Being a Widen DAMster: An interview with Andrew Hardman, Marketing Communications Specialist at Centria

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When it comes to connecting marketing content, many people don’t realize that a digital asset management (DAM) system can be a key resource for their organization. DAM can help users make better decisions about their marketing strategy and also promote better market positioning. That’s why we hit the road to talk with Widen customers about the different ways they’re using the Media Collective to help leverage their content and improve marketing efficiencies.

Here’s Andrew Hardman’s story, from Centria in Pittsburgh, PA. Centria provides wall and roof system designs for architects and contractors, which means their products are used in or on buildings. So product photography is an incredibly important part of their marketing communications, advertising, PR, and sales materials.

Andrew Hardman of Centria
1. How long has Centria been using the Media Collective?
I’ve been working at Centria for three years and we’ve been using Widen for over a year.
2. What do you do?
I do a lot of in-house writing for architectural case studies and I’m a liaison to the ad agencies for PR. I do press release writing, magazine bylines, social media copy, internal copywriting and copy editing.
3. When did you know you needed a DAM system? Did something happen to indicate it was time?
It’s all about making your digital assets fluid. We had a lot of documents about projects buried on one person’s desktop. Working with agencies as close as we do, we all need access to the same tools. Demonstrating what we do, photography is a huge part of our advertising sku. We have thousands upon thousands of images.

4. What was your personal workflow like before you got the Media Collective?
My workflow was similar, but now we can share illustrations and photos with the agencies a lot faster. I like that you can get high res, media quality pictures. Uploading those photos to email and sending them to our agencies used to be a lengthy process. Images were really large and servers crashed a lot. The DAM system took that away completely.
5. If someone asked you what the Media Collective does, what would you tell them?
It stores and catalogs all of your digital assets. In our department it integrates everyone’s personal computers – no matter where you are, you have access to a collective catalog.
6. How does the DAM system play a role in your brand?
Externally, in terms of advertising product photos, it (the DAM system) is a huge part of our brand. We’re known for our product photos, so the ability to pump out new photos to agencies and trade magazines is a huge benefit. Internally, we also have our PDFs and product literature in the Media Collective, so it’s immediately in the sales person’s hand and that is key to our brand because they’re out there selling the company. They represent us at that touch point.

Centria sales materials and color chips
7. What unique things are you or your teams able to do with the Media Collective that you didn’t initially realize you could do?
I was impressed with the search tool and how deep it will go. Sometimes we’re dealing with photographers who name a file 2814 instead of the name of the building that was shot. I love that I can attach a PDF to photos and assets if I have specific details that need to be shared with everyone about the project. (Notes and such, not just talent release forms.)
8. How did you roll out the system to your user base? Do you have any communications or training materials you can share with us?
There was a meeting to discuss the benefits of the DAM system. We had a quick review training session and were integrated in a week or two. The Media Collective is so easy that it didn’t really need any training.
9. What is the greatest value you've gained from making use of a DAM system –on a marketing level? At the business level?
Speeding up the delivery of our assets. It’s an instant search tool and I don’t have to dig anywhere. Everything is in one place. It facilitates capturing and implementing pictures or PDFs or other files.
10. How do you prefer to consume content?
I prefer to read so I can take my time and go back over things on my own time. I read a lot of how-to information and I like something more clinical than flashy.
11. What three, individual adjectives would you use to describe the Media Collective?
User friendly, innovative, fast.
12. What is the most important thing new users need to know about making use of a digital asset management system? 
Number one, you’ve got to upload everything. Get all of your assets in there so everybody has to embrace the technology in order to get what they need. It really needs to be company-wide program. 

Watch the video interview with Chelsea Rommes, Media and Content Coordinator at Centria, to learn more about why they love the Widen Media Collective.

Or, read what other Widen users are doing with the Media Collective.

Contact our DAM advisors to see how the Media Collective can work for you!

Topics: Customer Stories, DAMsters

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