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Dam News & Analysis

Reinventing Digital Asset Management

Thumbnail image for 2014-17-July-Clone-Faucets.jpgWhen one compares the user experience of something like Mail Chimp to digital asset management software, it’s easy to see why people complain that DAM software can be cumbersome to use.

And while DAM vendors scramble to repaint their UIs and, in at least a few cases, turn their backs on their legacy apps in favor of flavor-of-the-month “DAM Lite” variants, it’s clear that DAM vendors might not really understand the problem. The issue isn’t that DAMs are ugly, the issue is that the very paradigm upon which we’ve built these systems has become obsolete and, therefore, cumbersome.

2 Final World Cup Lessons in Marketing Agility

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Every four years, the world watches in anticipation to see who will rise victorious in the World Cup. Here in the US, we’ve spent the past month pretending our best to be avid soccer or futbol fans. (Kidding, of course, as our affinity for the “beautiful game” has clearly grown since 2010.)

But to be honest, the competition this year has been amazing. Teams have spent years building a solid foundation of teamwork, talent and coaching prowess to earn spots in the World Cup. Countless hours of preparation have come down to a few inches to determine who wins or loses — responsiveness and agility capture the golden opportunity.

Just like the World Cup teams, our marketing organizations have prepared to be agile enough to take advantage of every opportunity to connect users to our brands, convert new customers and engage with social media.

10 Ideas for Building a Successful DAM

2014-09-July-Wading-Pool.jpgI dropped my daughter off last weekend for her first overnight summer camp in the beautiful mountains of West Virginia. We stopped at her cabin during our tour of the camp, and she decided to stay behind with her counselor while we finished the tour. When we returned, her counselor informed us she was building a dam in the nearby stream. She was knee deep in the stream with a bunch of other little girls, lifting heavy rocks to stack across to make wading pools. As they built the foundation for the dam, the water continued to rise until they had a deep pool of water to cool off in.

Watching their progress made me think about how to approach building a DAM. What’s the process to deliver a successful DAM project? Much like the little girls in the stream attempting to stack rocks to create wading pools, a DAM project consists of many building blocks to create a successful project.

The Greatness of Information Governance

I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.” -- Abraham Lincoln

Governance is good -- in fact, it is great. Governance, and specifically IT Governance, is defined as, “putting structure around how organizations align IT strategy with business strategy, ensuring that companies stay on track to achieve their strategies and goals, and implementing good ways to measure IT’s performance. It makes sure that all stakeholders’ interests are taken into account and that processes provide measurable results.”

3 Brand Asset Secrets from HBO's Game of Thrones

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The dragons are chained, The Hound is dying, Jon Snow is back in Castle Black and Tyrion Lannister is on a ship to parts unknown. If you watch the hit HBO series Game of Thrones, then you understand.

Last Sunday's season four finale was watched by 7.1 million viewers — and broke illegal download records.

With the next episode months away, we thought we'd give fans a Game of Thrones fix: three brand asset secrets from the fantasy drama TV series.

Webinar Recap: DAM Helps Your Business Stay Competitive

Pruning shears may seem like a low-tech item, but a leading Swiss manufacturer has a high-tech way to stay ahead of competitors worldwide.

The case study of Felco illustrates how a digital asset management (DAM) system can help companies of almost any type to reduce current marketing costs, update marketing materials and put staff members to better use. The example was explored on Wednesday in a CMSWire webinar.

"The benefits to Felco are really reduced time to market in order to remain competitive, better utilization of resources, and repetitive work is reduced in favor of work of greater added value," said Marketing Asset Manager Catherine Schmid.  "We have less translation costs, and we have improved content quality. We are able to do much more for approximately the same cost as before."

Finding the Perfect Balance Between SaaS and In-House DAM

2014-04-June-Bearded-Juggler.jpgIt's a delicate balance to develop a hybrid strategy for Digital Asset Management. While Cloud SaaS solutions appeal to many organizations as a way to reduce costs and infrastructure, there are compelling reasons not to move all assets to the cloud. The secret to finding this balance lies in understanding what assets should be moved to the cloud and what should stay in-house.

Don't Lose Your Assets in the Siberia of DAMs

2014-27-May-siberia.jpgA typical journey through DAM-land is full of surprises, detours and missed turns. But the biggest challenge of all may be finding assets that are lost in the vast Siberia of DAMs and pretend-DAMs within your organization.

One of the most desired (and basic) postulates of a Digital Asset Management system is the ability to search and find assets.

So even before you decide to buy and implement a new DAM system to take advantage of much needed search and find functionality, take a look at your vast DAM landscape and try to figure out in which corners your assets reside.

Change Management for DAM

2014-27-May-Cherry-Blossoms.jpg"It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad." -- C.S. Lewis

The month of May brings with it great evidence of change. Spring's effects finally can be seen in the colorful blooms in our gardens. Everything smells better with the newfound flora. Everything feels better with the welcome change to warmer weather. And the students graduating from colleges and universities enter a world filled with new change and opportunity. Change is everywhere and we are unable to stop it. We must change, we allow it, we embrace it and let it happen.

Another great reminder of change was evident in the annual Henry Stewart DAM New York conference that took place on April 30 – May 2. For three days, DAM practitioners, professionals and vendors came together to share their wisdom, engage in vigorous debate and exhibit the latest and greatest that DAM has to provide.

The Rise and Fall of the Imperial Enterprise DAM

2014-20-May-Darth-Vader-Valet.jpgWhen management gets wind of an up and coming software application and decides it's necessary for business objectives, the results are often the same. A decision is made to adopt one product -- to the exclusion of all others -- which everyone will be expected to use.

I think it's folly to impose a monolithic solution to cover the entire Digital Asset Management needs of an enterprise. An integrated, best of breed approach is more likely to succeed.

Understanding the Financial Implications of a SaaS DAM

Understanding the Financial Implications of a SaaS DAMYou have spent the time gathering requirements and fully understand the needs of your organization and have determined that a SaaS DAM solution is the right fit for your company.

Before you sign that contract you may want to make a trip down to the accounting department to fully understand the financial implications of a SaaS DAM solution. And you should be prepared to make a strong argument for adding budget to your operating budget.

What DAM Manager Cares About Text? #DAMNY [Video]

Crowd by Asa Aarons.jpgNot everyone can define Digital Asset Management (DAM). But everyone who uses the web depends on it, in one way or another. As the organizers of the 11th annual DAM NY conference in New York City last week explained, DAM Managers are "firmly in the front line of 'digital first responders.'"

"Digital assets are now central in every aspect of business engagement. From product development to brand assertion to content sales, and investor relations, digital assets are out there delivering knowledge and collecting insights. Managing those digital assets well is vital for organizational success — day in and day out." -- Henry Stewart Events

DAM is all about rich media: digital photographs, animations, videos and music.

So there's no point in wasting time with words. We're going to share the experience of attending the conference on The Art and Practice of Managing Digital Media in the way DAM aficionados understand best — with sound and images.

Getting a Grip on Rich Media: Digital Asset Management 101 #DAMNY

If you're still struggling to define digital asset management (DAM) to someone who claims he doesn't need it, try this: Just say Pinterest.

"Think of Pinterest as a DAM," John Price, product marketing manager at Open Text, told an audience of DAM practitioners during a panel discussion at DAMNY today. DAM offers a way to catalog, file and permanently store digital assets, which must also be available for instant access … just like Pinterest.

And, as other conference attendees were quick to note, like many other social networks and consumer facing sites, from Instagram to Flickr.

On the final day of this two-day event for digital asset managers, the mood was upbeat, enthusiastic and just a bit boastful. Organizers and attendees agree that DAM has moved beyond its origins as a software tool to manage and distribute completed brand assets or images to become "a vital spoke in a large wheel of enterprise technology."

"DAM has finally grown up," Tracy Askam, vice president of rich media solutions at HP Autonomy told the crowd. "It provides content where and when users need it."

Make DAM Your Single Source of Truth

A wise educator once proclaimed that there is “a place for everything and everything in its place.” Not only is this true today, but it's an absolute necessity where rich media assets compete for attention and use within a multichannel distribution framework. Assets are located, changed into different formats and delivered to television, mobile, print and social media with various degrees of accompanying metadata. To speed the process there needs to be a place -- and specifically a central place -- where all rich media assets may be managed for specific use and distribution. A Digital Asset Management (DAM) system can be that place: the Place of Everything (PoE).

Getting Started with Digital Asset Management

Getting Started with Digital Asset ManagementDAM education materials used to be scarce. We had Peter Krogh’s now legendary DAM Book, but the book’s “Digital Asset Management for photographers” subtitle left a sizable portion of would-be DAM professionals feeling left out. (Even though they should have read the book anyway.) There were a few other books, but they were either a. also for specific audiences or b. were so old that one had to wonder if, by press time, DAM’s best practices were still yet to be invented.

Things have changed. 

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