A User-Centered Approach to Preparing for DAM: 2018 Best DAM Contest Participant Spotlight

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Read about Barb's Best DAM Contest story.

In the third installment of our four-part 2018 Best DAM Contest series, we meet Barb Mitrovic, from the American Society for Quality (ASQ).

Her approach to digital asset management (DAM) and the Best DAM Contest is really all about her users, and making their work-life better. Learn more about Barb and her DAM story.

About the admin

Barb shows off her Best DAM award.

At ASQ, DAM administration is a team effort. Barb Mitrovic and three of her colleagues share the duties of managing their Widen Collective®, which was implemented with great success nearly a year ago. Barb is proud to say, “When we completed our training and bulk upload of 4,000 assets, we only ended up with a handful of errors. Everything went so smoothly. We had a great team, a great coach...everyone worked together.”  She said this success was the result of an extensive amount of thoughtful prework. And by extensive, she means three years!

Their DAM journey began by learning about DAM features and functionality at Henry Stewart conferences. This experience prepared them to meet with colleagues at ASQ and identify ways that a DAM could improve workflows across departments. Armed with this feedback, they made a business case to their boss and secured an approval.

Next, Barb and her team revisited their filing structure and began developing naming conventions and metadata fields, to further clarify their DAM requirements. And then, finally, they interviewed vendors that potentially aligned with their business needs.

Today, there are at least one or two DAM users from each department across the company. She’s thrilled with this level of adoption, but says it comes with challenges. “I like the challenge,” Barb notes. “I like knowing there are people who need security and certain access.” She recognizes that managing your assets takes dedication in order to have an effective system.

Barb spends about a third of each week working on their DAM, and loves it. “It’s great to be able to improve process. The challenge keeps me motivated. And with the high praises we’ve received, I know that we introduced the right tool for ASQ.”

You can hear more about how ASQ uses the DAM system by watching our interview with Barb.

Best DAM presentation

Barb and her team took a very user-centered approach to building their DAM. Her presentation began by explaining what life was like for her users before they had a DAM platform. They estimate that ASQ staff spent 6.25 hours searching for assets every month (per person)! This amounts to 7,500 hours per year, that could have been spent on other projects.

So from day one, Barb and her team were committed to understanding what their users needed from a DAM tool, and then building a system that would improve their workflow. This involved three key steps:

  • Develop amazing metadata: Barb and her team began creating their metadata schema by reviewing the existing fields in their CMS. All 4,000 of them! To determine which of these fields should live in the DAM, they met with all of the departments in the organization; an exercise they learned about on the Widen blog.

    This resulted in two metadata types, with a total of 49 fields (33 of which are dependent fields). Controlled vocabulary is used in 75% of the fields, and they have 50 upload profiles. This powerful metadata structure makes assets findable, and makes sense to users. “It was hours of time, but it’s really worth it. The people searching don’t fully understand the impact, but the people uploading do!”

  • Make searching easy: With a solid metadata structure in place, Barb and her team wanted to give users multiple ways to look for assets. Their users can search via spotlight searches, spotlight collections, categories, or portals. And for users that don’t have access to the DAM system, they created the ASQ Brand Express portal that houses brand guidelines, logos, photography, and templates. “We want to make sure they have everything at their fingertips,” Barb said.

  • Bolster user engagement: The final piece of their user-centered approach was a marketing strategy that focused on three initiatives: name the DAM, brand the DAM, and promote the DAM.

Barb shared that this was the fun part of the process. They named their DAM the Vault and used this term in all of their DAM-related communications, from training materials to internal digital displays. Future plans to strengthen user engagement include ongoing training initiatives, to keep users informed and solicit their ideas for DAM improvements.

By putting their users’ needs first at every step of their DAM journey, the ASQ DAM team was positioned for success. The software installation was smooth, user adoption was positive, and the system is highly sustainable. As Barb said, “We built it for the future. Not just the current state of mind.”

Advice for potential Best DAM Contest participants

Barb’s customer success manager approached her about participating in the Best DAM Contest because he thought her team had a good story to share. And while it might not have been her idea originally, Barb’s message to potential contest candidates is, “If they’re thinking about it, they should just do it. Just go in there, tell your success story, and have fun with it. DAM administrators want to learn from others and Widen provides the perfect stage.”

This was the first time that Barb spoke at an industry event of this size, so she was diligent about her preparation. “I’d never done anything like that before. It was a lot of work but I really wanted to make sure it was done correctly.” With Widen and ASQ’s support, she was able to share their story, and in doing so, inspire her professional community.

Barb takes the stage at the Best DAM Contest.

Learn more about Barb and ASQ’s DAM journey

Teamwork Gets the Job Done – Barbara Mitrovic
Managing a DAM System as a Team: An Interview with ASQ
[Podcast] Implementation Interview with Barbara Mitrovic, American Society for Quality

Read more about the other 2018 Best DAM Contest contestants

Leah Hammes, Global Digital Content Manager at McCormick & Company
Caroline Gardner, former Integrated Marketing Systems Associate at New Balance
Melinda Lee, Senior Marketing Specialist at Kerry

Topics: Widen Summit, Customer Stories, DAMsters, Best DAM Contest

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