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Being a DAM admin isn’t just another task

by Jake Athey, November 2, 2017

DAM admin

Would you invest in a state-of-the-art boat and fill it with precious goods, just to let it bounce around the ocean without a captain?

Probably not.

So, why would your digital asset management (DAM) system be any different? If you invest your time, money, and energy in a powerful solution and valuable digital assets, you need a qualified and dedicated individual to steer it toward success.

Yet, only 20 percent of our customers staff a dedicated (50 percent of their time or more) DAM admin!

We get it. Resources are tight, efficiency is top of mind, and you need to do more with less. But, we’ve seen firsthand how having a qualified person that spends the majority of their time on DAM is worth their weight in gold.

Here’s why!

1. The numbers don’t lie.

Our 2016 customer satisfaction survey was telling.

We found that companies with a dedicated admin, or an individual that spends more than half of their time on DAM, see a greater return on investment (ROI) in their DAM system and content efforts than those with an admin that spends less than 20 percent of their time on DAM.

Those with a dedicated DAM admin reaped the benefits of:

  • 65 percent more people using their DAM system
  • Access to 200 percent more assets
  • Two times the use of digital assets

Just think about how a dedicated individual would impact the efficiency and effectiveness of organization and its digital content by building equity for your brand and connecting you with revenue faster.

2. Change is constant.

As your business changes, so will the content you create, the assets you prioritize, and the way folks within your organization leverage your DAM system.

Your DAM solution and the technology and intelligence behind it are incredibly powerful.  And while you can teach a machine to do some pretty impressive things, only an actual human can anticipate change and impact, creatively problem solve, and fine-tune your DAM system to meet the ever-changing needs of your organization and its users.

At the 2017 Widen Summit, Alberto Orihuela, DAM administrator for ZEISS Microscopy,

credited their success to a combination of technology and people. Alberto spoke about the challenge of servicing five diverse business sectors and the importance of having a DAM solution that was flexible enough for their team to quickly make changes and customizations to meet the unique needs of each department.

3. Muscle memory is real.

The idea of “If you build it, they will come” doesn’t hold up in the world of DAM. Just because you have a DAM system doesn’t mean that people will naturally gravitate towards and use it.

According to Michael Shattuck, global brand imaging manager for New Balance, “There’s this reality of muscle memory within an organization.” You need to inspire, train, retrain, and continually educate people about the benefits of adopting new ways of doing things like managing their digital assets.

And this takes time.

Amongst a slew of other responsibilities, DAM admins must find creative ways to engage users, ignite adoption, and ultimately position DAM at the core of their organization. To do this, DAM admins must play the role of champion, listener, teacher, liaison, cheerleader, and more.

DAM admin

Jane Leuchter, content librarian and DAM admin for The Institute for Functional Medicine, shared how she put time and energy into correcting the muscle memory of her users with clever ideas like these:

  • Widen Wednesdays: A quick and fun weekly email with handy DAM tips and tricks
  • Drop-in sessions: A safe place for DAM users to casually collaborate, ask questions, and provide feedback
  • Widen whales: Laminated whale emojis awarded to the advocates and power users of DAM
  • Resources galore: Help documents, training sessions, and information libraries specific to content type and department

4. Chaos happens (a lot).

Without an official gatekeeper for your DAM system, you will eventually suffer from what we call asset chaos.

No matter how well-intentioned the users of your DAM system are, all it takes is one hasty photo shoot upload, outdated vocabulary, or an occasional rogue user to send your DAM system down the wrong path. Plus, it’s essential to have a dedicated person with a bird’s-eye view that can make decisions about your content that will benefit the organization at large, not just an individual department.

While it’s tempting to divvy up DAM responsibilities across your team, or allocate an admin’s time to other pressing priorities, organizations must stop thinking about DAM admin duties as one-off tasks and start considering the strategic nature of their role, which spans chaos-prone areas like:

  • Planning: Manage the content lifecycle for digital assets through strategic and agile macro- and micro-level planning.
  • Governance: Build a framework and guidebook for your DAM system and users that aligns and evolves with the goals and priorities of your organization.
  • Branding: Ensure that digital assets resonate with current and potential customers and that your DAM users have access to high-performing, on-brand content.
  • Vision execution: Make unbiased assessments about content based on your company’s goals, mission, and needs.
  • Team building: Proactively inspire change, advocacy, and cross-organization support, including at the executive level, for DAM.

Don't worry, we've got plenty more information for you on what it really takes to be a DAM admin and how to make it work.

Can’t Widen just do it?

Regardless of the size of your organization or the number of assets you have, you need a dedicated admin to make your investment in a DAM solution worthwhile, navigate change, get people excited about and using your DAM system, and wrangle your asset chaos.

At Widen, your success is our success! That’s why we’ve expanded our support offering to include DAM admin services. Do you find yourself asking, “Can’t Widen just do it?” If so, contact a Widen advisor to learn more!

Topics: DAM

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