What companies/organizations have you worked for as a DAM professional? What was your role at each?
My Digital Asset Management experience began at Capgemini in 2008 as the DAM Solution Manager for Capgemini’s Global Marketing and Communications team, a distributed team of 700 persons in 40 countries enabling 140,000 consultants, subject matter experts, and sales professionals.
To identify our specific needs for DAM, I conducted solution discovery process, which provided us with a business case and project plan for an Enterprise-wide DAM solution. The initial focus of our DAM was to drive branding consistency while addressing delivery challenges being experienced by our marketing and sales teams with our nascent B2B video program.
Once we launched, feedback from online surveys, training sessions, 1:1 meetings, and support requests were all used to programmatically integrate DAM into marketing team processes.
How do you describe digital asset management to others?
For a lot of people, Digital Asset Management is a solution that they may not be familiar with by name, but will understand once you start explaining the concepts behind it. Practically speaking, a DAM is a library of your media assets built to your specifications. Leveraging Digital Asset Management drives consistent brand and content strategies because assets are clearly organized and accessible. DAM delivers ROI through the reuse and repurposing of existing content in new ways.
How did you learn DAM? Any recommended sources?
I came to be a DAM Solution Manager out of necessity—DAM was the best way for us to deliver heavy assets like video to a global distributed team. Throughout my time in this role, I drew upon my previous workplace experiences in agencies, pulling the best practices and learned lessons from how each team would organize its content to suit their needs. The DAM field was smaller 8 years ago than it is now, so I spent a lot of time scouring online articles and whatever thought leadership I could find from the application developers of the day.
If I were starting now, I would begin with a great book called ‘Digital Asset Management: Content Architectures, Project Management, and Creating Order out of Media Chaos’ by Elizabeth Ferguson Keathley. Take a look at meetup.com for DAM and content strategy groups in your area. Also check out the Henry Stewart DAM Conferences which are very good for gaining new knowledge and a chance to network with national-level peers.
What’s the most important thing for someone new to DAM to understand about DAM?
Digital Asset Management is just one of many tools in your kit. You need to know why you want to leverage DAM as part of your workflow landscape. Before researching the technologies, understand your organization’s culture and how your team goes about creating and organizing potential assets. From there, think about how DAM can solve the challenges in your organization when used as part of your workflows through integrations with other communication and content creation tools.
What is your ongoing greatest challenge with DAM?
Building a user culture after launch. Having the right technology in place is important. But to really make DAM implementation successful, a three-part approach is needed:
- Identify your power users. They can help evangelize and council their colleagues on how to get most out of DAM and give them the content and support need to do it even better.
- Build reporting around keyword usage, asset types, record creation, and download activity to see where content generation and interest occurs within your user community. Where you see clusters happening, approach those teams and learn more about what is peaking their activity and discuss how DAM can support and expand it.
- Run user surveys to identify pain points and feature requests. These can be integrated into a solution roadmap that you can make part of your budget cycle and validate with your stakeholders to mature your DAM offering.
What is your vision for DAM? What will it look like in 5 years?
Successful DAM solutions will see the mainstreaming of application ecosystems to support many different physical and digital outcomes. Designers will be able to easily work with creative software suites from within the DAM and be able to save their files while they work and collaborate from within the solution. Publishers will be leveraging historical archives and establishing ‘Create Once, Publish Everywhere’ or COPE workflows, supported by open standards, APIs, and application-specific integrations. This approach will require more sophisticated connections from DAM to web analytic tools for effective reporting on content usage, social media shares, and lead generation.
What was your biggest success with regard to DAM?
Making DAM invisible to the go-to-market delivery of marketing materials by leveraging APIs to integrate the Capgemini’s DAM solution into the organization’s go-to-market workflows. Here are 2 examples:
- First by leveraging the DAM API to allow a CMS pull an XML feed into the application and populate content. The DAM is searchable through the CMS, allowing a video to be embedded using the CMS’ HTML5 video player. The page editor does not know the file is residing on a Amazon Web Services server, they just insert the content they need and continue on with their editorial workflow. We started offering this an option in 2012. By 2014, 325K video impressions were made on the Capgemini intranet.
- Secondly, accessing an external API to push DAM content into social media. For example, we integrated YouTube’s API with our DAM to make the delivery go-to-market video content as seamless and painless as possible. Capgemini’s video approval process was already leveraging the DAM application to manage content and legal sign off with stakeholders. This was a logical conclusion to our existing processes. To drive consistency, we mine the title, description and keyword of the DAM record in the publishing process and a YouTube URL is written back to the DAM record. In 2014, 400 videos were published on YouTube averaging over 1000 views each—which is really good in a niche marketing space like B2B technology services.