We've discussed many different facets of digital asset management -- its value, its influence on the customer experience, and the challenges it presents to the omni-channel customer experience. In order to address these and other issues, however, a strategy to identify needs and implement the right system is needed. 

Get a DAM Strategy

Much like other digital or social media marketing strategies, knowing what you have and how it's used is the first step. So start by identifying  the use cases for digital assets. Asking questions that identify how and why digital assets are used helps establish your needs now and in the future. 

Once you understand how DAM is being used, identify where assets are stored, how they are accessed and what is required to manage them. This will help IT departments and digital asset managers compile a list of system requirements,

By this point, it should be clear which departments or staff members are involved in creating, employing and managing digital assets. These are the people who should be involved in discussions about the future of DAM within your organization. Because they are involved in the day-to-day DAM activities, they can speak to their frustrations, their wants and needs. 

In its white paper, 10 Steps to a Successful Digital Asset Management System Implementation, Open Text notes that "implementing a DAM system requires a culture change in an organization. Change management and adoption is usually the greatest obstacle in a successful DAM project." Therefore it behooves organizations to create project teams that can effectively champion the DAM cause.

Make Smart Decisions

Once you've taken the time to identify use cases, where files live, who uses them and basic requirements, it's time to investigate tools and solutions. It will be easy to caught up in advanced features, so it's essential that you make sure any potential systems align with the features and functionality you need now and those that you'll likely grow into over time. When talking with potential vendors, use the opportunity to get the right people in the room and ask the right questions so you can make the most informed decision. 

Once you choose a tool, implementing it will take time, so you'll need to incorporate the different elements that will influence the implementation process. How much will it cost? How long will it take to train people? How will it be governed and communicated? Crafting a plan that accounts for how new DAM systems will be incorporated into the workflow process will help organizations plan more carefully and establish milestones and benchmarks that can be measured. 

Let you think that DAM is a marketing tool only, Widen reminds us that all roads lead to digital asset management. In the blog post, brand strategist Nina Brakel-Schutt writes:

The agencies who understand the importance of digital asset management will also take the time to understand how it works and to empower their clients with the right-fit DAM solution. If you don’t dig deeper around DAM, you risk misrepresenting a solution and potentially selling your clients on something it doesn’t actually do."

No matter what your plan looks like, having a strategy that serves to outline the necessary steps to go from implementation to active management of your digital assets is the secret to success and should not be taken lightly or ignored.