I had the opportunity to speak to fellow marketers, creatives, business leaders and social media geeks the week before last at the Social Media Breakfast Madison’s seminar all about digital content creation, sharing and management.
I’m telling you, Digital Asset Management is the next big thing to come to the world of social media. At Widen, everything we do goes to help marketing organizations, brand owners, and professional communicators create, manage and distribute digital media and brand assets – in large part to help them be more profitable organizations. And, social media is a big part of that.
DAM is what gives you some control over the explosion of digital content! From creation, to management and distribution, DAM is a relevant concept for organizations of ALL shapes and sizes. It helps you manage, “who” can access “what content”, “when”, “where” and “how”.
DAM goes beyond just that of software and technology, but like most business functions, DAM embraces (1) platforms, (2) processes, and (3) people. It’s not just for entertainment companies and libraries anymore, but it’s for ALL companies. All the content your teams create has value or at least the potential to have value. That’s why they’re called “Digital ASSETS”!
In a tech sense, DAM systems are the evolution to what many migrate to after their desktops, shared file servers, CD libraries, or cheap cloud utilities fail them.
View the slideshow from the presentation.
During the presentation, we honed in on five key takeaways for DAM solutions:
1. Assets are “repurposeaceous”. Yes, we made that term up! But the root word being “repurpose”.
Digital assets are everywhere – print, web, social, mobile – and for those with bigger budgets or in cases where it makes sense – broadcast and outdoor.
Now, DAM systems help you control and “be in the know” on where assets are to be used. Some content is created for a specific purpose – a specific channel. However, most assets at most organizations should be used in many places for many purposes. That’s why we call it “repurposing”.
Take “logos” for example, those are perhaps the most downloaded brand assets for any organization. Most of us go to Google images and hope the logo we grab is the most current... DAM software helps there too because it’s the place where you can get the file you need and trust that it’s the right one.
The value of repurposing has huge efficiency benefits too. It helps solve the problem of having someone manually fulfill requests for images, brochures, PowerPoints and other content.
Take this quote from a Graphic Designer at 5.11 Tactical, one of Widen’s users:
“75,000+ plus assets sent out from the DAM in the last 4 years. If each one took me 1 minute to process in the old way, then Widen has saved me on the order of 31 weeks worth of time.”
Another problem solved is the need to manage multiple files of the same bit of content... Digital asset management systems are cool because you can upload and maintain one master file and download that file in any format with on-the-fly file conversions! So, you might upload a hi-res EPS photo and download a lo-res JPEG without the need for Photoshop. Even start with a hi-def movie file and download a 640 pixel wide version for your website without any special software like Final Cut.
2. Metadata gives assets meaning. It’s the data about data. It’s what enables “findability” among other things. It includes things like keywords, description or caption. It includes file properties like format, size and dimensions. It also includes security and rights info. It might specify how it should be used.
Metadata helps you answer questions on:
- How to find
- How to safeguard
- How to manage liability around your digital assets
3. Roles & permissions manage the “who” and the “how”.
That is, not everyone should have access to every media asset all the time... Again, DAM supports the asset lifecycle, so when assets are being created or retouched or prepped for an upcoming campaign, event, product launch or promotion – the salespeople at the end of the chain should not have access to those files until launch. Also, it helps to make sure your content does NOT end up in the wrong hands.
4. Tracking & auditing gives you control.
It gives you the intel to know who downloaded what assets, when, and why – for what reason. It can also tell you anytime the metadata was changed, when new versions were added, and anything else you need to know about your “assets” – and your content contributors, managers and consumers.
5. Analytics makes content creators and owners smarter and more efficient.
Just as today's marketing technologies should, DAM helps you make better decisions about what types of assets are in high demand, plus the same level of intel about the products they’re representing. It can tell you who’s using your stuff, when and in what form.
It can also help you spend more time being creative – not searching for creative files you might want to repurpose. It gives you a point of reference on what to create and how to create it based on previous activity. Basically, you have the power to know all sorts of things about “who” is downloading “what” that you may not otherwise know.
Then there’s the business benefits of DAM… Reasons why your boss will care:
- DAM enhances marketing productivity because it helps to streamline processes from concept to execution on through to distribution and connecting with your customers. And it improves accuracy.
- DAM improves brand consistency across all customer touch points, and – in turn – improves brand awareness and in time greater brand advocacy.
- DAM strengthens customer relationships with the right content in the right places, more places, and in turn creates stronger revenue streams.
- Do all that right and DAM helps you secure and capture more market share, which is what it’s all about.
And if that’s not enough, check out this clip from InSinkErator.
To learn more, check out our white papers with some more goodies including DAM tips, social media, repurposing and metadata.