Digital Asset Management Strategy: All You Need to Know
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By: Sagar Sharma

Digital Asset Management Strategy: All You Need to Know

We have learned a lot about Digital Asset Management in our previous posts such as definition, features, practices, benefits, signs that indicate DAM requirements, who (users) need the DAM, which industry should consider it, types of DAM, best practices, and much more.

These all apply after the DAM selection and implementation process.

Through this post, you will get insights into the Digital Asset Management strategy. Based on your specific DAM strategy, you can select the suitable Digital Asset Management solution for your organization and gain maximum benefits from it.

You can definitely select a DAM solution randomly by considering its capabilities. But, it won’t be as effective as DAM implementation through a strategy.

Let’s begin with defining and implementing the right Digital Asset Management strategy for your business.

11 steps to define and implement the Digital Asset Management (DAM) strategy

To leverage the successful implementation of a Digital Asset Management solution, you need to understand your digital assets and what values they are creating for your business.

For the effective planning and implementation of the DAM strategy, you need to strengthen your communication, reviewing, and consultation approach as well as embrace the cultural change.

Once you have complete control over your digital assets, you can take maximum values out of them. Eventually, it helps you to attain organizational goals and manage your digital asset collection sustainably.

Here are the steps that you can consider to define a Digital Asset Management strategy for DAM solution auditing, planning, and implementation. Also, it helps you meet the expectations of different stakeholders.

1. Discuss the DAM requirements with your internal team

Usually, organizations select a Digital Asset Management system, implement it, and then the solution is introduced to internal and external users.

The reverse cycle will be more effective.

Firstly, you need to have a brief discussion with your internal teams to understand the challenges they face and the requirements they have in the absence of a Digital Asset Management solution.

Identify how they will use the DAM solution and what capabilities they need to drive improvement in their daily work.
When you involve the people who are going to use the solution in the decision-making process. It helps you to build a team full of trust and support.

Now when you have the list of problems and needs of your different departments, your search for the right DAM platform becomes easier. While contacting a DAM solution vendor, you can ask how the DAM solution they offer helps your internal teams to address their issues and satisfy their needs.

Not only that, during the demo, you can check out whether the system is capable of meeting your expectations or not. Thus, you will end up implementing the DAM solution that fits your business requirements.

It fastens your decision-making process and also ensures your all investment is worth it.

Don’t you think this is a more realistic approach than picking just another DAM solution?

2. Create some use cases

Identify the use cases in which digital assets are required in your organization.

To pick the right Digital Asset Management system, the ideal practice is to have sessions with your different teams and list down all the possible use cases.

When you have all the use cases, it becomes easy for you to judge whether the DAM solution offered by the vendors is worthy for you or not.

3. Audit your assets and systems

In the absence of a Digital Asset Management solution, your teams are definitely managing the media assets somewhere in a local computer or intranet or in a tool or software.

Spend some time to find out the digital assets that are already there in your organization and collect the below-listed data.

  • How many digital assets do you have?
  • Where the digital assets are being stored?
  • What is the existing software your teams use to manage the digital assets?

It helps you to understand the volume of digital assets you have. Also, if they are stored and managed in different systems which are disconnected from each other, you get clarity on the challenges that your teams are dealing with.

Of course, based on this analysis, when you connect with a DAM solution provider, you can check the capabilities of the system. You can make sure the DAM system allows you to manage all your assets in a single location. You can also inquire about the integration capabilities of the platform. Once you get satisfactory answers to all your queries you can move ahead with implementation.

4. Identify your stakeholders

After getting all details about your digital assets, the next step is to identify stakeholders of the DAM solution.

Here all I mean is you need to define the users who are going to create, use and manage the digital assets.

Your people play a vital role in either making or breaking your Digital Asset Management strategy.

If your people are used to manage digital assets in a certain way, then it will be difficult for you to convince them to adopt the new technology platform. They either help you by adopting the DAM solution or hinder you by protesting against this change.

You need to take all the required efforts to get them by your side and involve them in the new DAM strategy planning and implementation.

5. Collect the DAM requirements from your external resources

Your external resources such as suppliers, retailers, distributors, vendors, etc. are also sharing the digital assets with you and vice versa.

For example; you might be creating a customized quotation for each of your suppliers and every supplier sends you specific invoices. All these usually happen through email. Imagine the number of emails you are sending and receiving daily. It’s a time-consuming and confusing process.

Implementation of Digital Asset Management allows the external users to store and manage digital assets in the system.

For example; you can store, manage and share the custom quotation with the respective supplier. The supplier can store, manage and share your invoices from the DAM solution only.

Moreover, you and your external users are using some set of software and tools such as Collection Management System. If you want to integrate the DAM system into your existing workflow, advanced DAM allows seamless integration with any of your existing enterprise systems and third-party applications.

6. Define a business case

The business case is quite related to how the management of digital assets contributes to attaining your business objectives. You can consider the return on investment, training, time, budget, etc.

Considering a robust Digital Asset Management solution you can achieve your business goals either by reducing overhead cost or by generating better ROI.

DAM streamlines and automates many of your digital asset-related activities and reduces the number of mundane tasks for your teams. It directly impacts employee productivity.

7. Determine the DAM strategies

Once you have all the requirements, challenges, and use cases in place, it becomes easier for you to design a plan for action for your Digital Asset Management system. While creating DAM strategies, make sure it helps you accomplish milestones and generate opportunities for the company and people of your organization.

Keep your DAM strategies achievable and measurable. Setting unrealistic targets and expecting too much from your DAM strategies in the initial phase, won’t help you. Make sure your targets for DAM implementation success are realistic and measurable.

Once you have a Digital Asset Management strategy in place, share it with everyone including internal and external users, and involve them in the process of DAM strategy implementation to improve the effectiveness of your strategy.

8. Roll out the DAM implementation strategies in phases

Usually, organizations prefer to implement the entire DAM strategy in one go. But, to be honest, it’s not the right way. Many Digital Asset Management strategies fail because companies want to go too far, too fast.

Implementation of the DAM strategy requires considerable time, effort, and investment. In case, it won’t work the way you expected, you might bear a big loss.

Roll out the strategy in incremental phases. It becomes easy for you to judge the impact and measure the results. In case something goes wrong, you can make the required changes in strategy.

Moving ahead, you will take these lessons into consideration along the way of DAM strategy implementation. This helps to avoid a failure of the entire strategy accordingly and move further.

At each phase of DAM strategy, make sure your staff and external stakeholders are involved.

9. Mapping out your Digital Asset Management strategy

Defining the Digital Asset Management strategy is not enough. You need to take care of mapping out DAM strategy. While you start mapping your DAM strategy with your existing business processes, you need to take care of different aspects start from

  • Configuring the strategy in the existing workflows
  • Defining a taxonomy for easy search of digital assets
  • Managing and assigning asset access and ownership
  • Fostering user adoption rate
  • Measuring the digital asset performance and results, and more…

10. Integrate DAM strategies into your day to day DAM practices

As you implement the DAM strategy, start incorporating it into your organizational workflow. The success of DAM implementation cannot be assured until all your users do not feel comfortable working with it on a daily basis.

But, of course, you cannot ask your people to start working with the DAM solution on the next day of its implantation. You need to define policies, role descriptions, and plans.

For the seamless adoption of the DAM solution, it is important to provide thorough training to your staff.

11. Build a community

Implementation of DAM drives a cultural change in your organization. Create an active community of your stakeholders who are ready to embrace this change and provide support for its success.

Latest DAM Strategies to consider for your modern workforce as a part of your Digital Asset Management strategy

Media assets are highly essential to engage and connect with the target audience. It also helps organizations to gain a competitive edge.

However, when it comes to creating, managing, distributing, and publishing a large volume of visual content, it becomes a challenge. Every visual content required to be resized and reformatted as per the needs of different channels and screen sizes on which they might be displayed. Imagine the number of variations for each asset.

To manage the media assets with its all variation in a structured and organized way, implementation of the advanced Digital Asset Management Strategies are highly required.

Cloud-based Digital Asset Management solution allows for remote work

It is very important that your teams can access the media assets whenever they need them. Also, they can optimize the media files as per the requirements of specific channels and use them.

Especially, during the COVID-19 situation, when almost all the teams operating from remote locations need quick access to the needed media files. DAM implementation allows your distributed teams to work remotely in their fluid work schedules.

Cloud-based DAM allows the companies to enable their teams to access all digital assets on the fly. Not only that, they can create, manage, resize, reformat, distribute and publish the asset quickly and accurately. Eventually, DAM helps companies to establish and maintain a productive and efficient workflow.

AI-driven asset organization and analytics

When you select a dynamic Digital Asset Management platform like Pimcore, you will have access to its three core capabilities.

  • Automated asset transformation and optimization
  • Manage all the asset variations in a structured way
  • Publish the media files in an optional format

Before utilizing these capabilities, organizations need to identify the assets which are available in bulk.

If you are an organization that owns a large library of images, videos, and documents, you require informed planning by Artificial Intelligence.

AI automates the content identification process for your team to facilitate them with

  • Rapid deployment of metadata
  • Adding the appropriate tags and relevant search terms to make the assets easily searchable

DAM is a must-have solution for product-driven organizations and industries.

For example, you are a retailer who needs to sell apparel. To promote the products on a website or eCommerce store, you need to click pictures of the apparel. Also, you need to resize and reformat the images as per the specific requirements of multiple output channels.

It is always preferable, not to reinvent the content if you have a similar type of content. In most scenarios, teams raise the request for creating new digital assets when they can use existing digital assets to deliver the experience they want. In many cases, they don’t do this intentionally, they just don’t know required assets are available.

The latest Digital Asset Management platform offers AI-powered tagging and analytics so that your content creation teams can have clarity on what assets they already have.

With the help of analytics, you can get insights into asset usage. For example; certain assets are rarely used, the analytics shows why it is so. It allows your teams to enhance the assets or create different versions of such assets. Content creators can use user engagement metrics to gain better insights in order to optimize and repurpose the existing content.

Image and video transformation

Digital Assets are used by your different teams across the company. They all need to use the media files with the required editing and optimization.

Advanced Digital Asset Management solution automates resizing, reformatting, and cropping processes for your respective digital assets.

For example; DAM automates manipulation of the background that distracts the users from the content and foreground subjects in a photo.

DAM deployment [considering distributed workforce and emerging technologies]

For extreme flexibility, it is recommended to implement the cloud-based DAM solution as a part of your Digital Asset Management strategy. It becomes quite simple and effective for your distributed teams to collaborate effectively from remote locations.

Thus, the SaaS-based DAM solution works as a Productivity Bridge that breaks down logistic barriers and removes the functional gaps between content delivery and asset management teams. It allows you, different teams, to continue their work without interruption.

Most of the advanced DAM solutions enable you with the flexibility to create modern asset workflows. Collecting digital assets, storing them in a well-structured fashion, and permitting them with searchability and access are the core capabilities of any DAM platform.

The cutting edge Digital Asset Management solutions are:

Mobile-first

The latest DAM adapts assets to display effectively on any screen size and device including mobile. It needs intelligent resizing, cropping, and adjustments made on the fly.

Rich media support

Digital Asset Management transforms image format, animated GIFs, 3D models, 360-degree images, and animated GIFs. The advanced tools automatically crop, resize, and transcode all the rich media to create multiple versions and make them compatible for different use cases.

Last-mile asset delivery

Leverage last-mile asset delivery to design and deliver highly creative assets to the end-users at greater quality and faster loading time. In Digital Asset Management, every asset has a URL. You can directly use these URLs in the website and mobile apps to deliver content through a faster Content Delivery Network (CDN).

Seamless integration with different systems

The modern Digital Asset Management platform is extensible. Thus, its capabilities are not just limited to the features and functionality offered by the platform. By allowing to integrate any number of existing enterprise systems and third-party applications, you can access all the required features that you are using every day.

While selecting a DAM platform, make sure it has built-in connectors for all systems with which the digital assets work such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, Content Management System (CMS), Product Information Management (PIM) systems, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Business Process Management (BPM) tools, marketing tools, and social media.

By integrating a wide variety of software and systems, you can streamline various business operations, boost the efficiency of the team and deliver a better customer experience.

To make these integrations possible, DAM should consist of a host of SDKs, Widgets, and APIs. In case, you are facing any barrier in asset delivery, you need to find it and solve them for smoother media delivery on the different platforms.

Integration with the other systems ensures you have a single source of truth for every asset across every asset delivery and team. This centralized data helps you a lot when it comes to managing the brand standards, tracking version history, and enforcing copyright and usage compliance.

Prioritize company culture and buy-in as you implement the DAM

Implementation of a DAM solution with the right Digital Asset Management strategy helps organizations to bring their efficiency to the next level and address the critical issues of the teams effectively. If you are not involving people in the DAM strategy and solution selection and implementation, you cannot attain the expected output. So, let the DAM play a supporting role to improve your organization’s work culture.

Why Do You Need a Digital Asset Management Strategy?

Maintain brand consistency across multiple channels

Digital Asset Management contributes significantly to improve brand consistency across multiple sales and marketing channels for each campaign. DAM offers

  • Next-level automation in managing local or global versions of assets
  • Integration with the enterprise systems and third-party software of engagement
  • Different renditions of digital assets across multiple channels

It’s challenging to know and find the digital assets

In the absence of the right Digital Asset Management strategy, many businesses today have been acquired and created digital assets without any coordinated approach. Eventually, they end up with the inability to identify what the assets are, where they are located, and how to use them potentially.

In most cases, organizations have no comprehension of what digital assets and what role they play in a company.

This is the most inefficient and costly exercise that impacts the competitiveness of your business. When your assets are scattered, it eats a lot of time and effort of your teams to find them. If they are not able to find them, they need to recreate the asset again though the assets are already there.

Without a DAM, you cannot have a reliable digital asset standardization. Due to a lack of standardization, you might face the issue of third-party licensing and version control. There are chances you incur the cost of storing duplicated assets.

Create delightful digital experiences for your customers

The well-managed digital assets empower the content value by creating and delivering a compelling digital experience. It involves many steps to create such experiences.

At the time of designing a Digital Asset Management strategy, you need to consider

  • Management, production, innumerable editorial activities
  • Editing and enriching the digital assets
  • Storing and indexing the multiple renditions
  • Reviewing and approving the final versions
  • Identifying derivative works
  • Channeling the distribution to marketers across the organization, and more…

Implementation of DAM simplifies commercial rights and payments-related matters such as analyzing how digital assets are used, making sure that usage terms are met, generating data for royalty payments, and identifying the issues before they become a costly mistake.

If you are planning to define business models for commercial content, I would like to share that they are going to be complex and not easily reduced to predefined rules and algorithms.

Brand-conscious companies are facing brand consistency issues. With the emergence of DAM platforms, they can successfully manage the wide range of digital assets by storing, organizing, protecting, and distributing the digital assets effectively and securely.

Allows your teams to focus more on creative and revenue-generating activities

If you have implemented the SaaS-based Digital Asset Management solution, your sales, marketing, and other teams can easily and quickly convert the media files with less time spent and less bandwidth. They can enrich the content on the fly and move ahead to address the rest of the challenges without following a chunky workflow and manual requests.

Gain a competitive edge with a Digital Asset Management strategy

Using the analytics of Digital Asset Management technologies platforms, digital architecture, and frameworks, organizations are making a massive volume and diversity of actions and decisions every day.

In every domain, organizations are constantly trying to develop data exploitation and accumulate unique data assets, before the competitors outmaneuver, outperform, and outpace them. Organizations that do not consider digital assets as their core business necessity are unable to develop an effective Digital Asset Management strategy. While declining the essence of digital assets, companies risk business failure.

DAM transforms the way your creative team operates

As the Digital Asset Management platform automates the asset management processes, it drastically changes the way creative teams accomplish their work and achieves the targets. Implementation of an advanced DAM system

Offers efficient workflow

DAM enables brands with automated workflows to keep the projects moving and sending necessary alerts to the stakeholders so they can perform the reviews and approval processes on time and meet their deadlines seamlessly.

Reduces file search time

Meta Tagging is one of the most essential Digital Asset Management strategies that allows users to search the digital assets faster as well as reduce the possibilities of recreating the unfound digital assets.

Streamlines file repurposing and creation

DAM platform allows companies to create the assets as well as edit and enrich them as and when needed. It also allows you to distribute it quickly through multiple channels.

Ensures brand consistency

Implementation of Digital Asset Management solution, companies can improve the quality of their digital assets. Also, it prevents the usage of outdated digital assets as it impacts negatively on the brand reputation.

Define user rights and permission for content accessibility

With the help of the Digital Asset Management system, you can control the user access to the digital assets using the user rights and permission feature.

As we know, DAM is the centralized repository of all your digital assets that are ready for distribution across multiple output channels. These assets can be shared with others as well.

But there are digital assets that are still in progress. Such assets need to be accessed by an internal team until they are not ready for distribution and publishing.

In absence of the right DAM platform, your employees usually manage the digital assets in their local computers. This will create an issue when your old employees leave the organization. There are chances the data leave with them. When new employees join the company, they might end up recreating the same type of assets. This is obvious as they are not aware of already available assets.

By managing all the digital assets in a single location, you do not need to worry about employees’ exit and entry into the organization.

How to be prepared for Digital Asset Management (DAM) strategy implementation?

Perform digital asset audit quickly

It is always the first step to identify what you have and how you can utilize it regardless of any business and strategy. The reason is it is a cost-effective approach. Thus, it applies to digital assets too.

You need to start with identifying the most common use cases for Digital Asset Management in your organization. Coordinate with your internal teams to get clarity on how digital assets are used to address your organizational needs now and in the future.

Once you understand how the Digital Asset Management systems are being used in your company and across your different teams, it’s time to identify where your assets are stored, what is needed to manage them, and how these digital assets are accessed by the users.

When you have all this information in place, it becomes easy for your Information Technology and digital asset management teams to compile all the required information and address them on an early basis.

I guess now you are clear which teams are required to work with digital assets.

Involve all your team members in creating, implementing, and managing the Digital Asset Management system. Their inputs are crucial as they are performing day-to-day DAM activities. Discuss their everyday frustration and their requirements to build a suitable DAM solution instead of selecting any ready-to-use one.

Develop a Business Plan

Here, consider the business plan in the context of DAM. While making a decision of implementing a DAM solution, outline the values it delivers to your company and how the system will help you to accomplish your organizational objectives and challenges. You also need to quantify the investment for the DAM and then justify that investment.

To design a perfect business plan, you need to create detailed documentation that covers

  • The way processes are managed now
  • What is the cost of the existing process in terms of efforts, time, and resources

Consider this as a baseline while deploying a DAM. Make sure it will be a cost-efficient project in all the ways regardless of resources, time, and efforts.

Define your business plan in a way that maps out where you are currently, where you are going and the complete plan to accomplish your objectives. Basically, you need to create a business plan that works as a blueprint for your entire project.

Discuss DAM requirements & challenges with your teams

As we have already discussed in our Digital Asset Management strategy section, you have to involve the DAM users in the decision-making process. You need to understand how your team members are going to use the DAM as a part of their daily work. It simplifies the digital asset management processes as well as builds a culture of trust and support across the organization.

Identify the DAM implementation objectives

Determining the objective is essential for everything that you do. The most common way of doing that is through face-to-face meetings. Have a detailed discussion about the digital asset-related requirements and challenges with your stakeholders and users and learn what is important for your team.

Based on the users’ and stakeholders’ needs and issues, you can define the objectives and find out the way to achieve these goals.
For example; if your objective for the DAM implementation is to fasten catalog production, then you should define and document this at the pre-planning stages.

Determine your basic requirements for the DAM

Before moving ahead with DAM platform selection and implementation, you need to define your basic needs. Based on your requirements, you need to invest in the Digital Asset Management solution.

It’s very tough to get a “one size fits all” solution when it comes to DAM. So, analyze your business requirements, wants, and desires thoroughly. The requirements of the digital asset managers consist of:

  • A centralized repository of media assets preservation
  • Managing the media assets for marketing, sales, and production purposes
  • Market and sell products online through digital assets
  • Built-in media asset distribution facility

There might be multiple objectives that as an organization you want to achieve. But out of all of them, there is a specific objective that holds the top priority and it is quite impossible to deliver by avoiding the Digital Asset Management solution.

So, DAM addresses your top-rated objectives. Other objectives will be accomplished phase by phase later on.

During your market research, you might become across a wide variety of DAM solutions. Make a list of them, analyze which platforms meet your primary objectives and which can more easily be extended to deal with your secondary objectives.

Points to be considered while defining a Digital Asset Management strategy

Leverage metadata to simplify asset search and amplify SEO result

Metadata makes the asset search simplified. It allows you to describe and define the digital assets in the DAM system. Usually, metadata contains the specific attributes of the digital assets and keyword phrases for creating effective asset structure and organizing the data logically.

While defining metadata for our digital assets, ensure that it doesn’t make the asset search process complex. Metadata supposed to make the assets search more efficient and easier.

By adding the keywords to your asset name, you can empower your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) activities. It allows leading search engines including Google to understand the content of your image and increase the SEO value of your blog, web page, social media, or other online platforms where your assets are live.

When the SEO value of your page is increased, it amplifies your page authority. The chances of being found are improved due to prime visibility on the search engines.

Most of the Digital Asset Management search works just like Google search so optimizing the digital asset names is worth investing time and effort. Always choose the relevant attributes and keywords as metadata for your digital assets.

To create the right metadata, it is important that everyone that uses the DAM system is clear about metadata structure. Thus, connect with your potential users and actual users to create the right set of metadata fields.

There are chances the needs of actual users are different from the admin’s expectations. Hence, to set up a solid metadata structure, having face-to-face communication with your users is the more effective approach.

Insufficient metadata makes the asset search complicated

The main job of metadata is to make the digital asset easily searchable. This can be only possible if you have cataloged the assets using meaningful and descriptive metadata. When the assets are created and uploaded into the DAM system, the admin practices to add only perfunctory cataloging metadata. This is quite riskier.

In such cases, the users won’t be able to find what they are looking for. There are chances that they might start hoarding the assets in their personal collections.

While defining the Digital Asset findability strategy, consideration of training and cataloging processes parallel is necessary. It helps you to create sufficient metadata for all your digital assets.

Consider DAM as a part of your content roadmap

If you consider Digital Asset Management strategy as an integral part of your content roadmap then you can implement it quickly.
In fact, tracking digital assets becomes easier for you where you can analyze how each of your digital assets is being used including videos, images, logos, documents, graphics, PDFs, and more.

To gain the optimum output from your digital assets, you need to align DAM with your organizational objectives. Define monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals. Perform an audit for your DAM on a regular basis to check if you have all the necessary assets that support your video campaigns or new product launch.

With the help of DAM, digital asset audit becomes easier which is quite a time and effort coming in an internal server where the hundreds and thousands of assets are available in an unorganized way.

In the DAM, to find assets, you need to search assets by asset type, tagged with the keyword of the new product. It instantly lets you know if you have any content gaps in your digital asset library.

Strategic advantages of Digital Asset Management (DAM)

Improved Productivity

Digital Asset Management enables organizations with powerful search capabilities, flexible access rights, automated workflows, third-party integrations/plugins, content repurposing, and many advanced features.

It also provides a version control feature that has the ability to track changes, save time for your team, drive efficiency in your DAM processes, and boost the organization’s productivity.

Measure Performance of Digital Assets

All the modern Digital Asset Management solutions come with a built-in insights feature that helps the brands to get a detailed understanding of where and how your digital assists are being used. The system allows you to embed code and provides you custom links to help you to measure the performance of each asset on specific sales and marketing channels.

Integrate Google Analytics with DAM to improve your performance tacking process significantly.

Break Down Data silos

Leveraging automated workflows, companies can manage digital assets with minimal human intervention. The user control feature allows the users to control access to the critical business assets and discuss the changes and feedback within the system. This breaks down silos and improves interdepartmental collaboration.

Digital Asset Backup

Implementation of DAM allows you to keep the back of the old version. So. At any point in time, if you want to return to your earlier version of digital assets, you can quickly search for the old version and use it.

Similarly, all the files can be archived and preserved in the DAM solution. Thus, if you need them in the future, you can easily retrieve them from the system.

Closing thoughts

Before implementing a DAM solution, it is essential to define the right strategy as per your business needs. It helps you in either selecting or developing the right DAM solution for your business that delivers outstanding values to your organization. So, make sure you are determining the right strategy to address and satisfy your digital assets-related challenges and requirements.

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