PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO EXAMINER
It’s been a week since the release of WebDAM’s latest features to their brand management solution, Brand Connect. On Tuesday, May 3, Examiner sat down with Jody Vandergriff, Co-Founder and CEO of WebDAM, to find out more about this game-changing platform and how it not only affects marketing teams and designers, but how it’s creating impact for the enterprise with individual contributors all over the globe!
As globalization takes over the business world, the standard multinational organization is finding itself competing with scalable business structures that have centralized headquarters and thousands of work-at-home contributors. Some of these companies don’t even have a central headquarter location. The multinational now has to work in double time, making sure that overheads are covered in each location, while innovating to protect their position in the marketplace and keeping with consistency across the board.
But, guess what? WebDAM, a Shutterstock company, has now created a solution that just may put them at greater odds against one another.
If you remember, WebDAM released a Fifty Shades of Branding SlideShare last year to introduce their Brand Connect platform. We even covered it here. Since its release, WebDAM has been working extra hard to expand upon feedback from the initial release and provide better solutions that service remote teams. The solution was to create a social branding platform to engage multidisciplinary teams and cross-departmental groups in conversation over branding and deliverables.
Towards the end of 2015, we have learned that many organizations are integrating WebRTC, a form of Unified Communications, in creating seamless production amongst their cross-continental teams. WebDAM is no different, as they encourage communications between team members by providing better tools for conversation and collaboration. Their new platform features e-mail, instant messaging and more.
The efficiency of WebDAM’s new features is priceless, and this launch has been the biggest one yet. For example, Embargo Dates and Image Carousels synchronize the release of materials, based on roles, privacy settings and location-based specifics. What’s even better than this is the fact that anything released through the Image Carousel can be released cross-platform and distributed to specific sites, on specific dates and in specific cities or countries!
This is very important, because it eliminates the need to create and recreate multiple codes that display a mixture of shared and unique-to-site imagery. In fact, there will be little need to ever change the code – unless a web property is being redesigned – and even then, the code will still never have to change. This is visual content management at its finest!
It is to be noted that with video becoming one of the fastest growing content assets, this platform is completely capable of managing video, as well. This is important, as so many websites rely on videos to better tell their brand’s story or to sell a product.
Allowing social functionality, team members and decision makers all get to join in the design process. They will be able to better explain what works, what doesn’t work and what should be implemented to cater to specific demographics and location-based populations. This is done in real time and across various platforms. This means that Johnny-on-the-Go will be interacting from his mobile device, while Stationary Sally makes changes in Australia from her desktop computer.
The “collective wisdom” in asset management is becoming very popular, because it better cultivates a corporate vision, especially across territories and amongst those who may never meet each other face-to-face, allowing for the design process to be maximized and project management to be completely streamlined to ensure clients are continuously receiving projects on time, on task and on budget.
In fact, companies may opt to include their clients within the platform, keeping them involved in the design process every step of the way. This saves time and also ensures higher rates of satisfaction to the end user.
The new features are set up in a visual style guide and mood board scenario. Textures, visuals, colors, fonts… They are all displayed in such a fashion that not only harvests productivity, but they will also inspire. Stakeholders now have influence.
“Usually, when creatives are distributed to teams and client brands, they are distributed through a .PDF file inthe form of a style guide. We are changing all of this and making things easier for teams, especially those spread out geographically,” states Jody Vandergriff.
“Many companies are struggling to manage their brands in this new digital environment,” she continues “They rely on static brand guidelines in PDF documents that become outdated quickly, and distribute creative assets through network servers or cloud storage that put an immense burden on marketing teams to approve and fulfill requests. Brand Connect and these newly launched features equip teams with smarter, simpler technology built for digital marketing.”
A smart solution for cloud-based systems, building, organizing and distributing brand assets and guidelines, the automation speaks for itself. But, everyone wants to know about the analytics. How well is this platform performing?
In the previous release of the platform, analytics were spread across social channels and web domains. It was the essential brand management platform. The upgraded version allows “graphic details that display key measures and trends to better understand asset feedback and use.” Analytics have better allowed us to understand the external details of our brands – but what about the internal stakeholder? WebDAM has allowed us to access these details and find out what our team members really think – whether they admit it or not.
In Marketing and in Branding, design is a must. Visually appealing platforms keep us on our toes and force us to be better creators. Decision makers can privately discuss marketing collateral and content distribution. Once a decision has been reached, they can send those assets directly through the channels of their choice – saving time and manpower in the process. Because content needs to be pushed out to each network only once, hosting is cut dramatically, especially in the case of large content, as it is now integrated into various web properties from one location
Discoveries allow for detailed information, relating to tools, that can be used and how to use them. Guidelines are displayed to teach stakeholders where creatives can be used and shared. Basically, this centralized “location” better dictates to teams the “can dos” and “can’t dos” in each brand campaign.
Project management has also been made easier, as various workflows are supported within the platform, itself. Dates for submission and deadlines for publication are set in stone — but are also customizable. User profiles allow each team member to be unique, while able to be grouped and assigned tasks. There is a persona behind each set of keys. Products will be introduced, and product releases can be better managed through product management strategies within the workflow process.
Finally, WebDAM has partnered with some pretty amazing organizations and mainstream media companies to provide the optimal experience to each user of this platform. Fully integrating, WebDAM has partnered with companies, such as Adobe’s Creative Cloud to allow in-the-cloud editing. Using a program such as InDesign, users will find that assets are directly pulled into the system. Creative content can be moved directly from the desktop and into the cloud – or in reverse. Layers can be saved automatically to the cloud, while the entire project is accessible cross-platform.
WebDAM has partnered with other great companies, such as Box, WordPress and Drupal, to allow similar functionality. Soon, WebDAM will be releasing information on their new partnerships and will only further enhance content management experiences, driving industry change even further. Companies that utilize proprietary information will be happy to note that WebDAM has also made allowances for customizable API utilization.
Changing the game for marketers, brand managers, content developers and product owners, WebDAM continues to amaze us with their innovations. They have taken the business out of the business and allow us to become more creative. We have been hindered in such an evolved world that some of us have forgotten how to be creative. This is not only shifting industries, but it is opening our minds.