In one sense DAM is all over the map. There are subway style route maps to help you find your way and any number of “journeys” (or at least the “5 Best Ways …”) leading to that digital asset management / customer experience nirvana. With all the consultants, reports, vendors and products out there “enabling” and “empowering” us, how come it feels like we’re stuck in a Where’s Waldo? world?
We all can see how technology and digitization are transforming organizations, even changing societies and cultures. Digital Asset Management has morphed as well. Organizations are recognizing the need for DAM due to the tremendous increase in the amount of digital media in the organization.
Back in the day, many organizations could get by with shared drives and the institutional knowledge stored by Earl in graphics. Earl retired, and, after a few website re-launches and brand makeovers, consensus was that there must be a better way.
Fast forward to now and in many organizations it’s not which DAM you have but how many DAMs. Marketing, business units, regional and international teams went out to get the DAM tailored for their specific needs. The original problem DAM was supposed to solve was recreated; too many disconnected repositories and silos, and no central repository storing the single source of truth.
Add to that the pressure of marketing to many new channels — the omni-channel customer experience — which has created its own challenges. “Mobile is hot, we need to have a mobile customer experience”; “We’re putting up kiosks all around the country we need to produce the content”; “let’s put some links and images in the email campaign”; “How can we get these videos on our Facebook page.” Each new channel needs creation, production, operations and delivery — usually another team to make, manage and move the digital assets.
Do We Need DAM?
In asking the question it implies there is an alternative, or we take the Luddite approach and go back to file folders, phone calls and couriers. Yes, we still need DAM, in all its wonderful array of many-colored solutions.
Despite the market cacophony of products, features and specialized deployments (MAM, PAM, MRM, PIM, PCM, SaaS …), DAM is helping companies be more successful. There are great stories of how DAM has transformed organizations — you likely see it whenever you go online, all those branding images and videos are created, managed and stored, maybe in a DAM. It begins with organizations asking that question, do we need a DAM, do we have the right DAM?
Taking on this endeavor, the DAM Champion (DAM Hero?) has a lot of work ahead. It requires understanding the process from initiation, creation, management of the assets, publishing, distribution and metrics. Documenting how things work, who does the work, how different departments are involved, the amount of time and effort for each task, the cost of lost time, duplicated effort, lost opportunity, all of this is critical to start building a business case.
In many organizations to get the budget, overcome organizational inertia and resistance to change requires a compelling case to justify the change. Below are some key things that will lead to a successful outcome. Keep these in mind to help find your way:
- A purposeful strategic vision for digital media in the organization
- Commitment and buy-in from the organization
- A partnership with the vendor and integrator for mutually assured success
- Structured, phased approach
- Relentless user-adoption, celebrating success
- Knowing what done looks like
Enterprise DAM and Platforms
Digital Media workflows and DAM are critical for enterprises and high value brands, allowing them to accomplish their goals in e-Business and Customer Experience transformation. Every department and business unit has rich media assets and the amount and size of those assets continue to grow. Some rich media, such as video or high definition imagery, are bandwidth intensive. It can also be difficult to find and reuse media if it isn’t properly tagged or archived.
By centralizing all of your rich media assets in a common media management repository, the entire organization can repurpose digital assets across multiple channels at a lower cost. As enterprises are stretched to take on more types of media production and distribute into more customer experiences, it requires investment in best-in-class solutions across the digital media value chain. This means continuing to advance the core features of the DAM, as well as to integrate related capabilities.
Enterprise DAM, e-DAM, as a platform is not a one-size-fits-all proposition; it implies the flexibility to be purpose-built for the enterprise. DAM is the centralized repository, single source of truth for digital assets, storing all the rich media for the enterprise. E-DAM is a core infrastructure with capabilities to “media-enable” the entire enterprise, especially digital marketing.
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