Case study - A digital asset management software company


The context

Our client produces digital asset management software for businesses which provides a user-friendly way of managing, storing and accessing all types of digital files. They sold direct to businesses in the UK and had organically developed some relationships with distributors in other countries.

For many organisations, these digital assets are primary assets and need to be managed and protected from misuse whilst making them easily accessible to those that need them.

Digital asset management software does this job for them, helping businesses to centralise, manage and control their digital content. The importance of managing digital assets is well established and understood across the media sector and within the marketing departments of any business. However, it also plays a vital role in many other sectors including health, defence and security, engineering and architecture, tourism, gaming and research.

Value-added resellers (VARs) have emerged offering services that extend the software with sector-specific application development, system integration, hosting services or the provision of higher level services such as design or photography for example. VARs play a significant role in the sale and use of digital asset management software and so are important for DAM vendors entering new markets.

Client objectives

Expand its international sales by identifying a low number of high-quality VARs to approach directly to enter the North American market.

The market intelligence problem

The market was very specialist and there were few sources of intelligence on providers of digital asset management software and their channels to market.

As with any digital solution, there are a wide range of competitors, some who offer similar solutions to our client but many others who offer similar features and benefits but delivered differently – from fully cloud-based solutions through to modules ready for system integrators to install on enterprise platforms. Other larger competitors offer digital asset management as only one part of their wider proposition.

There are a wide range of channels to market for DAM producers and these differ in importance from market to market. As an example, the role of the VARs was more important in North America compared to Europe where direct sales were more dominant. Our client needed to understand what this meant for how they developed and positioned their product.

The Marketvista Dataset and Research

The intelligence we delivered:

  • Provided a clear understanding of the existing value chain within North America and the role of VARs in this market
  • Identified 6 prospective VARs to achieve a soft entry into North America, down selected from over 130
  • Informed the product development roadmap to add critical features offered by the client’s largest competitors that would be attractive to both VARs and their customers

Overcoming the market intelligence problem

Identifying the full range of competitors

We developed detailed profiles of potential competitors and partners, and their products using an iterative method. Initial desk research generated profiles of our client, our client’s resellers and their initial list of competitors. This was supplemented by our own data on wider competitors. Each competitor’s full range of functions and features were assessed and categorised and a profile of “key terms” were developed.

We used automated search technology to find any organisation that strongly matched these profiles. The results were manually assessed to identify any new key terms so that each time we ran the automated search our net was cast wider.

Finding potential VARs

Over 4,700 companies were identified and assessed, of which 391 were profiled to provide the client with a shortlist of 6 representing the most likely candidates to contact.

The Marketvista Dataset

We built a dataset from the ground-up, combining results from the initial review of over 4,700 companies and extending this by capturing structured intelligence about them and their products from their websites and other published sources.

The Marketvista Dataset contained:

  • Profiles of competitors offering digital asset management solutions including their locations, their sector targets, their sales partners and published client lists
  • Assessment of the benefits of competing solutions across 18 categories of function and 158 types of feature available in each of the software applications
  • The number of distributors, VARs and other channels to market for digital asset management solutions including their locations, sales reach and details of any value-added features and services offered
  • Names, locations, roles and contact details for key relationship managers at prospective VARs

Potential VARs were very varied. They ranged from the obvious photographic studios and digital agencies in traditional markets, through museum and gallery solution providers, to specialist systems integrators focused on specific sectors e.g. engineering or health.

Tracing the competitors use of different VARs in each market was a real jigsaw puzzle with 1000's of pieces of data that needed fitting together.

Analysing each digital asset management software application required experienced software analysts who review each vendors offering, understand and categorise the software functionality and identify the key elements of each of the service and delivery wrappers.



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