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Digital Asset Management

Digital Asset Management for Healthcare

November 7, 2023 8 minute read
There’s a cure for the ills caused by poorly managed digital assets
Black male doctor with stethoscope and in blue scrubs looks at tablet

Encompassing insurance, pharmaceutical drugs, biomedical devices, and patient care, the healthcare field continues to expand, with McKinsey predicting the growth in expenditures potentially exceeding that of the national economy by up to 2.4% through 2027. And big healthcare organizations are only getting larger through mergers and acquisitions. 

Those forecasts and trends not only have impacts on consumers but the growth in healthcare spending and organization size has meant an exponential increase in the content needed to manage, sell, and maintain products and services. From explainer videos for medical equipment and fliers at hospice care centers to direct mail appeals during annual fund drives and more, organizations are being tasked with managing it all — and likely on shrinking budgets. But many teams are finding digital asset management (DAM) systems consistently up to the challenge of corralling and coordinating the many assets the sector generates.

Let’s find out why DAM systems offer such powerful solutions for them.

Why do healthcare organizations need a DAM system?

Besides the growth statistics shared earlier, healthcare organizations have been subject to the same digital transformation that many industries experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only did workforces migrate to cloud-based systems but audiences and customers shifted more aspects of their lives online. It wasn’t just workers who found themselves increasingly online; suddenly, organizations had to contend with expanded digital audiences.

That progression maps to the rise in digital ad spend in recent years. According to Statista, the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries spent $8.61 billion on digital ads in 2019. By 2022, that figure had climbed to $15.84 billion and is projected to jump to $19.66 billion by 2024.

The increase in digital ad spend has meant a corresponding rise in the number and kinds of assets healthcare organizations have to manage, coordinate, and publish. For those without a DAM platform, it has resulted in content chaos with assets here, there, and everywhere from USB sticks to local hard drives, company VPNs, and — heavens — a creative director’s decidedly non-zero inbox. Which company logo in any of those locations is the most current? Didn’t the rights to the image on the home page expire? Should the intern have access to the presentations for the leadership team? These are just a few of the vexing questions that regularly plague healthcare organizations struggling to stay on top of their content and assets. 

With all those challenges combined, it’s no wonder organizations seek technology that can help them efficiently manage their digital assets.

How can DAM be used in healthcare?

There are multiple uses to which healthcare organizations can apply DAM processes and workflows. Post-merger or as part of a brand relaunch, communications teams may use a DAM platform to ensure all assets now sport the company’s new logo while social media teams may need it to store and distribute content for a week-long blood drive. Creative teams could use a DAM system to track talent release forms from photo shoots, while PR teams may find them helpful for media kits and brand guidelines.

The uses are plentiful, but let’s review how DAM systems can benefit healthcare organizations more broadly.

Provide a single source of truth

When operating in a sensitive and highly regulated environment like healthcare, accuracy and efficiency are a must. Teams have to be confident that the assets they’re working with are not only the most current but comply with both brand and regulatory requirements.

Take, for example, The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi). Before purchasing a DAM solution, the global nonprofit had brand and marketing materials scattered across many computers and office networks, so staff often used outdated or off-brand content. With a DAM platform, the organization found teams had more time to focus on the nonprofit’s mission versus spending long periods tracking down materials. Collaboration between on-site and remote workers also improved as did the general quality and consistency of DNDi’s creative output. 

Control digital assets

Besides offering a central repository for all assets, DAM systems cut down on time spent searching for the latest file — no more digging through email threads or searching poorly named Dropbox folders. Best yet, most DAM systems offer version control, a functionality that automatically updates files everywhere they’ve been shared or embedded. No more inconsistent branding or legal mishaps due to expired permission rights or unauthorized usage. The latter — digital rights management (DRM) — can be folded into DAM via integrations.

For instance, 3Shape, which offers software solutions for the dental and audio industries, easily connected their DAM platform with other tools in their marketing technology (martech) stack to ensure customers can access current content from within the tools they use the most. The integrations also eliminated workflow redundancies and inefficiencies.

Plus, a DAM system allows governance to be configured. Maybe the marketing team has access to everything and can edit all assets for a given site, while administrative staff can only view and download certain assets. Roles and permissions can be defined during set-up, so there’s peace of mind.

Find what you need more quickly

As an organization’s digital assets proliferate, hunting for what’s needed can be time-consuming, which is why a DAM system’s ability to group them into buckets like region, doctors’ profile photos, or videos is so important. A DAM solution’s robust organization and search capabilities offer users a variety of ways to find exactly the content that they need.

Metadata, which is descriptive information about a digital file, such as its file name, usage rights, or the product line it’s affiliated with, offers another way for DAM users to easily search and filter the assets they seek. Foundational to DAM, metadata ensures users can easily organize and share images, videos, documents, and more.    

Streamline your content lifecycle

The content lifecycle has six phases starting with planning all the way to preservation. The phases aren’t always linear, though, nor are they always the same for each piece of content or asset, so it’s important to get a handle on them and to know where your teams can benefit from automation or other efficient ways of working.

For example, with a DAM solution, teams can take advantage of metadata helpers like metadata mapping and controlled vocabulary to keep metadata tagging quick and consistent.  Integrations and system configurations can also aid teams in streamlining their workflows through things such as permission settings options like file conversion formats.  And a DAM solution can automate the distribution of that content when it’s ready, too. Acquia DAM, for example, does so via functionality such as share links, embed codes, portals, and collections.  

Teams can also take advantage of the analytics that a DAM platform offers to learn which content attracts the most attention in order to inform future content versus expending effort on deliverables that result in low engagement.

Link project and asset management together

With a DAM solution, content for every project can be centralized in one system. When a project request is made, teams can search existing content in the DAM site to see if there’s anything that can be reused or repurposed for the new initiative, potentially saving them time, money, and effort in the long run. The DAM system can also be used to review work-in-progress files before the final version is uploaded for use and distribution. This single-system coordination can be especially useful to organizations that feature many cross-collaborations with both internal and external stakeholders.

In addition, a DAM platform can offer analytics on all assets, allowing users to see each time a file is downloaded and by whom. Permissioning structures also allow administrators to  implement approval requests before sensitive or rights-based assets are downloaded. It’s a key feature that can be the difference between the approved use of an image and a threatening cease-and-desist email from an irate asset holder. Canon Medical, which manufactures diagnostic imaging equipment, began enjoying that DAM benefit when it acquired a DAM system.

Ensure brand consistency

No matter the entity, healthcare creates multiple touchpoints for audience and consumer interactions. Whether it’s a remote patient monitoring (RPM) tool, patient testimonial, or on-site care, organizations want to deliver a consistent brand experience. A DAM system guarantees that by ensuring all stakeholders — ad agencies, internal teams, contract workers, and more — can access (with the right permissions of course) shared assets and deploy only the current, approved version. That way, organizations deliver brand consistency across each touchpoint of the customer journey, growing brand awareness and nurturing relationships. When a brand reliably has the same look, feel, and tone every time, audiences are invited to trust it and begin a rewarding emotional connection.  

Getting started

The amount of content and assets that organizations process and produce can lead to a chaos tsunami, but peaceful waters are ahead with the right DAM solution. Industry-leading Acquia DAM (Widen) lights the way with technology that streamlines workflows, guarantees the timely distribution of on-brand assets, and offers integrations with numerous platforms so that organizations can enjoy a robust technology stack.

Benefit from these advantages today and request a demo!

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