Three Scary Things That Can Happen Without a DAM Solution

Oct 31, 2019


Article ImageIt was a dark and stormy night. You’re lying wide awake at 3 a.m., petrified. Not because of the moaning in the trees outside…but because you just realized you forgot to confirm usage rights for 75 product photos.

The ones you sent out earlier today.

To your company’s 3,000-member global sales force.

Nothing strikes terror into the hearts of digital asset administrators, production designers, marketing managers, or content specialists like incorrect, poorly organized or noncompliant digital assets. Everything from proper logo usage to corporate sales success depends on graphics, videos, product images, and other forms of content that are current, legal, complete, and deployed in a timely manner.

The legends of failure have been told and retold. And they get more frightening with each retelling:

Tale of the Lost Files

An insurance company once had tens of thousands of files — photos, videos, illustrations, audio files, documents, and more — spread across 12 different networks and thousands of hard drives, with no naming convention in place. Two young employees were given the job of finding the assets necessary for an upcoming sales meeting. They were never heard from again.

The Image Request Apocalypse 

One day an independent retailer needed a product image. She submitted the request to the vendor’s sales team, who sent it to the marketing coordinator. Marketing responded with questions about size, resolution, and lead time. Marketing then filled out a creative request with the necessary information. The creative team took seven days to find the image in the archive, resize it, and send it to the marketing manager, who sent it to the sales rep, who forwarded it to the retailer who needed the image — for a customer that has since made the purchase elsewhere.

My Administrative Nightmare 

Your biggest competitor just debuted their new fashion line on its website. Your company’s new line is ready as well — only it’s going live with two-year-old product photos and videos that were mistakenly posted, because the package from the Milan photoshoot got misfiled. By the time things are cleared up, your career future looks like “The Walking Dead.” 

DAM Can Help You Avoid a Nightmare

Nearly everyone has their favorite scary story to tell. Such yarns have become less frequent, however, since the proliferation of DAM (digital asset management). DAM systems allow users to create, manage, distribute, and analyze digital assets from a central repository. They bring order to the chaos and end the descent into content management hell.

A DAM solution makes it easy to subdue the digital content monster. Typically, its capabilities include ingestion, storage, retrieval, collaboration, and lifecycle management. Library services allow users to create, retrieve, and organize assets, using guided search and navigation features. The system supports metadata and taxonomy management and can include AI-based tagging. It provides workflows for marketing review and approval, lifecycle and rights management, and helps users to distribute correct assets to outside parties. The best DAM systems even offer performance analytics to improve platform usage.

A DAM system is essential to move from a reactive, ad hoc mode, in which asset management lacks organizational focus, to a dedicated, strategic, and ultimately distinguished environment where teams operate efficiently, and stakeholders are aligned. Done correctly, people, processes, and platforms unite and adjust nimbly at scale, to take advantage of market opportunities and digital innovations. Next-gen aspirations like real-time campaigns and virtual content generation suddenly become possible.

Successful DAM organizations typically have a DAM administrator who, depending on the complexity and maturity of the need, devotes from 20% to 100% of their time to maintaining and promoting the platform. Often a formalized training program for new users is also in place. The organization develop a formalized process for how assets are uploaded and tagged, and how users are managed. Process maps of common DAM workflows are developed and implemented to govern activity by internal and external users.

On the technology side, organizations develop a dynamic library that is integrated into content creation and distribution workflows. They curate portals for delivery of personalized content; finally, they measure and track business performance and value.

How do you create this happy ending? Your DAM provider should be able to help with consulting and training, as well as strategy design and process improvement workshops. They can assist with design services for customer dashboards and portals, and even help with change management, as your organization begins its journey to better asset management. The resources and technologies are available. Take a look — before long, you too can exorcise the demons from your creative assets.


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