In the world of marketing and creative operations, the ability to efficiently manage and distribute digital assets is paramount. Findings from Cella’s 2023 Creative and Marketing In-House Industry Survey reveal a trend that is somewhat surprising, and a bit alarming: Despite the advancement of Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems, a majority of organizations are still relying on traditional file-sharing methods to distribute content both internally and externally.
Our survey found that 62% of respondents are using email, while 55% use SharePoint, and another 55% use OneDrive for file sharing. Notably, these tools, while useful in that they provide cloud-based file storage, are not true DAM systems designed for the sophisticated needs of marketing and creative operations. Only 48% of respondents use a dedicated DAM system.
Despite DAM systems’ capabilities to provide a unified source of truth for content, streamline workflows, enhance collaboration, and safeguard brand integrity, many organizations continue to rely on simpler methods which I believe is due to a perceived complexity in regard to DAM adoption and an overall lack of knowledge around DAM practices.
Why DAM Is a Better Solution for File Distribution
In the current era of personalization, the demand for diverse and abundant content is growing rapidly. Manual file management tactics simply cannot keep up with this intensity. DAM systems, equipped with robust automation tools, can support the necessary scale and complexity of today’s content needs.
By offering a centralized location for storing and organizing all digital assets, DAM systems act as the source of truth within an organization for finding and leveraging the most up-to-date and brand-approved content which is critical in managing the tsunami of content needs in-house teams are forced to respond to. This reduces the risk of asset duplication and ensures the correct, approved files are used across all platforms. Furthermore, advanced search capabilities, tagging, and metadata management in DAM systems make locating and distributing assets much more efficient.
Moreover, to efficiently operate in this high-demand environment, modern brands must have an integrated ecosystem of platforms to cover the needs of the content supply chain, including planning, production, delivery and analysis. A DAM system can seamlessly integrate into this ecosystem, serving as the vital hub for all digital assets.
The Crawl-Walk-Run Approach to DAM Implementation
A gradual, phased approach can help organizations transition from traditional file sharing to a robust DAM system without causing disruption. Starting with the “crawl” phase, organizations can lay the groundwork by standardizing asset management and implementing basic taxonomy and metadata schemas to enable search. In the “walk” phase, the focus shifts to optimizing the DAM system by expanding taxonomy and metadata, integrating with other systems, and beginning to utilize more advanced features. Finally, in the “run” phase, organizations can harness the power of AI and advanced analytics to further enhance their DAM capabilities.
Choosing a DAM: Getting Started
Choosing a DAM system can seem daunting given the wide array of options available. Begin by identifying your organization’s specific needs and challenges. What type of assets do you need to manage? How complex are your workflows? How will the DAM integrate with your existing systems? Cella’s article on implementation best practices is a good starting point for items to consider and be aware of. It outlines best practices around tool selection (honed from our team’s years of experience) and provides pro tips to help you in this crucial process. Once you’ve outlined your requirements, you can start comparing different DAM systems. Look for features that meet your needs, and consider factors such as usability, scalability, customer support and, of course, pricing.
The transition to a dedicated DAM system is a strategic necessity in today’s digital marketing landscape. We are hopeful that moving forward, fewer people will distribute files manually (via email) and begin to adopt and utilize the benefits of a DAM in increasing numbers. By providing a unified source of truth, a DAM system can streamline operations, enhance collaboration, reduce risk and, ultimately, drive a superior customer experience. Embrace the crawl-walk-run approach to DAM implementation, and your organization will be well on its way to reaping the benefits of this powerful tool. Cella has helped numerous clients transform the way they manage their digital assets by implementing the right kind of DAM system that is ideal for their organization. Our team is always here to help you on this worthwhile journey.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David Iscove , Cella’s Creative Technology Practice Lead , Cella Consulting
David Iscove is Cella’s Creative Technology Practice Lead for Cella Consulting. He is an influencer in the adoption of cutting-edge creative application solutions related to enterprise-scale new media production and consumer engagement. David believes in empowering creatives by providing the right tools for each job and avoiding compromise. To accomplish this, David has focused his career on system integration design, automation, and data architecture improvements – the heavy lifting behind-the-scenes work – which, if performed correctly, provides simplicity on the front end for creatives to do what they do best…be creative!
David has a strong focus on both marketing and creative technologies as well as process improvement. He has designed integrated visual media production workflow strategies and aided multiple Fortune 500 companies to improve their creative production processes so that stakeholders can access, collaborate and push content to market no matter where on the planet and on what device they may be at any given moment. David has assisted massive multinational companies gain studio transparency, dramatically reduce lead time and scale their operations.