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.
- What is Asset Delivery
- The impacts of Digital Asset Delivery
- 20 Asset Delivery problems solved by THRON clients
What is Asset Delivery
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.
The impacts of Digital Asset Delivery
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.
20 Asset Delivery problems solved by THRON clients
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.
Deliver new assets and optimise them
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.
#1 Resizing the asset and shifting the focus of the image
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.
#2 Changing the background colour according to the publication channel
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.
#3 Select the ideal format for the user
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.
#4 Adapting the quality of any content
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.
#5 Associate content with the product information it represents
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.
#6 Deliver content and products consistently across each channel
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:
- each asset, after being uploaded to the platform at the highest possible quality, undergoes a transcoding process that allows the tool to automatically distribute the perfect format according to the channel and the user's conditions of use: thus, without manual work, the user experience is always of the highest level
- attributes such as size, focus, background colour and quality are optimised automatically depending on the publication channel optimised automatically depending on the publication channel
- the association between content and product data it represents is managed upstream and autonomously by the system, so as to ensure consistent information from the ERP to all end channels
- THRON’s Universal Player is customisable, so that assets can be distributed to each channel consistently coherently with the Brand Image.
Updating already published content and products
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.
#7 Updating multimedia content
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).
#8 Updating product data
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.
#9 Removing “expiring” content and products
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:
- the platform manages media content and product data, allows them to be automatically associated and distributed directly to each channel
- each time a content or product is revised, the platform automatically updates the touchpoints
- the solution supports the product data lifecycle because it centralises the management of the variant model and translations as well as optimising the product data required by the channels
- THRON allows to set an expiry date for any asset, so that no content or assets are ever distributed that are no longer valid.
Performance of digital touchpoints
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.
#10 Fast loading of content
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.
#11 Channel response times
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.
#12 Reaching the Chinese market
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:
- the Content Delivery Network and more generally THRON’s approach to Asset Delivery, enable delivery at the highest level
- the THRON Universal Player code libraries are minified and optimised to ensure maximum performance in terms of page interactivity
- regarding the Chinese issue, our clients take advantage of THRON's ICP licence, duly registered with the Chinese authorities, which enables the distribution of content on end channels worldwide, including China.
Delivery of any type of asset to any stakeholder
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.
#13 Sharing files of any format or particularly heavy files
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.
#14 Publishing content and products in any B2C platform
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.
#15 Give the brand a consistent voice with each partner
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:
- the platform centralises and allows assets of any format or size to be shared via a simple link
- THRON’s API and connectors allow the platform to integrate with any system
- Thanks to THRON BRAND PORTAL they can securely share all their digital assets in THRON with their sales network, teams from other divisions or B2B business partners in real time.
Costs and IT issues
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.
#16 Mantaining the integration between DAM and PIM
Talking about asset delivery, one of the main issues is the cost and operation of integrating Digital Asset Management and Product Information Management software. Usually the tools are distinct and their integration has to be implemented and maintained over time.
#17 Dependence on system integrators
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.
#18 Avoiding downs during traffic peaks
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.
#19 Preserve digital assets
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.
#20 Infastructural management and maintenance costs
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:
- the platform is unique because it acts as both DAM and PIM and there is no need to integrate different tools
- the solution makes not only the IT area but also the various teams autonomous because it enables the creation of workflows in no-code mode
- the architecture of the solution, natively cloud-based, is elastic and allows any traffic peaks to be managed automatically, guaranteeing maximum performance at all times
- security is one of the pillars of the platform, which is also proven by the various certifications obtained. In addition, the system for managing permissions and access rights is particularly advanced
- delivery is based on the THRON API and, in general, the platform's SaaS delivery is exploited.
These 20 were just a few examples
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