reducing complexity through game-changing martech solutions

Reducing Complexity Through Game-Changing Martech Solutions

October 25, 2022

By Linda Burns – Retail Tech Insights – 4 minute read 


Consumer-related industries are rapidly moving to a digital-first world, opening new possibilities for businesses to grow while responding to customer requirements of transparency, speed-to-value, and personalization. This shift has pushed marketers to re-think, overhaul, and ultimately leverage digital marketing solutions that drive demand, accelerate the pipeline, and expand customer relationships in what is a continually disruptive environment.

While technology is a crucial enabler, it also adds layers of complexity to an already complicated marketing landscape of more channels, more campaigns, and siloed data.

DCM gets it—and simplifies it. For 60+ years they’ve been executing large-scale, data-driven campaigns and communications for some of the biggest brands in North America. They manage thousands of their clients’ digital assets on a daily basis. They ensure compliance in tightly regulated and scrutinized sectors like financial services, healthcare, energy, and cannabis.

And they know that reducing complexity is at the heart of the workflow automation and digital asset management solutions that make their clients’ businesses work better.


“We simplify complex communications and operations for a variety of different businesses,” says DCM’s Karen Redfern, Vice President, Customer Technology Solutions. “It’s about reducing rather than adding to their tech stack and meeting all their needs through one point of contact. That means combining proprietary technology with expert marketing strategy and creative services, all under one roof.”


Serving over 2,500 clients, the company has the scale and support of over 900 associates in 15 locations across North America. And their goal, whether running technology platforms, sending marketing messages, or managing print pieces, is to simplify every interaction with every client, through powerful automation and end-to-end support.


Automating Workflows While Navigating Regulations


Marketing teams today are tasked with doing more, in less time, with fewer resources. They are being asked to manage increasingly complex, more personalized communications across more touchpoints—on tight budgets, without sacrificing consistency or quality.

DCM’s flagship martech platform, DCMFlex™, is helping them overcome these conflicting hurdles. Through workflow automation, DCMFlex tackles the big challenge (among others) of personalizing and varying communications in a controlled, compliant manner, on a large scale. Through one interface, different lines of business or user groups (think remote sales teams, financial advisors, or franchisees) can personalize and localize templated, approved collateral—as well as execute it via an email campaign—while maintaining brand and regulatory compliance. Built-in approvals ensure everything is vetted as needed, while head office maintains visibility into usage and cost.


“DCMFlex is a complete workflow ecosystem that supports four key functions: brand asset management, multi-channel campaign management, responsive content management, and targeted distribution collateral,” explains Shelly Anwyll, SVP, North America. “Each is configured to meet a client’s specific business rules and requirements around both digital assets and content creation.”


By automating and consolidating the routine, time-consuming, and manual processes inherent in these four functions, DCMFlex dramatically simplifies them, while supporting more responsive communication. In addition, rather than merely add to an existing tech stack, DCMFlex uses an open API to seamlessly integrate with more than 70 leading business and marketing applications. From one platform, users can manage their entire collateral portfolio, from event signage and in-store displays to welcome kits and emails. And by merging templated emails with customer lists, they can execute campaigns. Full reporting capabilities, meanwhile, provide clear inventory visibility and alert users to potential stockouts.

The end-result is more flexibility at the front end and, at the same time, more control and oversight at the back end. Front-line marketers can create and customize personalized collateral, while consistently ensuring brand standards and compliance of regulatory content. With approximately 8,000 daily users generating tens of thousands of projects annually, DCMFlex is field-proven, and is playing a key role in helping many clients accelerate digital migration, and drive the level of personalization that today’s consumers expect.


Helping Marketing Teams Overcome Digital Asset Management Challenges


Over the years, increased communications using rich media files have resulted in the exponential growth of digital assets. The fact is now that these assets are a new form of digital currency: They’re crucial to businesses today, and it’s therefore becoming imperative to manage them efficiently and productively. Frequently misplaced and often disorganized, they’re costly and time-consuming to locate and recreate. Moreover, employees have trouble navigating the complicated rules governing copyright and brand consistency.

ASMBL overcomes these challenges by providing “one source of truth” for all digital assets, regardless of their type and size. Images, photos, art files, video, audio, presentations, documents—they’re all in one place, rights-approved, version-controlled, and downloadable in a variety of formats. Other notable benefits include highly granular searchability, and the ability to make edits in the tool and cascade them automatically across the system wherever that asset appears. There’s also a portal function that enables specific user groups to access specific assets—even if the users are external (an agency or partner, for instance) and don’t have ASMBL access.

“When you start to look at what ASMBL can do, it doesn’t take long to grasp the kind of efficiency it delivers—efficiency that, with today’s incredibly complex campaigns, is really critical and foundational to success,” says Steve Livingstone, DCM’s Senior Vice President, Digital.

At the heart of ASMBL is metadata—artificial intelligence that automatically tags assets and securely stores them for fast, accurate searching, as well as governance and brand consistency. In addition, through in-depth analytics and insights, marketing teams can retrieve and replicate previous campaigns. Activity is more visible and trackable across business lines and channels, with greater peace of mind around legal and government regulations and compliance—for example, ensuring accurate regional terms and conditions.

“ASMBL makes life simpler—period,” says Steve Livingstone, though he quickly points out that a key success factor in adopting a DAM is driving uptake. Everyone needs to be using it. Getting that uptake—the training, the support, the updates—is a job in itself. DCM’s +20 years of experience managing digital assets ensures clients get that support and uptake.


Innovation with Client Customization


One of DCM’s clients, a leading national tech retailer, is using DCM’s automated, end-to-end marketing platform to enable processes from campaign brief through to execution. Fully customized, the solution provides planning and buy visibility across channels like in-store, web, and social, and also integrates into product pricing and inventory platforms.

Previously, the client had been running promotional campaigns across 400+ locations using outdated legacy systems and manual processes, which made managing regulations and product pricing a constant challenge—and risk.

Through the automated marketing workflow solution, the client is able to effectively manage both execution and compliance, across many teams: marketing, merchandising, inventory management, customer support. Among the capabilities:


  • Campaign briefs, execution briefs, and work orders
  • Scheduling
  • Workflow and approval tracking
  • Compliance control
  • Business intelligence integration


The client now benefits from robust marketing workflow automation and the ability to traffic projects from brief to execution. Product and pricing compliance are built in, with changes cascaded automatically across all impacted assets. Users can quickly view history and inventory, place new orders, and version material across different regions, syncing price and core messaging while complying with regional terms and conditions. And through more granular reporting, the client is able to glean more actionable insights that better inform future campaigns.

“We looked for an out-of-the-box solution that would solve the challenges we were facing, and we couldn’t find one,” the client explains. “DCM worked with us to uncover all the functionality we needed, then customized a solution to meet those needs. And they’ve been with us every step of the way to ensure an effective rollout and adoption of the technology. We couldn’t have done it without them.”


More than just surprisingly simple


While simplicity is what drives DCM’s thinking and strategy, the company is the first to point out that keeping things simple is almost inevitably complex—as many clients know and will attest. Simplifying the workflows and systems of tier-one banks, regional healthcare authorities, and national retailers takes vast resources, a deep talent pool, and a solid track record.

On all three counts, DCM continues to deliver. Since its inception in 1959, the company’s proven capabilities have forged decades-long relationships with a blue chip client base that steadily grows and expands into new markets (DCM now works with 8 of North America’s top 10 cannabis producers, for example). Operating in an increasingly disruptive communications landscape to meet higher standards for connectivity and compliance, the company fully appreciates the challenges its clients face, and continues to help them turn complex into simple.



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