Aprimo Presents New Tools For Content Marketing, Creatives And DAM

Marketing and asset management outfit Aprimo have recently announced a couple of innovations for content marketers and creatives: a rather unimaginatively named ideation tool called ‘Idea Lab’, and the Article Editor, which ‘enables content marketers to support text-based content along with rich media content in one single, easy-to-use interface’.

Aprimo’s opening claim that they are the ‘leader in global marketing operations and digital asset management technology’ immediately sets the tone for this release; a combination of buzz-wordiness and hyperbole without actually providing much in the way of what these new features actually do.  Here’s a quote from Ed Breault, VP Head of Marketing:

Today’s content marketers are faced with challenges when it comes to the process of ideation, organization and rolling out the necessary steps of a customer experience. Many team members have their own methods of taking notes, sharing ideas or collaborating. This makes it increasingly difficult to visualize and understand ideas, and ultimately decreases the speed in getting new experiences out the door.” [Read More]

Ideation, or ‘Idea Management’ software is pretty popular these days – it helps creatives and the ideas people to capture, compile and formalise the output of their brainstorming sessions into a format that can be understood and actioned by those further down the campaign, product or asset’s lifecycle.

Aprimo goes on to claim that Idea Lab is “the only ideation solution on the market that connects into the best-of-breed Aprimo platform”.  This is akin to saying that the Acme Sproggle Inverter is the only Sproggle Inverter that connects to the Acme Sproggle System; with the event of increasingly modular and multi-vendor environments, informing users about the inflexibility of a proprietary bolt-on could be regarded as unwise.

Elsewhere, on Aprimo’s blog, Product Marketing Director Julie Brown writes:

I like to think of Idea Lab as a “Pinterest for Marketing.” Marketers have a blank canvas to work with and can easily start “pinning” the ideas they have for any creative concept such as a singular asset, a campaign, an event, you name it!” [Read More]

Personally, if there’s one site that consistently manages to get my goat, it’s Pinterest.  From its unconventional, resource-zapping and JavaScript-heavy GUI, to the time-consuming goose-chase to find the original source of an item or article, it has to be one of the most ill-conceived and useless content and concept aggregators out there.

Idea Lab’s main features are:

  • Idea workspaces to help collect and share early-stage concepts.
  • Dynamic collaboration for teams to ideate together in real time.
  • Flexible planning and calendar capabilities to easily view when and where ideas can be brought to market.
  • Ability to bring finalized ideas into production.
  • Access to a single cloud-based solution to manage the entire content lifecycle at scale.

As far as I can glean from various articles, this appears to translate to:

  • A dashboard/launchpad showing collections of ideas
  • Threaded comments with attachments with the ability to vote on ideas
  • A campaign/workflow calendar
  • A connector that appears to feed the output into the main Aprimo platform (of which there are numerous flavours spanning DAM, marketing campaigns, workflow, budgeting and product content management)

I admit that these features might seem useful for some, but I suspect many creatives will simply regard this as bloat – unnecessary bells and whistles creating user-generated ‘noise’ that is out of context and already managed elsewhere in the individual’s toolkit.  Content may be king, but context should remain beyond its governance.

If Aprimo’s Idea Lab is indeed anything like Pinterest, creatives and content marketing teams might be better off sticking to their current tools or face running the risk of being sidelined by a quasi-social media workflow that does the exact opposite of focusing their precious ideas.  It’s a little clichéd, but I believe ideas are like eggs – they need time to be left alone, to incubate in the dark and fertile environment of the mind; immediately pushing them into a collaborative workflow where they’re prematurely showcased and dissected often heralds the death of a good idea.

After having read numerous descriptions of the Article Editor, I have to confess I’m still not altogether sure what this feature actually does.  The press release states:

Content marketing teams can create and edit publishable marketing copy content, store channel-agnostic copy or configure channel-specific templates, and search and insert DAM assets – including images and videos.” [Read More]

At a guess, this appears to be the ability to manage text-based content alongside other media assets within its DAM environment.  This could potentially come in handy, but again, it does feel as though Aprimo are adding features for the sake of saying “we can do that”.  On the whole, I suspect this might be another case of the DAM software market running out of ideas – and I can’t ignore the irony that their latest ideas are designed to encourage them.

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One comment

  • This sounds like an interesting idea, and I like the concept to digitize these collaborative design workshops that are typically done war room style with various sketches and words written on a white board, but I have my concerns. A lot of content is generated in these sessions, which are now going to be uploaded in a DAM system. From my experience, most concepts or ideas never make it past the first stage, so why put it in a DAM if there is no value? There would need to be a governance policy to continuously curate, and audit these types of assets so it doesn’t create clutter, in addition to securing the assets appropriately to ensure the right people can see and use them. The collaboration piece is nice so you can track the comments, and if the idea/concept actually get’s produced, it will be nice to see the entire lifecycle process and the progression from start to finish. I would just be cautious about what type of content is uploaded during these sessions and how it’s going to be managed in the DAM.

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