DEAR DR. DAM: I want a hosted digital asset management solution and I want it now. Sorry, for my candid nature, but I’m Raymundo, the web marketing manager for a mid-size sporting goods manufacturer. We don’t have an I.T. department that can support such a system, nor can they fully support our marketing efforts. Our digital files are stored in multiple locations within a file folder structure with no associated metadata. Our users will require something that is easy to use (i.e. functionally fit) as they will not put up with a system loaded with confusion. My main focus needs to offer global access to our assets, while enforcing brand consistency. With that said, varying roles and appropriate permissions are key. For our retailers and print partners, we’re building an online digital asset management warehouse to download approved files for their advertising, and also to use as an FTP for printers doing outsourced work on our catalogs. We’ve recognized that there are many types of DAM systems—ranging from light, medium, and heavy. We do one catalog per year per brand and have a handful of brands under the chief brand. We have a few dozen sales and marketing people on our staff serving a couple hundred dealers.
The FTP site does not work well for dealers and we’re doing away with the dealer extranet. Since we’re revamping our web site, we want to replace the dealer extranet with a hosted DAM solution that will also replace the FTP site. Some dealers have their own catalogs so once a year they will do a complete download of the entire product line. Therefore, we obviously have a decent amount of volume when it comes to usage. We also have a few different printers and advertising agencies, so the DAM system would serve as hub for all levels. Our file types include product and lifestyle photography, PDF fact sheets, word docs and spreadsheets. We have some templates for dealer promotions so a web-to-print type of collateral customization tool would be helpful in streamlining the creation of branded materials. We need our DAM system in place before we launch the new website.
DEAR BAM HUB RAYMUNDO: You are facing quite an endeavor. Your situation sounds complicated, but it’s a pretty average situation for many marketers your size and a mid-sized brand asset management software solution that can scale to meet your needs is well within reach. You’ll be able to condense your need for different internal resources by doing away with the hard drive storage and FTP usage. Your DAM system will serve as the graphic communications hub for internal marketing and sales, advertising agencies, printers and your dealer network. Establishing metadata taxonomies and adhering to those standards will be imperative to the success of the system. Widen can help you with that by sharing best practices in what others have done from the Widen user community. Your marketing people should like what the dynamic media building tool can do for your dealers by allowing them to customize ads, brochures and other promotional sales collateral within branding standards. Hang in there… Widen will help you move along quickly, but in manageable chunks.