You’re Not Ready for a DAM (Unless You Do This First)

youre not ready for dam 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 improve manufacturing effectivity, improve cross-team operability, and enhance advertising productiveness and efficiency.

Marketers spend over 60% of their time retrieving information or restructuring lost assets and other low-value tasks. Implementing a DAM system could also be one of the best ways to reclaim that wasted time.

Yet, two operational challenges usually stand in the best way of efficient implementation. The first is figuring out the content material processes the DAM ought to assist facilitate. It’s usually an missed 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 or not it’s used? Where does it match within the content material workflow? If you don’t have these solutions, it’s like purchasing for a automotive with out understanding if it will likely be used to haul bricks or compete in a road race.

If you don’t know your #content processes and organization criteria, it’s hard to make the right DAM system choice, says @joderama via @CMIContent @Aprimo. Click To Tweet

These obstacles – on prime of necessities like securing finances approval and executive buy-in, and managing implementation, configuration, and integration – could make the very considered working with a DAM system too intimidating to think about. But with a little superior planning and a targeted method, you possibly can decrease a few of these boundaries and pace 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, arrange, and retrieve digital media property for environment friendly use throughout all levels of the content material creation lifecycle. They additionally 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.

Used in tandem with a net content material administration system (WCM) and/or different advertising automation expertise (like electronic mail administration programs and social media publishing suites), a DAM could make it simpler for content material creators to locate brand assets like pictures, audio and video footage, animations, and different graphics, monitor adjustments as they transfer by manufacturing, and guarantee they’re properly sized, formatted, and tagged for use on chosen distribution platforms and channels.

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

Only 49% of #B2B marketers say their company uses a #content management system according to @CMIContent #research via @joderama. Click To Tweet

Yet, CMI’s chief technique advisor Robert Rose thinks this discovering could point out a basic content material tech misperception that a DAM system and a CMS are interchangeable: “Companies say they don’t have a CMS. They do – at least when it comes to a system to manage content on their website (e.g., Drupal, WordPress). The confusion occurs because the term ‘content management system’ has become synonymous with digital assets management (DAM).”

While 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.

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“A website CMS or social media tool typically manages media assets from their finalized state through publication and measurement. Yet, they provide little consistency in how content gets handled across various formats. In contrast, a DAM system is going to provide full process efficiency from the spark of ideation through creation, production, and multi-platform publication, as well as when and where the asset will ultimately be archived for future reuse and repurposing,” Robert says.

As I discussed, managing these operational issues is usually the largest problem when including any new expertise to your content material stack. Fortunately, Robert’s train beneath would possibly simply prevent a world of damage and problem.

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Right preparation begets elevated productiveness

To choose the fitting DAM system, it’s good 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 a lot of particulars and variations to type by, and that is the place many organizations journey up earlier than they actually get began.

Furthermore, no DAM system will operate optimally proper out of the field. It should be configured to accommodate your use circumstances, governance selections, and team workflows. So, earlier than you start the acquisition course of, you want a clear view of the operational issues and preparation concerned to ship a absolutely functioning system for your group.

A DAM system won’t function optimally out of the box. It must be configured to your use cases, governance, and workflow, says @joderama via @CMIContent @Aprimo. Click To Tweet

Here are a few 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 goal(s) shall be served by the property? Internal, 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? Where would possibly additions or exceptions exist?
  • Should duties occur concurrently or concurrently?
  • Who shall be accountable for every activity? Who else shall be concerned?
  • What permissions, approvals, and different governance requirements are wanted earlier than the asset may be revealed?

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 recordsdata shall be named, categorized, tagged, saved, and managed for environment friendly use throughout groups and features.

Inventory 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 individuals and processes to supply one sort of content material for one goal or a part of the shopper journey. The insights and data generated might help information your DAM decision-making course of and later increase to accommodate extra content types and functions when you’ve bought and are able to implement a system.

Understand your #DAM needs with this exercise from @Robert_Rose: Map the people and processes to produce one type of #content for one purpose via @joderama @CMIContent @Aprimo. Click To Tweet

The two elements to this train are:

  • Content lifecycle mapping: This ordered listing outlines the vital steps and duties to take a piece of content material from ideation to execution. It offers a high-level view of this content material sort’s workflow because it’s routed by the event lifecycle and particulars who takes cost of the duty at every stage.
  • Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed mapping: This duty project matrix (aka RACI matrix) identifies all of the team members (inside and exterior) concerned in every of the duties because the chief or a collaborator. It visualizes how group assets are allotted so you possibly can set clear duties round asset administration and determine potential areas for restructuring workflow for higher effectivity.
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Let’s stroll by the method.

Step 1: Identify key factors and processes of your workflow

Outline all of the duties concerned in creating a sort 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 beneath sure circumstances. Focus solely on the duties that usually are concerned.

content lifecycle templateClick 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 listing the individual accountable for managing that activity (who) or noting the precise actions and issues (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 ideation: Who generates topics and ideas for the e-book? Who submits the concepts for approval? Does an permitted concept align with a content material objective? Who collects viable concepts and prepares them to enter the planning course of?
  • Planning: Where are viable concepts collected for consideration and prioritization? How are accepted concepts prioritized and permitted for assignment?
  • Creation: Who offers 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 assessment/approval)? Who shepherds the ensuing property into manufacturing?
  • Production: How does production obtain the content material? What steps flip them into a publication-ready asset (i.e., the way you’ll incorporate your e-book into a content material advertising marketing campaign)? Who delivers the ultimate marketing campaign property to the group 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 performance? What else must occur (e.g., archived for later repurposing by whom and the place it’s saved)?

You ought to repeat this course of for each sort of content material produced – and all of the property and campaigns it may be utilized to all through your model’s content material expertise. But detailing the workflow for even only one sort of asset can floor the solutions and data essential to analysis, contemplate, and evaluate potential DAM options.

Step 2: Identify roles and duties

Now that you’ve an outline of the duties and routing particulars, you possibly can 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 beneath) to notice all of the group members who play a position 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 offers more element on RACI charts and easy methods to use them. But for our functions, the primary factor to know is that roles are divided into 4 classes:

  • Responsible: These group members do the hands-on work – e.g., writing, editing, or designing the e-book, accumulating property and routing them to the suitable level individual, managing manufacturing schedules and deadlines, monitoring and reporting efficiency information, and so forth. At least one individual should be listed as accountable for every activity, although anybody who actively contributes to that activity ought to be included, too.
  • Accountable: This is the one group member who solutions for the correct completion of every activity or deliverable. They guarantee all prerequisite duties, requirements, and necessities are met. They decide and delegate duties; and ship any ultimate approvals Note that whereas just one individual ought to be listed as accountable at every stage, that individual might also play a position in different duties all through the method.
  • Consulted: These are the subject material specialists, advisory board members, or different events who could contribute to or collaborate on duties however don’t maintain duty for their execution or how they’re managed. For instance, if a author often consults with a model group member to make sure they’ve precisely mirrored key model particulars within the e-book, the branding skilled can be listed as a marketing consultant.
  • Informed: 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 group contact, a sponsor, an government stakeholder), listing them.
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As Robert explains, the columns confer with how frequent purpose-driven content material varieties created for a particular asset (e.g., an about-our-company-and-products part of copy featured in e-books) may be mapped and managed for different makes use of (i.e., for thought management content material advertising efforts, inclusion in a story for advertising, gross sales sheet, repackaged for ad-hoc wants).

dam raci template final

Click to enlarge

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


Putting all of it collectively

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

For a more complete audit of your content material operations, add particulars for all different content material varieties in these templates. But even in case you solely have time to work by this abbreviated course of, you’ll come away with a strong plan for turning your DAM desires into an achievable actuality.


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

Cover picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

Jerry Gordon

About Jerry Gordon

Webmaster, nature and tech lover. Jerry manages the day-to-day operations at DigiToolsadvisor. He loves enjoying his free time, but most of all, trying new tools to master.