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Solving Content Challenges in Life Sciences with Digital Asset Management

Executive Summary
Digital content in life sciences organizations is increasingly becoming complex - and managing this effectively across brands, geographies and functions is extremely vital for organizational agility. 85% of marketers are under pressure to create assets or deliver campaigns more quickly, and 71% revealed they need to create 10 times as many assets as before to support all customer touchpoints.
Here's where Digital Asset Management (DAM) can help by:
Providing a centralized storage and easy retrieval via tagging
Increasing asset re-use and re-purpose
Integrating with publishing and marketing platforms for tagged and modular digital content
This whitepaper highlights why DAM matters in simplifying enterprise-wide digital assets. It also provides a framework to assess DAM ROI to discover the potential of cost savings and content efficiency gains across brand and functional teams.
The volume of digital assets created by life sciences organizations continues to surge. Yet, these organizations are facing an overwhelming challenge to cater to their customers' needs. Customers demand different content types and expect a greater level of personalization than ever before in their engagement with life sciences brands. And delivering personalization at scale requires organizations to ingest, store, manage, access, and distribute assets effectively.
However, traditional asset storage and management systems are no longer able to meet the demanding production and publishing needs in today's world. Consequently, life sciences' sales and marketing teams using these traditional systems struggle to deliver content with urgency, execute personalized campaigns, and optimize the channel mix dynamically. So, how can life sciences organizations overcome their complex content challenges, fulfill needs around speed, quality, accuracy, and enhance customer engagement? The answer lies in deploying the right Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution that can streamline asset flow and fulfill demanding production and publishing needs.

85% of marketers are under pressure to create assets or deliver campaigns more quickly, and 71% revealed they need to create 10 times as many assets as before to support all customer touchpoints.

– Research and Markets, December 2021

Key content challenges for life sciences marketing

Multiple platforms causing disintegrated approach
Global – regional – local compliances in content adaption
Managing digital rights for components and licenses
Limited content reuse, re-purpose, and disjointed content journeys
Content discoverability and expired content
Lack of effective reporting and analytics

How can DAM solve unique challenges of life sciences around content creation and distribution?

Life sciences organizations face unique marketing challenges that are different from those faced by organizations in any other industry. Life sciences marketers are driven by the motivation to provide an enhanced customer experience – one that is characterized by consistent messaging, built using readyto-use information, and delivered at the right time. Be it content segmentation involving multilevel approvals, customized rule-based workflows, compliance, library hygiene, and workflow automation, several issues must be reconciled with a variety of content forms and volume. All this has to be done while navigating challenges with cost pressure and addressing issues around cross-functional collaboration. These challenges warrant the need for the seamless management of existing digital assets throughout the content lifecycle.

DAM provides an enterprise-wide comprehensive content management hub

Rather than storing digital assets across servers, shared drives, and disparate locations, DAM systems provide a centralized hub for managing all the digital content and assets. With one central location, organizations can quickly catalog assets and identify gaps. It is easier to spot redundancies across the board such as format, topic, brand consistency, and messages. DAM also enables content reuse and repurpose across teams and geographies. This ensures efficiencies, reduces cross-functional efforts, and speeds up the content life cycle from creation to distribution.

High-quality, optimized, and customer appropriate content is a top priority

Majority of life sciences organizations do not have a well-established system to centrally organize and manage a large volume of digital assets. Therefore, they end up losing out on efficiency gains and achieve very low returns on investments across content creation, storage, usage, and distribution infrastructure. A centralized DAM system allows these organizations to smoothen out the entire content supply chain and its distribution across several geographies and brands.

DAM creates the following efficiencies right from content storage, repurposing, creation, and distribution:

It allows users to control how assets are listed, organized, and accessed within a centralized repository
The connected workflow and centralized access empower cross-functional teams to search, organize, share, or reuse assets required for content generation
Retrieval and storage of digital assets are faster and more efficient with auto-tagging (metadata management across brands and functions)
Pre-approved rules enable medical, legal, and regulatory review for quicker content repurposing

Workflow and project management solutions embedded into DAM systems or other solutions leverage taxonomies to allow marketing and creative teams to deliver against accelerating development cycles with transparency and efficiency

– Gartner, December 2020

DAM empowers cross functional teams through distinct features

Centralized storage

Single customized place to store all brand content in standardized ways

Enable global to local/regional marketing

Enable local brand teams to deliver tailored marketing communications with global brand standards

Quicker go-to-market

Ease of content distribution by providing custom views of marketing collaterals

Content as metadata

Identification of required and relevant brand content with tags

Asset Reuse

Cross-utilization of content with images, brand messaging, logos, and regional bundling
Centralized storage
Life sciences marketers often waste time and money recreating unused or missing assets while managing communications across regions and brands. With effective DAM, organizations can store, organize, and govern every digital file in their content ecosystem. Moreover, by offering secure and permissions-based access to digital content as well as digital rights' management controls, DAM eliminates content problems such as publication of outdated, off-brand, or unlicensed creative assets.
A pharmaceutical firm was facing content bottlenecks in its oncology marketing function and needed a secure and central repository to store approved content - so that cross-functional teams could be empowered to quickly access content and create campaigns. With DAM, the firm was able to create a single repository for all digital content and enabled its Product Information Management, brand marketing, and creative teams to collaborate seamlessly.
Enable global to local/regional marketing
Life sciences marketers have to work across regional and local regulatory compliance frameworks while creating marketing assets such as brochures, email communications, and websites. With DAM, life sciences content can be used to quickly create tailored marketing materials for regional efforts as it enables geographic tags and auto-approval regulatory processes within which collaterals can be created.
A biopharmaceutical company focused on human healthcare and research, with a large product portfolio was struggling with local language capabilities and regulatory landscape challenges for its marketing execution. Using DAM, the firm was able to improve accuracy, operational efficiencies, and compliance for labels across their APAC product portfolio – thereby executing localized marketing actions rapidly and with relevance.
Quicker go-to-market
To streamline asset creation and consistency across products and channels, DAM helps generate tags or filters attached to various content components. For example, images, logos, banners, key marketing messages are all defined as differentiated parts – which can be broken down and re-assembled for quick asset creation. Using these part components, graphic content and design teams can work on assets across different media types easily.
A top 10 pharmaceutical firm was struggling with siloed information across several brand marketing teams resulting in high costs and effort duplication. With DAM and its inherent tagging of content, the firm was able to achieve improved content retrievability and reassembly across 50+ assets, 10+ brands, 200 business teams, and 3 marketing channels.
Content as metadata
DAM supports asset retrieval and marketing activation by integrating with digital publishing and distribution platforms. Using this, brands can publish an approved campaign asset to a content management system or social media pages. Therefore, efficiencies are achieved by reducing the time taken for marketing launches and operational costs.
A global pharmaceutical firm with 8 brands was losing out on time to launch due to slow content approvals and publishing onto their content management systems. Within the first year of DAM implementation, the firm achieved 43% asset reuse, resulting in an overall reduction in time to market and integration with the publishing platform for its major brands. Overall migration time and ongoing operations' cost were both reduced by 60%.
Asset Reuse
DAM enables efficiency and quality in the asset creation process, especially in rendering and transforming assets into new forms. Using transcoding, different formats can be extracted from existing assets and re-purposed into newer versions. With standardized and pre-approved components, assets can be reused across brands, functions, and outputs, thereby enabling brand standardization and process efficiencies.
A pharmaceutical company headquartered in Germany achieved operational efficiencies in the artwork (photos, images, and visuals) for Patient Information Leaflets (PILs). With DAM, a proprietary automation tool helped the firm standardize label descriptions and photos, and repurpose them for creating marketing assets for other brands. Overall, the company reduced the time required for creation and delivery of PILs by 75% and 60%, respectively.

Even though DAM drives cost and effort efficiencies, the future of these solutions lies with intelligent extensions

Life sciences organizations currently view DAM as an enabler for cost savings and functional efficiency. However, the future lies in combining them with emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). This greatly improves internal storage processes and asset management outcomes such as reuse and distribution.

Intelligent DAM in life sciences lend immense benefits, such as -

Speech-to-text Conversion for analyzing audio and video files and generating tags
Facial recognition for aiding cultural and regional imagery for curation and classification, thereby creating local marketing assets easily and in a streamlined way
Automatic asset tagging for creating additional metadata to refine searches and simplify repurposing
AI-powered DAM provides control and visibility into digital asset repositories. It eliminates hours of manual work spent on tagging, organizing, distributing, and editing media content. Advancements in computer vision and natural language processing also make AI-driven DAM systems more powerful and reliable, enabling the automation of more asset management tasks.

For life sciences this means

Compliant assets that allow quick localization of content: With rule-based approvals and regulatory compliant content, brand outputs are easily tailored to countries. DAM also ensures that marketing collaterals are designed appropriately for their target audience (with ethnicity, cultural, and messaging tones)
Greater collaboration between marketers and digital teams to drive efficiency and quick marketing communication: Due to a centralized and user-friendly interface, DAM empowers cross-functional collaboration and agility. Since brand teams, creative designers, and digital asset users work in a streamlined way using auto-tags and pre-approved content, it is easier to build end-user outputs across a variety of forms and distributed across many channels

DAM helps life sciences brands achieve customer-centricity and experience goals

The overarching objective of content strategies is to enable relevant and personalized communications and adding an intelligent and automated layer greatly improves customer interactions. At the core, DAM supports this strategy, as it delivers relevant content to customers in an efficient and timely manner.
With intelligent content and a robust DAM architecture, life sciences organizations can save time and reduce administrative effort. Simultaneously, healthcare professionals and patients benefit from engaging content that provides a personalized experience and helps them make informed decisions – driving brand loyalty and meaningful customer engagement at all touchpoints.

A framework to measure DAM ROI

Measuring return on investment (ROI) is a vital deciding factor for DAM services

Commercial stakeholders in life sciences often request service providers to help build their business case for DAM as a best practice. By enabling cost and time efficiencies, DAM directly contributes to reduced expenses over time and enables cost savings across several business functions.

Metrics that effectively measure DAM include the following:

Time-saving – The reduction in time spent by employee searching for assets, as well as the efficiency a DAM can bring to the approval process.
Compliance standards – Content rights management and infringement, failure to meet industry regulations, and so on are crucial metrics in a highly regulated industry such as healthcare and life sciences. A robust DAM allows users to attach specific information to their assets such as intellectual property rights and legal regulations, as well as geographic limits.
Asset reuse – With DAM services, multifold benefits from the same asset can be leveraged across brands and different countries. Also, the need to recreate assets is greatly reduced. This is achieved by tracking asset usage, repurposing assets, and coupling with tagging and AI-led content curation.

DAM ROI = Total savings (estimated $) / Total cost of investment ($)

DAM ROI is determined as a cost saving, which is a combination of savings generated across key functions in the content supply chain through an organization.
Total savings = Asset search and distribution time-savings ($) + Asset fulfillment savings ($) + Asset creation and repurposing savings ($) + Asset compliance savings ($)
Asset search and distribution time savings = A x (B+C)
Average hourly salary of staff finding and sharing assets ($A)
Estimated staff hours per week for go-to-market of an asset (B)
Estimated staff hours per week to find and share asset (C)
Asset fulfillment savings = D x (G x (E+F))
Number of asset downloads per year (D)
Hours taken to fulfill each download before DAM (E)
Total hours spent on request fulfillment (F)
Average hourly salary of staff fulfilling asset requirements (such as downloads, rearrangements, and organizing) ($G)
Asset creation and repurposing savings = H x I
The estimated value of individual assets ($H)
Number of lost assets per year (I)
Asset compliance savings = J x K
The estimated value of individual compliant and licensed assets = $J
Number of compliant and licensed assets per year (K)

A US-based pharmaceutical company achieves high content efficiencies and cost savings with DAM

With >1500 employees serving >20 countries worldwide, a leading pharmaceutical company was facing content bottlenecks and compliance issues.
Due to the lack of a unified content platform across multiple brands, the end user and content teams were facing disconnected workflows. They were struggling to keep up with an increasing content demand and delivering personalized content across channels. An initial assessment indicated the prevalence of traditional methods for content creation and distribution and siloed software and platforms for approval across brands. Overall, there was a delay in content availability, which further increased compliance risk.

With Indegene’s DAM, the brand teams were able to deploy efficient digital management and execute a robust content vision globally.

Features such as the platform’s auto-tagger and brand enhancer enabled functional teams to implement domain tagging, ease of search and retrieval, distribution, and publishing of assets. As a result, siloed and multiformat assets were then organized and tagged systematically.
With version control, resizing, reuse, renaming, and conversion of digital assets were simplified – thereby streamlining the process of asset repurchase and repurposing across global teams.
The creation of a dedicated portal allowed for the maintenance of library hygiene in a compliant and organized manner. Furthermore, there was duplicate content identification to avoid copyright issues and enable global asset compliance.
With content creation workflow features, content production between brand teams was largely streamlined.achieved by tracking asset usage, repurposing assets, and coupling with tagging and AI-led content curation.
As a result, the organization collectively achieved
70% ↓
Time required for asset operations
45% ↓
Operations cost
50% ↑
Content reuse


Digital Asset Management Global Market Report 2021: COVID-19 Implications and Growth. Research and Markets, December 2021
Digital transformation in healthcare: Analyzing the current state-of-research. ScienceDIrect, February 2021
Market Guide for Digital Asset Management. Gartner, December 2020


Maruthi Prasad
Maruthi Prasad
Venkatesan Subramanian
Venkatesan Subramanian
Ravivrat Pandey
Ravivrat Pandey