Navigating the DAM Revolution

What you need to know about selecting and implementing a digital asset management system.

  • Feb. 21 2020

The industry is buzzing with the rise of digital asset management solutions. While we understand that leveraging yet another software solution can be intimidating and maybe even controversial within your organization, it's important to understand how you can benefit from utilizing a DAM solution, and the steps needed for implementation.

Understanding Digital Asset Management

Digital asset management is the practice of — obviously — managing an organization’s digital assets, and it’s most often facilitated through digital asset management software. This software does more than just place images and files into folders, though; depending on the software, DAM solutions may provide advanced search, tagging and categorizing, workflow management, and seamless integration with your chosen content management system.

Ahead of implementing — or even considering — a DAM solution, it’s important to have clear requirements and expectations in place.

So, why consider using DAM in the first place?

  1. A single storage place for all of your digital assets: A DAM solution links with your CMS to make it easier to store, find, and deploy assets when you and your team need them.
  2. Non-technical deployment of multi-use marketing assets: Assets, once organized, can be deployed dynamically for specific audiences.
  3. Increased rate of publication: Producing content can be time-consuming and expensive. Pairing your DAM system and CMS allows categorization and organization. 
  4. Cloud-based storage saves your organization space: Utilizing cloud base storage saves your organization’s memory, space, and ultimately, time.

Each DAM implementation is as unique as the organization needing it. After evaluating your goals, you may find that your CMS already includes the functionalities you're looking for. If not, and you’ve identified that a DAM integration is necessary, it’s time to get a plan in place for bringing it to life. Below is a guide for what you need to consider through each phase of the project.

DAM Prework

Before you begin, it’s important to understand why your organization specifically is going to be using a DAM, and how it will be incorporated into existing workflows.

Gain clarity around requirements

  • Who will be using your DAM system?
  • What type of assets and formats will you be uploading to your DAM solution?
  • Where are your existing assets located now? If not in a singular place, how will you gather them?
  • How are you anticipating users interacting with your assets?
  • What’s your ultimate vision for using a DAM system?

Questions to ask your DAM provider

  • How is metadata acquired and can metadata standards be selected?
  • What is the system’s capacity?
  • How easy is it to use?
  • Is the interface user-friendly, or will you need a developer to make it work?
  • How much can be customized?
  • How are the assets structured, and is there a differentiated search function?
  • What type of analytics tracking does the DAM provide?

During DAM Implementation

Now that you're through the groundwork of understanding how your organization will benefit and ultimately use the DAM solution, it’s time to prep your assets and get them into the solution. This is when the real fun begins: migration and implementation. 

During the implementation process, you will:

  • Create a project plan with milestones for the implementation
  • Establish governance for how your team will manage content uploading and management
  • Determine a workflow and schedule for migrating assets
  • Apply and extract metadata
  • Choose someone to own the project and be the DAM solution admin within your organization
  • Train solution admins and users
  • Configure and setup
  • Review system functionality

After Integration: The DAM is Live!

Just like your website, once your DAM solution is integrated, it will continue to require maintenance as an ongoing project into the future.

Through continual maintenance, audits, training, and user engagement tactics, it’s important to track metrics and goals to help ensure DAM efficiency. Keeping your DAM solution up-to-date and functional includes:

  • Ongoing site maintenance tasks (these should separated out into weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual tasks)
  • Conducting periodic site and system audits
  • Ongoing user training
  • User engagement and adoption

And there you have it: a guide for a successful DAM implementation. Need more information about how your organization may benefit from a DAM solution, or how to get it implemented? Blend can help. Drop us a line!