo’s AI Extraction services the highest possible score – 5 out of 5 – in The Forrester Wave™: Digital Asset Management for Customer Experience, Q1 2022 saying: “Aprimo’s DAM product excels in AI metadata extraction capabilities that include both industry starter packs for AI as well as the ability to train AI to recognize business-specific content items. This is differentiated in the market and provides value to clients that need to enrich large libraries of content with more than just generic tags.”

Here are just a few examples of how Aprimo customers are achieving success using Aprimo DAM with AI-powered metadata capabilities

  • A Pharmaceutical customer is saving $250K per annum on agency costs by having a central reference library and the ability to re-use content.*
  • A Financial Services customer reduced turnaround time by 50% and reduced approval of SLA’s from 7 to 2 days.*
  • A retail customer reduced rework by 35% and eliminated the need to rush jobs, which was historically 50% of the jobs.*

Aprimo’s metadata capabilities ensure that the content you invested so much time in isn’t going to waste and can be easily found and reused across the business. And that ability to keep assets up to date, organized, and enriched will ultimately lead to richer, on-brand customer experiences.

Be on the lookout for the fourth blog in this series where we’ll discuss the importance of performance at scale and why scaling content operations requires a combination of people, process, and technology. If you missed them, check out the first two blogs in this series about building a composable content stack and how intelligent automation powers the digital supply chain.

Download our eBook, 5 Essential Elements of Modern Content Operations, to learn more about how you can unleash the power of your omnichannel content.

*All states based on Aprimo data usage.

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