Welcome, Smart Content Hub!

May 06, 2015
On April 22 and 23, ADAM software, a leader in the Forrester wave of digital asset management, held its yearly event called “ADAM Sync” in Europe. The ideal occasion to be immersed in company insights and future roadmaps, and in creative ideas presented by the different speakers.

I can’t say we weren’t awarded. Here is why:

The opening speech of CEO Pieter Casneuf enlightened us with his vision on the ADAM Software platform. Still keeping its ties with its roots as a DAM vendor, ADAM Software continuously innovates the software to act as a central marketing platform where the DAM functionality is more than a simple repository. Smart Content Hub is about DAM being the corner stone to Customer Experience technologiesIt needs to allow marketers to engage their customers and create opportunities connected to their brand. One cannot expect to have its brand CX driven without having enriched content that responds to context. “Hub” also stands for point of centralization of information. The unified place where all pieces of the content puzzle come together. In the words of Pieter:

“Farewell image library, welcome Smart Content Hub”


This was confirmed by Anjali Yakkundi of Forrester, talking about the “The evolving role of DAM”:

modern DAM systems need to be open. They have to prioritize on creating engaging content that is reusable across channels. It is required products have a smaller time to market and can be released faster. All this needs to be streamlined by content creation approval processes to make it business centric, with the warning for the common trap of overengineered and too complex flows.

Two important remarks on the Smart Content Hub introduction by Otto De Graaf:

  1. As a brandowner, you need to have a unified experience across touch point silos. I must agree with him that today’s focus is on eliminating those silos. However, he made clear that this is not going to happen. Silos will continue to exist, so we might as well start to live with them and focus on how we can integrate them into one platform.
  2. Emerging countries simply skip the “PC desktop experience”. We have all grown up with desktop PCs or laptops, but those countries only know one thing: the mobile device. This means that if you want to have an optimal market presence in these emerging markets, you need to be mobile-friendly and deliver appropriate content for this touchpoint.

The company is working further on developing a cloud strategy and a subscription-based licensing model. This means we can expect a cloud ADAM Platform – most probably on Microsoft Azure – in the nearby future.

ADAM Software still goes for the eco system approach existing of best breed of partners covering marketing campaign management, WCM, workflow, ecommerce, etc. Several examples of integrations on different touchpoints were shown on stage:

  • Integration with SiteCore (WCM): Insert a digital asset from ADAM into a Sitecore page.
  • Integration with Teradata (MRM): Incorporate and handle assets in Teradata’s Marketing Campaign management tool Aprimo.
  • Integration with Adobe (Web2Print): Create dynamicly generated brochures and print by means of Adobe’s Indesign Server.

I personally loved the inspiring session of Tim Walters. He really gave insights on both Customer Experience (CX) and Customer Experience Management (CEM).

These are the highlights:

  • We absorb visual information 50x faster and retain it 6x more effictively than text. This means that the engagement level on Instagram is 15x higher than that of Facebook, and 25x higher than that of Twitter. Shoppers that are presented with product videos or attractive imagery are more likely to buy a product.
  • The information revolution empowers consumers, the rich media evolution powers shift from messages (MarComms) to engaging, stimulating experiences.
  • CEM is an inescapable imperative, resistance is futile, but so is attempting to manage the entire customer lifecycle by your company.
  • Customer journey mapping is the process of tracking and describing all the experiences customers have as they encounter a service, taking into account not only what happens to them, but also their responses to these experiences. The customer journey approach shifts its attention to the interactions that matter most. This focus on journeys is not a “start small”, “baby steps” strategy. It is precisely what you should be doing – and you can do it today. When mapping journeys, get MAD – marketers should think of DAM in terms of MAD – marketing assets on demand.

This slidedeck of Tim Walters is about inconvenient truths and dangerous misconceptions about CEM. A must read!  And here is another interesting article that is certainly worth taking a look at if you want to know more about “The power of visual story telling”.

If you are interested in my summary of the technical track of the Sync event, than you should also read part 2: ADAM goes Elastic.