Meet Barb Alexander, Global Digital Asset Manager for Coty, based in New York. A self-proclaimed geek-at-heart, Barb enjoys the unique blend of creativity and technology. Her career started on Wall Street where she crunched numbers for industry analysis, but it turned out she was more interested in the companies’ brand presence than their balance sheet! Years later, she realized her goal of becoming an Art Director in the luxury food and fragrance markets. Initially a Creative for Coty, Barb spearheaded building their first digital asset management process, which started at the local Creative server level and eventually grew into a web-based DAM system with Widen.
Barb has been an avid Widen user for 4 ½ years and continues to guide the use and adoption of the Media Collective at Coty, leveraging it across the organization’s different business groups all around the globe.
Here’s a glimpse into Barb’s daily work world, though her team is moving to a new space soon. Hopefully, she’ll keep the same wonderful mix of aesthetics and technology!
1. How long have you been a Widen user?
Widen was initially brought in-house by our local sales team. While it served the needs of the sales team wonderfully, as a tool, the Widen platform was underutilized. When I was asked to initiate and build a DAM program, it wasn’t long before I spotted the potential of Widen's capabilities and co-opted the site. We began building out the collective platform to service all our functional areas, in all markets around the world.
2. How often do you use the Media Collective?
I am signed in all day, every day, to the Collective. I am the Collective’s Global Administrator and point person for all requests and questions so I’m always hopping on to verify, guide, upload etc.
3. In what area(s) of your organization is Widen’s DAM system being used?
Widen has significantly enhanced the efficiencies of our internal and external processes, and is used either directly or indirectly by every functional team. This includes Sales, Marketing, Customer Account Services, Creatives, Engineering, Product Development, Corporate, Public Relations, etc.
4. For what kinds of activities are you using it?
We use the Widen Collective as our Creative supply chain to distribute branded assets around the world for print and internet publishing, PR, event environment and promotional materials, to our global markets for local transcreation and production, as well as videos and assets to our retailer accounts. We also use Widen as a collaborative tool at every level of the corporation, including creative development collaboration between Marketing and Designers.
5. How do your users use the Collective?
Our users love that they can essentially self-serve and that the fulfillment cycle has shrunk, in most cases, to minutes. Widen has streamlined and simplified the supply chain process. Even just the aspect of not needing to complete and submit request forms for needed assets is a huge manpower and time saver.
6. What is the most useful thing the Media Collective does for you?
The self-serve aspect is huge in freeing up human power. Also extremely helpful is the ability to set expiration dates aligned with our contractual usage rights. We also have an automated email notification going out to anyone who has downloaded an expiring image, alerting him or her to discontinue use.
7. Can you share something that you do with the Media Collective that other users may not know it can do?
I think being able to see who the users are, both the general user and the power user, gives us a way to be thinking about the work and what Collective features are most important to them.
8. What are your favorite apps on your smartphone?
The search map app is indispensable, as is the GPS. I’m a big tennis fan, so whatever grand slam event is happening, that app is definitely on my phone!
9. Which tech websites or blogs do you follow?
I do follow some blogs like anotherdamblog, and posts to the DAM NY Meetup. I’m usually a specific situation searcher. Now that I know about Widen’s blog, I’ll be following that as well!
10. What do you think is the most important thing other users should know about using a digital asset management system?
The ability to modify the parameters on-the-fly by the user admin is so important. It’s the difference between moving past a glitch in the workflow quickly and being sidelined for a bit of time. I also think that more consideration should be given to how roles and permissions shape the Collective for your organization, with an eye toward what it is you want to offer your users.