If you want to become successful in the food business, here’s one important thing to keep in mind:

You’re not just selling food. You’re selling an experience.

In this age of digital consumerism where experiences trump possessions, every player in the food and beverage industry will be smart to leverage the power of experiential marketing. It’s tough to argue the contrary considering how Millennials (and Gen Zers for that matter) put a higher premium on great dining experiences.

And, don’t forget about the power of social media. After all, having a strong social media presence is integral to building a strong brand image — especially in the food and beverage industry.

That’s not to say that traditional marketing is dead. On the contrary, print, TV, and radio advertising is still very much alive in the food and beverage sector.

The takeaway? You need to modernize the way you manage all your digital assets because, after all, your brand assets are what help you sell “great experiences” to your target market. And, that goes for both social and traditional media.

So, all I need to do is produce marketing and advertising collateral that will knock people’s socks off?

Sure, that helps. But, if you want to make an indelible mark in your industry, you also need to find ways to work more efficiently. And sometimes, that’s the hardest part.

Producing quality content takes a long time. For one thing, brand assets — from photos and audio files to videos and spreadsheets — have to go through different departments. It gets even harder when each department has to navigate through multiple platforms and channels.

Thankfully, there’s a great solution that can help you manage all of your brand assets with the least amount of time and effort.

Enter Digital Asset Management, otherwise known as a DAM.

What is DAM?

Digital Asset Management is a system that allows an organization to store, organize, find, manage, retrieve, distribute, and analyze their digital assets. In other words, DAM serves as the “central source of truth” that helps teams optimize and streamline their asset management workflows. It puts your teams in a better position to produce assets faster, and in ways that make your brand stand out from the competition.

But that’s not all of what a DAM can do for your company.

DAM keeps your branding strategy on-point

If you want your brand to cut through the noise, you need to produce content not just regularly but also in ways that will resonate with your customer base across multiple touchpoints in the customer lifecycle.

It’s all about branding consistency.

Branding is not just about building a reputation, it’s also about your target audience and where you want to take them. At the end of the day, customers are likely to support brands that mirror their own values and ideals. This is even more true for the food and beverage industry.

As such, your brand messaging and position should serve as a guide where you’re taking your brand, and your customer base, in the future.

So, how does a DAM platform help you nail your branding strategy? For starters, when you put all of your brand assets in one centralized location, everyone gets easy access to digital assets that are on-brand. This includes your brand style guides and templates.

This way, there’s no confusion as to which assets should be used, ensuring that every piece of marketing collateral that you produce reflects the heart and soul of your brand, even if applied across different communication channels. Want to make changes to an asset (such as a brand logo) and have it appear across the internet automatically? An excellent DAM has a private CDN that can help you do that in a matter of seconds, directly from the platform.

Pro Tip: A good DAM software allows you to customize the look and feel of your dashboard, providing your team with a uniquely branded environment.

A DAM helps your marketers and creatives work more efficiently

The food and beverage industry moves at a breakneck speed. That’s not in the least surprising considering that you’re dealing with perishable goods. But mostly, it comes down to how fast customer preferences change and seasonal factors. For a restaurant or food business to achieve sustainable success, it needs to learn how to ride the peaks and valleys of demand.

Case in point: a single “Instagram-worthy” food photo can make a brand go viral overnight. And it’s on you as a creative or marketer to take advantage of the opportunities this presents. Increasing customer engagement is a good start, but you need to ramp up asset production to pull this off.

Because trends in the food and beverage industry are fickle, you need to continually come up with fresh ideas for brand promotion. This, of course, requires you to produce assets on demand.

However, producing digital assets involves a lot of stages, from conceptualization and creation to approval to publication. The organizational hierarchy of a typical food and beverage company involves a lot of branches, resulting in many bureaucratic knots that slow down asset production.

Having a DAM in place, however, creates a centralized environment for all users across different departments. When differences in format and sizes and platforms become purely academic, your team and other departments can produce digital assets on demand and at scale.

A DAM platform also lets you assign each user a different role, along with the appropriate permissions and usage rights. This eliminates confusion about their respective roles, making it easy for marketers and creatives to focus on their core tasks.

DAM & analytics help you make smarter content decisions

When you’re working in the food and beverage industry, catching the attention of your customer base and keeping them engaged can feel like an exercise in futility. In fact, more and more food businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with fast-changing food trends. How can you accurately predict your target audience’s preferences if they keep changing all the time?

To overcome these challenges, you need to produce content that your customers will notice and remember. This means making better use of your assets and asking the right questions about them throughout their entire content lifecycle. In other words, every decision in the creative workflow needs to be data-driven.

Data, however, is worth nada without proper context. If you want your data to have value, you need to draw actionable insights from them first.

And, how do you get actionable insights from data? By using data analytics, of course!

In case you didn’t know it yet: DAM and data analytics are a match made in heaven.

When implementing a DAM platform, one of your main goals is to maximize the value of your assets. To do that, you need to track the performance of each digital asset that goes through the DAM.

You need to ask the following questions:

  • Who is using the digital assets in the DAM?
  • How are the assets being used?
  • Where are they being published?
  • Who is uploading the assets?
  • How many times was the asset downloaded?
  • Which downloads are popular?
  • The list goes on and on.

DAM analytics also helps you track the progress of each digital asset as it goes through different stages in the workflow, helping you identify the following:

  • Trends
  • Opportunities for improvement
  • Workflow inconsistencies

For example, a DAM can help you find out which search terms are being used. Are they providing relevant results? If not, an admin user can fine-tune the digital file’s metadata and taxonomy, so that users in the DAM will be substantially rewarded the next time they use the search term again.

By combining DAM and data analytics, your administrators can provide support in areas that require intervention. It’s also easier to determine asset ROI because DAM’s integration capabilities allow you to pull data from different sources.

What’s next?

Growing a brand in a competitive industry is rife with numerous marketing challenges, especially when there’s too much content “noise” out there. But when you have a DAM platform that serves as your “central source of truth” for producing impactful content, everything else follows. When all is said and done, a DAM platform is at the heart of the change you want to make in your organization.

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