Blog header image: Improve DAM ROI by Focusing on Desired Customer Outcomes article.
Digital Asset Management

Improve DAM ROI by Focusing on Desired Customer Outcomes

January 11, 2022 6 minute read
Go beyond DAM and PIM software feature checklists to activate key capabilities with desired customer outcomes (DCOs).
Blog header image: Improve DAM ROI by Focusing on Desired Customer Outcomes article.

All true digital asset management (DAM) systems have great features and functionality. Capabilities like robust searching, AI-metadata support, version control, digital rights management (DRM), workflow automation, content analytics, and more. More sophisticated DAM solutions meet the complex needs of enterprise organizations with granular governance controls, scalability, security, and enterprise platform integrations with creative tools, product information management (PIM) systems, agile content management systems (CMS), and others. Acquia DAM (Widen) does this and more.

While most marketing technology (martech) vendors are focused solely on technology, features, and functions, marketing and IT leaders are interested in activating these capabilities in support of outcomes. Acquia shares this outcomes-based mindset by helping every customer define the goals they seek to achieve with our DAM solution. We call these goals desired customer outcomes, or DCOs, and the time needed to achieve them is the time to value, or TTV. Together, they form a system for tracking incremental progress against larger business objectives over time. By providing best practices, automation options, and community-focused guidance, we support customers throughout their DAM journey so they can be confident in their digital content decisions.

What are the top DAM and PIM DCOs?

Based on our years of experience in the DAM space, we identified 11 top DCOs that customers seek to achieve through their investment in a combined DAM and PIM solution. 

  1. Organize content in one system where team members and external partners can find exactly what they need. 
  2. Integrate your martech stack so that content is available wherever you need it.
  3. Consolidate redundant tools for content storage, file sharing, and collaboration into one system for all team members.
  4. Ensure brand consistency by aligning all content creators and communicators to published brand guidelines and standards.
  5. Publish brand-approved content for your team members and external partners to use.
  6. Repurpose your best-performing content to save time and valuable resources.
  7. Monitor content effectiveness by understanding where and why teammates publish content and measure how well it engages your audience.
  8. Minimize the risk of content rights and usage violations.
  9. Streamline your workflow for sharing proofs, collecting feedback, and getting approvals from each reviewer.
  10. Launch products faster by simplifying the way you assemble and distribute e-commerce product listings. 
  11. Expand into new e-commerce channels while meeting your unique requirements for product data and content.

While DCOs vary by customer, the first one on this list – organizing content in one system – is always the primary goal. Gaining centralized control of your content is the first major step towards orchestrating successful customer experiences. From there, we help customers select additional DCOs and outline how to work towards achieving them.

Value is a journey

It's important to recognize that value is a journey and it's not realistic to achieve all DCOs simultaneously. In documenting the TTV for each DCO, we've developed a four-phase approach, pictured below. Our experience proves that most of our customers begin their journey with us during the first two phases. From there, they get into more advanced activation of DAM and PIM capabilities in support of more complex digital experiences.

Chart of the four-phased approach to desired customer outcomes.


While it can be tempting to stop at phase two when you’re already recognizing the value, we work with our customers to ensure they maximize their DAM investment by continuing to phase three and four. Gartner says marketers utilize only 58% of their martech stack’s potential. If you’re only utilizing 58% of your DAM system’s potential, that means you’re leaving 42% of its value on the table. That's why strong leadership backing is essential for continued and sustainable system utilization. To achieve this growth, we help customers connect their DCOs to what their leaders care about most.

Align your DAM DCOs to leadership priorities

By focusing on the unique desired outcomes for each customer, we help them deliver on their leaders’ top priorities. One of the remarkable things about our top 11 DAM and PIM DCOs is that each one aligns directly to what the 2021 Gartner® CMO survey reveals as the top marketing budget priorities across marketing programs and operational areas.

For example, our combined DAM and PIM capabilities aim to help marketing leaders address digital commerce priorities by helping customers launch products faster, and expand into new e-commerce channels.

Or, to improve marketing operations by organizing content in one system, streamlining workflows, and integrating DAM with key tools across the martech stack.

And, advance brand strategy by publishing brand-approved content, ensuring brand consistency, monitoring content effectiveness, and repurposing best-performing content.

2021 Marketing Budget Allocation Across Marketing Programs and Operational Areas chart from Gartner's annual CMO spend survey.

Source: Gartner, The State of Marketing Budgets in 2021: Insights From Gartner’s Annual CMO Spend Survey, Ewan McIntyre, Anna Maria Virzi, 12 July 2021.


Drawing a direct line between your DCOs and leadership priorities will help ensure the maximum return on your DAM investment.

Making that connection clear will help you gain enough leadership support to allocate the appropriate time and resources necessary to optimize your content and content technology investments across your DAM journey.

Advance your DAM maturity to drive greater DCOs

To help customers advance their strategic use of Acquia’s combined DAM and PIM solution (phases three and four in the chart above), we've partnered with the Center for Advanced Studies in Digital Asset Management (CASDAM) to use the DAM Capability Model

This model was developed as a tool for DAM managers to benchmark their current system utilization, and advance it across four capabilities: organization, information, systems, and processes.

Desired Customer Outcomes chart broken across four capabilities with cascading disciplines under each.

It outlines how organizations can evolve their use of DAM tools and functionality, and in what order, to ultimately maximize the return on their investment. We encourage customers to identify the most important areas for improvement based on their DCOs, and then set goals to measure their progress and ROI. And Acquia can help with that!

Organize your DAM success plan around DCOs

As an Acquia DAM customer, your customer success manager (CSM) will work with you to develop a DAM success plan aligned to your top DCOs. The plan addresses the opportunities, ownership, and deadlines you seek to create for advancement over short-term (0-6 months), mid-term (6-12 months), and long-term (12-18+ months) intervals.

Your milestones could include forming a DAM coalition, scaling adoption, designing new portals, creating new Insights dashboards, auditing assets, and more. The important thing is knowing why you want to do these activities, because it aligns directly to your DCOs. Defining this connection makes learning the tools and committing the time to action a lot more meaningful and rewarding! 

You will review your success plan with your CSM on a regular basis to ensure you’re making progress and getting the help you need to achieve your DCOs. 

Request, watch, or click through a demo to see the Acquia DAM in action or get in touch with your Acquia DAM representative to have a conversation about your DCOs.

Note: This article was originally published on

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