A image of a laptop and a person working on it and a mug placed beside it with the numbers 80/20 on it.

Are you wasting money?

By Sebastian Dreyfus
Sept, 2021

Ever heard of Pareto’s Law? It’s the 80/20 rule, that states that for many phenomena, 80% of the result comes from 20% of the effort. The principle has been named after Vilfredo Pareto—an Italian economist—who, back in 1895, noticed that about 80% of Italy’s land belonged to 20% of the country’s population. In essence, it tells us that most of the time things are distributed unevenly, and Pareto’s rule has become synonymous with the 80/20 distribution everywhere.

Fast forward to 2021, and with marketing technology growing at almost an exponential rate the choices available to marketing departments and brands is an ongoing challenge. Begging the question, are you using your technology to its fullest capacity or wasting money?

As with every fast-growing market, product innovation is key. The creation of new features and functionality becomes an almost relentless desire to be first. And while this certainly increases the choice for consumers, there is something unhealthy about this obsession. It can breed a tendency for vendors to be more concerned about developing something new (to sell), rather than something useful (that solves an actual need).

As with Pareto’s Law, many technology users only utilise 20% of the functionality available. Think about it - how often have you bought a printer and then realised, after a year of owning it, it could also print in triplicate with each character in a different colour?

Ten years ago, there were hundreds, now there are thousands of MarTech companies to choose from, making the IT procurement process almost an art form, with complicated and expensive RFP processes that seem to suck the life out of all concerned. All centred around ‘what’ the system does rather than ‘why’ it does it.

What did we do?

At Adgistics, we had an interesting dilemma. Having been in business for over twenty years, we had a DAM with a rich heritage and broad functionality, that solved real marketing problems. It was loved by our customers but had no meaningful differentiation. And while our platform could compete with any of the premium solutions out there, we knew we would struggle to keep up with this mindless ‘features’ arms race without a long-term strategy.

Increasingly, RFPs for DAMs are more concerned with ticking all the boxes (some of which were irrelevant to the task at hand) rather than having the right boxes to tick. So, we did what every good business should do when faced with such an important decision, go back to the source. With over 400,000 users, we studied how our product was being used, spoke to our clients, and analysed the market while asking a simple question: what is used the most? We didn’t want to blindly continue to build an ever-expanding features list – thereby adding to the 80% of features rarely used.

We wanted to challenge the market by changing the essential nature of DAMs for the benefit of our users. Through research, we discovered a DAM platform capable of evaluating the content that is stored in it would provide the most value to marketers because, at the end of the day, it is the content that builds brands and drives sales, not the technology.

The great opportunity

DAMs are no longer the silent repositories of assets that sit quietly in the corner of the office. They store everything about your brand, all your marketing assets and content, your history, and insights, they help you reduce costs and increase efficiencies while enabling teams to work better together. But like any database, the ease at which you can get information out is half the battle.

Finding and retrieving assets and content is such a critical feature of a DAM, that one could argue, it is the most important. In research, we found over 90% of users spent most of their time searching for assets. Sure, auto-tagging helps, and with recent improvements with Global and Full-text search capabilities, the system is improving all the time. But it still relies on a user inputting a search term to guide it.

There must be a better way.

Our strategy is to create one of the most intelligent DAMs in the world. This has influenced everything we do, even something as seemingly simple as ‘search’ or retrieving assets. Our CTO, Gianluca Angelici, explains:

“When I joined Adgistics I realised that there was an opportunity in the DAM market to disrupt the way users retrieve assets. Our new recommendation engine intelligently suggests relevant assets to users based on the data we capture from the content, users’ behaviour and real-world events. In this way, we are creating personalised experiences and allowing users to retrieve and use the right asset faster than ever before.”

Now, when a user of our BrandHub clicks the search box, everything changes, instead of a blank, empty space, (with success solely dependent on the user inputting the right terms), they now get four smart recommendations automatically served based on….

1. Trending topics within the company. (e.g., when it was Pride Month, all Pride related searches were suggested)

2. Most popular assets (e.g., these are assets most frequently downloaded by the marketing community)

3. Recent activity (e.g., Unique to each user, suggesting content based on assets that they've recently downloaded or viewed)

4. Social Media trends (e.g., recommends assets that match currently trending topics on social media).

All this has meant that some users have reported that they don’t even have to type in a search term anymore! Speeding everything up and providing a proactive level of support that is slowly transforming the relationship between our users and the system.

A tailored DAM experience.

Uniquely, this also means that our BrandHub is now capable of providing customised experiences, driven by who they are, their past behaviours and the topics they are interested in, rather than simply what they search for.

Our Product Manager, Joe Ashwell explains:

“Since joining Adgistics, I’ve spent a large portion of my time listening to clients, analysing vast amounts of user data and trying to understand where the market is going. It’s always been clear that the BrandHub delivers genuine value to businesses. However, as with all maturing products, we needed a big, hairy, audacious goal to disrupt how we, clients, users, and the market think of what a DAM is capable of. Therefore, it has been my personal vision from the get-go - to build the world’s most intelligent DAM, that delivers actionable insights in near-real-time to marketeers. To provide users with a competitive advantage by knowing what content works.”

And that is surely the point.

DAMs should be about helping users be more effective and productive in their marketing. We believe that a BrandHub capable of making intelligent recommendations of what content to use or develop based on the performance of the content (internally and externally) and then be able to effortlessly use and reuse it, is what’s valuable.

We want our BrandHub to be an exception to Pareto’s Law, for all our features to be valued and used not just 20% of them.

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