Even the U.S. Postal Service Needs a DAM

July 9, 2018 Anjali Yakkundi

No brand is immune to inadvertently mismanaging marketing content—even the U.S. Postal Service.

A judge last week ordered the federal agency to pay $3.5 million in a copyright infringement lawsuit for mistakenly using the wrong image of the Statue of Liberty in its stamp designs in 2011. The Postal Service used an image depicting a replica of the famed statue that stands at the New-York-New-York casino-resort in Las Vegas on its “forever” stamp design instead of one of the original statue in New York.

Robert Davidson, the sculptor of the Las Vegas replica, argued that his version of Lady Liberty is more fresh-faced and sultrier than the original—and as a result should be considered his own work.

Although initial reports were unclear if Post Office employees understood that the image they chose could be considered a protected asset, there many ways a digital asset management system can help all brands, including government entities, avoid such risks.

Digital rights management

For example, a DAM solution enables marketing organizations to better understand the rights to all their content. It provides them the ability to manage asset rights as they relate to usage various channels and regions as well as how long the rights last for every asset.

Such features can help ensure marketers use the right content for their organization—and that it’s not out of date, a competitor’s piece of content, or content they haven’t properly attributed or paid for. Such explicit knowledge and use of digital rights can prevent marketers from not only inadvertently using content that’s not on-brand, such as assets that contain old logos or taglines and campaigns, but also from incurring legal investigations and fines for misuse of content, as the Postal Office did.

Marketing content governance

Using a DAM also gives brands a single source of truth for all their content. This can help ensure marketers have a single place to look for content, which can help them be more efficient in putting out content and campaigns. It also gives them ways to categorize content in a single location, such as by ones that are expired, or nearing expiration, so they don’t inadvertently use assets for which they no longer have rights.

A robust DAM can also enable organizations to make certain assets inaccessible to groups of users, which also can prevent use of expired content.

Brand protection

Brands can take a huge hit to their reputation if it becomes public that they misused content. It would be a public relations nightmare to mitigate all the negative publicity that would arise from using incorrect assets. Imagine a worst-case scenario, if a brand took a competitor’s assets and faces not just legal, but PR ramifications!

A DAM solution protects your organization from using expired content in the first place—and thus from any potential ramifications to your brand that would result from such misuse.

Financial implications

The financially hindered U.S. Postal Service may be hard up to face the $3.5 million fine it incurred as a result of misusing the sculptor’s Statue of Liberty image. However, for some other larger brands, such fines and legal fees had become a way of life before they acquired a DAM.

For example, a manufacturing company is now saving $3 million per year on legal fees and fines for asset misuse after acquiring a DAM solution. And another consumer brand has saved $35 million after implementing a DAM based on rights management alone.

The software enabled both companies to better manage their asset rights so much that they no longer misused content. And as a result, they stopped getting sued for it.

Using a robust DAM solution offers many benefits to help brands better protect themselves from misusing content. In this day and age, even government entities--including the Postal Service--need the technology to not only prevent such catastrophic financial and brand reputation hits, but also to get a better handle on their own content and campaigns.


About the Author

Anjali Yakkundi

Anjali is a product marketing director at Aprimo, and looks after the strategy, go to market, positioning, and messaging for the Marketing Productivity, Plan and Spend, and Digital Asset Management products. Prior to joining Aprimo, she spent 8 years at Forrester Research where she covered the marketing technology, eCommerce, and digital agency spaces.

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