Get Out of Your Own Way: Understanding the Digital Asset Opportunity

Get Out of Your Own Way: Understanding the Digital Asset Opportunity

The adoption of extended reality (XR) is a growing need for many businesses today, but it’s also important to understand how it works and what is required before jumping right in. One major factor in that decision is the role of 3D digital assets. Case in point: every organization has digital assets today, yet most companies have not optimized the opportunity to leverage their digital assets with consistency. Augmented or virtual reality and metaverse experiences are defined by the quality of their content. Is the imagery realistic? Is it immersive? Is it engaging? This applies whether you are talking about video games, movies, commercial planning applications or virtual commerce and brand experiences.

Nearly all organizations have 2D images of their products, marketing materials, in-store displays, and more. Some have robust 3D content libraries. Best-in-class companies today have embedded the use of extended reality or metaverse solutions into their planning and operations in several different ways. However, optimized usage of digital assets may be the biggest missed opportunity for companies today as they work to build out their extended reality and metaverse roadmaps.

Today, we’ll discuss some of the top self-induced challenges that we see with companies and how they can capitalize on their digital assets.

  • Lack of a clear content library. One of the foundational errors we see among our clients is a lack of a universally shared and structured content library. Images are often managed across functions within companies, and many times different groups rely on different images. Image quality, file type, and even origination are real elements that must be understood when an image is used internally or externally. With consistency, we find that individuals or groups within companies may keep their own libraries and classify the details of images independently.In addition, through attrition or promotion, many assets can be lost over time. As there is no documented summary of existing 2D or 3D content, no one knows what exists and doesn’t, nor what needs to be updated or revised. This is a significant inefficiency in almost every organization that must be remedied. There are significant cost implications, but it absorbs significant employee time as they search for or recreate what they might need day-to-day.
  • Lack of cross-functional communication. Between AI and other tech solutions, creating 3D content has never been easier. So, when employees think there is value in presenting something in 3D or virtually, they do. But if there is no established shared content library, many times these assets aren’t being shared across the organization—leading to missed opportunities to utilize existing assets. Sometimes, it leads to groups paying for the same items multiple times across the organization. Even more concerning, we see companies sharing assets externally that might be conflicting. An eCommerce or sales team, for example, might use product images that are outdated because they used what they had on hand, even if updated images exist elsewhere.
  • Disjointed software utilization. This concept builds off the broader lack of communication. With new image platforms, 3D content providers, and metaverse solutions popping up daily, companies often do not have standards set through their technology teams as well. Anyone who wants to invest in software or 3D assets can, and very few of these platforms have been designed to work nicely with other platforms. If you build something in Sketchup, it might not be convertible in a new tool. For virtual and metaverse experiences, many are based on the Unity platform, so flat 3D assets that aren’t immersive need to be recreated.

The reality is that the root cause of the key obstacles that companies face in optimizing the use of their digital assets is themselves. Many times, organizations get in their own way. A lack of structured documentation and communication across the organization leads to limited awareness of what’s available. In addition, if groups aren’t talking and employees don’t know what assets exist or what software is being used, then companies end up investing in the same things over and over again. They miss out on the opportunity to use their assets in new and value-added ways that help the company’s bottom line.

That leads to the biggest obstacle that companies face in using their digital assets:

  • A lack of creativity or knowledge of what else is possible. 2D assets can be used to create 3D assets with the right software. 3D product images might have been created for a marketing campaign, but that could be repurposed for eCommerce, planogram planning, and even virtual shopper insights. The possibilities to utilize digital content continue to evolve and expand. But  if you don’t get a handle on your content library and communicate that out to your organization, companies will never optimize the usage of an incredibly valuable set of assets.

So what is the solution? Leveraging technology to help organize digital asset libraries into one cohesive repository is a start. Going further, there is real opportunity to adopt a strategy that not only allows for the organization and storage of digital content, but can then be used to create 3D, virtual or augmented experiences for better consumer insights and engagement.

If you are interested in learning more about how you can audit and assess if you are optimizing your digital content, please reach out to InContext.

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