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  • Uncategorized

    Managing Digital Assets is Very European

    My latest Vendor Selection Matrix reports focus on the management of digital assets. The software market for automating this process has been energized by an explosion in the volumes of digital assets, particularly rich media assets such as photos and video, driven by digital marketing and eCommerce. In some industries such as apparel and retail, this explosion can even include the management of new, dynamic assets created by customers during their buying behavior.

    The Digital Asset Management (DAM) process is the storage and management of digital files, in particular digital media files like graphics, videos, sound and text components needed for digital content production. DAM systems can catalog and retrieve the digital assets for various types of users working in marketing, product management, sales, service, design, and manufacturing departments of an organization. 

    I found some 40 active vendors offering DAM solutions, including open-source providers and vendors active only in their local markets. In 2018, the total global annual software license, maintenance and SaaS revenues for DAM totaled around $ 2.5 billion, growing annually at around 20%. Although DAM is a mature technology, there is high demand for new DAM projects as more businesses need a management system for the expensive rich media content they now create for digital marketing programs and eCommerce projects.   

    I also found a new market driver: companies who enable prospects/customers to configure their products using digital technology on websites, kiosks or other point-of-sale platforms also need to manage those dynamic assets – to support a sales order or just to provide feedback to product designers. This trend, where DAM expands from static digital files to include variants and instances created in the customer-facing delivery phases, which also need to be stored, logged, tagged and retrieved, is most apparent in the apparel and retail industries but I expect it to impact other industries as well in the next years.  I would call this “outside-in” DAM as opposed to the traditional “inside-out” DAM projects. 

    EUROPEAN VENDORS DOMINATE DAM

    Of particular interest to me, living here in Europe, was that the list of leading global suppliers included several European vendors who have significant worldwide presence. European businesses tend to be much more process-oriented than North American firms. As the demands of digital marketing and rich media increase the need to install more rigorous business process around digital assets (compliance, security, privacy), vendors who have developed products for the needs of European companies are able to take advantage of their functional leadership in international markets as well.

    The top five vendors rated by the users are (listed alphabetically) Adobe, Bynder, censhare, Nuxeo, and Sitecore. The vendors CELUM, Cloudinary, Cognizant (yes, a service provider was named by the respondents), OpenText, and Widen complete the top ten. In positions 11 thru 20 are vendors Aprimo, Canto, Cumulus, Digizuite, Extensis, Media Valet, MediaBeacon, Northplains, Picturepark, and Wedia. 

    An abridged version of the report can be viewed here

    DAM VENDORS IN GERMANY

    I also did a separate survey of 750 DAM practitioners in Germany and discovered that the top 15 vendors as selected by those respondents included just six non-German companies which is far fewer than usual. The top five vendors in Germany are (listed alphabetically) Adobe, Bynder, censhare, Eyebase (CMB), and Sitecore. The vendors Cavok (Peak-14), Canto, CELUM, Contentserv, and Nuxeo complete the top ten. In positions 11 thru 15 are vendors Aprimo, Coremedia, Eikona-Media, OpenText, plus open source vendors. 

    That report is available here. We have adopted a new format with this report and written it in both English and German – hope you like that. 

    Always keeping you informed! Peter

  • Uncategorized

    Opportunity Knocks for MLM Software in Germany

    I was invited to speak at the 7thLead Management Summit, a two-day conference with about German 300 B2B marketers, held in Würzburg.  

    Although I wasn’t on till Day 2, I attended both days and really enjoyed the first keynote from Christian Schmitz, Professor for Sales Management at the Ruhr-University in Bochum. Bochum has three Profs on the Sales & Marketing chair and awards 15 master’s degrees in Sales Management annually (470 applications last year!). Their work is sponsored by over a dozen companies so its research and teaching is certainly not theoretical. 

    Of course, one reason I enjoyed Christian was because he started his “Digital Disruption in B2B Sales” talk with several citations from my work at Forrester. As well as naming the “Death of the Salesman” report (my recent blog), he showed other stats and predictions that I had published on the topic – it made my own introduction the next day so much easier.  

    We had a series of presentations by marketing practitioners. Some firms are already quite sophisticated in their lead management system while others are still in the experimental stage. Last October, 39% of 1500 firms I interviewed on Marketing Lead Management said they were planning their first automation project while 33% did have software in place but want to replace it – the German numbers were even higher for first-time projects. 

    But the most common phrase I registered, from speakers and from attendees I talked to was:

    “I work at a company that is a worldwide leader in our market, but you probably have never heard of us.”

    These are some of the 500-or-so“hidden champions”, the secret sauce of the German economy’s export success – mid-sized niche manufacturers located all over the German countryside. All these firms now face dramatic marketing challenges as the internet and digital disruption makes their world so much smaller. A great reason for marketing vendors to invest more time/resources in this audience (my talk listed the German GTM efforts of  leading marketing lead management software vendors – not a great commitment).  Hubspot, Salesforce, Oracle-Eloqua, Marketo and Act-On do have some German sites. The most important local vendor is SC-Networks with Evonik followed by hundreds of E-Mail marketing platforms.

    I also noted this quite telling and important statement made by a speaker as they discussed the necessary investments in a lead management project (doing effective customer research to record the buyer journey, creating content, installing and setting up software). She said:

    “A print campaign would have been much more expensive and new-logo acquisition through sales people is the most expensive of all options.”

    Now that is an interesting way to consider marketing automation ROI. 

    Always keeping you informed! Peter