You are Not Prepared for a DAM (Until You Do This First)


With the quantity of content material organizations produce – and the sheer quantity of multimedia property and codecs – it’s time to think about a digital asset administration system. A DAM can enhance manufacturing effectivity, improve cross-team operability, and enhance advertising productiveness and efficiency.

Entrepreneurs spend over 60% of their time retrieving data or restructuring misplaced property and different low-value duties. Implementing a DAM system could also be the easiest way to reclaim that wasted time.

But, two operational challenges typically stand in the best way of efficient implementation. The primary is figuring out the content material processes the DAM ought to assist facilitate. It’s typically an neglected consideration, notably for companies with out a structured content material course of or governance technique.

The second problem arises in detailing the organizational standards for a DAM system earlier than finishing the advanced and time-consuming choice course of. How will it’s used? The place does it match within the content material workflow? Should you don’t have these solutions, it’s like purchasing for a automobile with out understanding if it will likely be used to haul bricks or compete in a road race.

Should you don’t know your #content material processes and group standards, it’s onerous to make the suitable DAM system selection, says @joderama by way of @CMIContent @Aprimo. Click on To Tweet

These obstacles – on high of necessities like securing price range approval and government buy-in, and managing implementation, configuration, and integration – could make the very considered working with a DAM system too intimidating to think about. However with somewhat superior planning and a targeted strategy, you’ll be able to decrease a few of these obstacles and pace up your path to realizing the advantages these methods can supply.

Clearing the content material tech confusion

At their easiest, DAM methods are utilized by enterprises to retailer, arrange, and retrieve digital media property for environment friendly use throughout all levels of the content material creation lifecycle. In addition they allow efficient governance of these property by managing the digital rights, entry permissions, and different requirements established for creating and making use of content material throughout all capabilities of the group.

Utilized in tandem with an internet content material administration system (WCM) and/or different advertising automation know-how (like e-mail administration methods and social media publishing suites), a DAM could make it simpler for content material creators to find model property like images, audio and video footage, animations, and different graphics, monitor modifications as they transfer via manufacturing, and guarantee they’re correctly sized, formatted, and tagged to be used on chosen distribution platforms and channels.

Whereas definitive statistics on content material marketer adoption of DAM methods are onerous to return by, it’s logical to imagine they’re underused, on condition that CMI’s B2B Benchmarks, Budgets, and Traits: Insights for 2022 analysis discovered solely 49% of entrepreneurs say their firm makes use of a content material administration system (CMS).

Solely 49% of #B2B entrepreneurs say their firm makes use of a #content material administration system in response to @CMIContent #analysis by way of @joderama. Click on To Tweet

But, CMI’s chief technique advisor Robert Rose thinks this discovering might point out a basic content material tech misperception {that a} DAM system and a CMS are interchangeable: “Corporations say they don’t have a CMS. They do – a minimum of relating to a system to handle content material on their web site (e.g., Drupal, WordPress). The confusion happens as a result of the time period ‘content material administration system’ has develop into synonymous with digital property administration (DAM).”

Whereas the 2 applied sciences have overlapping capabilities, neither can do the job successfully until the enterprise aligns on the capabilities every system facilitates, who will use every, and the way every can be utilized to its potential.

“A web site CMS or social media instrument sometimes manages media property from their finalized state via publication and measurement. But, they supply little consistency in how content material will get dealt with throughout varied codecs. In distinction, a DAM system goes to supply full course of effectivity from the spark of ideation via creation, manufacturing, and multi-platform publication, in addition to when and the place the asset will in the end be archived for future reuse and repurposing,” Robert says.

As I discussed, managing these operational concerns is commonly the largest problem when including any new know-how to your content material stack. Thankfully, Robert’s train under would possibly simply prevent a world of harm and trouble.


Definitive Information to Content material Operations

Get a deep dive into Content material Operations: what it’s, why it’s so vital for organizations in each trade to embrace, what it’s able to, and how one can construct the perfect content material operations answer in your groups. Obtain now.

Proper preparation begets elevated productiveness

To pick out the suitable DAM system, you have to know which groups will use it, how they’re going to make use of it, and what they’ll use it for. That’s loads of particulars and variations to type via, and that is the place many organizations journey up earlier than they actually get began.

Moreover, no DAM system will operate optimally proper out of the field. It have to be configured to accommodate your use instances, governance selections, and crew workflows. So, earlier than you start the acquisition course of, you want a transparent view of the operational concerns and preparation concerned to ship a totally functioning system in your group.

A DAM system received’t operate optimally out of the field. It have to be configured to your use instances, governance, and workflow, says @joderama by way of @CMIContent @Aprimo. Click on To Tweet

Listed below are a number of inquiries to reply:

  • What content material supplies are required to supply every sort of asset (e.g., product descriptions, firm boilerplate, photographs, audio, video, graphics, interactive options)?
  • What strategic function(s) might be served by the property? Inner, exterior, each?
  • What are the file codecs? What inside and exterior assets and experience are used to supply them?
  • How will every asset be accessed, processed, and routed? The place would possibly additions or exceptions exist?
  • Ought to duties occur concurrently or concurrently?
  • Who might be accountable for every process? Who else might be concerned?
  • What permissions, approvals, and different governance requirements are wanted earlier than the asset might be printed?

It’s sufficient to make any content material supervisor’s head spin. And all that comes earlier than you even take into consideration the technical concerns, like how asset information might be named, categorized, tagged, saved, and managed for environment friendly use throughout groups and capabilities.

Stock your operations in 2 steps

To cease your head from spinning, Robert suggests a streamlined operations administration strategy he makes use of along with his consulting purchasers. Map the individuals and processes to supply one sort of content material for one function or a part of the client journey. The insights and data generated can assist information your DAM decision-making course of and later increase to accommodate extra content material sorts and functions when you’ve bought and are able to implement a system.

Perceive your #DAM wants with this train from @Robert_Rose: Map the individuals and processes to supply one sort of #content material for one function by way of @joderama @CMIContent @Aprimo. Click on To Tweet

The 2 components to this train are:

  • Content material lifecycle mapping: This ordered checklist outlines the important steps and duties to take a chunk of content material from ideation to execution. It supplies a high-level view of this content material sort’s workflow because it’s routed via the event lifecycle and particulars who takes cost of the duty at every stage.
  • Accountable, Accountable, Consulted, Knowledgeable mapping: This duty project matrix (aka RACI matrix) identifies all of the crew members (inside and exterior) concerned in every of the duties because the chief or a collaborator. It visualizes how crew assets are allotted so you’ll be able to set clear duties round asset administration and determine potential areas for restructuring workflow for higher effectivity.

Let’s stroll via the method.

Step 1: Determine key factors and processes of your workflow

Define all of the duties concerned in creating a kind of content material. This instance illustrates the workflow for a thought management e-book. Don’t fear about any particular options or add-on duties that apply underneath sure circumstances. Focus solely on the duties that sometimes are concerned.

Click on to enlarge

The template encompasses six levels – ideation, planning, creation, manufacturing, activation, and measurement. Fill in the primary duties for every stage. Use “who” and “what” tags within the template to find out whether or not to checklist the individual chargeable for managing that process (who) or noting the precise actions and concerns (what) earlier than the content material can transfer into the subsequent stage. This breakdown particulars the stage-based inquiries to reply for our thought management e-book instance:

  • Content material ideation: Who generates matters and concepts for the e-book? Who submits the concepts for approval? Does an accredited concept align with a content material aim? Who collects viable concepts and prepares them to enter the planning course of?
  • Planning: The place are viable concepts collected for consideration and prioritization? How are accepted concepts prioritized and accredited for project?
  • Creation: Who supplies the project to the creator? What assets are wanted to execute it? Who manages the associated creation processes (e.g., enhancing, buying permissions, design and format, ultimate evaluate/approval)? Who shepherds the ensuing property into manufacturing?
  • Manufacturing: How does manufacturing obtain the content material? What steps flip them right into a publication-ready asset (i.e., the way you’ll incorporate your e-book right into a content material advertising marketing campaign)? Who delivers the ultimate marketing campaign property to the crew members concerned in activation?
  • Activation: How is the e-book added to the publishing schedule? What else is concerned in activating it? Who else must be knowledgeable when it’s activated in-market?
  • Measurement: What steps are taken to trace, analyze, and report efficiency? What else must occur (e.g., archived for later repurposing by whom and the place it’s saved)?

It’s best to repeat this course of for each sort of content material produced – and all of the property and campaigns it is likely to be utilized to all through your model’s content material expertise. However detailing the workflow for even only one sort of asset can floor the solutions and data essential to analysis, take into account, and examine potential DAM options.

Step 2: Determine roles and duties

Now that you’ve got an outline of the duties and routing particulars, you’ll be able to zoom in on the individuals who make it occur.

For our e-book instance, we’ll use a RACI template (just like the pattern proven under) to notice all of the crew members who play a task at any stage within the outlined content material lifecycle, in addition to those that develop into concerned when that content material is used for different capabilities within the enterprise.

This Forbes article supplies extra element on RACI charts and learn how to use them. However for our functions, the primary factor to know is that roles are divided into 4 classes:

  • Accountable: These crew members do the hands-on work – e.g., writing, enhancing, or designing the e-book, amassing property and routing them to the suitable level individual, managing manufacturing schedules and deadlines, monitoring and reporting efficiency knowledge, and so forth. Not less than one individual have to be listed as chargeable for every process, although anybody who actively contributes to that process must be included, too.
  • Accountable: That is the one crew member who solutions for the right completion of every process or deliverable. They guarantee all prerequisite duties, requirements, and necessities are met. They decide and delegate duties; and ship any ultimate approvals Notice that whereas just one individual must be listed as accountable at every stage, that individual may additionally play a task in different duties all through the method.
  • Consulted: These are the subject material specialists, advisory board members, or different events who might contribute to or collaborate on duties however don’t maintain duty for his or her execution or how they’re managed. For instance, if a author commonly consults with a model crew member to make sure they’ve precisely mirrored key model particulars within the e-book, the branding knowledgeable can be listed as a advisor.
  • Knowledgeable: If anybody else must be looped in on mission standing or notified when the e-book has been launched into the market (e.g., a gross sales crew contact, a sponsor, an government stakeholder), checklist them.

As Robert explains, the columns seek advice from how widespread purpose-driven content material sorts created for a particular asset (e.g., an about-our-company-and-products part of copy featured in e-books) is likely to be mapped and managed for different makes use of (i.e., for thought management content material advertising efforts, inclusion in a narrative for advertising, gross sales sheet, repackaged for ad-hoc wants).

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As a bonus, working via this course of additionally helps reveal hidden redundancies and useful resource deficits that may be addressed to enhance the general effectivity and effectiveness of your content material operations.

For instance, you possibly can determine a task overloaded with duties and accountability at sure levels of manufacturing that, if rebalanced, may assist clear recurring bottlenecks. Or you possibly can uncover the workflow doesn’t account for the supply of an asset to different purposeful departments that might be resolved by a easy workflow replace to make sure smoother cross-team alignment.


Placing all of it collectively

Mapping these roles and duties throughout all of the capabilities enterprise-wide helps guarantee all of the important gamers are concerned in your DAM decision-making conversations. When mixed with the insights collected within the content material lifecycle template, you’ve got a high-level understanding of the operational must account for while you’re prepared to judge and examine potential DAM options.

For a extra complete audit of your content material operations, add particulars for all different content material sorts in these templates. However even in the event you solely have time to work via this abbreviated course of, you’ll come away with a stable plan for turning your DAM desires into an achievable actuality.


Wish to learn to stability, handle, and scale nice content material experiences throughout all of your important platforms and channels? Be part of us at ContentTECH Summit this March in San Diego. Browse the schedule or register at the moment.

Cowl picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content material Advertising Institute


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