Having enterprise success with digital asset management systems for multiple companies, Pearce understands the importance of always being willing to adapt and innovate to meet the needs of this industry.
What companies/organizations have you worked for as a DAM professional? What was your role at each?
I started working in Digital Asset Management as an intern at advertising agency JWT. At the time, the company was going digital and as part of an intern team I helped to transcode and compress decades of television advertisements to store on the DAM. I was eventually hired by the agency and helped to manage and organize new post-production projects. Additionally, I worked as part of a global team that helped to showcase and elevate the best of the best content produced by the agency across their network.
I also worked for retail giant Victoria’s Secret in their corporate headquarters. There I managed the ingest and trafficking of their extensive library of photography assets, direct from the photo shoot to final output on their website and in catalogues.
I am currently the Content Manager at Weber Shandwick, helping to grow the internal brand.
How do you describe digital asset management to others?
As most people aren’t quite sure what I do professionally, I usually explain my job in a simple way: “I organize content.” Content is broad term, so when I elaborate, I usually explain that by using keywords, I help to build structure around assets. The goal is to use data to help make the work our agency produces more accessible to other teams.
How did you learn DAM? Any recommended sources?
DAM wasn’t something I initially thought I would go into as a career, so most of my learning was on the job. I was fortunate to work with some other talented professionals and be part of vendor scoping and implementations. I also think that one of the key ways to be successful in this arena is to stay relevant. I am constantly staying on top of what is out there in terms of technology, vendors and idea workflows.
What’s the most important thing for someone new to DAM to understand about DAM?
Be willing to change and innovate. Technology is here to aid companies not drive how they do things. Data should help a company move forward and constantly adapt to changing needs. Not all DAM solutions are going to fit with company culture, so try not to standardize your way of doing things. You should always be prepared to evaluate what the company really needs and focus your efforts in that direction.
If you weren’t doing DAM as a career, what would you be doing?
Photographer or lawyer.
What is your ongoing greatest challenge with DAM?
I find that, especially when it comes to implementation, it’s hard to get others into the right mindset for what the ultimate goals are. I think companies tend to want a solution to help better organize their assets, but the challenge is always getting there. I think that setting expectations when you begin that journey is key. Try a staged approach. Set clear goals for your road map so that you will see success along the way.
What is your vision for DAM? What will it look like in 5 years?
I think the industry is changing, especially as cloud-based storage becomes a big priority for companies. I am hoping to see more vendors adapt to the changing environments and offer partnerships versus a service to its customers. Some of the best DAM vendors I’ve worked with recognize that they need to work with a company to develop their tool.
What was your biggest mistake with regard to DAM?
I’ve had some experiences in the past where we have tried to fit a digital asset management solution into a scenario where it was not needed. I think better discovery sessions with the teams would have helped to show that—also keeping those groups smaller with key stakeholders. A larger group can get caught in the weeds with simple customizations and lose sight of the ultimate goal.
What was your biggest success with regard to DAM?
As simple as it sounds, I think after implementing a DAM with a team for the first time and seeing how excited they get when the tool helps to cut down on search and make them more productive is a sign of success.
What more would you like to learn about DAM?
Learning from other professionals about their experience is the best way to learn. Seeing other examples in practice can help you maybe move forward with an issue you may have been stuck on.