Digital marketing is an ever-evolving field. As a result, marketers face constant challenges. One of the challenges is the usage of different software. With so many sources of data and different tools being used, it can be easy to lose track of the information that you need to effectively market your business. 

This is where a software asset management tool (SAM) steps in. 

In this article, we’ll deep-dive into:

  • What exactly is software asset management
  • Reasons why you need a software asset management for your digital marketing 
  • Whether you require a software asset management team  

So, let’s start exploring:

Tell me about software asset management

Let’s explain SAM to you in layman terms. Your organization makes use of software that helps in performing certain tasks in a better way. 

Software asset management ensures that there are sufficient tools available to carry out tasks effectively. It also helps in avoiding purchasing tools that do not add significant value. 

Software asset management includes: 

  • Ensuring the software is performing according to the expectations
  • Maintaining software licenses 
  • Making renewal payments
  • Managing contracts with different license companies 
  • Taking care of compliances 
  • Preparing for regular software audits 
  • Tracking software usage to help in making better decisions related to procurement and renewal
  • Controlling software spending and efficiently allocating resources 

How to select a software asset management tool 

If you’ve figured out that your organization needs to have an effective software asset management tool, the next step of selecting the right tool is essential. 

You must be wondering why this step is so essential? 

If you select the right software, it will help you manage all the other tools efficiently. Basically, you’ll have one tool to manage all the other tools. 

A poor choice here would mean the effect is replicated on all the other tools being used across the company. 

So, let’s discuss the essentials that a SAM tool must have: 

  • Integrations: Will the SAM tool integrate with the existing tools? Does the existing software have an open API? Integrating becomes easier if the answer is in the affirmative. 
  • Pricing: The aim is to optimize the amount spent on existing tools. If the SAM tool itself is too expensive, it renders the purpose of using a tool for budget optimization useless. 
  • Infrastructure: If the software has to be deployed in different geographical locations, the tool’s infrastructure should support it. 
  • Company Size: A SAM tool is usually not required for a small or mid-tier company. The tools can be managed using spreadsheets. However, a large company with multiple software licenses being used in different locations is better off using such a tool. 

Read more about software asset management (SAM) tools. It gives a detailed analysis – including pros, cons, features and a description – of different software asset management tools. 

Do I need software asset management for digital marketing

A software asset management helps in tracking digital assets that are becoming more complex with each passing day. Security concerns are also to be kept in mind. An employee leaving the company will be taking valuable information with them, especially if they have access to the tools. 

SAM helps in monitoring digital assets. 

Let’s assume, you’re a digital marketer looking to increase the website traffic. Part of your job role is to create landing pages that rank high on search engines. Let’s break down the process of increasing conversions into points: 

  • You’re part of a team and you’re assigned different tasks by your team lead through a project management tool such as Asana
  • One of your tasks is to create landing pages that target a specific niche, so you require keywords. To search for specific keywords with a high volume, you make use of SEMRush
  • You write content and create graphics using Illustrator
  • Your website is on WordPress, so you use Elementor Pro to create the landing page
  • You make use of the paid Yoast SEO plug-in to help create the meta titles, meta descriptions, H1,H2 tags etc. 
  • The landing page is set live and it starts ranking on search engines and visitors to the page start going up. 
  • To see how users are behaving and where they’re clicking on the webpage, you make use of a tool called Hotjar
  • Once you get the heat map of the web page, you get an idea of which call-to-actions (CTAs) receive the most clicks and how users generally scroll through the page. 
  • The CTA is a form submission that users fill to show interest in the service the website has to offer. To collect the leads through the form submission, the company makes use of a CRM tool such as HubSpot.

Do you notice the set of different tools that have to be used to carry out a specific task? Now imagine, there are various tasks – not only in the digital marketing domain – but across the company. Each department makes use of different software to carry out everyday tasks.  

Coming back to the digital marketing job role. By creating landing pages repetitively, you have now understood the process and created a step-by-step structure of how you’ll go about doing things. 

This time your task is to replicate the process, but make it more efficient in terms of cost-effectiveness. To improve the process, you go to the SAM tool to get an overview of the renewal costs of all existing tools. 

Through your SAM tool report, you realize that among all the tools, Hotjar is giving you the least value for money. The reason could be that you have cracked the way users behave when they visit the website and you no longer need to experiment with the new layout of the landing pages. To save costs, the team has to make a decision to stop the subscription of the software. 

So, how did a software asset management tool help?

  • You had a system to organize your digital assets that helped you keep things on track and get the most out of your marketing efforts. 
  • You had a clear view of all of the data associated with your business that helped in making it easier to make decisions and manage your operations more effectively. 
  • When licenses are expiring, the company can make a business decision on whether to move forward with the tool or not. 
  • The SAM serves as a repository for storing digital files – from videos to documents to images and audio – everything required for digital marketing can be accessed easily. 
  • Having the digital content in one place provides a holistic view of the marketing efforts. So, team leaders can analyze data and make decisions with ease. 

Final verdict: does software asset management really help with digital marketing

If you’re part of a big organization, then the simple answer is: it does.

A software asset management system helps you keep track of all the digital assets of the company, so that you can better manage and organize them. 

Many business owners struggle with data management because it can be a very complex and time-consuming process. Data management – especially if different tech stacks are being used – is an important part of the digital marketing process that can be simplified if software asset management is implemented. 

Read: the six degrees of digital marketing improvement

Large organizations having data silos find it difficult to manage their marketing processes effectively and deliver outcomes. The number of tools available nowadays is immense. So, each team leader has a different preference of the tool they think is the best. Without having data and/or past experience with the tool, it doesn’t make business sense to purchase licenses of new software (unless you start off with a free trial). 

A SAM tool has an app library that makes use of different methods to find the right tool that will boost your digital marketing. The discovery engine, as Zluri terms it, requires the following five methods to be kept in mind before the tool is selected:

  • Integration with apps
  • Browser extensions
  • Finance and expense management systems
  • Single sign-on (SSO)
  • Desktop agents 

In short, a good software asset management system eliminates some of the headaches associated with software management, renewals, compliance and procurement. It not only brings about a certain degree of automation to the process, but also provides a clear picture of how your company’s digital assets are performing. 

Author Bio:

Osama Zahid is a technology content strategist who is passionate about content marketing and all things SEO. He has helped various companies rank their content on the first page of search engines. In his free time, Osama loves to play football and travel.