DAM is the Keystone to Modular Content

This DAM News feature article was written by Ed Breault of DAM solutions provider, Aprimo.


The concept of modular content is not new. And it’s likely you’ve heard it by other names like content atomization. But what is new is what’s going on beyond the buzz- the formalization of the strategy and adoption in marketing organizations to solve very real challenges.

Teams have been experimenting for a couple of years, but modular content is now approaching a critical moment where we can divide marketing orgs and creative operations teams into two categories: those that go modular and those that do not.

But what is fuelling the adoption, or at least the heightened interest in putting the concept into practice? In short, the exponential rise in demand for always-on, highly personalized customer experiences.

The Supply and Demand of Personalization

How marketing teams deliver these highly customized experiences across all touch points at a global scale has changed dramatically over the last five years. While reaching an audience across all channels with tailored content relevant to specific customers is the new norm, the way teams deliver that experience hasn’t changed that much. Even with agile marketing methods, the experience delivery engine is still only primed for the ‘one-and-done’ approach.

Most customers today expect these kinds of connected experiences across a brand’s different channels – 69% according to a 2020 Salesforce survey. More recently, Forrester reports that 70% of sales reps spend between one and 14 hours every week customizing content for their buyers. 77% of B2B marketers also report significant challenges driving the right content consumption with external audiences.

The challenge here isn’t about mapping customer data and customer intent to the content that you produce to achieve a personalization standard. Sure, that’s part of it – fundamental even. The real challenge is scale. The sheer magnitude of meeting expectation, of supplying content to meet the global personalization demand.

Scaling Content Operations

What we see across all organizations we work with, is that content doesn’t scale across brands, regions, customer verticals, etc., but it’s becoming more and more of an expectation, and the pressure behind those expectations is overwhelming marketing, creative, and content teams.

One response to this challenge is to outsource, bring in creative agencies to support burst capacity. Another more recent trend, is the in-house agency; staffing up to support the demand for creative personalization at scale and adopting a formalized approach to content operations. But this takes time and intentional planning, though on its own doesn’t necessarily address the root cause.

It’s not just scaling a single image across brands and regions; it has to scale across all channels whether it’s desktop, mobile, print, billboard ads, etc..  Teams have to consider that the content experience might look different based on which customer you’re targeting.

Teams may also need to tweak different pieces of content based on the customer that they’re trying to personalize for, and that doesn’t even to take into account the different regions, whether it’s language differences that we need to take into consideration as we’re scaling up content, or even when we’re starting to think about cultural differences and how different images may need to be tweaked based on how they’re being presented across the globe.

It’s not just content that needs to scale, it’s your entire content operations. Organizations don’t need to just create more content, it’s actually about how they effectively and efficiently they scale their content efforts based on the delivery and impact of it by reusing and repurposing for omni-channel distribution.

Modular Content…This is the Way

In a recent webinar that my employer, Aprimo hosted, nearly half of all attendees said ineffective content processes are their top challenge when it comes to scaling content. The other top challenges were constraints around process and resources, as well as poor data. Add organizational silos to this mix and you are presented with a major challenge when building and scaling personalized content for digital customer experience.

Enter modular content. With modular content, there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ approach. You don’t always have to start from the smallest piece of content and build from there. Rather, you can start content creation anywhere, without having to follow traditional processes – whether it’s building content by combining various content blocks or breaking existing content experiences down into smaller, reusable components.

A modular approach to your content strategy primes your content operations for scale with a more effective process that gets over the resources, data, and time constraints. No longer do teams need to approach every content project as a single experience- modular content allows teams to break free from a linear model to a nonlinear content lifecycle. In many ways it’s a mind shift for agencies and creative teams to think about content creation as composable – that everything they create can be orchestrated into different experiences rather than always building from scratch. This maximizes repurpose and content reuse, thereby extending individual content value and cutting down on waste.

The modular approach is also content agnostic as it can be applied to any content type, which is then imbued with right data so creatives are able to find, use, and get recommendations on similar content building blocks, so you can grow into a modular system, mixing and matching content for channels and audiences as you go.

How DAM Enables a Modular Content Approach

Modular content is an enabler for content operations, but you also need a backbone to that entire system. You need a digital asset management (DAM) solution that is built natively to support modular content strategies. 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.

Here are the top five ways in which a scalable DAM solution can help your team get started on the modular content journey:

1. Get Ambitious, Be Comprehensive: Store all your content (not just image and video) in one centralized place: legal content, text fragments, stories, and more. Use contextual experiences to provide true business view on content operations. Inspire content use through similar content and content relationships powered by AI.

2. Mitigate Risk through the Power of Your Data: Avoid content mismatches through automated content security, content status, content management and distribution. Ensure content blocks are compliant by putting approvals and MLR processes in place or checkpoints with checklists, attestations, evidence. Make legal content and content guidelines part of the process.

3. Dynamically Distribute Experiences: Use secure, role-based portals for all stakeholders, internal external to distribute your content experiences. Swap in and out different modules and automatically link to all components. Enable multilingual translation and localization using templates and easily publish/unpublish content at scale using Public CDN. Leverage 3rd party integrations and connectors to meet users in the tools they live in.

4. Establish Transparency with Guidelines: Provide clear content status (embargo, expired, approved, approved with restrictions, public, etc.) so users know when and how content modules can be used. Relate usage instructions, licensing terms, best practices, and brand guidelines to ensure modules are used properly. Relate to all other content modules to ensure traceability

5. Audit and Measure: Easily find content that needs to be pulled and other impact modules. Track back content modules usage details and approval statues using detailed audit trails. Get business insights for the smallest piece of content all the way up to complex digital experiences. Know the return on effort of your content to bolster ROI reporting and know whether your content was worth effort to prioritize what matters most.

To learn more about what modular content, see this interactive content experience myself and my colleagues have prepared: https://interactive.aprimo.com/modular-content


This DAM News feature article was written by Ed Breault of DAM solutions provider, Aprimohttps://www.aprimo.com.  You can connect with Ed on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aprimo/

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