Why It Pays To Give A DAM


Adilla Parish

Our Healthcare team discusses the potential of Digital Asset Management and why it is an area that should be prioritised in even the most tight-pressed budgetary environment.

The life science industry spends hundreds of millions on content creation every year. Yet global healthcare organisations are simply not able to develop and produce content across markets and territories in the same way that other global industries can.

By adopting a new content development model and moving towards a more modular approach, there is huge potential for life science organisations to save significantly on the cost of content creation both now and in the future. However, the potential benefits of a modular approach extend far beyond cost-efficiency. With the effective implementation and ongoing use of Digital Asset Management solutions (DAM), organisations have the potential to drive consistency in output across multiple platforms, and regional markets. What’s more, with the ability to create compliant content with consistent brand identity alongside reduced agency and other third-party content costs, the process of compliant content generation could, potentially, be transformed, with far-reaching benefits.

Back to basics

In order to assess where and how life science organisations can save money and improve effectiveness in content creation, it helps to look at the basics. After all, most life science organisations have a DAM system in place – they just might not be using it to its full capabilities.
DAM systems allow you to give structure to vast amounts of media assets (images, designs, audio and video) across multiple therapy areas and geographical locations. While this information may apply to several markets, in order to stay relevant, compliant and on-brand, some tweaks may need to be made. The key is in the categorisation and application of metadata – and that is where the DAM comes in. When correctly implemented, you will have a taxonomy system that enables you to search for and find relevant content by using a host of criteria (e.g. country, brand, indication, last use etc).

With this wealth of information at your fingertips, it is easy to see why your DAM is one of your greatest assets. However, we have seen, again and again, the pains that life science organisations go through in their bid to make the most out of their DAM systems. And we feel that pain. In order to help your DAM work for you, it can help to understand key areas that prevent organisations from getting the most out of their DAM:

  • Maintaining your DAM
  • Investing in implementation and ongoing training
  • Engaging a consistent modular approach

Maintaining your DAM

The question isn’t whether to invest in your DAM system or whether not to – it’s a no-brainer. Every life science organisation needs a digital asset management system to realise the benefits of scale. The sticking point is in maintaining content to ensure that everything within the DAM system is relevant and readily accessible; failure to do so will result in ineffective search yields filled with obsolete content.

Content curation falls into two broad categories: archiving out of date content and updating existing content to meet new requirements, and carefully selecting what content is stored within the DAM in the first place. This is an essential yet time-consuming task; larger organisations have multiple, full-time staff responsible for maintaining DAM content. In order to streamline the process as much as possible, it can help to establish a stringent set of criteria and processes that must be adhered to for both content uploading and editing. These criteria and processes will vary for each organisation but may include specifications on documents’ use format and subject matter.

Investing in implementation and ongoing training

We all know the adage: a wise man builds his house upon the rocks. And yet, time and again, we have worked with organisations who built their state-of-the-art house on foundations of sand. When this happens, there are generally two options: tear the house down and start again with strong foundations, or keep patching it up for as long as you can. From an investment point of view, neither solution is ideal; the best option is to make sure that those foundations are robust in the first place, and maintained for the long term. However, if you find yourself with a DAM solution that isn’t being used to its full potential, an experienced team will be able to help you to unpick poor practices and implement solutions that will continue to benefit you in the long term.

Simply investing in the best DAM solution that you can afford is not enough to deliver on the benefits. You need to make sure that it is the best DAM for you. Key considerations may include content velocity, cost of ownership, additional training needs and multi-language support. Once you have the right solution for your needs, you need to ensure that the programme is implemented, measured and reiterated to meet your needs, today and long into the future. What’s more, in order to keep getting the most out of your investment, it is essential that staff across markets continue to be trained so that they are able to use and maintain content; by spreading knowledge across multiple, cross-team staff members you can ensure ongoing best practice and reduce the risks associated with relying too heavily on one sector of your workforce. What’s more, a team that is trained properly will quickly see the benefits of best practice and be invested in the ongoing correct use of the system.

Engaging a modular approach

In a world where the “new normal” is increasingly digital, it is likely that face-to-face field force interactions will increasingly become replaced by digital communications. Take a look at our article The Rise of The Digital Rep and it is clear that as expectations of field force interactions are evolving, we are relying more and more heavily on digital content.

When based on an excellent DAM execution, a modular content strategy allows you to adapt and reuse content multiple times, across channels and markets. Currently, the life sciences industry invests heavily in content that is fit for purpose now but will need to be adjusted to accommodate changing governance, real word safety data and industry breakthroughs. In order to produce and distribute content on a mass scale, we are rapidly approaching a time when it simply isn’t viable to recreate discrete content for every market; after all, why reinvent the wheel?

A modular approach can save time and money by allowing you to keep the information that you still need while discarding or changing obsolete content, without having to alter every individual piece of media. With a modular approach, a single piece of content is made up of several different elements or fields, each of which is appropriately tagged. This means that you can change specific information once, and this change will be made throughout all media pertaining to that product without impacting on the rest of the content.

The average pharmaceutical company spends in excess of £300million a year on content creation. Rather than discarding out of date materials and reiterating the same content year on year, it pays to maximise that investment by adapting and reusing existing media. This is where careful vetting of content that makes it onto the DAM, content curation and ongoing training pay dividends.

Faster, more engaging content

Your well-maintained DAM solution allows you to locate all media linked to a specific genre, including videos, transcripts, imagery, information leaflets and product advice and information for on and offline use. Via a modular approach, you can edit that content as appropriate and roll it out in multiple versions, adapted to meet the market’s needs and governance requirements. A process that would have required significant investment executed at the touch of a button. The result? Faster compliant, branded content creation and more engaged audiences. More pace, without compromising on quality.

Final thoughts

There is no doubt that investing in the right DAM solution will yield results in the future, but for some organisations, the resource investment required to get started, and do it well, can be prohibitively high. Rather than trying to hit the ground running, it can help to consider your top-level needs and realistic use of your DAM tool, so that you can select and implement it with realistic expectations. In many cases, it can pay to secure external support from experienced professionals to ensure that your investment yields the best possible results.

Using our Discover – Deliver – Impact model, our experts can identify where you are, where you need to be and what you want to get out of your DAM solution, before recommending the steps that you need to take to get there. We will monitor, reiterate, and evaluate to help you to gain the edge on the competition by delivering compelling, compliant content to end customers.

Our experts have rolled out DAMs for multiple companies across multiple geographies. We know what questions to ask and what processes to prioritise in order to get the outcomes you want.

From additional in-house skill sets to ensure a successful rollout, to a compliant, industry-specific online training platform designed to keep your organisation compliant and ahead of the industry, we will help you to create higher volumes of content that are more engaging, enabling you to reach your target audience and empower your field force to initiate powerful conversations.

DAM growing pains are par for the course – ultimately, it’s how you cope with them that makes the difference. If you are looking to implement or adapt a DAM solution for compliant, sustainable, efficient future growth, get in touch – we would love to talk to you and show you how.

You may also like


Healthcare Communications. Reinventing digital healthcare.

Case study

Veeva Vault marketing materials, Adhering to the strictest standards.

Healthcare blog

The healthcare blog. Straight from our digital healthcare gurus.

Join the

Industry-leading insights direct to your inbox.