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ActiveDAM: Why is our platform described as “the future of digital asset management”?

Apr 5, 2024
Our ActiveDAM has been hitting the headlines in recent weeks, but how well do you know this revolutionary platform? Read on for a deep dive into ActiveDAM vs traditional DAMs, the big benefits, how our clients are using it, its AI capabilities and more!


A “groundbreaking development” – that’s how Business Today described our ActiveDAM, after the platform was named a ‘Strong Performer’ in The Forrester Wave™: Digital Asset Management Systems, Q1 2024. We see this as a truly remarkable achievement, catapulting our product (part of our wider package of global, award-winning Storyteq marketing technology) into conversations alongside some of the biggest and most established names across this market – while also, as Business Today note, emphasising ActiveDAM’s potential to “reshape the landscape” of the DAM space.

With that in mind, we wanted to take a deeper dive into Storyteq’s ActiveDAM – looking at what it does, how it works for our clients, and the way in which we see it developing over the coming years.

What is a DAM?

First things first – what is a digital asset management (DAM) system? Traditionally, this has been a repository for your digital marketing assets, making them easily findable in order to more rapidly distribute content to the teams that need it. Videos, images, presentations, documents and more – they can all be stored in your DAM and downloaded by the relevant personnel.

The idea is to be completely self-serve, cutting down the time it takes to create content by making assets available in one location, rather than having to search through numerous folders or chase people down over email to get what you need.

Depending on the size and whereabouts of your team, you may have a cloud-based DAM (ideal for usage across different sites, whether regional, national or international), or, if you’re operating in a single location, it can be more cost-effective to go with an on-site installation.

These are the very basics of DAM functionality, and the system will usually flex slightly according to what’s needed and who uses it the most.

ActiveDAM vs traditional DAM

Having established the characteristics of a traditional DAM, how does Storyteq’s ActiveDAM compare? Well, our platform takes all of the above but moves it along even further. ActiveDAM goes far beyond the role of a simple asset repository, and is instead a proactive member of your marketing team, offering “insights, intelligence and recommendations” (Group Deputy CEO & Chief Strategy Officer, John Kirk)

In practice, this means that ActiveDAM won’t just hold your assets, but will analyse campaigns to establish what is performing best across your markets, and then recommend content to your local teams. As John puts it, the platform delivers “a blend of the Netflix and Amazon experiences, whereby our tech suggests campaigns based on their performance and then makes it easy to shop the content you need”.

Once your local markets have chosen the campaign to run, how do they make it relevant to their audience? A traditional DAM would allow you to download assets as they are saved, but localising them would be an intensive, time-consuming manual process.

ActiveDAM incorporates Creative Automation to solve this particular dilemma. Select the dynamic template for the campaign, amend the elements you need to change (whether that’s languages, product imagery, colours, logos etc.), and then produce hundreds, even thousands of asset variations, formatted for every channel, in a matter of seconds. It’s fast, easy campaign localisation at scale.

On top of this, you will also have your own bespoke Brand Portal as part of the ActiveDAM package. Your Brand Portal is a space to house brand guidelines, approved logos, fonts, colours and more, ensuring every market has access to the most up-to-date versions at their fingertips.

Benefits of an ActiveDAM

Having examined what the ActiveDAM actually does, now we can take a closer look at exactly how that benefits your marketing. Firstly, by intelligently recommending campaigns to your teams, you get more usage from your best performing content. Great creative takes time and effort to deliver and deserves to be seen, but often we find that it’s used for a limited run, and then confined to the scrapheap. Now it’s easier than ever to share brilliant campaigns, adopt and adapt them in all your markets, which in turn maximises the return you get from your creative resource.

The ability to localise campaigns at pace has significant advantages – namely increasing your speed to market. Working from centrally approved dynamic templates, you are now able to rapidly deliver content that’s on-brand but also relevant and impactful to audiences in your local markets, with the ability to be more reactive to events as they unfold. And remember, this isn’t about localising a single ad or even one campaign. It’s about connected, localised customer journeys that span every channel and touchpoint.

“Storyteq’s ActiveDAM has enabled us to greatly improve the roll-out and governance of our marketing assets, and subsequently derive insights on the global use of content. Now seamlessly connected with our content production workflows and brand guidelines, our teams have one system enabling them to deliver on-brand content efficiently.”

James Masters, Head of Content & Media Technology at Haleon

ActiveDAM means far less back and forth with central marketing teams, because local markets now have the power to adapt their own content. Central marketing still approve the dynamic templates and can choose which elements are customisable and which are locked for brand consistency, with local marketers able to self-serve the asset variations they need through Creative Automation. An added bonus is that this significantly cuts down on manual resource required, freeing creatives up to concentrate on crafting engaging master templates (while saving time and money).

ActiveDAM is also incredibly beneficial for brands operating across multiple time zones, with central marketing controlling access to the platform to ensure the relevant teams are able to get the content they need, when they need it. These international markets don’t have to wait for head office to send them campaign content or approve assets – campaigns, assets, brand guidelines (and everything in between) are already on the ActiveDAM. This has the long-term benefit of driving greater consistency across global markets, ultimately increasing the strength of your brand.

And alongside all of these benefits, we can fully integrate ActiveDAM into your existing technology stack – so you can start using it instantly across your entire marketing operation.

How do our clients use ActiveDAM?

Of course, our clients use our ActiveDAM in a number of different ways. For Heineken, it’s all about brand control. They’re operating across 160 countries and in 28 different languages, so it’s a real challenge to deliver on-brand, engaging and consistent marketing while at the same time adhering to local laws and standards. ActiveDAM enables them to do just that, with pre-approved dynamic templates for easy localisation of content, and every element of their brand available in their bespoke Brand Portal.

“All our local markets now have instant access to centrally approved campaigns, content, brand guidelines, playbooks and more, so we can roll out marketing everywhere with strong brand compliance and governance.”

Mark van Iterson, Global Director of Design on Heineken’s Global Innovation Team

Global consumer health company Haleon operate across similarly worldwide markets, and for them ActiveDAM is about getting their marketing out at pace. Rather than campaigns being created and adapted centrally, local teams on the ground now have the tools to take a central campaign, adapt it for their audience as necessary, and roll it out themselves. We’ve already cut Haleon’s time to market in half, and as our tech develops our ambition is to enable global campaign creation, adaptation and distribution in a single day.

The benefits of ActiveDAM are also relevant on a national level. Let’s take two brands in completely different sectors – ŠKODA and KFC. What they have in common is the need to run on-brand yet locally relevant marketing campaigns across a national network of dealerships and restaurants respectively.

With ActiveDAM, these two major companies get consistent campaigns, but individual locations can tailor content to maximise engagement with the audience in their area. It could be store promotions, changes in opening times, product launches and much more, all created with dynamic templates while their Brand Portal ensures they’re using the latest, most up-to-date brand elements.

What’s the future of ActiveDAM?

Our technology is constantly evolving, and obviously our first port of call is making what we already do with ActiveDAM even more effective and efficient for our clients around the world.

We’re also continuously enhancing the role of AI within ActiveDAM, to deliver even better campaigns to your customers. This includes:

  • Deep knowledge of each asset that surpasses current metadata – including TOV, target demographic, customer engagement, languages and more
  • Creation of new content beyond basic derivatives, including user-requested generative AI assets
  • Understanding of brand and industry-specific regulatory compliance and DRM
  • Answering queries and producing personalised content instantly

And more – stay tuned!

In this article we’ve gone into detail on the specific benefits ActiveDAM offers, but if we were going to distil those down to two key points, it would be these.

First of all, ActiveDAM is about bringing your teams together. Whether you’re operating on a national or international scale, modern marketing requires you to balance brand consistency with the need to deliver bespoke content to local audiences – and give your teams the power to make this happen without expending a huge amount of time and resource. ActiveDAM enables you to harmonise the wider brand goals of your central team with the genuine customer engagement that a local team delivers. As John succinctly puts it, we’re “combining central marketing efficiency with local marketing effectiveness”.

Secondly, it’s about doing more with your content and ensuring the work of your creatives is absolutely maximised, every time. ActiveDAM makes it easy to know what’s performing best across your markets, so you can take these insights, adjust your marketing strategy accordingly, and in turn boost revenue.

Don’t just store assets. Create powerful, highly engaging, localised customer journeys that capture the imagination of your customers. It’s time to embrace the “game-changing ActiveDAM revolution”.

If you want to see Storyteq’s ActiveDAM in action, arrange a demo here!

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