May 18th, 2012 by Forrester Research

The following post was written by Anjali Yakkundi, a researcher at Forrester Research, where she serves application development and delivery professionals. She contributes to the Digital Experience Playbook.

By now, everyone knows that engaging and dynamic customer experiences are a key competitive advantage, and “business as usual” will no longer suffice to support these engaging digital experiences. Organizations that don’t embrace this customer-focused thinking will risk missing out on important opportunities and will lose strategic advantages.

From a technology standpoint, the key to success will be integrated, best-of-breed customer experience management (CXM) solutions. This includes technologies such as Web content management (WCM), CRM, e-commerce, digital asset management (DAM), site search, and Web analytics.

We recently completed an evaluation of the DAM market. DAM is a key process-based solution that focuses on managing rich media content (e.g., videos, images, graphics, and audio). Despite the well-documented importance of rich media in cross-channel customer experiences (consider the amount of video and images on the Web or in marketing content now versus just five years ago), DAM solutions have long been overshadowed by other CXM technologies. These solutions have traditionally been relegated to niche, rich-media heavy industries like media, publishing, and entertainment. But as more and more organizations understand the importance of a cross-channel rich-media strategy to improve customer experiences, DAM for customer experience is experiencing a revival in interest across verticals.

Despite this increased interest, many CXM players—such as IBM, Oracle, and SDL—do not own best-of-breed DAM solutions. And even the CXM stack vendors that do own DAM solutions (Adobe, Autonomy, OpenText) are still developing a comprehensive DAM for CXM strategy to move beyond traditional DAM use cases.

The rest of our evaluations revealed a fragmented market dominated by a myriad of Davids, with no real Goliaths in the marketplace. These vendors—such as ADAM Software, Canto, celum, Extensis, North Plains, and Widen Enterprises—are unfamiliar to many outside of the DAM industry, but each plays a key part in making up the DAM landscape (you can read more about each of these vendors—and more—in our report.

As interest in DAM for CXM grows, we expect the major CXM vendors to begin making moves by acquiring and/or forming closer alliances with the smaller DAM players. CXM vendors also will need to begin looking at ways to integrate DAM with other key CXM components, like WCM, CRM, marketing resource management, and e-commerce with complementary offerings or packaged integrations. Without this, the major CXM vendors will lose a key competitive advantage in the market.

 

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