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

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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 improve 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 usually stand in the way in which of efficient implementation. The primary is figuring out the content material processes the DAM ought to assist facilitate. It’s usually an neglected consideration, significantly 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? For those who don’t have these solutions, it’s like searching for a automobile with out realizing if it is going to be used to haul bricks or compete in a road race.

For those who don’t know your #content material processes and group standards, it’s onerous to make the fitting DAM system selection, says @joderama through @CMIContent @Aprimo. Click on To Tweet

These obstacles – on prime 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 a bit superior planning and a targeted method, you’ll be able to decrease a few of these limitations and velocity up your path to realizing the advantages these programs can provide.

Clearing the content material tech confusion

At their easiest, DAM programs are utilized by enterprises to retailer, set up, and retrieve digital media property for environment friendly use throughout all phases 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 features 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 programs 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 adjustments as they transfer by way of 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 programs are onerous to come back by, it’s logical to imagine they’re underused, on condition that CMI’s B2B Benchmarks, Budgets, and Developments: 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 accordance with @CMIContent #analysis through @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: “Firms say they don’t have a CMS. They do – not less than in terms of 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 features, neither can do the job successfully until the enterprise aligns on the features every system facilitates, who will use every, and the way every can be utilized to its potential.

“An internet site CMS or social media device sometimes manages media property from their finalized state by way of 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 offer full course of effectivity from the spark of ideation by way of creation, manufacturing, and multi-platform publication, in addition to when and the place the asset will finally be archived for future reuse and repurposing,” Robert says.

As I discussed, managing these operational issues is usually the most important problem when including any new know-how to your content material stack. Thankfully, Robert’s train under would possibly simply prevent a world of damage and problem.


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 one of the best content material operations resolution on your groups. Obtain now.

Proper preparation begets elevated productiveness

To pick out the fitting DAM system, you should know which groups will use it, how they’re going to make use of it, and what they’ll use it for. That’s lots of particulars and variations to kind by way of, and that is the place many organizations journey up earlier than they actually get began.

Moreover, no DAM system will perform optimally proper out of the field. It have to be configured to accommodate your use instances, governance choices, and staff workflows. So, earlier than you start the acquisition course of, you want a transparent view of the operational issues and preparation concerned to ship a completely functioning system on your group.

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

Listed below are just a few inquiries to reply:

  • What content material supplies are required to supply every kind of asset (e.g., product descriptions, firm boilerplate, photos, audio, video, graphics, interactive options)?
  • What strategic function(s) will likely be served by the property? Inside, exterior, each?
  • What are the file codecs? What inner and exterior sources 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 will likely be accountable for every process? Who else will likely be concerned?
  • What permissions, approvals, and different governance requirements are wanted earlier than the asset will 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 issues, like how asset information will likely be named, categorized, tagged, saved, and managed for environment friendly use throughout groups and features.

Stock your operations in 2 steps

To cease your head from spinning, Robert suggests a streamlined operations administration method he makes use of together with his consulting purchasers. Map the folks and processes to supply one kind of content material for one function or a part of the client journey. The insights and knowledge generated may help information your DAM decision-making course of and later develop to accommodate further 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 folks and processes to supply one kind of #content material for one function through @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 bit of content material from ideation to execution. It gives a high-level view of this content material kind’s workflow because it’s routed by way of the event lifecycle and particulars who takes cost of the duty at every stage.
  • Accountable, Accountable, Consulted, Knowledgeable mapping: This duty task matrix (aka RACI matrix) identifies all of the staff members (inner and exterior) concerned in every of the duties because the chief or a collaborator. It visualizes how staff sources are allotted so you’ll be able to set clear obligations round asset administration and establish potential areas for restructuring workflow for better effectivity.

Let’s stroll by way of the method.

Step 1: Establish 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 below sure circumstances. Focus solely on the duties that sometimes are concerned.

Click on to enlarge

The template encompasses six phases – 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 issues (what) earlier than the content material can transfer into the following stage. This breakdown particulars the stage-based inquiries to reply for our thought management e-book instance:

  • Content material ideation: Who generates subjects and concepts for the e-book? Who submits the concepts for approval? Does an accredited thought 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 task?
  • Creation: Who gives the task to the creator? What sources are wanted to execute it? Who manages the associated creation processes (e.g., enhancing, buying permissions, design and structure, last assessment/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 staff 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 kind of content material produced – and all of the property and campaigns it could be utilized to all through your model’s content material expertise. However detailing the workflow for even only one kind of asset can floor the solutions and knowledge essential to analysis, think about, and evaluate potential DAM options.

Step 2: Establish roles and obligations

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 staff members who play a job 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 features within the enterprise.

This Forbes article gives 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 staff members do the hands-on work – e.g., writing, enhancing, or designing the e-book, gathering property and routing them to the suitable level individual, managing manufacturing schedules and deadlines, monitoring and reporting efficiency knowledge, and many others. Not less than one individual have to be listed as chargeable for every process, although anybody who actively contributes to that process needs to be included, too.
  • Accountable: That is the one staff member who solutions for the correct completion of every process or deliverable. They guarantee all prerequisite duties, requirements, and necessities are met. They decide and delegate obligations; and ship any last approvals Be aware that whereas just one individual needs to be listed as accountable at every stage, that individual might also play a job 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 staff member to make sure they’ve precisely mirrored key model particulars within the e-book, the branding skilled can be listed as a guide.
  • Knowledgeable: If anybody else must be looped in on challenge standing or notified when the e-book has been launched into the market (e.g., a gross sales staff contact, a sponsor, an government stakeholder), checklist them.

As Robert explains, the columns confer with how frequent 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) could 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 by way of 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 establish a job overloaded with obligations and accountability at sure phases of manufacturing that, if rebalanced, might 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 obligations throughout all of the features 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 could have a high-level understanding of the operational must account for while you’re prepared to guage and evaluate 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 for those who solely have time to work by way of this abbreviated course of, you’ll come away with a strong plan for turning your DAM goals into an achievable actuality.


Wish to learn to steadiness, 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 immediately.

Cowl picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content material Advertising and marketing Institute