Like most things in life, the best way to maximize your success is with proper preparation and execution. Digital asset management may not be as commonplace as, say, cleaning the kitchen, but it’s still one of the most critical parts of running an organization – and the notion of smart planning and precise execution for maximum success certainly apply to a DAM.
A DAM is a great tool for saving time and money, particular when utilized to its full capacity. What can a DAM do? Probably more than you imagine!
Let’s start with the absolute basics: do you know what DAM really is? I’m guessing you have a rough idea of digital asset management, but do you know about the finer points — metadata, folder structures and lunch boxes? If you said, “Oh yeah, of course I know about all that,” then you might want to reconsider your DAM knowledge.
You see, DAM does not have lunch boxes … but we do have light boxes. To keep all your terminology straight, we provide many effective resources like our recently wrapped Summer Webinar Series – an educational series on digital asset management led by one of our customer success managers. Reading our blog (like you’re doing right now!) is also a great start, and you can see that we’ve listed our top five favorite DAM blogs in a previous post as well.
Get familiar with all of your DAM’s features – and check out resources from your DAM provider, as they should be sending out regular updates about new features and new educational resources worth checking out. Your mind can only jam in so much DAM, but just know that knowledge is a great place to start.
Evaluate your needs.
What is your DAM doing for you? If you’re just checking out your DAM options or even if you’ve had your DAM for quite some time, it’s important to understand, evaluate and prioritize your organizational needs. Go back to the initial DAM procurement process and think about the biggest problems you needed to solve. Has your DAM been the solution you envisioned for those pressing problems?
If yes, then that’s great! Keep doing the stellar work you are doing and move to the next topic on workflows for some good stuff on creating a well-rounded DAM experience.
If no, then don’t worry, it’s not too late! Make sure you create a clear vision on how your DAM provides the heroics your organization needs. Start by taking the proverbial microscope and determining the biggest issues with your digital asset workflow – that will help you make sure that your DAM is a good fit. For most businesses, accessibility is critical, so a cloud-based DAM is a necessity.
Improve your workflows.
Ok, so you’ve fixed some of your biggest digital asset issues. Now what? Broaden your DAM horizons and take it to the next level!
Think about different ways that digital asset management can improve existing workflows. It’s a worthwhile investment, as we’ve seen that effective DAM usage can increase efficiency threefold, freeing up bottlenecks and making everything just plain better.
Think creatively – other departments might benefit from being DAM users as well. For instance, instead of sales always having to ask marketing for permission to use certain screen shots, product photos or other marketing materials, just give them access with their own user accounts. Be proactive and solve problematic workflows with DAM before they get in the way of productivity.
Gain user adoption.
A DAM is only a good investment if it’s being used, so make sure that all the right people are using the DAM.
Simply launching the tool sometimes isn’t enough to spread the word, so have fun with this by getting creative. Consider it like a product launch, except it’s an internal customer – plan a countdown followed by a party/info session. (Never underestimate the power of free food and drinks.)
A full buy-in from DAM users is integral to your ROI. We’re here to help, of course, and we’ve even come up with tons of other useful bits, like our User Adoption webinar, downloadable slides and blog posts (e.g. Jump on the DAM Bandwagon: Best Ways to Promote Your WebDAM and Top 5 User Adoption Metrics). These resources will be a big help and begin getting your creative juices flowing.
Don’t forget maintenance.
A clean DAM is a healthy DAM, so be sure to maintain your DAM’s housekeeping – that means checking to make sure all digital assets have metadata.
It can be as simple as scheduling routine maintenance checks. If you find repetitive errors with user uploads, digital assets in the wrong folders, duplicates, invalid keywording or anything that can corrupt the relevance of the file, correct those mistakes and inform users of what’s not working – this will help prevent future messes. Just like health check-ups, it’s better to review the symptoms early on and think proactively.
Those are just starting points for maximizing your DAM’s ROI. Follow them carefully and you’ll see improvement both in your DAM’s usage and how it’s used. Remember, knowledge is power, so invest your time in gathering all of the relevant DAM knowledge out there, whether it’s with your organization’s needs or current workflows or something else.
Put it to the test, see it in action, and enjoy the results!