Email marketing tips to boost engagement

Email marketing tips to boost engagement

Email marketing is one of the most popular ways brands connect with their target audiences – far more so than traditional mail or almost any other marketing channel. But when the average person sends and receives around 121 emails daily, inspiring recipients to open up can be challenging.

You can craft witty, motivating email copy and introduce it all with a catchy subject line, but these aren’t the only ways to boost email engagement. After all, it’s not just the assets in your email marketing that matters.

Here are a few strategies to connect with your audience via email beyond just what’s on the page.

Give empathy a go

As the world of email marketing becomes increasingly focused on open rates and click-through rates, it can be easy to think solely of marketing dashboards and statistics. But it’s important to remember that every email your organization sends out goes to real humans.

Of course, it’s important to analyze data and think about how to optimize your marketing efforts. But this data-driven approach should be paired with a just as essential factor: Empathy.

Empathy is – and always has been – the pillar of a successful marketing campaign. That doesn’t mean that it’s always been put to good use. Think about the onslaught of marketing emails we all received after the onset of the pandemic that all used the phrase “unprecedented times –” some with more empathy (and more success) than others. More than three years after the first days of the pandemic, consumers are savvy about mass messaging and meaningless or opportunistic expressions of shared grief.

However, as humans, we all still need – and crave – genuine empathy. While emotionally manipulative email campaigns come across as insincere, authentic empathy can help foster a long-term connection between you and the real people opening your emails.

Here are some considerations to ponder for your future email marketing campaigns:

  • Look beyond the data. There may be a discrepancy between what your customers want and what the qualitative data tells you. So, while survey data may be helpful, you should also look directly at user behavior and compare the two. Add interactivity to discover more about your customers’ browsing patterns and shopping behaviors.
  • Put customers in the driver’s seat. Brands give the power back to customers (and show genuine empathy) through opt-outs. For some, holidays like Mother’s Day or Father’s Day might bring up difficult emotions, so many major brands allow their email recipients to opt out of these campaigns. When paired with thoughtful, considerate messaging, this can show the people on your email list that you are thinking of what’s best for them. Allowing customers to choose how they want to interact with your brand is a genuine act of empathy.

Further proof that this idea works? When one luggage brand sent out the option to opt out of Mother’s and Father’s Day emails, 4,000 email subscribers chose to do so – and 250 subscribers even sent emails back, sharing their gratitude for their thoughtfulness. 

  • Make use of your visuals. Consumers today are smart; they pick up on insincere photos and stock images. You can use the visual design of your emails to set the tone and amplify your message. While it’s best to avoid images that perpetuate toxic positivity or sappy, greeting card-like visuals, you can use the images in your emails to show that you understand a wide range of perspectives and emotions.

Consider agile marketing strategies

Over 40 percent of marketers are taking an agile marketing approach. Agile email marketing is having a significant moment right now – and there’s a good reason. This marketing strategy is designed to be flexible, responsive, and put customer needs first. It uses self-organizing and cross-functional teams that work in short bursts or spurts to stay attuned to customers’ wants. Essentially, it means you can quickly shift or alter your campaigns or marketing strategies to respond to ongoing feedback and analytical data.

Why is this becoming such a popular strategy? Marketers who employ an agile approach are happier and more confident in the outcomes of their initiatives because of benefits like:

  • An improved ability to stay on top of fast-paced work
  • A clearer understanding of how marketing efforts contribute to successes
  • A higher level of confidence in trying new marketing strategies

At its core, agile marketing follows a set list of principles, incorporating values that include:

  • The prioritization of outcome over output: This approach puts your needs and customers’ needs ahead of marketing just for marketing’s sake because everyone agrees to the same outcome before the start.
  • Less focus on perfection: Since you act fast as opportunities arise, there’s less need to make everything perfect the first time. Instead, you hone in on what can be done now, refined later, and what can be executed with simplicity to get going.
  • Embracing data and experimentation: An agile approach is driven by analyzing data as it comes in. This means you have more opportunities to experiment and learn from what works rather than sticking with outdated conventions.
  • Cross-functional collaboration: Eliminating work silos and unifying across departments to foster collaboration is critical – it aligns everyone to work toward the same goals and puts the entire team on a level playing field.
  • Responsive action: An agile approach ebbs and flows to meet changing needs based on the market, customers, and campaign performance.

Marketing tools like digital asset management (DAM) platforms are vital to an agile marketing approach because they eliminate work silos, clarify workflows, and support seamless communication between teams.

Employ email automation

Email automation is the ultimate tool to connect with subscribers right at the moment they are most engaged with your brand. This means that if you’re looking to boost engagement, automation is a can’t-miss strategy.

You can use email automation to send emails regularly based on triggered actions or events. Not only does this help your team by streamlining your entire workflow and ensuring you’re sending messaging on a consistent timeline, but email automation also helps you send emails that are most pertinent to your audiences – at the moment, they are most likely to connect.

You can use email automation for events like:

  • Signing up as a subscriber
  • When someone abandons their cart
  • On a subscriber’s birthday
  • To re-engage after a period of inactivity
  • And any instance when you want to connect based on a particular action, event, or behavior

Email automation doesn’t just increase engagement. It also helps boost retention and conversions since it assures your messaging is always helpful and timely.

Don’t forget about dark mode settings

Chances are, many of your email recipients have their phone settings switched over to dark mode. Dark mode reduces the amount of blue light our eyes take in. It can help with interruptions to melatonin production and a good night’s sleep – and still maintains the minimum color contrast needed to keep things readable. But as a marketer, you should consider how dark mode may impact the look and feel of your emails or create inconsistencies.

Today, more than 300 digital services offer dark mode to cater to consumers who want to limit exposure to blue light – and your customers have come to expect a certain level of readability within this format. This is why previewing your email in dark and light settings is essential – but also consider the different platforms where the people on your email list will be reading your emails. For example, your email will look the same in dark or light mode if a recipient opens it via the Apple Mail app on their phone.

What are some things to keep in mind when it comes to planning for dark mode?

  • Select images that work well for dark and light backgrounds
  • Pick web-accessible colors and check the color contrast of your text
  • Add media queries to make changes to account for dark and light modes

Make BIMI part of your email strategy

Chances are you’ve heard of BIMI (Brand Indicators for Message Identification). But if you haven’t, you’ve witnessed it right in your inbox. BIMI is an emerging security tool marketers use to authenticate emails, instill a sense of trust in their subscribers, and increase overall email engagement.

So, what is it? BIMI is a security-based initiative to display brand logos in an inbox to help consumers avoid fraudulent emails. These logos appear in an inbox next to your message and subject line – an important way to show your subscribers, customers, and contacts (as well as their email services) that a message comes from your brand. Other emails might have a blank space or some generic image or icon, but your BIMI image helps you stand out.

In an instant, BIMI helps your email recipients know and trust that an email comes directly from a legitimate source – not an imposter. And? It increases email open rates.

Consumers don’t have the same general trust in emails the way they did before – and with good reason. In the latter half of 2022, there was a 61 percent increase in phishing attempts compared to the same timeframe the year before. In a time when email-based phishing is at an all-time high, and attacks are growing in frequency and sophistication, BIMI is a useful tool in helping increase trust among your email recipients.

And as a bonus, your BIMI gets you noticed in a crowded inbox. When more than 300 billion emails are sent out every single day, the BIMI icon is a great attention-grabber to get your customers to open your emails.

Your partner in email marketing engagement

At Comosoft, we know that the tools you use to build your marketing campaigns are just as important as what you’re saying – which is why LAGO, our combined product information management (PIM) and digital asset management (DAM) tool, is so essential for crafting personalised and custom emails.

With a combined PIM DAM solution, Comosoft can help you do things like:

  • Enhance email automation workflows with the most updated images and product information
  • Get better metadata on the images you incorporate into your marketing emails to discover which images are most impactful
  • Improve governance for the images your entire team uses in your marketing emails
  • Help you craft more responsive email campaigns by increasing your speed to publish
  • Optimise versioning, proofing, and approval for email campaigns with real-time collaboration
  • Manage and incorporate the most accurate, up-to-date product data

Building an engaging email means working quickly and efficiently, making the most of your assets, and understanding what’s worked well in the past – and Comosoft can help you do just that.

AI and Retail Marketing: Using data and AI to grow business exponentially

AI and Retail Marketing: Using data and AI to grow business exponentially

Without a doubt, Artificial Intelligence is the number one story of 2023, with breaking news and hyperbolic predictions popping up daily. Retailers and their partners are justifiably concerned. Retail marketing and advertising directors are asking what AI will mean for their current operations and the future of retail marketing in general.

The first thing to remember is that AI and its related technologies – machine learning (ML) and “big data” – are nothing new. The idea of using large training data sets to automate routine activities or predict future outcomes, often called “narrow AI,” has been around for decades. But with all the advances in cloud computing and the November release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, the floods of new information (and misinformation) have created more than their fair share of anxiety for some retail professionals. However, the secret to overcoming these fears is the same as it has been for any new technology – understanding its abilities and limitations.

Basic concepts

AI can be applied to almost any digital data, including structured data (usually alphanumeric fields with logical labels and relationships) and unstructured data. Think of structured data like a spreadsheet with clearly labeled rows (records) and columns (fields). Unstructured data does not have such neat labels and includes digital images and unclassified text, such as that found in social media posts. But even if a data set doesn’t have logical, structured labels (or metadata), it can still have meaning.

AI is designed to detect patterns in large volumes of unstructured data. Those patterns, often confirmed with human assistance, are used in ML algorithms to train a system to recognize similar patterns – in images or text – and make predictive decisions automatically. An AI does not understand the meaning of those patterns as a human can, but it can simulate a human’s meaning-aware response far faster than human decision-makers.

Let’s consider the difference between human understanding and how AI can simulate it. A retail marketing manager, for example, may understand the meaning of certain facts about a product:

  1. It has sold well at certain times of the year.
  2. It has a reasonably high-profit margin and a reliable supply chain.
  3. The manufacturer has supplied most of the product’s relevant information.
  4. It has had many favorable reviews on social media and elsewhere.
  5. It has been favorably described in various blogs and articles.
  6. There are publicly available images and videos of people using it.

Items 1–3  represent structured data, typically found in sales history, inventory, or product information management (PIM) databases. Items 4–6 are unstructured, for the most part. But from those data points, a human might reasonably conclude that a sales campaign for that product is a good idea. But because there are so many different products and product variables, it would be impossible for one human being – or even an entire marketing department – to make those decisions on a massive scale. On the other hand, an AI-based system can detect meaningful patterns (as confirmed by humans) from all kinds of available data and automatically prioritize the most likely candidates for a marketing campaign.

Doing this at scale would accomplish several things. If the AI’s pattern recognition is accurate – an easily testable hypothesis – then the effectiveness of retail marketing campaigns would be greatly increased. It would also lessen the cost and drudgery of combing through data to find meaningful, actionable insights. Finally, if marketing and advertising directors were freed from these burdens, then they could focus more on things that artificial intelligence will likely never do, namely consider the aesthetic and psychological preferences and biases of their audience. Creative and insightful humans will always have the edge regardless of how well or quickly AI can mimic human behavior.

The retailer’s advantage

In this area, large retailers already have a big advantage over other companies, namely their ready access to massive amounts of mostly structured, product-related data. This is only natural since they must handle thousands (or millions) of individual products from multiple manufacturers. Every product SKU must have an array of feature and component data, usually stored in a PIM system. At the same time, it must maintain all the images and descriptions of each product, typically stored in a digital asset management (DAM) system. Add an array of other data sources for sales, inventory, pricing, and other essentials. Many companies now also include e-commerce sales histories and customer reviews.

That ocean of data has to be well managed, of course, which can be challenging. Fortunately, Comosoft’s data integration teams have helped many retailers unify their PIMDAM, and other structured data sources, using the LAGO system for meaningful, collaborative planning and efficient, InDesign-based workflow optimisation for multi-version print and digital campaigns.

Of course, the difference is that the typical PIM, DAM, and other data sources are highly structured – as they should be. We are only in the early stages of adding structure to new varieties of data, such as customer reviews and customer-supplied images and videos. But those new data types offer incredible potential value to the retail marketer. And AI will only accelerate that value.

Focus on data-readiness

Before anyone can realistically tackle AI and masses of unstructured data, they must first master their structured data – turning it into marketing gold, as it were. Comosoft LAGO is a proven tool for doing just that.

Once a large retailer has found a way to be “data ready” with what they already have, the next step into artificial intelligence will be a logical, powerful next step. With this readiness level, AI can only launch the retailer into new levels of efficiency and growth.

Find out more about Comosoft’s custom systems integration and data strategy service and book a demo to see for yourself how LAGO can streamline your data workflow.

Belcorp: The Beautiful Message

Belcorp: The Beautiful Message

How a multinational beauty company manages its vast array of product information to create (and future-proof) its vital marketing efforts.

The modern beauty industry is complex indeed. Companies in this highly competitive arena succeed only when they connect their many products to the needs and desires of ordinary people. These are consumers looking for a brand they can trust and rely upon when it comes to their own self-image. Every product is a personal connection, not just a commodity. One such company – Belcorp – has successfully made this connection with its customers for years. But in today’s multichannel environment, that also poses an ongoing marketing challenge.

When a beauty company offers multiple products, sells to customers in many countries, and supports a large, knowledgeable, in-person sales organization, it must have a strong, agile marketing presence. It must maintain a complex array of printed catalogs and other targeted marketing materials and plan for the same level of complexity in its digital media. This is a closer look at how Belcorp is meeting the challenge today – and planning for success in the future.

A history of personal connection

Belcorp was founded over fifty years ago, dedicated to the ideal of promoting beauty as a way to achieve personal fulfillment. It uses a direct, in-person sales model – a vast network of consultants throughout the Americas – to connect with individual customers. This go-to-market strategy has created a positive experience for many, helping thousands of women achieve economic independence. Belcorp CEO Erika Herrero notes, “day by day, we are transforming the lives of thousands of women and their families.” But the company’s purpose transcends the economic results. “We promote beauty to achieve personal fulfillment,” says Belcorp spokeswoman Joy Chion Li.

“We inspire each person to give their best so that they and those around them achieve the extraordinary.”

This lofty goal has guided the company to remarkable success. Since its founding in 1968, Belcorp has grown its in-person sales network to over 850 thousand consultants in 13 countries in the Americas. In addition, the company operates 54 physical retail locations, and in 2016 it launched a robust e-commerce presence.

Today, Belcorp has three distinct but interrelated product lines. The Ésika line features an array of high-quality makeup, perfumes, personal care products, and jewelry – all designed to “inspire women to own their confidence and celebrate their power.” The L’BEL brand combines beauty, health, and technology in the form of personal hygiene and skincare products for both women and men. The third line, Cyzone, offers high-quality, affordable beauty products designed for younger women.

In addition to its product lines’ impressive breadth and scope, Belcorp’s products reflect its commitment to sustainable development and manufacturing, including certification of its cruelty-free testing requirements. This is all carefully managed, along with the data related to each individual product.

The data challenge

Each year, Belcorp introduces over 2,000 new products across its three product lines, sometimes replacing previous products but often adding to the company’s total offering. Each product can have around 30 distinct data points. These include everything from colors and attributes in a Product Information Management (PIM) system to digital photos and descriptions stored in a Digital Asset Management (DAM) system. Other data, such as pricing and inventory, add to the mix.

Needless to say, with such a massive amount of data, plus the demand for multi-version color catalogs and other sales collateral, this poses a formidable challenge to those in charge of product marketing. In addition, the rise of digital—from e-commerce websites to mobile versions of its catalogs—has complicated the marketing mix even further. To meet their ever-increasing need for high-quality sales tools, Belcorp’s marketing workflow needs to be as agile and personal as the beauty consultants themselves.

The Belcorp Workflow

To achieve these spectacular results, Belcorp standardized on two powerful tools, Adobe Creative Cloud and a comprehensive data approach, Comosoft’s LAGO.

To create color catalogs for Belcorp consultants covering all three product lines, production designers must have the tools to create aesthetically pleasing layouts that are also accurate on every product detail. The problem is that every beauty and personal care product has its own collection of images and data – not to mention key information to facilitate each product order. Mistakes in a catalog read by millions can lead to fulfillment problems, lost sales, and a blow to customer approval and satisfaction.

Every Belcorp catalog seems like a publishing miracle, considering it must have distinct regional and language versions delivered on time to thousands of beauty consultants. To achieve these spectacular results consistently, the company standardized on two powerful tools. One is Adobe Creative Cloud applications, notably InDesign and Photoshop, to create its beauty-themed pages and the other is a comprehensive data and production management system, Comosoft’s LAGO.

By standardizing on Adobe InDesign, Belcorp harnessed the world’s most advanced system for creating beautiful pages. In addition to its powerful text and image handling capabilities, InDesign has a robust “plugin” environment, allowing for effective integration with third-party applications. That’s where LAGO fits in perfectly.

The LAGO system is a powerful, behind-the-scenes system for coordinating complex product data and assets – even when held in separate PIM, DAM, and other data repositories. LAGO connects every product SKU to its related data, assisting everyone from campaign management and planning to the production of catalogs and other marketing materials. But LAGO’s “secret ingredient” is its direct connection to Adobe InDesign.

Using an intuitive LAGO plugin, each InDesign user has instant access to all the data and assets required to design a product page display. They do not need to hunt for product images, descriptions, or specifications. LAGO supplies everything as directed by the overall campaign plan. If product data or photos are modified or replaced during the catalog design process, they are automatically updated in the InDesign layout. Everything is “live” right up to the last moment when the catalog file is sent to the printer.

Creating multiple versions of a catalog is also straightforward. When a separate catalog is created for each of Belcorp’s national regions, the designer simply uses the project “master” file as the basis for unlimited versions, which can be customized based on regional marketing needs.

Local versioning is especially important to a multinational company like Belcorp. Not only do their catalogs need to be accurate in Spanish, Portuguese, and English (for the U.S. market), but also they must serve the diverse demographic, cultural, and consumer preferences that are unique to each region. LAGO enables the Belcorp marketing teams to to all this cost-effectively. The efficiencies of using LAGO for creating such diverse printed materials are obvious, but they do not stop there.

As Belcorp looks to the future of multichannel marketing, Comosoft is helping them “future-proof” their efforts.

Winds of change

Digital media have radically changed how companies connect with new and existing customers. Belcorp is acutely aware of this and has enabled its vast, in-person sales force to embrace new ways of making that personal connection. Using various digital channels, their beauty consultants advise and accompany their clients before, during, and after each purchase. In addition, Belcorp’s customer service center, and the three brands, actively use social networks, such as Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook, so that consumers can reach out, provide feedback, and ask questions. With that change comes the need to create digital versions of their printed materials. Fortunately, Comosoft LAGO can make that happen.

“We see LAGO as an enabler for our digital strategy. We are working to streamline our content production to serve not only the print world but also the digital one.”


For every print catalog or other piece of marketing collateral, LAGO can automatically take the results – including product information and images for that campaign – and transfer them to a website, e-commerce portal, or mobile application. Once set up, digital channels will be populated automatically and customized to meet customer buying preferences. This customization gives each individual beauty consultant an even more effective connection with their loyal customers.

“We see LAGO as an enabler for our digital strategy,” says Li. “We are working to streamline our content production to serve not only the print world but also the digital one.” For a growing international beauty company, this is a wise move.

In a world where customers are bombarded by so many messages over so many different channels, Belcorp’s combination of personal connection, care, and agile, smart technology may indeed be a beautiful message.

About Comosoft

Founded in 1994, Comosoft has decades of experience partnering with companies like Belcorp throughout the Americas, helping them thrive in the complex, data-driven world of retail marketing and promotion.

Comosoft is an established, global pioneer in multichannel media and PIM systems for the consumer goods, retail, catalog, e-commerce, and manufacturing sectors. Its goal is to provide data and media production platforms to meet the ever-changing channel requirements of modern, global business, marketing, and digitally-enabled commerce. Comosoft’s LAGO software tools reflect best practices and proven workflows for optimizing data-intensive content.

The Planning Paradox

The Planning Paradox*: How to Effectively Plan Multichannel Marketing Campaigns

*The uncertainty of early-stage decision-making characterises the paradox of project planning. To plan appropriately, stakeholders must make early decisions to keep things moving but might not initially have the knowledge (or data). More information (or data) might be available later in the production process, but the decisions made in these later stages might be less important for its success or would be too late. That concept is the paradox.

Large, national retailers – and even smaller, regional ones – often must cope with several logistical and market challenges. One of these is the rapid proliferation of media channels. In each one, they must establish a good relationship with current and potential customers, preserving the retailer’s brand without sacrificing accuracy or time-to-market with each campaign.

Before digital, planning and executing an ad campaign or catalog took hard work and creativity. Now, the work is exponentially more complex, thanks to the demands of digital, mobile, and especially social media platforms. A single, well-planned, branded campaign must now feed multiple outputs – each with its own peculiar attributes and requirements. Each campaign also must be strategic, featuring products with ample profit margins, dependable sales histories, high brand recognition, and adequate inventory in the region(s) where they are promoted.

All of these particulars are represented as distinct pieces of data. Some are contained in massive Product Information Management (PIM) systems. Others, like product images and descriptions, are housed in Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems. Still, others are found in separate, often proprietary databases or systems for pricing, inventory management, sales history, social media management, and content marketing. Sometimes, these databases can be more or less related or combined. But all too often, they are separate “silos” of information – rich in potential but difficult to handle efficiently and still leave room for creativity.

Putting Marketing Managers in charge

Marketing managers and directors have enormous responsibilities for creating profitable campaigns. To do so requires more than good instincts. They must also have a solid grasp of the data and how it relates to the campaign. For example, when planning a multi-region campaign, it’s vital to know which products have the greatest sales and profit potential in each region and their stock availability in those regions. With little time to spare for research, the best alternative is to let the data tell you which products are best. In the marketing ballgame, instinct counts, but data makes the rules.

The problem is that most data is often not easily accessible – or easy to visualize. What is needed most is a comprehensive integration of all that product data, plus the ability to transmit a marketing manager’s decision directly to those designing the print or digital campaign output.

In previous columns, we’ve discussed how Comosoft LAGO provides such an integrated marketing workflow. However, for those responsible for creating campaigns out of all that data, we must take a closer look at LAGO’s approach to planning.

Nearly every modern business plan begins with a brainstorming or concept overview process. The universal metaphor for this is the ordinary whiteboard. In this century, physical whiteboards have been supplanted by digital ones, allowing multiple parties to collaborate on visual representations of an idea. LAGO provides such a tool for marketing managers but with a crucial difference. In addition to freeform notetaking and review visualization, the LAGO whiteboard is truly connected to the retailer’s integrated data.

During the planning phase of a campaign, the manager or director can easily find the products best suited to the retailer’s bottom line. Once selected and placed on the whiteboard layout, the planner’s decision includes the product’s related PIM, DAM, and pricing information. This decision also sets a reliable reporting framework in motion, allowing the marketing manager to track a product’s success in a specific campaign and learn how to improve that performance over time. LAGO’s visual interface gives the planner the best of both worlds – conceptual awareness of a product’s appearance and attributes PLUS a frictionless connection to reliable product data.

Making the handoff easy

Once a campaign is mapped out with the LAGO whiteboard, an Adobe InDesign template is generated automatically, giving the production design department a head start in creating the output. The template includes each page’s product placement decisions, complete with links to the related PIM, DAM, and other data sources. Each designer is freed from the burden of tracking down all that data or, worse, replicating all the marketing manager’s choices. They are free to do what they do best – design.

The connection between layout and data is preserved using a LAGO plugin for InDesign. If something changes in the data, such as an updated image or product specifications, the layout is updated automatically. The data flow is also bi-directional. When a designer makes a substantial change – via a documented approval process – the marketing manager is aware of it.

One of the bigger challenges for larger retailers is making custom or regional versions of each catalog or other campaign output. LAGO makes this process simple, using the original layout (as conceived by the marketing manager) as a “master” version. Unlimited versions may then be created, preserving the piece’s universal elements (and the brand identity) while allowing the substitution of regionally relevant products or offers. Each version remains relevant to the overall campaign while also allowing each location to have the ability to optimize for their market.

In addition, LAGO also gives marketing campaigns an effective way to replicate a campaign across multiple channels. The data, images, and presentation created by the original designer can be transmitted automatically to the retailer’s web, mobile app, or social media groups – allowing them to populate all marketing channels rapidly with the latest campaign data.

Plans in motion

Collaboration is always the key to a successful multichannel campaign. But the effort is broader than savvy marketing, creative, and production teams. Their tools must be smart as well. With Comosoft LAGO as the expert tool set, such a collaborative workflow is genuinely possible.

6 e-commerce and retail trends driving demand for PIM systems in 2023

6 e-commerce and retail trends driving demand for PIM systems in 2023

In the course of digitization, consumer buying behavior has changed and, accordingly, so have consumer expectations of a brand’s sales channels. More and more customers are shopping online and interacting with brands in new and interesting ways, as new technologies also constantly offer new opportunities for contact.

But any thriving business needs to find ways to keep up with these shifts in consumer expectations. They need to find processes to cater to the needs of their target audiences as e-commerce buying patterns evolve.

Trends like hyper-personalisation, mobile and social media shopping, global retail, supply chain challenges, and complex tech stacks impact how brands manage their inventories. Here’s what you need to know about how these trends shift the way brands work and inspire them to adopt product information management (PIM) solutions.

1. The introduction of hyper-personalisation

It’s already apparent that personalised user experiences are making waves and helping customers feel more engaged with brands than ever before. In fact, around 80 percent of consumers are more likely to make a purchase if the brand offers a personalised experience.

But the same is also true for increased levels of personalization in the products brands sell. The average consumer is far less intrigued by generic products; they want something to help them stand out. Buyers find this level of personalisation to be incredibly appealing:

  • 81 percent of consumers would pay more for personalised apparel
  • 79 percent of consumers would pay more for personalised footwear
  • 77 percent of consumers would pay more for personalised jewelry and accessories
  • 76 percent of consumers would pay more for personalised furnishings

Product customisation can be a great way to connect with consumers, attract new customers, and drive sales – but brands need strong strategies to make this level of personalisation possible, profitable, and efficient.

An e-commerce product catalog – like a PIM solution – can be an incredibly useful tool here. A PIM solution gives you the power to store all kinds of variations on the items in stock and share product descriptions with customers.

2. A sharp rise in mobile shopping

Mobile eCommerce is surging in popularity—so much so that it’s been monikered: “m-commerce.” This term refers to online purchases made through portable devices like smartphones or tablets. Consumers are using their mobile devices to research products, compare prices, and purchase at higher rates than ever. In fact, at the end of 2022, almost one-third of US internet users made at least one online purchase per week using their mobile phones.

In 2023, time spent on mobile retail apps will exceed 100 billion hours across the globe—and these apps seem to be the preferred way for consumers to shop online on the go as they account for 54 percent of all mobile commerce payments.

Mobile commerce is expanding at lightning speed, which is why it’s so essential for brands to have mobile-friendly websites and applications complete with optimized product data. Integrating with a PIM system means it’s simpler for brands to complete a mobile-friendly site and store and optimize product listings across platforms and commerce channels.

3. A new era of social media shopping

Social media is no longer just a way for consumers to find and interact with new brands; it’s also a rapidly-expanding shopping platform. It’s anticipated that in 2023, sales from the social eCommerce market will top $1 trillion for the first time, with an expected $1.3 trillion in combined annual sales. This is over double the figure from 2020, when sales peaked at $560 billion. By 2026, annual social media sales could reach $2.9 trillion.

Social media is undoubtedly an effective marketing tool, but with shopping features prominently featured throughout the most popular social media channels like Facebook and Instagram, Pinterest, and now TikTok. Now, merchants can use these channels to promote and sell their products.

Social commerce can significantly and positively impact online brands—especially those whose target audiences spending time browsing these apps. With a PIM system, sellers can manage their inventory (including social commerce platforms), store images and other assets, integrate marketing copy, and edit, share, and optimize content within a convenient location.

4. The expansion of global retail

Global eCommerce is taking off in a big way. How big? One only has to look at the figures:

  • In 2021, cross-border online shopping totaled approximately $785 billion.
  • By 2030, cross-border eCommerce will reach an anticipated $7.9 trillion.

Online brands are quickly adding cross-border selling to their eCommerce strategies, taking online selling past global Amazon storefronts to multilingual stores and worldwide commerce. Why? Cross-border commerce isn’t a niche selling strategy. In fact, 67 percent of global shoppers devote 10 percent of their monthly online spending to brands in other countries. It’s a smart way to expand a brand’s reputation to broader audiences and become a globally known, trusted brand.

With a PIM solution, online sellers can manage and update localized content on their own eCommerce website and within their other digital marketplaces. This simplifies overcoming localization challenges compared to spreadsheets or more traditional localization methods.

5. Striving for sustainability in the supply chain

If there’s one thing that the collective world of e-commerce learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that supply chain management is critical to lasting success. Internal processes like the supply chain can be essential to providing consumers with a strong, positive customer experience.

While supply chain issues today might look a bit different than they did in the early days of the pandemic, brands are still examining their supply chains as a whole and looking for ways to make them more agile, more sustainable, and better for the environment, more customer-centric, and more localized with tools like better inventory forecasting, and improved visibility throughout the supply chain. Human rights agreements, environmental protection agreements and improved transparency, including in supplier management, help to make the entire supply chain more local, fairer, safer, and thus more sustainable. The aim of all these measures is to promote optimized corporate governance throughout the entire life cycle of a product or service.

When issues like pandemics, wildfires, or other disasters interrupt the supply chain, brands need ways to fail-proof their operations. While these disruptions may be outside a brand’s control, they can utilize a PIM solution to track product availability and better discern which products you need to promote and which are waning in inventory. A PIM system can help brands share the most updated information with suppliers across the supply chain.

6. Managing complex tech stacks

It seems that anymore, there’s a separate technology solution for just about every step in the supply chain, adding up to a complex tech stack loaded with countless applications and software systems.

While a complex tech stack can help you analyze data, manage your marketplace, and store digital assets, it can also make things too complicated and costly. Employees lose an average of five hours each workweek toggling between tools like messaging, collaboration, and asset storage solutions – which can significantly impact productivity. Often, it also means work gets lost in the shuffle.

What’s more, the complex tech stacks may lead to all kinds of work redundancies; 44 percent of workers believe that siloed digital tools within their tech stack make it hard to know when multiple team members are duplicating work. And almost half of these workers are sharing that not having the tools to track work and collaborate in real-time leads to costly errors on the job.

As a result of this trend, many brands are adopting PIM solutions to limit the amount of app switching. Because these PIM solutions streamline workflows and make it easier to keep everyone on the same page, employees can better focus their efforts on the tasks without redundancies or work falling through the cracks.

Comosoft helps you keep up with the trends

Staying current with all these changes doesn’t have to be a hassle. With product information management software, you have a single, centralized location to oversee each product from the beginning of its lifecycle to the end.

Comosoft’s PIM system isn’t just a PIM system; it goes beyond product information management. With a digital asset management solution, a collaborative workflow and versioning tool that updates in real-time and consolidates your data and assets from multiple sources into a central repository.

When you combine your data and assets into a unified view, you and your team can plan and execute projects and tackle new trends with better insight – no matter how quickly trends shift and evolve.

LAGO Product Information Management

Learn more about our LAGO PIM and how we can help you organise your product information efficiently.

The biggest trends in Digital Publishing

The biggest trends in Digital Publishing

Retail print catalogs are trendy right now – but so are their digital counterparts. In fact, it’s estimated that the global digital publishing market will grow more than 11 percent year-over-year from 2022 to 2023, climbing from $41.3 billion in 2022 to $45.9 billion in 2023.

As a result, publishers are altering their distribution methods and expanding what’s possible. Trends like video covers, free-form navigation, web integration, native-style ads, mobile compatibility, and hidden depth of content are making more of what digital magazines can do.

Here are the biggest trends happening now and next in the world of digital publishing.

Skip to what you want to see: Free-Form Navigation

With print catalogs, readers can flip to the pages they want to read first, bypassing anything they don’t want or need to see. This feature used to be print-only, while digital publications required readers to click through from one page to the next without the option to jump to what interests them most.

But free-form navigation is changing the game and making it more straightforward for readers to jump to the most relevant pages.

With free-form navigation, readers can skip to their favorite features and choose their own adventure when exploring digital content. They can tap images to read specific articles or reviews and discover the content in their preferred order.

Ads that don’t feel like ads: Native-Style Advertising

Retailers are finding new ways to incorporate ads – and in some cases, readers aren’t even aware it’s happening.

Welcome to the world of native-style ads, unobtrusive advertisement strategies that publishers and advertisers can use to connect with their target audience without seeming too pushy or sales-focused. Native ads are custom-tailored to match the aesthetics and tone of the platform; these advertisements don’t feel like ads at all. They fit the look and feel of the digital publication, making them a seamless part of the user’s experience. Why is this so effective? The answers are two-fold:

  1. It expands the organic reach of each ad
  2. It fosters better engagement with target audiences

In the US, native ad spending increased by 37 percent in 2021, and spending is anticipated to surpass $100 billion in 2023. This spend may include sponsored content, in-feed ads on social media, video content, and other innovative native ad formats.

Making it personal: Personalisation in Publishing

According to McKinsey71 percent of today’s consumers have come to expect their interactions to be personalized – and what’s more, 76 percent of consumers find it frustrating if they don’t get this level of customized attention. Personalization can present challenges for paper publishing, but some barriers are removed for more digital formats.

Why does personalization matter so much? Besides offering consumers the experience they want, it increases engagement. When retailers focus on what individual customers want and need by working to understand their preferences, they deliver the kind of content your customers want.

How do retailers discover what customers want? You can leverage tools to analyze their actions and preferences and take small surveys on user interest to gear your publication toward specific audiences. With the proper data integration tools, retailers can insert user-specific content into digital publications, customizing messaging for each reader.

This is especially important for retailers looking to connect with Gen Z – the next generation of subscribers, consumers, and customers. Gen Z is a unique audience that consumes content differently than their older counterparts; they have a distinct point of view and spend more of their media time on video platforms like YouTube and TikTok. Publishers should seek ways to meet Gen Z audiences where they are and tailor their content to them.

More than meets the eye: Hidden-Depth Content

One unique benefit of digital publishing? Retailers can pack more content into each page with hidden-depth content, much like a children’s pop-up book.

Often, this looks like a small “+” in the corner of a photo or following a section of the text, revealing extra details like captions and additional data. Hidden-depth content can also include features like:

  • PDF downloads
  • Archival maps, letters, or documents
  • More statistics
  • Extended photo carousels or galleries

Scrolling text or historical timelines can sometimes be their own table of contents, with each point on the timeline serving as its access point to additional content.

What are the perks of hidden depth of content? It’s a great strategy to encourage readers to interact and engage. It can also serve as a far more exciting way to present information.

On-the-Go: An increased focus on Mobile and Responsive Design

There’s been a notable uptick in mobile versus desktop internet access for quite some time. This trend continues to pick up steam – and today, 55 percent of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. In fact, 92.3 percent of internet users are accessing the web via their mobile phones.

For retailers, this should mean increased, though not sole, focus on the mobile version of their online content. In certain instances, it may be beneficial to think mobile-first, depending on their target audiences and how they source their media. For now, the balance of mobile-first or desktop-first creation largely depends on the intended readers.

This doesn’t have to mean a complete overhaul of digital publication processes or twice the work to create two versions of the same publication; with a few slight adjustments, building a mobile version can be quickly accomplished at the end of the digital publication creation process, and some retailers may opt to utilize a completely responsive design that adapts to any device or screen type their reader may use to access their content.

Publishers don’t have to approach every piece of content in their digital publication from a mobile perspective – for some, the idea of limiting screen size may also limit their creativity. Instead, digital publications should be built and designed with the idea that every desktop page, article, and edition also has a mobile version. Artwork, galleries, videos, interactive media, and all other content can be easily borrowed or adjusted from desktop versions at the end of the creation process.

Bring it home: Web Integration

Another feature retailers continue to explore is integrating content with the web. This feature allows readers to explore products and information in further detail on an e-commerce page or the publisher’s website.

Digital catalogs can easily integrate their content with the web with responsive web links that direct readers to purchase, discover more resources, or connect with their brand on social media.

Moving Pictures: Add Video Content and Video Covers

In recent years, marketing teams have caught on to how impactful video content and covers can be in connecting with consumers. 92 percent of marketers reported that video content offers a positive return on investment (ROI), and 87 percent share that video content has a direct, positive impact on their sales.

But it’s not just marketing professionals who are taking note of how effective video content is. More than 9 out of 10 consumers want to see more videos from the brands they pay attention to in 2023. Audiences are more invested than ever in video content, with short-form videos like TikToks skyrocketing in popularity and offering growth potential and value to brands.

These audiences even use multiple devices simultaneously, so grabbing and keeping their attention is more challenging than ever. Short-form videos are becoming a trendy way to hold readers’ gaze, and even channels like TikTok are starting to experiment with longer forms, thanks to the rising popularity of video content.

Now, digital publishers can add this content form to their publications. Since marketers and consumers alike are embracing video content, digital publishers should take note and incorporate this content into their digital formats. Video covers, in particular, are an intelligent way to captivate readers from page one – some even feel like movie trailers. Digital publications allow publishers to expand what’s possible in magazines and newspapers, providing users with a memorable experience beyond what can be printed and published on a page.

Bonus: Interactive Content

It’s not just video content making waves in the digital publishing sphere. Overall, digital publications are becoming increasingly interactive. This includes video content, but it also includes audio recordings, augmented reality, animations, and other rich, interactive multimedia content forms to enhance the overall reading experience and create fresh, catchy content.

Your partner in modern Digital Publishing

At Comosoft, we’re all about expanding what’s possible with digital publications. From workflow collaboration to publication and distribution, we’re always on the cutting edge of digital publication and marketing production.

With LAGO by Comosoft, digital publishing is both simple and advanced. Every page and piece of digital content is an opportunity to engage and delight readers and showcase your brand. As more people consume media online, we’ll help you turn your printed marketing production, circular ad, or catalog into an extended experience with features like:

  • Automated hotspots
  • QR codes
  • Augmented reality

As a fully integrated PIM and DAM system solution, we’ll support your collaborative workflows with intuitive versioning optimization in real time and a detail-oriented proofing system. The result? A modern digital publication is created using less time and resources.

automation circulars

Retailers are automating their weekly circular production

How retailers are automating their weekly circular production and do more with less

The weekly circular has long been a staple marketing and advertising tool for grocery chains and other large retailers. To cope with the disruptions of digital media, retailers have experimented with various ways to cut costs, sometimes discontinuing the printed versions of circulars (especially as newspaper inserts) only to bring them back in other ways. Recently, a national grocery retailer paused the printed versions of their weekly ads but then brought them back as regular mailers, with targeted promotions and QR codes to take customers to sale items on the website.

There are good reasons why the weekly circular – in print or digital formats – is an enduring tool for marketing and advertising directors. As Motley Fool writer Maurie Backman noted in her May 2023 column, using the circular as a five-minute research guide for shopping lists can save consumers significant amounts of money – a worthwhile pursuit during high inflation. And, if the circular is well-designed (and accurate), it also serves as a familiar, brand-reinforcing weekly reminder to consumers.

A complex process

Weekly circular ads and flyers (printed and digital) are the lifeblood of a retailer’s marketing program. The larger the retailer and its inventory of products, the more challenging it is to produce compelling and accurate flyers using SKU data that promote high-margin products. Creating multiple versions of that same flyer that support various regions and markets is even more challenging.

As creative services and production managers know, creating an effective weekly circular is complex and difficult. It was always challenging, but with the growth of digital, retailers are under enormous pressure to deliver more content across an increasing number of platforms. By using the weekly circular as a starting point, they can begin to fill that need – but only if they have the right processes and workflows to handle the flood of activity it requires. And they must do so, very often, using overstretched human resources.

The circular involves multiple departments and individuals, each racing against a weekly deadline and coping with product management details, rapid and time-sensitive changes in the information, design localization and versioning, and conversion to digital and social media channels. This process is complicated even further by the fact that product statement from multiple manufacturers is stored in several different databases, starting with their product information management (or PIM system), digital asset management (or DAM system), and other data sources.

If any of these processes must be done manually, then retailers cannot reasonably expect to keep up. They will risk enormous gaps in their marketing content mandate – not to mention the risk of costly errors in the material produced. Automation is the secret to “doing more with less”, but that is hard to do haphazardly or piecemeal. Facing the continuous onslaught of activity that weekly circulars represent, retailers need a global solution.

An elegant solution

Comosoft’s LAGO represents the ideal solution to this perplexing problem for large retailers, including major grocery chains. By taking a holistic approach to data management, campaign planning, and media production, LAGO gives retailers the luxury of automation while giving marketing managers and production designers the freedom to innovate.

The LAGO process begins with a plan. Retail product line and marketing managers create a campaign strategy based on an integrated approach to product information (PIM), product images, logos, descriptions (DAM), and other connected data sources – all coordinated with a digital whiteboard interface. Products with higher margins or known popularity can be featured, along with a mix of the retailer’s other offerings. Sale pricing is based on real-world business goals and solid data.

After the campaign is planned, it gets transmitted to the design team through InDesign templates automatically. These have the campaign’s featured products in place and real-time connections to all their related PIM and DAM information. Designers are freed from the need to track down all that data and can focus on designing the finished product. When multiple regional versions are required, the design team can create these easily, using the base circular as the “master version” and creating regional variants according to that region or branch manager’s priorities.

Other time-consuming manual tasks are highly automated as well. LAGO provides an efficient, collaborative approach to proofing and approvals, sending digital proofs automatically to the right decision makers and returning their feedback to the design and production teams, who can send the finished, multi-version result to the proper print service providers anywhere in the country.

The automation does not stop at print, however. Data used to create a circular in LAGO can be automatically sent to the retailer’s website or mobile app, even on a regional level, satisfying today’s shopper’s growing need for up-to-date information on multiple media channels.

As LAGO users have discovered, there are ways to reimagine the printed circular. QR Codes, which have seen a resurgence since the pandemic, can easily be integrated into the LAGO workflow, typically as part of the retailer’s existing DAM system. Just as a marketing manager and design team can easily specify a product photo, they can also include a QR code for that product. When the printed circular comes in the mail, users can quickly go to that product’s sale landing page, genuinely integrating the print and online experience.

“Doing more with less” is much more than a catchphrase. With advanced workflows from LAGO, retailers can make it a profitable reality.

How LAGO PIM and DAM help you create a seamless customer experience

How LAGO PIM and DAM help you create a seamless customer experience

In information technology, the idea of a “single source of truth,” or SSOT, is a well-established practice. Simply put, in the context of databases, SSOT means that each piece of information is edited only in its leading system. It’s logical in theory but often difficult in practice.

Retailers, for example, must store different types of information about a single product they sell in separate databases, each designed to optimise a different part of their operations. A product information management or PIM system contains different types of information than a digital asset management or DAM system. Each system serves a specific, vital purpose. To duplicate the data everywhere would be pointless and time-wasting – the very thing SSOT exists to prevent. The real trick is getting all those special-purpose databases to work together.

Various databases

A retailer may have immaculate records on every product they offer, but they will only stay in business if they can effectively advertise and promote those products. Therefore, today’s retailers must have immediate, efficient access to every data source available to market effectively. As every creative services manager, production manager, and director of marketing knows, it’s all about the data and learning how to use it.

That’s where SSOT comes in. It’s OK for different types of data to exist in their appropriate and unique locations – so long as marketing can harness all of it in a well-planned campaign or, more likely, in hundreds of simultaneous campaigns across multiple channels and regional variations. With proper integration and workflow, multiple databases can become a single source of truth.

For instance, the degree of difficulty for marketing managers is very high. A system with an integrated PIM, DAM, and other databases can help organize, categorize, validate, and distribute product information and digital assets. More importantly, it can do so transparently, allowing designers to create content for multiple channels efficiently without having to master each database. Such a system, Comosoft LAGO, exists today.

As retailers move increasingly into e-commerce, such a system becomes even more important, allowing them to create marketing content for existing channels while simultaneously doing so for online and mobile channels, creating a seamless brand experience for their prospective customers.

The customer experience

Making one’s message welcoming, engaging, and relevant requires creativity and communication skills unencumbered by complex data technology. Retail consumers have never been exposed to this much media clamoring for their limited attention. Wise marketers are acutely aware of this and thus must continually find ways to make their messaging welcome, engaging, and relevant. This combination requires creativity and communication skills, unencumbered by complex data technology. Doing this well requires the work of many hands.

One advantage of an integrated approach is that all the data – usually supplied by various manufacturers and vendors – is genuinely and securely centralized. LAGO accomplishes this not only for internal production use but also for external users such as agencies and sales reps. While the data still reside in separate, secure systems, they are also part of a trusted, single source of truth.

Another thing LAGO accomplishes for the marketing or advertising designer is to provide transparent access to accurate, up-to-date, and rich information for each product. So, for example, when a marketing or product line manager identifies the product most likely to appeal to a target audience (by using LAGO at the start of a campaign), all the relevant information is instantly made available to those creating the campaign.

With so many “touch points” available to the average consumer, from print to digital and beyond, marketing and production managers are too often at a loss how to keep all those channels full – without flooding the customer with mere noise. LAGO offers creatives the ability to do this and more. Facilitating complex information exchange across many channels simultaneously multiplies the creativity of good marketing and advertising designers. As a result, even the need for multiple regional versions of a single campaign can be accomplished with relative ease. By doing this, retailers can sustain the best possible customer experience, using only the current, trusted product information in the customer’s chosen medium.

Finally, using a well-integrated PIM and DAM approach accelerates a retailer’s go-to-market strategy for marketing campaigns. Critical workflows, including print versioning and mobile app updates, can be automated with LAGO, allowing designers to explore new strategic opportunities. LAGO can also be integrated with enterprise and cloud-based enterprise resource planning or ERP systems, further optimising and automating large retailers’ national or international operations. Also, since most databases are already highly customized and burdened with legacy code, the LAGO API gives a retailer’s IT department a decided edge in creating a robust, enterprise-wide, single source of truth.

Ultimately, the proof of any retail marketing campaign is how well it resonates with the individual consumer. In the age of big data, there is no shortage of available information – about the customer, their preferences, and the products themselves. Amid that immense sea of data, only a trusted, single source like LAGO can help the retailer create that optimum customer experience.

LAGO Product Information Management

Learn more about our LAGO PIM and how we can help you organise your product information efficiently.

Why Digital Asset Management matters

Why Digital Asset Management matters

Does everyone on your team have the same access to all the assets they need to do their job? What about your third-party collaborators or your remote team members?

Here’s a fact:

In one study examining how digital assets are managed, 54 percent of survey respondents reported using Google Image Search to locate their own company logo.

Managing assets like photos, PDFs, and videos isn’t as easy as it sounds when your organization requires multiple teams to collaborate on content creation and publishing. At its best, this collaboration needs to be optimized with software to ensure that their sales team, for example, always finds the latest version of a file, like a logo, at the right size and resolution.

This is where Digital Asset Management comes in. So, what does this kind of tool do—and why does it matter? Here’s a look at what Digital Asset Management can do for you and your team.

What can you and your organization do with a DAM solution?

  • Share files via a cloud-based platform at any time and from any place
  • Organize all of your digital assets in a centralized location
  • Collaborate, share, and create content from a single set of shared updated assets
  • Empower your team and your third-party partners to locate assets quickly and easily
  • Manage rich media like audio files, videos, and high-quality images
  • Keep everyone on the same page regarding branding and current versioning
  • Streamline digital publishing and distribution
  • Track which assets are being used and when, assign metadata to each asset, and understand how your content is being used

With a Digital Asset Management solution, everyone is on the same page within your internal teams and when working with outside vendors and other partners. For example, your creative team and marketing, sales, packaging, technology, and legal teams have access to the same assets. Moreover, sharing these assets with external users like agencies, distributors, and other collaborators is easier and more secure.

Why it matters: The benefits of utilizing a DAM solution

The demands of today’s digital landscape are constantly increasing. As brands look for ways to make the most of their content and the lifecycle of their digital assets, Digital Asset Management offers myriad benefits shaping how these assets are used.

  • Rich in Metadata: Metadata is the perfect opportunity to bring order to chaos. A system of assigning keywords and other metadata makes it easier to find assets later. It tracks important information embedded alongside each asset, including copyright and licensure dates, technical specifications, origin, keywords, and more. At a glance, you (and your team) can manage your asset metadata and know if the asset you are viewing is up-to-date and usable, which campaigns it’s been used for already, how it’s been used, and who created it.
  • Advanced Search Capabilities: An effective Digital Asset Management solution means your entire organization can explore your digital assets in new ways via advanced search capabilities. Using a traditional file storage system, you might only be able to search for files based on their file name or date—but a DAM gives you the power to use filters, categories, subcategories, keywords, collections, and more to find what you need.
  • Control Who Has Access: One of the essential features of a DAM system associated with asset governance is that the platform makes it simple to manage who has access to your assets. Administrators have control to establish how different users from different groups interact with your company’s assets and even track who uses or makes changes to assets—and when. A DAM solution allows you to set separate access rights for creators, sales and marketing teams, and even third-party collaborators. Hence, everyone has access to what they need, and you can limit access to all your other assets to keep them secure, protected, and used only for the proper use cases.
  • Manage Security: Outdated file-sharing methods don’t give you the same level of security over our assets the same way Digital Asset Management does, and more labor-intensive file-sharing wastes valuable time. DAM systems boost your cybersecurity strategies, storing everything securely to protect your assets and ensure your entire organization is adhering to the regulations or guidelines you must follow for digital rights management. You also save time because your teams don’t have to waste time establishing access permissions—because it’s already done for you. In addition, DAM simplifies secure sharing without the time and hassle of encryption or file transfer protocols (FTP).
  • Uphold Your Brand Reputation: Thanks to a single, centralized repository for all your assets, you can rest easy knowing that everyone on your team will use the most updated version of all your assets. You don’t run the same risk as someone using a low-quality or low-resolution asset or an outdated asset that no longer fits with your current branding. Everyone is working from the same page. The result is consistent output and strong branding from everyone on your team to present a professional, consistent image.
  • Save Time and Money: Employing a Digital Asset Management solution saves you valuable time and resources. How? As you create and use new assets, you risk misplacing files. Then time is spent searching for—and sometimes even recreating—these assets simply because they aren’t easily accessible. But this doesn’t happen when assets are stored in a DAM solution. Instead, you create an asset once, which can be published anywhere. As a result, a DAM platform streamlines your processes, quickens your time to market, and simplifies collaboration.
  • Take Advantage of Analytics: How are your assets performing? How often are they getting used? With an intuitive DAM solution, you can access all kinds of analytics about where your assets are going, who is using them, and which assets are used the most. It shows you what kinds of assets are most useful to your brand—and paints a picture of the most beneficial assets to create moving forward.
  • Work From Anywhere: Because DAM software is accessible from any web browser, your team can utilize your brand’s assets from wherever they are. There’s no waiting to access files from an office computer or for someone to set up a secure FTP; everything is securely stored in the cloud to keep your work in motion.

The importance of governance in Digital Asset Management

When managing your assets, governance is one of the most significant benefits of using a Digital Asset Management tool. Governance is an essential strategy to keep track of your ever-growing library. Asset governance is about establishing and evolving standards, policies, and best practices for how you plan to manage it all as an organization. This not only includes the assets themselves but also everything surrounding these assets, including:

  • The people who use them
  • The processes of how different assets are used
  • The technologies your organization uses

Establishing a well-defined governance plan gives you a clear path to move forward in managing your assets and sets you up for success with implementing a DAM platform. It sets the information, guidelines, and policies to keep your DAM running smoothly.

Why does this matter?

On the one hand, a clear definition of policies will help you use a DAM system optimally and securely. In addition, these guidelines can be a helpful guide for adjusting your operations in general, since a critical part of DAM management involves optimizing a continuous and collaborative workflow with your entire team.

Governance can be an oft-overlooked part of setting up or maintaining a DAM system. After all, in establishing your organization’s DAM platform, you’re already thinking about systems configurations, user permissions and access, taxonomy, metadata, and legal compliance – not to mention training everyone who will use the DAM solution.

But DAM governance is just as important as the nuts and bolts of it all. Think of it like the rulebook for your favorite board game. While you might have all the right playing pieces, the dice, and the cards to get started, the rules – in this case, your governance structure – help you keep things moving.

Your organization’s governance structure may include considerations like:

  • What kinds of assets belong in the DAM
  • Who has access, what they have access to, and what they can do with it
  • What naming conventions will you use organization-wide
  • What metadata standards and requirements do you have
  • How to handle versioning
  • What licensing and compliance requirements do you need to consider
  • How to communicate changes and updates with users
  • How to handle expired assets and how to archive out-of-date assets

Making things pretty DAM simple

Comosoft’s LAGO DAM solution is the ultimate in Digital Asset Management: It’s powerful, easy to use, and a media-neutral repository to keep your brand’s most valuable digital files, images, and videos secure and usable.

Thanks to an expansive, standards-compliant approach to metadata, LAGO by Comosoft takes the burden of asset management off your team so they can focus on more important tasks. Together, you can import and maintain assets in one secure, central location, manage access, stay compliant with brand guidelines, and help everyone be more collaborative and productive.

Plus, LAGO eliminates time-consuming requests and asset silos through collaborative workflow tools that enable you to create, edit, revise, and approve print and digital marketing communications all from the same place with the most updated assets. In fact, LAGO automatically updates active media campaigns whenever assets are updated or replaced to make your work more efficient than ever. Are you ready to see LAGO in action? Book a demo today!

LAGO Digital Asset Management

Curious now? Find out more about the DAM system of LAGO.

The 9 biggest trends in print publishing

The 9 biggest trends in print publishing

Catalogs, print media, and direct mail flyers can be powerful tools to connect with your target audience. After all:

Even in our digital economy, print marketing is incredibly effective. Around 44 percent of consumers will visit a company’s website after receiving a direct mailer, catalog, or magazine.

Print marketing, magazines, and catalogs are making a comeback in 2023 and beyond, but the strategies for these formats look very different than they did years ago. Here’s an inside look at what trends are rising to the top and catching the eye of today’s consumers.

1.   Sewn binding

Brands looking to make their mark are finding significant differentiation in the look and feel of their catalogs and print media by opting for all kinds of binding.

On the one hand, some brands use hand-sewn binding to evoke a feeling of something unique and handcrafted; recipients of these catalogs can get the sense that they are lucky to have come across something so rare. On the other hand, a sewn binding feels as though artisans handled it and gives off the sense of the culture and history of a brand. In many cases, this can help establish a strong connection between the brand and the consumer. Post Press Magazine even suggests selecting contrasting threads to highlight this feature.

Brands wishing to share their unique history, artistry, and attention to detail are choosing sewn binding more and more frequently lately.

2.   Upscale binding

Conversely, other brands are choosing high-end binding. With this option, their print media can feel just as memorable. Instead of the handcrafted feel of sewn binding, high-end binding makes a catalog or printed marketing magazine feel like a coffee table book; it’s a piece that’s meant to be savored and cherished.

For this kind of hard-case binding, the case might be covered in some material or even embellished with hot foil stamping. Another popular binding trend making the rounds today is Swiss binding, in which the text block is glued to the outside back cover so that, from the outside, the catalog looks like a casebound book. Upon opening a Swiss-bound magazine, the spine is revealed and may be sewn or saddle stitched.

For brands looking to put luxury on display, high-end binding options are an extra element to make the tactile experience of leafing through a catalog or magazine feel more personal to the brand identity.

3.   Personalization

An increasing number of consumers crave personalization from their user experiences, marketing, digital environments, and more. Forbes shared that 80 percent of today’s consumers only shop with brands that provide a personalized experience.

But personalization in catalogs, magazines, and print media? Is that really happening?

It is – at a quickening pace. Personalized content is more important than ever before. This kind of custom printing means having the solutions to craft countless customized experiences in the same publication. That means:

  • Understanding your audience’s needs, wants, and priorities, as well as what they find motivating or engaging.
  • Having the tools on hand to keep your workflow and collaboration flexible and agile while keeping track of customer needs as they evolve.
  • Creating a magazine with the experience in mind, balancing large-scale appeal with personal touches.

Post Press Magazine quickly points out that nobody wants to receive irrelevant marketing materials like coupons, catalogs, or emails. Personalization today enables brands to take custom printing beyond just mail merges with solutions like variable data printing, supported by a robust pool of customer data and detailed analytics.

4.   Adding some luster with foil

Many brands lately are choosing to enhance their catalogs and magazines with the metallic sheen of foil stamping and printing. This trendy option can make catalogs feel sleek, modern, and upscale.

You’re not wrong if you feel like you’ve seen shimmer and foil for a while now. But, of course, foil stamping has been popular for quite some time. Still, with new print technologies emerging and becoming more accessible, a whole new range of options is available to enhance magazines and catalogs with a touch of extra luster.

Thanks to these new print technologies, popularity and interest in this glamorous look have been resurgent. Foil printing and stamping options include hot and cold foil, metalized substrates, and digital foil.

The result? No matter your budget or price point, you can add an element of sheen and shimmer to your next printing to make a strong brand statement and catch the eye of your target audience.

5.   Offline media to invite your audiences online

There’s nothing like the feeling of leafing through an artfully designed magazine or catalog, but what’s the next step? Tactile experiences are meaningful, but how can you continue to keep your audiences engaged?

Print catalogs and magazines can significantly impact sales—even for eCommerce brands. In fact, 57 percent of consumers prefer print catalogs over their digital counterparts. Moreover, 69 percent of consumers have paged through a printed catalog for information before purchasing online.

In other words, print media is still relevant to boosting sales in our digital marketplace. Even so, magazines and catalogs today are essential tools brands can use to invite their customers online, where you can collect consumer data, reinvigorate marketing efforts, and help solve their problems in new ways. Some of the trend’s brands are using to encourage their catalog-loving customers to go online include:

  • QR codes to take customers to a direct page or even make a direct purchase
  • Image recognition apps to pull up product information without QR codes
  • Including website URLs and links on each page
  • Printing contact information and website information clearly on the back cover

6.   Telling a story

How can you get customers to return to a magazine or catalog, flip through the pages again, and savor every page? By taking a storytelling approach.

Household names like NASA, GoPro, Airbnb, and Bonobos use visual storytelling to build an emotional connection with their audiences. Bonobos, in particular, has leaned into the storytelling surrounding the lifestyle of their brand, centering their storytelling around golf.

After sharing the design philosophy and love for the heritage of gold early in the catalog, the following pages are all devoted to linking the golf lifestyle to their clothing, even shooting the photos in an actual golf club and displaying images of active golf swings from page to page.

The result? Their customers see the product in action. They experience the story behind the clothes and the life they could live while wearing them, not just the clothes themselves.

7.   Becoming one with nature

In a time when 75 percent of millennials say that they would pay more for a brand that centers around sustainability, an increasing number of brands are putting their efforts on display, making nature a core element of their print media messaging.

This means wood grain texture, earthy colors, and natural elements are heavily incorporated into the design, celebrating and appreciating the planet. This all-natural trend is showing up everywhere, from interior design to fashion and merchandising, and the popularity of this concept is showing up in print and catalog marketing.

Not only does the prevalence of natural elements suggest a commitment to sustainability and love for the earth, but these elements are also timeless, elegant, and aspirational for true nature lovers and would-be outdoorsy types alike.

8.   Unique discounts from cover to cover

Emails and newsletters are still popular ways to market to customers, target new audiences, and track consumer activities. Still, marketers are finding ways to follow behaviors and appeal to deal-seeking shoppers through catalogs and magazines.

To get the most out of catalogs and magazines, marketers place unique discount codes within the pages of their print media. The benefits are twofold:

  • They motivate casual shoppers to make a purchase online.
  • They gather invaluable marketing information to discover their marketing materials’ performance.

This strategy is a great way to discern what actions real customers are taking and their preferences. With this direct feedback, you can make data-driven predictions about what products and services your customers are interested in.

9.   High-Quality paper

When promoting your brand, your choices are a statement of your focus on quality, so your brand stands out from the competition. These choices include everything from the quality of your logo and pictures, ensuring they aren’t blurry and pixelated, to how print media is bound. And when it comes to print, quality also includes your choice of paper: the texture, weight, feel, and sheen of it.

It’s estimated that the average American consumer receives 41 pounds of unsolicited mail every year – per person. The result of all this mail? Unfortunately, these print catalogs and magazines feel like an afterthought and are often discarded or recycled immediately. But quality print media speaks to the quality of the brand. It feels good and inspires recipients to flip through the pages more.

Comosoft: Keeping you current

LAGO by Comosoft is a marketing automation tool that makes it simpler than ever to foster a collaborative workflow (in real-time), store data and assets in a single, secure repository accessible from anywhere, and manage everything from print marketing to point-of-sale in the same place.

Comosoft LAGO is an inclusive marketing production solution with integrated Product Information Management (PIM) and Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems. In addition, it comes complete with integrated workflow collaboration support, versioning optimization, and a proofing system.

With LAGO, creating print magazines and catalogs is easy and efficient, saving you time and money that you can invest in things like paper quality, foil printing, binding, and more. In addition, by collaborating in real-time, your media can be as up to date as desired, empowering you to stay ahead of the latest print marketing trends.