MED-EL is a leading provider of hearing implant systems with headquarters in Innsbruck, Austria. The products of MED-EL are currently used in 134 countries worldwide. The family-owned company is dedicated to overcoming hearing loss as a barrier to communication and quality of life.

HeadquartersInnsbruck, Austria
Active in134 countries worldwide
The headquarters of MED-EL.

The family-owned company MED-EL is dedicated to overcoming hearing loss as a barrier to communication and quality of life. As surgical interventions are unavoidable, especially with implantable hearing solutions, a great deal of education — a core topic of the company’s marketing — must be provided to ease possible fears of those affected and explain the solutions’ benefits. Accordingly, collateral materials for MED-EL products are available in various languages and versions; the company website alone is available in 40+ country-specific versions.

Ingo Steinacker is the Senior Marketing Manager, Creative Services of MED-EL’s corporate marketing department. He is responsible for B2C and B2B communications, including providing materials in various versions and languages to partners in the global sales network. Ingo Steinacker and his team rely on Canto as their digital asset management (DAM) system, ensuring that the right materials go directly to the right recipients.

Mr. Steinacker, what kind of materials and files do you manage through Canto?

We primarily use Canto to store, manage, and share marketing materials such as brochures and flyers about our hearing solutions. We often create these in multiple versions because different approval requirements may apply depending on the destination country. It’s a very complex undertaking.

In addition, we distribute all the graphic elements and building blocks needed for external communications through Canto. Our Canto media library houses our entire image database. We also store videos, presentations, and internal documents that marketing requires for the respective context in Canto.

Screenshot of Canto in use at MED-EL.

Which departments work with Canto at your company?

The marketing department implemented the DAM system at MED-EL. All employees can access the assets directly through Canto or one of the many integrations. Other departments that create assets for external communications have been added to Canto as contributors.

The past year has shown that the implementation of Canto has been a tremendous success. We currently have 40 contributors – primarily employees at our headquarters involved in creating content and saving their digital assets into the system.

Users with similar rights in various sales organizations may also contribute local assets. We’re also expanding the system to include two more departments that want to make their full range of materials accessible through portals in Canto.

So you’re also using Canto portals. How many in total, and in what way?

Yes. Canto Portals have been well received overall because users find them so convenient. The Portals also make it possible to guide users toward content and help them find the right asset among the wealth of material.

At MED-EL, only contributors are given direct access to the main library in Canto. All other users can access assets through a branded main portal. More than 500 users can find an optimized selection of assets from the main library.

This includes the full range of print materials we keep as web-optimized PDF files. On the other hand, this makes the bulk of our image database available to employees via the portal so they can independently design their presentations and documents with compelling visuals. The main Portal has been very well received by our users.

Besides our main Portal, we have set up a second Portal for our distributor network. Our distributor Portal provides our marketing materials directly to our worldwide network of distributors. This has sped up the process significantly, as the assets don’t have to be passed down through intermediaries but come directly from our company.

With this new distribution option, we also get a good overview of the performance of individual assets in different countries. We can see what’s needed, what’s used in what country, and which version is used.

Screenshot of a Canto Brand Portal at MED-EL.

Do you use reporting to track what’s been downloaded in different countries or areas? Do you also use the reporting for strategic planning?

Yes, we use the reporting intensively. The figures from Canto help us assess how well the DAM system is received and used internally. We also use the data on individual assets and content types to design the Portal landing page so that relevant assets can be located as effortlessly as possible.

We also use the data from Canto when deciding whether to continue offering a particular piece of collateral. Still, many other factors go into that assessment as well, the performance of an asset is just one of the criteria we look at.

Overall, the information we’ve gained from the reporting is very beneficial to us. The reporting in Canto is much more advanced than in its predecessor, Cumulus.

So you were already using Cumulus?

Yes, at the time, the application gave us precisely the functionality we needed. But maintaining the infrastructure became a problem. It was a tedious task for our IT department because updating required IT resources. Depending on internal priorities, this would often lead to long waiting periods between the release of the software and its deployment at our company.

Since Canto is a SaaS solution, we’ve now been able to eliminate this task, which is a significant relief for everyone involved. And it ensures that we always have access to the latest software features and bug fixes.

Ingo Steinacker, Senior Marketing Manager at MED-EL.

My team can't even imagine working without a DAM system.

Ingo SteinackerSenior Marketing Manager, MED-EL

Where do you see the advantages of a DAM system?

For me, digital asset management systems are a must-have for companies above a certain size. I’ve experienced how my team spent half the day processing emails with image requests. These needed to be converted in Photoshop first then sent back via email, only to be told that the entire image needed to be replaced or that the attachment was too large and could not be delivered.

Such inefficient processes waste resources and create a lot of frustration for everyone. There is a massive loss of time because the assets existed, but not everyone could access them. In most cases, allowing self-service, i.e., independent search and retrieval, is the optimal solution.

My team and I can now focus more on training employees and making them understand that we are all collectively responsible for maintaining brand consistency, making our brand’s look and feel and experiences consistent. The time we save is used to create and refine our brand templates and guidelines, which are made available through Canto.

Even though employees still occasionally claim they can’t find certain assets, it’s much easier for us now than before because we can put together a collection and link to it instead of making the assets available via another cloud storage. My team can’t imagine working without a DAM system.

Can you estimate how much time Canto saves you monthly or weekly?

Without the support of a system like Canto, the distribution of assets alone would be impossible for our team to handle manually. So, we save a lot of time here. But the system also needs to be maintained, and employees must constantly be trained — without that time investment, even the best DAM system is useless.

What’s good about Canto is that we can scale the distribution without additional effort, and that’s worth its weight in gold, especially for a company like MED-EL which is constantly expanding worldwide.

Want to see how much you could be saving with a DAM solution? Try Canto’s ROI calculator and find out.

We’ve seen substantial time savings when supplying assets to other platforms via Canto and its API. This way, assets only need to be maintained once in a centralized location. In addition to the time saved, the integrations give us more consistency and better data quality — a key criterion that makes Canto indispensable for us.

The headquarters of MED-EL.

Do you use integrations, for example, for Adobe InDesign?

We generally use the integrations in Canto, such as the Adobe Connector. It was one of the reasons we chose Cumulus as our DAM originally. To be efficient, assets must be available without detours or additional tools within the applications where they’re being worked on.

Do you have a favorite feature in Canto?

I like the possibilities that Portals open up. But my absolute feature highlight is that we can provide our videos with baked-in subtitles. We have a lot of tutorials and explainer videos that show how our devices work. These are sometimes produced with a voiceover and made available as a new asset. More frequently, we create language and country versions, but with subtitles. This allows for faster translations, on the one hand. You also have to keep in mind that a large part of our target audience are hearing impaired or deaf. This makes subtitles a minimum requirement for every video.

Screenshot showing a video in the Canto library of MED-EL.

Thanks to the soft subtitles in Canto, we’ve solved a considerable problem internally by eliminating the need to extrapolate each video version manually. We can add multiple subtitle tracks to the videos in Canto. The employees can decide if they want the subtitle track burned directly into the video when downloading it and in which language.

Thank you very much for the interview.