In this article, in addition to a description of the Asset Delivery process and its impacts, we discuss 20 content and product delivery problems that our customers have solved thanks to THRON.
The delivery of digital assets (or more briefly Asset Delivery) consists of the publication of multimedia content on the various corporate communication channels.
Distribution is one of the stages in the content lifecycle, preceded by Creation, Management and Approval and followed by Analysis.
It is one of the most often underestimated steps in the life cycle, but probably the most strategic.
Asset Delivery is much more than the simple publication of photos, images and information on the product sheet of an e-commerce or on the page of a website.
In fact, it reflects a veritable kaleidoscope of impacts.
Working alongside companies on this front for years, we have identified three: a technical one, an operational one and a strategic one. Each is important because it has an impact on company costs and revenues.
Technical impact: performance
In order to ensure a successful distribution of digital assets, it is necessary to incur substantial costs to integrate different systems (such as DAM for content and PIM for products), maintain the cost of delivery infrastructure and possibly cope with downtime caused by traffic peaks.
Operational impact: manual work
If your company communicates across multiple channels, without proper digitisation, you are likely to spend a lot of time each month duplicating and optimising each piece of content to align the attributes required by each touchpoint, as well as having to update each channel by hand.
Strategic impact: customer experience
The way in which assets are distributed can reduce the quality of the customer experience. Some examples? Poor quality content or the wrong format, inconsistent information across touchpoints, misaligned communication channels.
The following issues, grouped by affinity, impact on one or more of the aspects listed above. For each group, we have also provided a brief explanation of why, with THRON’s Asset Delivery approach, these problems do not exist.
Generally speaking, the resolution of any problems can be traced back to the fact that the platform centralises all digital assets and distributes them optimally and securely across each channel.
Take an image, for example.
Once created, creatives share it with digital marketing and e-commerce experts who – along with data and information about the products it represents – publish it on portals, websites, marketplaces, e-commerce and so on.
Here are some of the problems our customers encountered before choosing THRON.
Size matters and each touchpoint requires different sizes, to the point where time is wasted creating endless clones of each asset that differ only in the length, width or focus of the image.
In the typical case where, for example, e-commerce images have a grey background but marketplace product sheets dictate a white one, it is necessary to duplicate the image and generate several copies that vary in background colour.
The choice of format is no SEO-specialist’s1 quirk.
Speaking of images, for example, JPEG is lighter, while PNG guarantees higher quality.
The ideal would be to show each user, depending on the channels, the most suitable asset format for their conditions of use (browser in use, connection speed, device). But this is definitely a mission impossible if delivery is manual.
Another reason why many companies clone assets endlessly is to differentiate quality. Prioritise sharpness or minimise weight?
The answer often varies depending on the communication channel and the user’s mode of use (such as mobile). Even in these cases, a lot of time is wasted creating new copies of content in order to publish the perfect version at all possible points of contact with the user.
Talking about B2C channels, the delivery of content is often accompanied by the delivery of product information that must be copied, pasted and possibly adapted to each channel.
This manual activity is in addition to the uploading of media assets because, for example, each channel requires product descriptions of different lengths and provides different management of fields and attributes.
Each platform has its own players, which are difficult to customise except with code interventions that are costly to implement and maintain over time.
1 SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) specialists deal with a wide range of activities relating to the indexing of web pages and their positioning on search engines.
With THRON, these problems do nota rise because:
Brand guidelines evolve, representative shots or videos of a product are updated, data about a good or service change.
There are many reasons why product communication changes over time. And without a platform to support the processes of updating digital assets, the impacts are different.
Every time photos, videos or audios are updated, it is necessary to go into all the touchpoint back-end, remove the previous asset and upload the new one (after having obviously optimised it on the basis of all the attributes described above).
The updating of product information follows similar dynamics to those of content and is no less onerous from an operational point of view, given the mass of data (even in several languages) scattered across the web by each brand and the need to adapt the data on each channel.
Data and content expire. Promotions end, products go out of production.
Manually managing asset delivery, having control over what you communicate becomes complex and risks compromising the customer experience.
THRON’s customers no longer run into these problems because:
Publishing content to end channels is not enough to guarantee a quality user experience: it must be ensured that this is done at peak performance. But this may cost money and may not always be possible with a traditional delivery approach.
The commercial effectiveness of websites and e-commerce is closely linked to the traffic they generate, which in turn is influenced by the organic positioning achieved in search engine results (SEO).
To stand out from competitors, a site must minimise asset loading time, which depends (also) on the content distribution network (CDN) and its performance.
The organic positioning of websites and online shops is also related to the time taken by touchpoints to respond to user input.
On this front, online communicators cannot do without web platforms that minify2 code libraries.
An e-commerce or a site theoretically has no borders. For China, this is not quite so.
In order to reach China’s huge pool of online consumers, it is compulsory to acquire an ICP licence3, which allows you to have your site hosted on a Chinese website without it being censored due to non-compliance with local regulations.
2 A process that aims to reduce the source code as much as possible without altering its operation in order to lighten the application and make it perform better.
3 Permission issued by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to allow China-based websites to operate in China.
Our clients have solved these problems because:
Asset delivery cannot do without sharing within the organisation within the team, between different teams or geographically dispersed divisions.
Moreover, there are so many communication channels, both B2C and B2B, and communicating in each of them adequately is not always easy.
Sharing heavy assets or particular formats between different colleagues or teams can often be complex or inappropriate because e-mail, corporate chat or file sharing tools are neither appropriate nor secure.
The channels on which every company communicates with its B2C customers are many. Alternatives to manual updating, however, are few because most systems offer limited integration possibilities.
Responding in a timely manner to all requests for customised templates and materials from the sales network, from teams in other divisions (especially if in other countries with different languages and time zones) or to B2B partners risks becoming a nightmare and difficult to realise quickly. Thus productivity and business slow down.
Our customers do not face these problems because:
Distributing content and product data across digital touchpoints is not just a matter for the marketing team.
The dialogue between the company and the market is based on the exchange of information between the organisation’s tools and the platforms accessed by the various stakeholders.
Usually the tools are distinct and their integration has to be implemented and maintained over time.
In addition to supporting the dialogue between the DAM, the PIM and the rest of the digital ecosystem, external system integrators are often needed for customisation and ad-hoc code development for digitising processes.
This not only increases costs for the IT area, but also increases the dependency on third parties.
As mentioned above, there are ways and means of communicating online. Ensuring that this is always done at peak performance is essential to avoid system downs which, being closely related to sales processes, can have a very negative impact on business.
An organisation that does not have constant access control to digital assets risks failing to safeguard corporate know-how. This can bring huge damage to brand positioning and, more generally, to the business.
In-house management of the IT architecture required to effectively distribute content and products – especially if they are particularly heavy – requires high costs and a great deal of maintenance over time.
With THRON, these problems do not arise because:
If you want to discover the full potential of THRON Asset Delivery live, cut down on manual work and elevate performance and customer experience, click here.
Be amazed by our THRON Asset Delivery.