Let’s look at a few of the portraits. They’re enough to scare the daylights out of you. This article by Jake Athey, VP of Marketing at Widen Enterprises, shares the story of a nightmare, all because digital assets were mislabeled, noncompliant, or missing altogether.
Walk with us through the gallery
Yes, it’s dimly lit, drafty, and filled with cobwebs— enough to make anyone shiver. On the walls, one faded picture after another captures moments in time: a frightening moment when a sales opportunity was missed…a presentation was late…or a production budget turned into a nightmare, all because digital assets were mislabeled, noncompliant, or missing altogether.
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Let’s look at a few of the portraits. They’re enough to scare the daylights out of you:
The Image Request Apocalypse
This one shows an independent retailer who 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 then forwarded it to the retailer who needed the image — for a sale that, by that time, had been over for two days.
The Dead-End Product Launch
Here, a marketing director for an athletic shoe company was finalizing the company’s biggest product launch yet, an effort supported by photographs, videos, collateral, social media, store imagery, VR experiences, the works. Yet with two days to go before the launch event, multiple design teams are still unable to finalize materials — all because the file-sharing tools can’t process the necessary formats. Needless to say, a portrait of chaos.
Farewell, Sweet Hard Drive
This one is a group portrait of an ad agency creative team, caught at the moment they realize the client’s digital assets — four thousand of them — are gone forever, all because a single hard drive failed. The client has filed a lawsuit seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages for the lost intellectual property. At the back of the picture, you can see the agency president — with looks that could kill.
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.
Scary usage scenarios, however, have become less frequent since the proliferation of DAM (digital asset management) technology. 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.
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A DAM solution makes it easy to end the content management mayhem. 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 platform unite and adjust nimbly and 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 develops a formalized process for how assets are uploaded and tagged, and for how users are managed. Process maps of common DAM workflows are developed and implemented to govern activity by internal and external users.
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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 will measure and track business performance and value.
How do you create this happy portrait? 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 custom 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 — and before long, your digital asset management program will be the picture of success.