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Michael Waldron

Feature image webinar the 5 key productivity Reports

The 5 Key Productivity Reports Every DAM User Needs

By Webinars
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Webinar

The 5 Key Productivity Reports
Every DAM User Needs

Learn how to simplify the process of measuring productivity in digital asset management with vital KPIs, report integration strategies, and benchmarks for enhanced team efficiency.

While your digital asset management platform is built for productivity, quantifying productivity gains (or losses) can be challenging. Although (some) DAMs provide you with the data, understanding which reports your users need to help them be more efficient isn’t always straightforward.

So, we’ve taken the guesswork out of it for you.

Kraeton Moll, Product Manager, and Mike Waldron, CMO of Tenovos, identify five key reports every DAM user needs and break down:

  • What vital productivity KPIs and metrics you should be measuring
  • How to build those metrics into a report that adds value to your team
  • What benchmarks you should be striving for

The Speakers

kraeton

Kraeton Moll
Product Manager
Tenovos

Kraeton Moll is a passionate Product Manager who transitioned from his role as Sr. Customer Success Account Manager, driven by a desire to leverage the insights he gained during 2.5 years of working closely with customers.

As a product manager at Tenovos, Kraeton applies his in-depth understanding of customers’ key objectives and his specialization in data and analytics to roadmap management and continuously enhancing current and future product features.

Kraeton holds a degree in Strategic Communications from the University of Missouri and is a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), currently residing in Chicago.

mike

Mike Waldron
CMO
Tenovos

Michael Waldron is an enterprise software CMO obsessed with empowering companies to tell data-driven, engaging, and impactful stories that drive business growth.

As CMO at Tenovos, Michael is pushing brands to rethink their perspective of digital asset management (DAM) and how it can significantly improve employee productivity and content performance.

Prior to joining Tenovos, Michael’s 20 years of experience in B2B SaaS Marketing included senior Marketing positions at Uberflip, NewStore, and Black Duck Software.

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Related Resources

feature forrester Rebuttal

Making Waves: Tenovos Journeys Beyond Forrester’s Metrics

By Blog
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Today, Forrester published The Forrester Wave: Digital Asset Management For Customer Experience, Q1 2024. Despite performing well in the 2022 version, Forrester decided not to evaluate Tenovos this time due to a revised and materially higher financial threshold.

Companies like Tenovos rely on analysts to help give their brand and credibility a shot in the arm, which is particularly important in a 20+ year-old category such as Digital Asset Management (DAM), where it can be tough for innovative and fast-growing companies like Tenovos to get mindshare against larger suite vendors who have acquired their way into the DAM category and have amassed years of legacy revenue.

image rebuttal forrester
dam Chart forrester
The Forrester Wave: Digital Asset Management For Customer Experience, Q1 2022

You can imagine my delight when Tenovos landed as “Strong Performers” on The Forrester Wave: Digital Asset Management For Customer Experience, Q1 2022, released two years ago. It’s extremely rare for a vendor to land in such a high position for their first-ever Wave; typically, a vendor is introduced at the “Challengers” or “Contenders” level.

This position was a testament to our approach to disrupting the DAM category, not only with our vision but also with our modern platform, enterprise customers, and, of course, our people.

Since The Forrester Wave: Digital Asset Management For Customer Experience, Q1 2022, Tenovos has only gone from strength to strength

Our vision – The alter-ego to the Customer Data Platform, Tenovos provides a 360° view of your content, from creation to consumption, marrying productivity and performance analytics so global brands can efficiently create optimized content at scale. It continues to be well received in the market, especially by executive teams looking to be smarter with their content spend.

Our platform – We never stop innovating. From built-in rights management, workflows, and PIM framework to dynamic content localization, AI features to boost productivity and more. Our product continues to evolve monthly, and our customers get a say about what we prioritize -only a few companies offer that.

Our architecture There’s a growing trend in the DAM space to replace monolithic vendors that offer a vast suite of products and services (which can come with a hefty price tag for a small fraction of the functionality you’ll use). Today, tech-savvy brands want to use different best-in-breed technologies across their media supply chain rather than being handcuffed to one vendor for everything. 

Tenovos was the first DAM in the MACH alliance, with our platform being built upon the core MACH principles of developing technology that leverages microservices, API-first, cloud-native, and headless. A first we’re very proud of.

Our customers – They’re the reason we do what we do. Since our original Wave inclusion in 2022, we’ve added dozens of incremental, amazing global brands to our portfolio, including Reckitt, Skechers, Mattel, and many others my mum has heard of. More impressive is that our customer Net Promoter Score (NPS) is north of 50, which I can’t recall ever seeing in my 20+ year career. We’re proud to provide a DAM that our customers love.

Our people – Some companies focus on logo acquisition, but if you’ve ever bought a DAM, you know it’s not only about the technology. Having a killer DAM strategy and a vendor that can demonstrate a vested interest in your long-term success is just as important. We’ve seen our competitors stretch themselves thin, and being focused on logo acquisition, they don’t have the time or resources to support enterprise clients with the personalized and dedicated approach they need and deserve. We don’t say yes to every deal, but when we do, we partner with them to achieve their specific goals and ensure they get the most out of their investment from day one.

With that said, you can imagine my surprise when we were told we wouldn’t be evaluated for the 2024 version of the Forrester Wave, when our internal goal was to land as “Leaders.”

The only difference - an inexplicable increase in Forrester’s criteria for meeting a minimum revenue (not TCV) threshold.

I’ve known this news for some time, and while initially disappointed, I’ve had time to muse on it. While I don’t think it reflects well on Forrester from an inclusion perspective, as it favors legacy vendors who captured much of their DAM revenue stream through acquisition, I’m not concerned about it.

Tenovos will survive our exclusion and continue to grow from strength to strength. We may need to sell and market harder than we’ve done in the past, but those savvy DAM buyers will let OUR technology, people, and, most importantly, customers do the talking, not an analyst firm. We won’t increase our prices to achieve higher revenue targets; instead, focusing on providing value for our customers aligned with sound ROI.

To all those vendors out there who didn’t get their day in the sun because of an arbitrary metric or shift in criteria despite all your hard work, I say don’t worry; keep doing what you’re doing – it’ll make you even stronger for it.

If anyone wants to reach out and talk about the Tenovos platform in more detail, don’t hesitate to contact me below.

mike

Michael Waldron 

CMO
Tenovos
mike@tenovos.com

Harnessing the Power of Generative AI: Addressing Rights and Licensing Challenges for Content Creation

By Blog, Productivity-Reuse
Reading Time: 5 minutes

It’s impossible to avoid the buzz around artificial intelligence (AI) in all its forms. It’s everywhere with its promise to help and hinder humans equally.

One form of AI that has garnered significant interest, mainly due to its visual nature, is generative AI. With the ability to produce diverse content types such as text, imagery, video, and audio, generative AI has opened up new avenues for creative expression and content generation. However, with its promise of convenience and efficiency, generative AI raises important questions regarding rights and licensing, which content creators and brands must understand and address.

What is Generative AI?

Generative AI, also known as creative AI or deep learning AI, encompasses algorithms and models trained on vast amounts of data to generate new content based on user inputs. Unlike traditional AI models that rely on predefined rules and logic, generative AI can create novel outputs by learning patterns and correlations from the data it has been trained on. Using generative AI, users can leverage the power of algorithms to produce content that aligns with their specific requirements and preferences.

For example, I asked Bria.AI to modify the background on this image of Ruby (the unofficial Tenovos pup) to include many dog treats. The process took seconds and didn’t require any skills (which is good as I don’t have any) or access to a creative suite.

So all is good, right?

Not quite. What if I published the image of Ruby (above) on my website but didn’t own the rights to the images of those dog treats?

The ability to quickly spin up product and marketing content using generative AI appeals to brands under pressure to create more content than ever before (who saw Threads coming?!). The challenge, however, is that the AI needs to follow the same guidelines your creative teams do regarding licensing and rights management associated with new content.

Licensing and Rights Management

Despite the undeniable benefits of generative AI, the technology introduces several challenges in the realm of rights and licensing. When using generative AI to create or modify content, it’s crucial to consider the legal implications surrounding intellectual property rights, copyright, and licensing agreements. An oversight in understanding and addressing these issues can lead to legal disputes, reputational damage, and potential financial liabilities for individuals and organizations.

Ownership and Attribution

One of the primary concerns is ensuring that the generated content doesn’t infringe upon the rights of others. For instance, if you are NOT feeding generative AI with existing images or assets, it’s essential to verify that you understand and can obtain the rights and permissions for whatever source content it’s leveraging to create the new imagery.

Understanding the Source Data

To address the licensing challenges associated with generative AI, it is important to have a clear understanding of the source data used to train the models. Generative AI models are typically trained on vast amounts of data, including publicly available information, creative commons-licensed content, or proprietary datasets. When creating content, it’s essential to let approvers or legal teams know when Generative AI was used and the origins of any training data, and associated rights or licensing restrictions that may apply. Or, use an AI tool that will only source from pre-approved content.

Implementing Rights Management in DAM Systems

Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems are crucial in managing and organizing digital assets within organizations. When integrating generative AI into DAM workflows, it is essential to incorporate robust rights management capabilities. By leveraging a DAM system that supports metadata tagging, licensing information, and rights management workflows, users can ensure that all relevant rights and permissions associated with the assets used by generative AI are accounted for and adhered to.

At Tenovos, we recognize the importance of addressing the rights and licensing challenges of using generative AI. Our DAM solution is designed to empower creative teams to leverage the productivity gains offered by AI while mitigating legal risks. Within the Tenovos platform, users can seamlessly utilize their existing asset libraries or tap into stock image repositories as inspiration for generative AI. With instant access to licensing and rights information for the assets involved in the AI-generated content, potential risks can be identified and addressed through automated workflows, minimizing the chance of human error.

Conclusion

Generative AI presents immense possibilities for content creation, enabling brands and creative teams to produce high-quality media content at scale. However, understanding and managing the rights and licensing aspects associated with generative AI is paramount. By adopting a comprehensive DAM solution that integrates rights management capabilities, organizations can leverage generative AI while ensuring compliance with intellectual property rights, licensing agreements, and copyright laws.

As the AI landscape continues to evolve, content creators and brands must establish a solid foundation that embraces the potential of generative AI while safeguarding their brand reputation and legal standing.

To learn more about how Tenovos can help you harness the power of generative AI while effectively managing rights and licensing, visit tenovos.com/demo

The Price of Being DAM-Less: 6 Surprising Costs You May Be Incurring

By Blog, business case template related, creative, dam-finserv, Productivity-Reuse
Reading Time: 7 minutes
visual dam costs 2

When implementing or upgrading DAM systems, cost is consistently the top concern for executives and creative directors. Between the number of users, the integrations, the internal support needed, a digital asset management system is a big investment. But have you ever stopped to consider what it’s costing your business to not have a DAM?

Without a DAM, you’ll see unnecessary costs across departments ranging from operations and marketing to legal and even HR. Here are the six costs you’ll face without a DAM and why you should consider implementing one (or upgrading your legacy one).

1 - Costs in Your Time and Marketing Budget—Managing Content in a Million Different Places

Your global teams are managing an unfathomable amount of content all the time—are you keeping those assets centralized and organized? Without a DAM, you can’t. Your teams might be wasting time trying to find assets—54% of office workers report wasting time searching for files in disorganized drives and filing systems. Nearly 57% of those surveyed ranked finding files quickly as one of the top issues to solve in the era of remote work. 

These problems are only compounded by global content teams who need to share, collaborate, edit, review, and publish content at scale. If you’re using an internal filing system or Google Drive, you might already be experiencing some of those limitations.

This is where your DAM comes in. For example, when it’s time to explore assets for content reuse, having a centralized library of assets leads to a better understanding of what assets you have (to avoid duplication). You’ll also have a better view of the content gaps that exist and what licensed assets you actually need (to avoid over-purchasing). With your DAM’s analytics and tracking features, you can see how assets are being used across channels and how that content is performing. A centralized asset library in your DAM helps you protect your asset investments and get your team’s time back.

2 - Costs in Your Metadata and Taxonomy—Staying Time-Consuming and Outdated

A HubSpot study found that the average marketer spends 16 hours per week on routine tasks. 

Instead of manually tagging assets, scrubbing through hours of video to apply relevant keywords, or endlessly struggling with maintaining taxonomy, with the help of AI, your DAM can: 

    • Recognize a particular brand of item and tag the image or video accordingly.
    • Recognize individuals and apply relevant tags across assets.
    • Tag based on topic, including complex concepts.
    • Embed subtitling and speech-to-text translation in 30+ languages, making all audio effectively searchable in the DAM.

The value of AI in DAM is that we can pass on those tedious tasks and give that time back to your marketing team. So, why aren’t you? The world’s top brands, across all sectors and industries, are already using AI to improve their data and digital asset metadata

3 - Costs to Your Operational and Creative Processes—Staying Stunted and Inefficient

Your content creation spreads across multiple third-party applications. Your approval workflows scattered in Slack, email threads, and Asana tasks. Your thousands (or millions) of assets hidden in layers upon layers of folders. What do all these scenarios have in common? They’re all impossibly inefficient. 

You can expect a DAM to streamline your content creation and accelerate your time to market.

Did you know a modern DAM can: 

    • Automatically tag any asset type using AI upon ingestion, making it easier to find, create, and reuse assets.
    • Increase discoverability with advanced search functionality like configurable search filters, user-based permissions, and rights-based content access. Never duplicate content again. 
    • Centralize approval workflows with system notifications to trigger review rounds and speed up your content engine. 

A modern DAM can save your team time from ingestion to publishing and across an asset’s lifecycle. By investing in a DAM, brand teams can focus their attention on creating better, more impactful content, instead of managing roundabout processes.

4 - Costs in Your Tech Stack—Remaining Siloed and Expensive

Without a DAM, your product information stands alone in a database. Your workflow management software can’t easily access your assets (and your workflows are efficiently moving between systems). And your creative teams are manually uploading and downloading assets in the DAM and creative suites, just to make small changes. 

With a DAM, you can integrate—and even replace—many third-party software programs to make your processes smoother. Many modern DAMs have built-in digital rights management and workflow management features. No need to add another costly vendor to your marketing stack. 

With integrations like PIM and creative suites, you can increase discoverability in your DAM by attaching detailed product information to content and make edits directly to assets without ever leaving the platform. This is a huge time saver for marketing teams because it centralizes processes and ensures you’re only spending money on the technology your teams actually need.

5 - Costs in Your Legal Department—Struggling With Rights and Infringement Lawsuits

Your DAM is likely filled with assets that can only be used under certain circumstances. Manually managing those assets and their associated licensing agreements is a hassle. But misusing a copyrighted asset can cost you big time—just look at Monster Energy’s $1.7 million mistake.

Managing rights and infringement lawsuits doesn’t have to plague you. Built-in rights management in your DAM affords you benefits like: 

    • Bulk ingestion of content and application of rights restrictions, based on existing license agreements.
    • Filter and search functions based on licensing agreements.
    • Notifications for license expiries and automatic restriction of expired assets. 
    • Automated workflows for asset download requests if legal/other reviews are still required.

And because rights management is directly tied to each asset in the DAM, you no longer need to pay for external rights management systems and an expensive chunk of your legal team’s time.

6 - Costs to Your Brand—Struggling To Meet Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Goals

Most companies don’t know (and can’t figure out) how their marketing assets are tied to their DEI goals. If you’re expanding products into diverse markets, launching Pride campaigns, or doing a DEI audit of your assets, you need the advanced metadata features of a DAM. Without a DAM, tagging and keywording assets according to classifications like gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and ability are nearly impossible to manage. And so it’s nearly impossible to understand whether or not you’re representing a diverse set of people, and if your marketing campaigns are inadvertently conveying bias. 

With a DAM, the process is different. DAM managers can include inclusive metadata form field that is required when anyone uploads assets to the DAM. This way, DEI-informed metadata is always assigned to an asset at ingestion, so the most updated and accurate information follows the assets into ideation, creation, and publishing. When accurate metadata is used, users are better able to locate and deploy the right assets. And perhaps most importantly, your users are more likely to use respectful language in marketing materials—DEI-informed metadata in your DAM reduces PR risk to your brand.  

Gain More With Your Investment in a DAM

A DAM is a huge investment in your business. But it’s more than worth it. Without a DAM, you’ll likely see costs that you never needed to incur in the first place, like copyright infringement lawsuits, and paying for third-party software already built into your DAM. Take it from real DAM users, deploying a modern DAM is an investment worth making.

5 Cool DAM Features You Might Not Know About

By Blog, Productivity-Reuse
Reading Time: 8 minutes

Your DAM wants to work harder for you. Explore some lesser-known features of your digital asset management system to produce better creative work with less effort.

Look down at your keyboard right now. Chances are, your F and J keys have little raised bumps on them. They are there to make it easier for your hands to find their place without looking down at your keyboard. Many of us overlook this helpful little feature on the devices we use every day.

DAMs are like this too—while we all know that you can use them to upload, store, and search for assets, DAMs also offer many lesser-known features that allow creative teams to produce better work more efficiently. In this article, we’ll share five underutilized DAM features that you may be missing out on. Master these and you can achieve more with your DAM than you realized possible—everything from building a more equitable creative team to increasing the bottom line of your business.

1 - Tag Assets Automatically Using AI

Tagging assets is an essential part of creating a searchable DAM, but let’s face it—It can be extremely tedious. Luckily, today, many DAMs allow you to automatically tag assets using AI image recognition.

You can simply upload assets to your DAM and you’ll be shown a list of AI-generated tags. Then pick which ones you want to apply as metadata.

The software can understand a photo or video in several ways. It can:

  • Recognize the brand of a product and tag an image accordingly
  • Recognize individuals’ faces and tag them
  • Tag based on topic or complex concepts—like “glamorous theater”
  • Identify and separate individual scenes within a video
  • Conduct real-time speech-to-text translation in 30+ languages

All that metadata is stored in the DAM, so you can later search for photos with a particular model or mood. AI tagging makes a huge difference in the overall success of your DAM because many users are too busy to take the time to tag thoroughly and comprehensively. What’s more, creatives often tag things based on how they produced the creative—the campaign, the date, the team involved—but this often differs from what others in the organization may search to find it.

For example, someone may upload a campaign using tags like “fall 2023 campaign” or the name of the photographer. But others in the organization may be likelier to search based on keywords like the product name or the mood of the image. When machine learning does the tagging—or augments individuals’ tags—content becomes a lot more discoverable. (That being said, make sure to carefully check any AI tags before applying them to avoid introducing bias.)

2 - Automatically Remove Access to Expired Assets

If your organization does a lot of licensing—either selling licenses to your assets or buying licenses to others—managing the fine print of these contracts and when they expire can be a real pain. That’s why many opt to use a digital rights management platform or a DRM, to automate much of this hassle. However, when this content crosses over into your DAM, it adds an extra layer of complexity.

However, if you integrate your DAM with your DRM, or if your DAM has a built-in DRM, you can mitigate a lot of the manual work to keep everything organized and up to date. Specifically, integrating these systems lets you automatically leverage the agreements in your DRM to control access to content within your DAM. Your DAM can ingest licensing info and remove assets from view when your license to use them expires. This prevents you from making costly errors or running into legal troubles. And if you’re the one licensing assets to others, you can also pull access to those assets automatically when the agreement expires. In a more advanced maneuver, you can also automatically attach agreement details like approved use cases and regions so that your DAM will only grant access to content to assets under the conditions you’ve specified.

3 - Make Progress on Your DEI Goals

As creatives operating in a deeply flawed world, we all have a crucial role to play in making our content more inclusive. What many people don’t realize is that your DAM can be an invaluable tool for your equity-minded organization. For example, if you tag photography about the people’s race, gender, ability, culture, and language in assets—provided the models consent to this and opt to self-identify—you can later search these terms to easily surface inclusive photography when you need it.

You can also sensitively address any mistakes of the past using content warnings in your DAM. While some companies opt to remove harmful content from their DAM entirely, many others opt to keep these assets in their DAM as a means of accountability and an opportunity to teach moving forward. With this approach, you can allow content to be viewed in the DAM but only under certain conditions (e.g. only viewable, never downloadable) and with proper context (i.e. a statement on why it’s harmful and how your company has thoughtfully mitigated that harm).

As creatives operating in a deeply flawed world, we all have a crucial role to play in making our content more inclusive. What many people don’t realize is that your DAM can be an invaluable tool for your equity-minded organization. For example, if you tag photography about the people’s race, gender, ability, culture, and language in assets—provided the models consent to this and opt to self-identify—you can later search these terms to easily surface inclusive photography when you need it.

You can also sensitively address any mistakes of the past using content warnings in your DAM. While some companies opt to remove harmful content from their DAM entirely, many others opt to keep these assets in their DAM as a means of accountability and an opportunity to teach moving forward. With this approach, you can allow content to be viewed in the DAM but only under certain conditions (e.g. only viewable, never downloadable) and with proper context (i.e. a statement on why it’s harmful and how your company has thoughtfully mitigated that harm).

For a deeper dive into DEI in DAM, check our in-depth guide:

Inclusive Metadata: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Digital Asset Management.

4 - Make Your DAM More Searchable by Automatically Attaching Product Information

A DAM is as useful as it is searchable. And if your company sells hundreds or thousands of products with many variations, things can get hairy real fast. If you want a colleague on the other side of the world to be able to search “size 7 neon green sneakers with rainbow laces” and get instant results, you need to make sure the tags are there to support it. That’s where an integration with your product information management system (PIM) can be a lifesaver. PIMs typically host product descriptions, specifications, unique ID numbers like SKUs, and/or a variety of other product attributes.

A bi-directional integration between your DAM and your PIM has innumerable benefits (read more about them here), but one of the most time-saving benefits is allowing the DAM to automatically pull in product data and attach it to assets. This integration greatly improves searchability. Now users can search for just an SKU number in the DAM and pull up all assets related to that product. Then you can use either more product information like specifications or dimensions, or use the DAM’s metadata tags and keywords, like colors or subjects, to filter and find the right content.

5 - Monitor Which Assets Increase the Bottom Line

We saved the best for last. While every department in a company is tasked with different goals, ultimately everyone is indirectly (or directly) responsible for driving revenue. Using an integration with your business intelligence or BI tool, your DAM can now ingest the performance data from all your advertising and marketing suites to associate individual pieces of creative or entire campaigns to metrics like views, clicks, or purchases.

This allows the DAM to produce machine-learning recommendations. Even a tiny nudge can help creative teams and executives with creative budget get more for their spend, and machines can see things that might be imperceptible to people. For example, noticing that one model of BBQ grill slightly outperforms others in photos, or that the third image in an ad carousel ought to be the first.

You can also use your DAM’s built-in reporting to see which images are being used the most often (or not being used at all). This can give you valuable insight into which content types are worth the investment, and which content you’d be wise to pull back from creating more of.

Go Beyond What You Thought Your DAM Could Do for You

If you know how to use it properly, your DAM can be like a Swiss Army knife of functionality. As part of the MACH Alliance, we believe that forward-thinking organizations are better off buying the best-in-class tool for every function in their business than tools that try to do everything.

And if you don’t yet have a DAM in place, or are unsatisfied with your current product, make sure to ask if these features are available when you speak with vendors.

The Impact of AI on Digital Asset Management: Three Skills You Need to Master

By Blog, creative, Productivity-Reuse
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Artificial intelligence is one of the hottest topics on the planet right now. And while we’ve heard the buzzword “AI” thrown around a lot over the past five years, much of it was referring to simplistic, hard-coded programs designed to take in specific inputs and automatically generate specific responses.

However, 2023 saw the meteoric rise of what’s known as “true AI,” which refers to a machine’s ability to simulate human intelligence. It can perform tasks that require complex skills like visual perception, speech recognition, and decision-making. This technology is changing nearly every aspect of life, and DAM is no exception.

In this article, we’ll give an overview of how AI is used in digital asset management today, two main ways it can make you better at your job, plus three key skills to master to be a more productive (and less stressed) DAM manager.

How AI Is Used in DAMs Today

Using AI for digital asset management reduces or even eliminates many repetitive tasks that slow down productivity. There are three main tasks that AI can help with. The first is metadata tagging—using AI to automatically tag your images, videos, and other digital assets with relevant information. Next is content recognition, where AI analyzes the content of the video images and recognizes things like objects, people, backgrounds, and even emotions—allowing for more accurate and efficient search and retrieval. Finally, there’s content personalization, where you can use AI to analyze your users’ behavior and preferences, and recommend personalized content based on that analysis. This greatly improves user engagement and satisfaction.

All three of these use cases contribute to enhanced content discoverability, which will boost user adoption, and tends to be the biggest barrier to successfully running a DAM. Make sure to ask your DAM vendor if they offer these functionalities if you’re not already using them today.

Two Ways AI Helps You Get Better
and Faster at Your Job

There are two main domains AI can handle that will help you be better and faster at your job. Some of the features we’ll mention exist today and others will likely be available in the near future. But remember, you need to manage AI as if you were managing an employee. That person doesn’t need to be perfect on day one, but they will get better over time as you give them good feedback.

1 – As Your System Administrator

Many of the repetitive day-to-day tasks you do in a DAM can be managed by AI. Humans will always have to be involved to some degree, but imagine handing over a spreadsheet of new users and letting AI automatically create all the user profiles. AI can even assign them permissions in the system based on their job titles or roles, and grant them access to the content they need without any additional oversight on your part.

Another thing AI can also take off your plate is managing content access and making sure nothing you use violates distribution rights. AI can automatically flag those based on when their agreements expire. It can potentially recognize harmful language and flag it or even replace it in the asset’s metadata.

2 – As Your Work-In-Progress Content Creator

Integrating AI capabilities into your asset lifecycle all the way from ideation and review to creation and distribution is going to save the power users of the DAM (your creative and marketing teams) an incredible amount of time and budget.

Imagine you’re about to launch a new marketing campaign, but instead of purchasing images from a stock site, your creative teams prompt the AI to generate 10 new ads for Instagram. The AI creates these assets in a matter of minutes, and they’re all brand compliant and appropriately sized for Instagram. Then your team just needs to pick their favorites and refine them—and you’re ready to launch your campaign.

In the future, brand teams will be able to take those assets and put them through an automated creative review process where they can get instant feedback from the AI on the designs before they submit them to the head of creative or the legal teams. AI will be able to check things from legal rights data to design best practices, and even give input on translation or localization of content.

Three Skills You Need to Master

Now we’re clear on what AI can do for you. But it takes two to tango, as they say. Here are the three skills you need to bring to the table to effectively collaborate with AI.

Key Skill #1: Critical Thinking and Data Analysis

Even with the recent true AI advancements, AI still has deep flaws because it was designed by imperfect humans. Therefore, DAM managers need to be able to think critically about the output of AI, often taking it with a grain of salt. Critical thinking should include identifying potential biases or inaccuracies in data, as well as the ethical implications of using AI in digital asset management.

AI is moving super fast and it’s essential that brands are transparent with how they collect, store, and manage data. Otherwise, you can actually infringe on your own privacy rights. Since it’s created by humans with biases, AI can unfortunately lead to discrimination or other harmful outcomes with regard to diversity, equity, and inclusion. It’s essential to be thoughtful about these risks and put a plan in place to mitigate them. (And be sure to check out our resources on DEI in DAM.)

Key Skill #2: Prompt Engineering

Prompt engineering, or simply knowing what to ask AI to do for you, is a key competency for effectively leveraging this technology. In fact, it’s likely this skill will replace knowledge of Excel in the future, since you can simply query AI as opposed to a spreadsheet of data.

One of the best things you can do to get ahead of your peers is to start working with an AI tool or model like ChatGPT (it’s free!) to understand how to best communicate with it to get what you want. You can use a Google Authenticator and try different tasks. For example, you can ask it to write code for you or ingest an Excel sheet, then just play with the outputs.

Key Skill #3: Problem Solving and Creativity

With the advent of AI, instead of spending your time managing users and grooming your asset library, your main task in the future will become managing the AI itself. Again, it’s much like managing somebody on your team. This means figuring out how to take action on the recommendations that you’ve received. No AI is always perfect, so you need to be ready to develop creative workarounds to address its shortcomings. You’ll be able to extract the greatest value from it with a good dose of creative thinking and an ability to solve problems as they come up.

Mastering AI Is the Key to a Bright Future in DAM

While AI often evokes a wide range of emotions in folks from apprehension to intimidation and everything in between, this is a moment worth embracing. It’s time for all knowledge workers to upskill for a dawning new era. If you can do this, you’ll not only keep pace with the rapidly evolving DAM space, but even position yourself as an ultra-competitive hire in the market over the next decade.

Is Your DAM Forcing You to Change the Way You Work?

By Blog, Productivity-Reuse
Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Digital Asset Management (DAM) category has been around for decades. Originally a repository to archive content, modern DAMs now offer functionality to support much of the asset lifecycle from creation to final approval.

Despite this evolution in DAM, most brands aren’t seeing a return on their investment. The technology struggles to adapt to existing internal creative processes, either through lack of scalability or the need for constant ongoing customization that requires significant time, money, and resources. 

By not supporting existing creative processes, DAMs are forcing teams to change the way they work. That ultimately impacts user adoption, and leads the DAM to no longer be the one source of truth for content.

What's the answer?

Most global brands need an enterprise DAM. They require a scalable platform that includes key functionality to support the entire asset lifecycle, including integrated approval and workflow, rights management, and user management. 

They also need a DAM that can be easily customized on an ongoing basis to support their existing processes, including integration with a brand’s current martech stack. All of this should be possible without months of work and thousands of dollars and hours invested on an ongoing basis.

Configuring your modern DAM with Tenovos

Tenovos is a data-first modern DAM that marries enterprise functionality with adaptability and scalability. Cloud-first and built on the latest APIs and microservices, our platform is flexible enough to support and enhance a brand’s existing creative process and tech stack. 

While technology is at the forefront, it’s only as strong as the implementation and strategy that supports it. At Tenovos, we work with every client to ensure the underlying foundation is in place for both the DAM’s implementation, and on an ongoing basis to ensure continued success. That means we work with you on important steps like building a metadata structure and taxonomy, configuring user roles and permissions, workflow optimization, and system training.

Our configurability means whatever strategies and processes you want to implement with your DAM – whether those are brand new or you want to tie into existing ones within the organization currently – we can do it. And unlike other vendors who offer customizations with a price tag and dev work, Tenovos is fully configurable through our modern UI, meaning you have the power to do whatever you want, without any extra costs or downtime.

Such examples of easy configurability within the Tenovos platform include:

If your DAM can’t apply these types of functionalities to your existing processes, then all the bells and whistles in the world won’t drive user adoption and the system will fail. Instead, join these amazing brands with Tenovos – let us seamlessly integrate and connect to your organization, and start improving your team productivity, content ROI, and overall performance. 

Let’s chat!

Hiring Your DAM Dream Team: Recruiting Everyone You Need For Your DAM Journey

By Blog, dam-manager, User Adoption
Reading Time: 43 minutes

Last year we helped you understand who should be on your DAM Dream Team (Yes, like the 1992 United States Olympic team!). But when it comes to your digital asset management system (DAM) and the people you’ll hire to implement, manage, and optimize it, you’ll need more than just an internal team of high-scorers—you’ll need to recruit a few folks from outside your walls to achieve gold-medal goals.

That’s why we asked DAM Specialist and Consultant Kristina Huddart to weigh in on hiring and recruiting everyone you need to run a successful digital asset management system. Some will be from within your organization, others will come on for temporary projects or as consultants to support various stages of your DAM journey.

In this article, we’ll explain the skills required for each role, one “x-factor” each role needs to stand out, and some interview questions you can ask to get the right fit. If you want to know what makes each of these folks first draft picks for your dream team, you should definitely read part one in this series. Your own dream team is waiting, here’s how to get them onto the court.

The Originator:
Business Sponsor

It all begins with the business sponsor—the high-level executive who recognizes the gap that digital asset management could fill and advocates for the journey throughout. Oftentimes, they’re the chief marketing, digital, or information officer who recognizes the need to scale up their marketing operation or personalize content at scale. Ideally, the staff who first hear specific needs or problems which could be solved with DAM would escalate to the executive who sees the value of DAM and chooses to champion it as the business sponsor.

It’s from the business sponsor that the funding and support for the DAM dream team originate. Think of them like the manager of your all-star NBA team—they have the final say on your players, the budget, and long-term strategy.

Business_sponsor

Skills Required

  • Established influence: They are an internal voice who is well-respected among execs. During a business sponsor transition, the current DAM manager and DAM specialist would take great care to impart the importance of the business sponsors’ support to the team.
  • Strategic thinking: They understand the scope of the project and are willing to commit to long-term relationship building with external vendors, consultants, and incoming DAM managers. They know that DAM is more than just technology and support a holistic DAM practice considering the right technology, people, process, and metadata.
  • Business-savvy: They are aware of the limitations of the organization to support the DAM system, the budget constraints, and organizational goals, and consider the team’s capacity needs. 

X-Factor: Passion

A passionate business sponsor is a successful one. They need to see the value of exploring a DAM (or supporting the current one) in achieving the business’ wider goals. If they’re passionate about the productivity gains, robust rights management, and creative workflow improvements the DAM provides, they will be inclined to support the dream team with whatever they need. 

Interview questions

The business sponsor is the one who asks the questions and will be hiring and recruiting the entire dream team. But in the case of a transition, where a DAM manager and specialist are discussing the role of the business sponsor to an incumbent leader, here are some questions to ask: 

  • What is your experience and understanding of DAM systems? Are you excited about learning more about the DAM space and technology? 
  • Could we host a DAM demo to walk you through the current structure and discuss the future strategic plan of the DAM?
  • What is your strategic vision for content management, creative production, and marketing operations?
  • Are you willing to advocate on behalf of the team for our needs (budget, capacity needs, IT support, etc.)? How can we support you in doing so?

The Gatherer: Business Analyst

The first person the business sponsor brings onto the team is the business analyst. That’s because the business analyst’s role is to understand the current problems, collect information, and begin thinking about solutions. Kristina suggests the business sponsor recruit an analyst from their internal IT team, “The analyst will conduct research, host workshops, and lead interviews with stakeholders across the organization. It’s best if they already have relationships with stakeholders and a good understanding of the business needs.”

It’s important not to skip adding this member to your DAM dream team—whether you’re starting from scratch or replacing a current system. If you skip that business analysis phase, it can lead to spending a lot of time and money on something that isn’t going to solve the root cause of your problems.

Business analyst

Skills Required

  • Analytical, detail-driven: They skillfully collect, collate, and interpret stakeholder feedback, business requirements, and current processes into distinct pain points. 
  • People-savvy: They host workshops, conduct interviews, manage stakeholders expectations, and understand their needs. 
  • Forward-thinking, strategic: They analyze the current issues and requirements and envision the people, technology, and support needed to implement their recommended solutions. If they had the right tech or the right people in place, how could those changes improve processes moving forward?
  • IT awareness: They understand your organization’s IT strategy and guide conversations and recommendations towards your IT requirements.

X-Factor: Change Management Skills

Your dream business analyst has a mix of analytical and people-driven skills. They are the first person most stakeholders will voice their concerns to. This also means they are the first agent of the change management process. They should understand the importance of their role in kicking off potential change and be skilled enough to give stakeholders reasonable expectations of what’s to come.

Kristina warns incumbent business analysts to avoid getting caught up in people’s assumptions and excitement while they’re collecting information. “Analysts often get stakeholders saying things like, “You’re asking me about my pain points. Is that because we’re going to get something better? How are you going to improve things for me?” Your business analyst should be empowered to share the businesses sponsors’ goals for this data collection process without over-promising on solutions.”

Interview questions

  • This data collection phase will be on a temporary project basis. How much of your time can you devote to this project? Are you able to hand it off to the DAM specialist and/or manager once it’s complete?
  • Would you consider yourself a people-person? How comfortable are you with conducting interviews, hosting workshops, and public speaking?
  • Are you excited about collecting qualitative and quantitative data? Organizing it, analyzing it, documenting it, and drawing conclusions?

The Secret Weapon: DAM Specialist

Your DAM dream team isn’t complete without a specialist. They will serve as the mentor, educator, and industry specialist every DAM team needs at different stages of their journey. They’re usually brought on by the business sponsor to take the requirements that the business analyst unearthed and help the organization find the right solutions to solve their problems.

According to Kristina, it’s best to recruit for this role externally. The DAM marketplace has dozens of vendors, lots of different solutions, and best practices are different depending on use cases. The DAM specialist has a breadth of experience across sectors, and they know how to match companies to the right solutions, recruit and train the right folks, and guide the plan for this new change and optimizing the DAM.

And among the most important tasks, the specialist should be involved in hiring the DAM manager—who is best added to the dream team shortly after the specialist joins. The specialist will work alongside the manager to help them upskill and fill any gaps in their knowledge as the team grows. Since the specialist is usually an external consultant, they can stay on as ongoing support or just for certain stages of the DAM journey as it evolves.

DAM specialist

Skills Required

  • Mentor, educator mindset: They prioritize sharing their DAM knowledge with the dream team. They help select the right vendor, support implementation processes, train on best practices, recruit new team members, and upskill members of the team. 
  • Well-respected and connected: They have experience across sectors, working with multiple vendors, and organizations large and small. They connect your team with the clients of potential vendors so they can understand how the product really works. They can connect the business sponsor with other executives in the same field to share their experience supporting the DAM journey. 
  • Focused and visionary: The specialist builds the documentation, processes, and best practices that will help keep the DAM working smoothly. They support strategic and business goals by offering insights and recommendations into how your organization’s DAM practice can improve now and in the future. 
  • Breadth of experience: They’ve built relationships across sectors like corporate, NGOs, and startups. They know what competitors are doing but also the unique challenges they’ve faced allow them to recommend unique solutions. They know how to transfer ideas from other spaces to help your organization improve processes. 

X-Factor: Connections

The magic words you want to hear when hiring your dream specialist are, “We’re in this together. I’ve got connections to the best vendors for your industry. I can help you get the right demos and introduce you to your peers in the industry so you can see how DAM works for them.”

Beyond the knowledge of the DAM marketplace, the conversations that a great specialist can facilitate are invaluable. Kristina often invites her clients to meet with other C-suite business sponsors or DAM managers in the same industry. Those open and honest conversations help teams understand how DAM might be embedded into their organizations. These connections also assist teams in building community, recruiting future team members, and keeping up as technology evolves.

“For a specialist, having the right network and being well-respected in the industry is so important—it’s such a close-knit community,” Kristina says. “We know what works and we learn from each other’s mistakes. If you can find a DAM specialist like that, you’re golden.”

Interview questions

  • What approach would you take to help us evaluate our level of DAM maturity and build a roadmap for optimizing our DAM practice to achieve our business objectives?
  • What are the key factors that help companies across industries to ensure long-term success with DAM? Give some examples from clients you have worked with of what a successful DAM practice looks like.
  • How can you help us to take the reins of our DAM practice and hire the right team of people for our future success?
  • What is your experience with educating and upskilling resources in DAM?
  • What is your experience influencing executives to get buy-in for DAM?

“If you’re looking to hire a DAM specialist for a vendor selection process, then you want someone who knows the landscape and understands how to pick the right platform. But if you’re looking for someone to help you to build out your metadata and taxonomy structure, that’s a very different skill set. Shift your interview questions accordingly.”

Kristina Huddart

The MVPs: DAM Manager (and soon, DAM Coordinators)

One of the most important members of your dream team—arguably your MVP—is your DAM manager. Once you’ve recruited a stellar specialist, now’s the perfect time to scout out a manager who will carry this journey forward. Keep in mind that DAM managers should be full-time, dedicated, permanent roles and shouldn’t be shared with other business functions.

In an ideal world, your incumbent manager already has some DAM experience under their belt. A few years of experience working in DAM already, DAM-specific courses taken, a certification, or degree in a related field like library sciences. But oftentimes, a manager is plucked from within your organization—they might be a star on the marketing team or someone in IT who is always trying to improve processes. In this circumstance, the manager is unlikely to have DAM knowledge. But fret not, as long as your DAM specialist can help them upskill and learn on the job before they’re left to take care of it all by themselves, hiring a DAM manager (and later coordinators) from within the organization can be a great way to grow the team.

DAM manager

In the case of DAM coordinators, they are usually brought on when the system becomes too untenable for a single manager. As more assets come into the system, more users need training and onboarding, and as the system is rolled out to more departments, the manager is very quickly going to reach out for support. At this point, the manager would take on a strategic and advisory role while the coordinators execute the daily operations. It’s important for the business sponsor to be connected with their DAM manager and keep their capacity in mind as the use cases, users, volume of assets, and business requirements grow.

As your organization is developing the foundations of the DAM, the coordinator takes on the daily administrative tasks of the DAM, while the manager handles the strategic ones. Some companies will even move from having their own internal coordinators to working with a third-party DAM-managed services company. Whether you hire and recruit coordinators or choose a third-party provider, your dream team will eventually require several coordinators to use your system to its full potential (and avoid burning out your DAM manager).

Skills Required: DAM Manager

  • Growth mindset: They pick up new things quickly and are willing to learn outside of their role. Great managers are curious, constantly learning, and interested in finding the connections between new tech and the DAM. They could also have previous experience in DAM systems, have taken courses, or have an understanding of best practices.
  • Problem-solving: They have the skills of a senior-level project manager. They’re driving the journey and helping to grow the best practices over time. They are running reports, analyzing data, and going to the business sponsor with their findings and ideas.
  • Creativity: A great manager is excited to get their hands on the DAM systems and is willing to experiment. They are creatively considering all the ways it can be improved and better embedded in the business. They are gathering requirements for new use cases and trying to understand what it would take to implement them.
  • Passionate about change: If you don’t hire or have a change manager in your organization, you need a manager with great communication skills who can create and execute an effective change management plan, especially during the adoption phase.

Skills Required: DAM Coordinator

  • Excited by data and “tedious” tasks: They are energized by daily administrative tasks. They manage the uploads and ensure metadata quality stays up to standard. They are detail-oriented and passionate about data accuracy because they do a lot of data entry, data management, and quality control.
  • Healthy fear of rights management: They’re the person that internal teams go to to understand the rights of assets and what they can do with them. They should have enough of an understanding of rights management that they’d never copy and paste assets from Google Images *shudder* and they can guide users through the maze of rights management metadata.
  • Analytical, tech-savvy: The coordinator runs reports regularly, pulling analytics and user behavior to share with the manager. They have an understanding of how to contextualize that data and share it—how will the changes and improvements they make in the DAM make affect the experience of those using it? They’re always thinking about how to improve systems.
  • Customer service-minded: The coordinator provides access, regular training, and onboarding for all users. They get a lot of technical questions and they’re friendly and patient as they help users resolve issues.

X-Factor: Ability to Build Long-Term Relationships

A standout DAM manager is able to build long-term relationships—not only with executive-level folks like the business sponsor, but also with other leaders, internal stakeholders, and users. Their internal relationships will set the foundation for a years-long DAM journey that will touch functions across the business. If a manager can prove they have facilitated collaboration across functions and maintained positive relationships with executives and users alike, they are someone special.

Similarly, the manager’s relationship with the vendor is likely the longest and most important one they’ll build (or inherit). Having a trusted, productive relationship allows processes like implementing new integrations or suggesting new use cases smoother. “They should be confident enough to call the vendor and say, ‘Hey, we’ve got a new use case. How do I do this?’ And get the answers and support they need,” Kristina says.

Interview questions: For the DAM Manager

  • What do you know about digital asset management? Where have you gained your knowledge and experience?
  • Do you learn quickly and enjoy picking up new skills?
  • What are some common use cases/problems that DAM can solve? How would you handle stakeholders coming to you with new use cases to implement?
  • How are you broadening your DAM knowledge right now? What are trends you’re noticing in the industry?
  • What’s your experience with change management?
  • How would you guide a resistant stakeholder to adopting a new way of working?

Interview questions: For the DAM Coordinator

  • What do you know about digital asset management? Where have you gained your knowledge and experience?
  • Do you enjoy working with excel spreadsheets and reviewing data? How would you manage a metadata audit?
  • Describe how you QC (quality control) metadata?
  • What’s your level of understanding of rights management in our industry
  • Would you consider yourself a people-person? Why or why not? Do you have experience in customer service?
  • What would you do if you discover a process or workflow is not working well for your users?

The Tech Partner: DAM Vendor

The average enterprise company is juggling 843 individual applications across their tech stack. And as any operations professional or IT team will tell you, most companies don’t use their tech stack to its full potential. When a company is investing in a big foundational tool like DAM, they’re  not usually considering any functionality beyond the basic use cases. “There’s so much more DAM can do. That’s why picking the right vendor—and developing a close relationship with them—is so important,” Kristina says.

You’re looking for a partner. A vendor that will prioritize evolving functionalities, new use cases, and listening to your businesses needs. The selection process is complex (and that’s where your specialist’s knowledge comes in handy) but there are a few things to look out for while scouting for a vendor. “I’m always looking for vendors who step up and help their customers make the most out of their tools. I evaluate whether vendors are able to get organizations to that next level and help them mature their DAM practices,” Kristina explains.

One way to understand the experience of working with a potential vendor is to ask your specialist to set up calls with managers and executive peers who are using vendors you’re interested in. Get their real feedback about their experiences and tap into your specialist’s network to do it.

DAM vendor

Skills Required

  • Fulfills your business and technical requirements: The vendor is able to fulfill the requirements and use cases set out by the specialist and manager. This vendor has the people, processes, and tech capabilities that meet your request for proposal (RFP).
  • Responsive customer service: The vendor’s customer support team is robust and able to handle requests promptly. Their customer success team is knowledgeable and willing to help.
  • Prioritizes innovation: They provide innovation and development roadmaps for potential clients and are open and honest about the future of their platform and technology. They are developing at a speed that keeps pace with the industry and the needs of their clients. They will be the right fit now and in three and five years because they’re releasing new use cases and features and thinking long term.
  • Willingness to develop partnership: Even if they don’t tick every single technical box, they’re willing to put the work in and communicate with their clients along the way. For example, their executives are willing to have open conversations with the executives of potential clients to talk about how to position their DAM for digital transformation and marketing operations. 

X-Factor: Change Management Skills

A stellar vendor will have many high-value, satisfied users that have been working in DAM for years. Kristina recommends looking out for the vendors who host yearly client forums to bring those users together. These in-person (and increasingly online) events organized by vendors are a treasure trove of community, knowledge sharing, and connection. “They’re problem-solving for a year’s worth of frustrations,” Kristina says. “It’s an opportunity for clients to share and learn from one another.”

These events not only only give the clients a chance to talk to each other, but they also give the vendor a chance to listen. Vendors use those forums to learn how their clients are using their tool right now and what functionalities they want to see in the future. And great vendors are acting on those insights to launch new features, use cases, and design their roadmaps.

Also, keep an eye out for vendors who host regular client webinars to share their client stories and best practices. Vendors don’t have to host yearly Salesforce-esque extravaganzas to bring together their community.

Interview questions

  • What’s your customer service/support system? What are your average response times?
  • Do you meet our business and technical requirements? How are you looking to meet those in the future if we select you?
  • What are your development roadmaps for this year? Next year? What are your innovation goals for five and ten years from now?
  • Can our leadership meet with yours? Can you connect us with DAM managers who are working in your system already and who can share their experience?
  • Do you offer ways for your clients to interact with one another? Yearly client forums, webinars, or Slack communities?

The Connector: DAM Integration Partner

If you’ve selected your dream vendor, you’re likely in the middle of connecting your new platform to the rest of your stack. This is where a DAM integration partner comes in. An integration partner supports your team in connecting your DAM to your desired platforms. Whether that’s connecting with a PIM, content marketing software (CMS), or content delivery network (CDN).

The key to hiring the right integration partner is to work with someone who has done that integration before—if you’re looking to connect your DAM to an existing CMS, hire someone with experience integrating those specific platforms. Depending on the integration you may need one developer or a team. And you might end up working with different integration partners for different integrations. Kristina suggests connecting with your vendor for their suggestions and recommended partners.

DAM integrations

Skills Required

  • Recommended by vendor: They are an integration partner that is familiar with your DAM system and they come recommended by your vendor.
  • Experience with desired integration: They have worked to implement the integrations you desire. They may be skilled at the integration between DAM and PIM, and you may choose a different integration partner for DAM and CMS.

X-Factor: Orchestration of Content and Data

The role of integration partners is to facilitate the flow of content and data from one system to another. Done seamlessly, your end users will barely notice they are switching tools or that content is being handed off. Give them a full overview of your processes—with the knowledge of your end-to-end digital asset lifecycle, they have the skills to ensure the right content and data flows automatically through your processes. They may also have IT specialists on their teams to support your integration needs.

If you’re not sure what an ideal end-to-end digital asset lifecycle should look like in an integrated ecosystem, bring your DAM specialist back to function as a liaison between end users and the integration partner.

Interview questions

  • What is your experience with the integration(s) we’re planning to implement? What support do you offer throughout the integration process?
  • What is your experience with the vendor?
  • What resources would you allocate to this project? (Number of developers, IT specialists, hours, etc.) 
  • How will you hand off integration management and maintenance to our in-house teams?

The Catalyzer: Change Manager

If we’re talking about your dream team, Kristina says that a change manager should be your first draft pick. Since DAM sits as a foundational piece within the whole marketing tech stack, their support early on is pivotal. A change manager understands how to best implement new processes so there’s minimal disruption to the business. Whether that’s improving onboarding processes or managing big cultural shifts, they work across the tech stack and asset lifecycle.
As a DAM specialist, Kristina is also brought on to offer her change management skills on a temporary basis. But she warns that, as helpful as specialists and DAM managers can be in the change management process, they shouldn’t be tasked to do it all. “I often see the DAM manager and change manager smooshed together, but in a dream team, they’d be separate roles working together to carry the change into the future,” she says.

Change_manager

Skills Required

  • Impeccable people skills: They are incredibly charismatic, thoughtful, and patient. They love talking to people and solving the problems that are bothering them. They are most at home in groups, collaboration, and conversation.
  • Passionate about education: The change manager is a great teacher, trainer, and mentor. They get early adopters excited and help coax the stragglers on board too.
  • Process-oriented: They are well-organized and always thinking about how to improve processes. The change manager recognizes the challenge of managing change at scale and they are focused on understanding all the risks and roadblocks that may arise in the journey. 
  • Top-notch communication skills: They are phenomenal communicators and even better listeners. They can empathize with anyone and mediate conflicts with ease and skill. 
  • Trusted and influential: Whether they’re an external consultant or internal change managers, they are trusted by their peers. They know how to work with people resistant to change and juggle the human emotions associated with change. They know that developing and maintaining relationships across the business are key components to implementing and sustaining change. 

X-Factor: Tech-Savvy

Your dream change manager doesn’t need DAM experience, but it’s valuable. Often the specialist can help upskill them. They should be open to new technology, willing to learn (being an early adopter themselves is ideal), and be confident to turn around and teach others.

Interview questions

  • Describe situations where you have built and executed change management plans within a business. What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
  • How do you get buy-in from all levels of stakeholders?
  • Do you enjoy facilitating training and mentorship? Describe your coaching techniques.
  • How do you manage conflict and resistance to change in the workplace? Walk us through your process.
  • How would you rate your communication and listening skills (from 1-10) Why?

The Generalist: IT Information Architect

The business sponsor should go to their IT team and recruit this role at the start of your DAM journey, especially to offer their insights to the business analyst and DAM specialist. They could be added to the team on a temporary basis to work on a particular stage of the journey (often during initial implementation and future integrations) or devote a percentage of their time to DAM-related projects.

They are embedded in the business and have deep knowledge of your tech stack, how data currently flows, and the wider IT goals the DAM should adhere to. Request their support while implementing the software, working through integration processes with your vendor, and integration partners, or when new use cases arise.

You may also choose to bring on external IT consultants or specialists when the scope of a DAM project is outside the skills of your internal team.

IT architect

Skills Required

  • Knowledge of your existing tech ecosystem: They are embedded in your IT team and your technical architecture. They understand your organization’s goals, how data is collected, and how information flows. 
  • DAM experience: Ideally they have some DAM experience and understand how the system and data is different from other platforms in your marketing stack.

X-Factor: User-Centric Focus

While your typical information architect is thinking about how content will flow through a complex tech stack, a great information architect truly understands users and prioritizes their needs. Great architects will be supremely focused on how changes to your systems affect user experience and how the addition of the DAM fits into the puzzle of your tech stack.

Interview questions

  • What is your technical experience with DAM? Are you willing to learn on the job?
  • Can you envision how the DAM will work in our current tech stack? What are the challenges you see arising from that change?
  • Are you willing to support this project on a temporary basis? Or devote a percentage of your capacity to support the DAM on an ongoing basis?

If Your DAM Team is Just a Dream, Upskill Them

Your dream is to have a team filled with people who are skilled with DAM. The reality is often quite different, and Kristina is here to assure you that’s perfectly okay: “In reality, your team can have people who don’t have any DAM experience. The key to success is prioritizing hiring folks with a learning mindset—people who are curious and want to grow their knowledge.”

Your dream team should be filled with people who love problem-solving and have the desire to replace the sentence “I don’t know” with “I don’t know yet, but we’re gonna find out.” Those folks can take advantage of the myriad ways to upskill. Conferences, webinars, and courses (see resources below) offer regular educational opportunities to learn DAM best practices.

Kristina’s most important team-building advice is to keep that learning mindset going as technology and DAM best practice evolves. “Keep upskilling your team. The digital industry is moving quickly, so send your DAM manager to the vendor-client forums and conferences. Give them the opportunities to learn and bring that knowledge back to your organization.” It’s never too late to get your dream team off the bench and onto the court.

The Originator:
Business Sponsor

It all begins with the business sponsor—the high-level executive who recognizes the gap that digital asset management could fill and advocates for the journey throughout. Oftentimes, they’re the chief marketing, digital, or information officer who recognizes the need to scale up their marketing operation or personalize content at scale. Ideally, the staff who first hear specific needs or problems which could be solved with DAM would escalate to the executive who sees the value of DAM and chooses to champion it as the business sponsor.
It’s from the business sponsor that the funding and support for the DAM dream team originate. Think of them like the manager of your all-star NBA team—they have the final say on your players, the budget, and long-term strategy

Business_sponsor

Skills Required

  • Established influence: They are an internal voice who is well-respected among execs. During a business sponsor transition, the current DAM manager and DAM specialist would take great care to impart the importance of the business sponsors’ support to the team.
  • Strategic thinking: They understand the scope of the project and are willing to commit to long-term relationship building with external vendors, consultants, and incoming DAM managers. They know that DAM is more than just technology and support a holistic DAM practice considering the right technology, people, process, and metadata.
  • Business-savvy: They are aware of the limitations of the organization to support the DAM system, the budget constraints, and organizational goals, and consider the team’s capacity needs. 

X-Factor: Passion

A passionate business sponsor is a successful one. They need to see the value of exploring a DAM (or supporting the current one) in achieving the business’ wider goals. If they’re passionate about the productivity gains, robust rights management, and creative workflow improvements the DAM provides, they will be inclined to support the dream team with whatever they need. 

Interview questions

The business sponsor is the one who asks the questions and will be hiring and recruiting the entire dream team. But in the case of a transition, where a DAM manager and specialist are discussing the role of the business sponsor to an incumbent leader, here are some questions to ask: 

  • What is your experience and understanding of DAM systems? Are you excited about learning more about the DAM space and technology? 
  • Could we host a DAM demo to walk you through the current structure and discuss the future strategic plan of the DAM?
  • What is your strategic vision for content management, creative production, and marketing operations?
  • Are you willing to advocate on behalf of the team for our needs (budget, capacity needs, IT support, etc.)? How can we support you in doing so?

The Gatherer: Business Analyst

The first person the business sponsor brings onto the team is the business analyst. That’s because the business analyst’s role is to understand the current problems, collect information, and begin thinking about solutions. Kristina suggests the business sponsor recruit an analyst from their internal IT team, “The analyst will conduct research, host workshops, and lead interviews with stakeholders across the organization. It’s best if they already have relationships with stakeholders and a good understanding of the business needs.”

It’s important not to skip adding this member to your DAM dream team—whether you’re starting from scratch or replacing a current system. If you skip that business analysis phase, it can lead to spending a lot of time and money on something that isn’t going to solve the root cause of your problems.

Business analyst

Skills Required

  • Analytical, detail-driven: They skillfully collect, collate, and interpret stakeholder feedback, business requirements, and current processes into distinct pain points. 
  • People-savvy: They host workshops, conduct interviews, manage stakeholders expectations, and understand their needs. 
  • Forward-thinking, strategic: They analyze the current issues and requirements and envision the people, technology, and support needed to implement their recommended solutions. If they had the right tech or the right people in place, how could those changes improve processes moving forward?
  • IT awareness: They understand your organization’s IT strategy and guide conversations and recommendations towards your IT requirements.

X-Factor: Change Management Skills

Your dream business analyst has a mix of analytical and people-driven skills. They are the first person most stakeholders will voice their concerns to. This also means they are the first agent of the change management process. They should understand the importance of their role in kicking off potential change and be skilled enough to give stakeholders reasonable expectations of what’s to come.

Kristina warns incumbent business analysts to avoid getting caught up in people’s assumptions and excitement while they’re collecting information. “Analysts often get stakeholders saying things like, “You’re asking me about my pain points. Is that because we’re going to get something better? How are you going to improve things for me?” Your business analyst should be empowered to share the businesses sponsors’ goals for this data collection process without over-promising on solutions.”

Interview questions

  • This data collection phase will be on a temporary project basis. How much of your time can you devote to this project? Are you able to hand it off to the DAM specialist and/or manager once it’s complete?
  • Would you consider yourself a people-person? How comfortable are you with conducting interviews, hosting workshops, and public speaking?

  • Are you excited about collecting qualitative and quantitative data? Organizing it, analyzing it, documenting it, and drawing conclusions?

The Secret Weapon: DAM Specialist

Your DAM dream team isn’t complete without a specialist. They will serve as the mentor, educator, and industry specialist every DAM team needs at different stages of their journey. They’re usually brought on by the business sponsor to take the requirements that the business analyst unearthed and help the organization find the right solutions to solve their problems.

According to Kristina, it’s best to recruit for this role externally. The DAM marketplace has dozens of vendors, lots of different solutions, and best practices are different depending on use cases. The DAM specialist has a breadth of experience across sectors, and they know how to match companies to the right solutions, recruit and train the right folks, and guide the plan for this new change and optimizing the DAM.

And among the most important tasks, the specialist should be involved in hiring the DAM manager—who is best added to the dream team shortly after the specialist joins. The specialist will work alongside the manager to help them upskill and fill any gaps in their knowledge as the team grows. Since the specialist is usually an external consultant, they can stay on as ongoing support or just for certain stages of the DAM journey as it evolves.

DAM specialist

Skills Required

  • Mentor, educator mindset: They prioritize sharing their DAM knowledge with the dream team. They help select the right vendor, support implementation processes, train on best practices, recruit new team members, and upskill members of the team. 
  • Well-respected and connected: They have experience across sectors, working with multiple vendors, and organizations large and small. They connect your team with the clients of potential vendors so they can understand how the product really works. They can connect the business sponsor with other executives in the same field to share their experience supporting the DAM journey. 
  • Focused and visionary: The specialist builds the documentation, processes, and best practices that will help keep the DAM working smoothly. They support strategic and business goals by offering insights and recommendations into how your organization’s DAM practice can improve now and in the future. 
  • Breadth of experience: They’ve built relationships across sectors like corporate, NGOs, and startups. They know what competitors are doing but also the unique challenges they’ve faced allow them to recommend unique solutions. They know how to transfer ideas from other spaces to help your organization improve processes. 

X-Factor: Connections

The magic words you want to hear when hiring your dream specialist are, “We’re in this together. I’ve got connections to the best vendors for your industry. I can help you get the right demos and introduce you to your peers in the industry so you can see how DAM works for them.”

Beyond the knowledge of the DAM marketplace, the conversations that a great specialist can facilitate are invaluable. Kristina often invites her clients to meet with other C-suite business sponsors or DAM managers in the same industry. Those open and honest conversations help teams understand how DAM might be embedded into their organizations. These connections also assist teams in building community, recruiting future team members, and keeping up as technology evolves.
“For a specialist, having the right network and being well-respected in the industry is so important—it’s such a close-knit community,” Kristina says. “We know what works and we learn from each other’s mistakes. If you can find a DAM specialist like that, you’re golden.”

Interview questions

  • What approach would you take to help us evaluate our level of DAM maturity and build a roadmap for optimizing our DAM practice to achieve our business objectives?
  • What are the key factors that help companies across industries to ensure long-term success with DAM? Give some examples from clients you have worked with of what a successful DAM practice looks like.
  • How can you help us to take the reins of our DAM practice and hire the right team of people for our future success?
  • What is your experience with educating and upskilling resources in DAM?
  • What is your experience influencing executives to get buy-in for DAM?

“If you’re looking to hire a DAM specialist for a vendor selection process, then you want someone who knows the landscape and understands how to pick the right platform. But if you’re looking for someone to help you to build out your metadata and taxonomy structure, that’s a very different skill set. Shift your interview questions accordingly.” Kristina Huddart

The MVPs: DAM Manager (and soon, DAM Coordinators)

One of the most important members of your dream team—arguably your MVP—is your DAM manager. Once you’ve recruited a stellar specialist, now’s the perfect time to scout out a manager who will carry this journey forward. Keep in mind that DAM managers should be full-time, dedicated, permanent roles and shouldn’t be shared with other business functions.

In an ideal world, your incumbent manager already has some DAM experience under their belt. A few years of experience working in DAM already, DAM-specific courses taken, a certification, or degree in a related field like library sciences. But oftentimes, a manager is plucked from within your organization—they might be a star on the marketing team or someone in IT who is always trying to improve processes. In this circumstance, the manager is unlikely to have DAM knowledge. But fret not, as long as your DAM specialist can help them upskill and learn on the job before they’re left to take care of it all by themselves, hiring a DAM manager (and later coordinators) from within the organization can be a great way to grow the team.

DAM manager

In the case of DAM coordinators, they are usually brought on when the system becomes too untenable for a single manager. As more assets come into the system, more users need training and onboarding, and as the system is rolled out to more departments, the manager is very quickly going to reach out for support. At this point, the manager would take on a strategic and advisory role while the coordinators execute the daily operations. It’s important for the business sponsor to be connected with their DAM manager and keep their capacity in mind as the use cases, users, volume of assets, and business requirements grow.

As your organization is developing the foundations of the DAM, the coordinator takes on the daily administrative tasks of the DAM, while the manager handles the strategic ones. Some companies will even move from having their own internal coordinators to working with a third-party DAM-managed services company. Whether you hire and recruit coordinators or choose a third-party provider, your dream team will eventually require several coordinators to use your system to its full potential (and avoid burning out your DAM manager).

Skills Required: DAM Manager

  • Growth mindset: They pick up new things quickly and are willing to learn outside of their role. Great managers are curious, constantly learning, and interested in finding the connections between new tech and the DAM. They could also have previous experience in DAM systems, have taken courses, or have an understanding of best practices.
  • Problem-solving: They have the skills of a senior-level project manager. They’re driving the journey and helping to grow the best practices over time. They are running reports, analyzing data, and going to the business sponsor with their findings and ideas.
  • Creativity: A great manager is excited to get their hands on the DAM systems and is willing to experiment. They are creatively considering all the ways it can be improved and better embedded in the business. They are gathering requirements for new use cases and trying to understand what it would take to implement them.
  • Passionate about change: If you don’t hire or have a change manager in your organization, you need a manager with great communication skills who can create and execute an effective change management plan, especially during the adoption phase.

Skills Required: DAM Coordinator

  • Excited by data and “tedious” tasks: They are energized by daily administrative tasks. They manage the uploads and ensure metadata quality stays up to standard. They are detail-oriented and passionate about data accuracy because they do a lot of data entry, data management, and quality control.
  • Healthy fear of rights management: They’re the person that internal teams go to understand the rights of assets and what they can do with them. They should have enough of an understanding of rights management that they’d never copy and paste assets from Google Images *shudder* and they can guide users through the maze of rights management metadata.
  • Analytical, tech-savvy: The coordinator runs reports regularly, pulling analytics and user behavior to share with the manager. They have an understanding of how to contextualize that data and share it—how will the changes and improvements they make in the DAM make affect the experience of those using it? They’re always thinking about how to improve systems.
  • Customer service-minded: The coordinator provides access, regular training, and onboarding for all users. They get a lot of technical questions and they’re friendly and patient as they help users resolve issues.

X-Factor: Ability to Build Long-Term Relationships

A standout DAM manager is able to build long-term relationships—not only with executive-level folks like the business sponsor, but also with other leaders, internal stakeholders, and users. Their internal relationships will set the foundation for a years-long DAM journey that will touch functions across the business. If a manager can prove they have facilitated collaboration across functions and maintained positive relationships with executives and users alike, they are someone special.

Similarly, the manager’s relationship with the vendor is likely the longest and most important one they’ll build (or inherit). Having a trusted, productive relationship allows processes like implementing new integrations or suggesting new use cases smoother. “They should be confident enough to call the vendor and say, ‘Hey, we’ve got a new use case. How do I do this?’ And get the answers and support they need,” Kristina says.

Interview questions: For the DAM Manager

  • What do you know about digital asset management? Where have you gained your knowledge and experience?
  • Do you learn quickly and enjoy picking up new skills?
  • What are some common use cases/problems that DAM can solve? How would you handle stakeholders coming to you with new use cases to implement?
  • How are you broadening your DAM knowledge right now? What are trends you’re noticing in the industry?
  • What’s your experience with change management?
  • How would you guide a resistant stakeholder to adopting a new way of working?

Interview questions: For the DAM Coordinator

  • What do you know about digital asset management? Where have you gained your knowledge and experience?
  • Do you enjoy working with excel spreadsheets and reviewing data? How would you manage a metadata audit?
  • Describe how you QC (quality control) metadata?
  • What’s your level of understanding of rights management in our industry
  • Would you consider yourself a people-person? Why or why not? Do you have experience in customer service?
  • What would you do if you discover a process or workflow is not working well for your users?

The Tech Partner: DAM Vendor

The average enterprise company is juggling 843 individual applications across their tech stack. And as any operations professional or IT team will tell you, most companies don’t use their tech stack to its full potential. When a company is investing in a big foundational tool like DAM, they’re  not usually considering any functionality beyond the basic use cases. “There’s so much more DAM can do. That’s why picking the right vendor—and developing a close relationship with them—is so important,” Kristina says.

You’re looking for a partner. A vendor that will prioritize evolving functionalities, new use cases, and listening to your businesses needs. The selection process is complex (and that’s where your specialist’s knowledge comes in handy) but there are a few things to look out for while scouting for a vendor. “I’m always looking for vendors who step up and help their customers make the most out of their tools. I evaluate whether vendors are able to get organizations to that next level and help them mature their DAM practices,” Kristina explains.

One way to understand the experience of working with a potential vendor is to ask your specialist to set up calls with managers and executive peers who are using vendors you’re interested in. Get their real feedback about their experiences and tap into your specialist’s network to do it.

DAM vendor

Skills Required

  • Fulfills your business and technical requirements: The vendor is able to fulfill the requirements and use cases set out by the specialist and manager. This vendor has the people, processes, and tech capabilities that meet your request for proposal (RFP).
  • Responsive customer service: The vendor’s customer support team is robust and able to handle requests promptly. Their customer success team is knowledgeable and willing to help.
  • Prioritizes innovation: They provide innovation and development roadmaps for potential clients and are open and honest about the future of their platform and technology. They are developing at a speed that keeps pace with the industry and the needs of their clients. They will be the right fit now and in three and five years because they’re releasing new use cases and features and thinking long term.
  • Willingness to develop partnership: Even if they don’t tick every single technical box, they’re willing to put the work in and communicate with their clients along the way. For example, their executives are willing to have open conversations with the executives of potential clients to talk about how to position their DAM for digital transformation and marketing operations. 

X-Factor: Change Management Skills

A stellar vendor will have many high-value, satisfied users that have been working in DAM for years. Kristina recommends looking out for the vendors who host yearly client forums to bring those users together. These in-person (and increasingly online) events organized by vendors are a treasure trove of community, knowledge sharing, and connection. “They’re problem-solving for a year’s worth of frustrations,” Kristina says. “It’s an opportunity for clients to share and learn from one another.”
These events not only only give the clients a chance to talk to each other, but they also give the vendor a chance to listen. Vendors use those forums to learn how their clients are using their tool right now and what functionalities they want to see in the future. And great vendors are acting on those insights to launch new features, use cases, and design their roadmaps.
Also, keep an eye out for vendors who host regular client webinars to share their client stories and best practices. Vendors don’t have to host yearly Salesforce-esque extravaganzas to bring together their community.

Interview questions

  • What’s your customer service/support system? What are your average response times?
  • Do you meet our business and technical requirements? How are you looking to meet those in the future if we select you?
  • What are your development roadmaps for this year? Next year? What are your innovation goals for five and ten years from now?
  • Can our leadership meet with yours? Can you connect us with DAM managers who are working in your system already and who can share their experience?
  • Do you offer ways for your clients to interact with one another? Yearly client forums, webinars, or Slack communities?

The Connector: DAM Integration Partner

If you’ve selected your dream vendor, you’re likely in the middle of connecting your new platform to the rest of your stack. This is where a DAM integration partner comes in. An integration partner supports your team in connecting your DAM to your desired platforms. Whether that’s connecting with a PIM, content marketing software (CMS), or content delivery network (CDN).

The key to hiring the right integration partner is to work with someone who has done that integration before—if you’re looking to connect your DAM to an existing CMS, hire someone with experience integrating those specific platforms. Depending on the integration you may need one developer or a team. And you might end up working with different integration partners for different integrations. Kristina suggests connecting with your vendor for their suggestions and recommended partners.

DAM integrations

Skills Required

  • Recommended by vendor: They are an integration partner that is familiar with your DAM system and they come recommended by your vendor.
  • Experience with desired integration: They have worked to implement the integrations you desire. They may be skilled at the integration between DAM and PIM, and you may choose a different integration partner for DAM and CMS.

X-Factor: Orchestration of Content and Data

The role of integration partners is to facilitate the flow of content and data from one system to another. Done seamlessly, your end users will barely notice they are switching tools or that content is being handed off. Give them a full overview of your processes—with the knowledge of your end-to-end digital asset lifecycle, they have the skills to ensure the right content and data flows automatically through your processes. They may also have IT specialists on their teams to support your integration needs.

If you’re not sure what an ideal end-to-end digital asset lifecycle should look like in an integrated ecosystem, bring your DAM specialist back to function as a liaison between end users and the integration partner.

Interview questions

  • What is your experience with the integration(s) we’re planning to implement? What support do you offer throughout the integration process?
  • What is your experience with the vendor?
  • What resources would you allocate to this project? (Number of developers, IT specialists, hours, etc.) 
  • How will you hand off integration management and maintenance to our in-house teams?

The Catalyzer: Change Manager

If we’re talking about your dream team, Kristina says that a change manager should be your first draft pick. Since DAM sits as a foundational piece within the whole marketing tech stack, their support early on is pivotal. A change manager understands how to best implement new processes so there’s minimal disruption to the business. Whether that’s improving onboarding processes or managing big cultural shifts, they work across the tech stack and asset lifecycle.
As a DAM specialist, Kristina is also brought on to offer her change management skills on a temporary basis. But she warns that, as helpful as specialists and DAM managers can be in the change management process, they shouldn’t be tasked to do it all. “I often see the DAM manager and change manager smooshed together, but in a dream team, they’d be separate roles working together to carry the change into the future,” she says.

Change_manager

Skills Required

  • Impeccable people skills: They are incredibly charismatic, thoughtful, and patient. They love talking to people and solving the problems that are bothering them. They are most at home in groups, collaboration, and conversation.
  • Passionate about education: The change manager is a great teacher, trainer, and mentor. They get early adopters excited and help coax the stragglers on board too.
  • Process-oriented: They are well-organized and always thinking about how to improve processes. The change manager recognizes the challenge of managing change at scale and they are focused on understanding all the risks and roadblocks that may arise in the journey. 
  • Top-notch communication skills: They are phenomenal communicators and even better listeners. They can empathize with anyone and mediate conflicts with ease and skill. 
  • Trusted and influential: Whether they’re an external consultant or internal change managers, they are trusted by their peers. They know how to work with people resistant to change and juggle the human emotions associated with change. They know that developing and maintaining relationships across the business are key components to implementing and sustaining change. 

X-Factor: Tech-Savvy

Your dream change manager doesn’t need DAM experience, but it’s valuable. Often the specialist can help upskill them. They should be open to new technology, willing to learn (being an early adopter themselves is ideal), and be confident to turn around and teach others.

Interview questions

  • Describe situations where you have built and executed change management plans within a business. What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
  • How do you get buy-in from all levels of stakeholders?
  • Do you enjoy facilitating training and mentorship? Describe your coaching techniques.
  • How do you manage conflict and resistance to change in the workplace? Walk us through your process.
  • How would you rate your communication and listening skills (from 1-10)?
  • Why?

The Generalist: IT Information Architect

The business sponsor should go to their IT team and recruit this role at the start of your DAM journey, especially to offer their insights to the business analyst and DAM specialist. They could be added to the team on a temporary basis to work on a particular stage of the journey (often during initial implementation and future integrations) or devote a percentage of their time to DAM-related projects.
They are embedded in the business and have deep knowledge of your tech stack, how data currently flows, and the wider IT goals the DAM should adhere to. Request their support while implementing the software, working through integration processes with your vendor, and integration partners, or when new use cases arise.
You may also choose to bring on external IT consultants or specialists when the scope of a DAM project is outside the skills of your internal team.

IT architect

Skills Required

  • Knowledge of your existing tech ecosystem: They are embedded in your IT team and your technical architecture. They understand your organization’s goals, how data is collected, and how information flows. 
  • DAM experience: Ideally they have some DAM experience and understand how the system and data is different from other platforms in your marketing stack.

X-Factor: User-Centric Focus

While your typical information architect is thinking about how content will flow through a complex tech stack, a great information architect truly understands users and prioritizes their needs. Great architects will be supremely focused on how changes to your systems affect user experience and how the addition of the DAM fits into the puzzle of your tech stack.

Interview questions

  • What is your technical experience with DAM? Are you willing to learn on the job?
  • Can you envision how the DAM will work in our current tech stack? What are the challenges you see arising from that change?
  • Are you willing to support this project on a temporary basis? Or devote a percentage of your capacity to support the DAM on an ongoing basis?

If Your DAM Team is Just a Dream, Upskill Them

Your dream is to have a team filled with people who are skilled with DAM. The reality is often quite different, and Kristina is here to assure you that’s perfectly okay: “In reality, your team can have people who don’t have any DAM experience. The key to success is prioritizing hiring folks with a learning mindset—people who are curious and want to grow their knowledge.”

Your dream team should be filled with people who love problem-solving and have the desire to replace the sentence “I don’t know” with “I don’t know yet, but we’re gonna find out.” Those folks can take advantage of the myriad ways to upskill. Conferences, webinars, and courses (see resources below) offer regular educational opportunities to learn DAM best practices.

Kristina’s most important team-building advice is to keep that learning mindset going as technology and DAM best practice evolves. “Keep upskilling your team. The digital industry is moving quickly, so send your DAM manager to the vendor-client forums and conferences. Give them the opportunities to learn and bring that knowledge back to your organization.” It’s never too late to get your dream team off the bench and onto the court.

Top Three DAM Productivity Reports

The Three Top DAM Productivity Reports You’ll Need This Year

By art_reuse_content, Blog, dam-manager, Data, data-guide-related, Productivity-Reuse
Reading Time: 6 minutes

It’s a year of recession and uncertainty, but there is one thing we do know for certain: the demand for high-quality digital brand content is still growing.

So how does a company meet that need with (likely) fewer resources than they’ve had in the past, and more scrutiny on how those limited resources are spent?

Tools like digital asset management (DAM) platforms are the answer. We know that DAMs can be a productivity multiplier for creative and marketing teams, allowing them to create, publish and share content faster than using old tools like Google Drive. And yet, it’s sometimes hard to know for sure.

To that end, together with John Horodyski of Salt Flats, we’ve put together three must-have DAM productivity reports you can pull today that will help you understand how the system is being used, find opportunities to be more efficient, and demonstrate ROI to your leaders who may otherwise question that big tech spend.

Report #1: User Adoption

So you might be thinking: wait a minute, what does user adoption have to do with productivity? The answer is, everything.

If users aren’t in your system, using the tools you provide or the processes you’ve created, then you’ve got an immediate productivity issue. Users that are not operating within established processes are going to impact the users who are, slowing them down with questions, or forcing them to search for content and assets outside of the DAM.

It’s also an indication there may be a problem with your tools or processes themselves. If users aren’t adopting these things, there’s probably a good reason. This is a way for you to identify a potential productivity problem and fix it right away.

Here’s what you want to look at and build into your report:

  • % of total active users across groups
  • # of uploads / downloads / requests
  • Asset ingestion metrics
  • Standard web analytics (unique visits, pages, views, etc.)
  • Number and types of searches
  • Login frequency

Learn more about the three productivity reports you must have, and how to pull them!

Watch the webinar

Report #2: DAM Efficiency

This is the report you expected to see on this list. How much is your DAM improving efficiency and speed across the asset lifecycle? Is it making your creative teams faster? Is it getting assets into circulation faster? Does it allow users to get more done?

By looking at this report, you’ll be able to see if your tools and processes are paying off, or if there are opportunities to tweak or change what you’re doing to go even faster. Rather than focus on users like in the first report, this one is all about the system and process.

In this report, you want to:

  • Quantify / qualify the reduction in workflow times (ingestion / identification / use & reuse)
  • Quantify / qualify the reduction in support tickets
  • Measure product launch timelines

Report #3: Savings & ROI

It’s notoriously difficult to accurately measure the ROI of a DAM platform, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Some of the metrics in this report may not be easily available to you depending on your DAM, but it gives you an idea of where this type of report should go.

When you think about ROI in DAM, you need to look at a wide range of areas. From labor cost savings due to efficiency improvements, to risk reduction due to stronger controls on content usage, it all comes together to create value for the business. In this report, we’re focusing primarily on ROI due to productivity gains, but if you’re up to the task, you can go even deeper.

Here’s a look at metrics to include in your productivity ROI report:

  • Labor cost savings
  • Savings in agency spend
  • Asset reuse percentages
  • Total cost of ownership metrics
  • Cost savings due to self-service improvements

The Role of Technology in Reporting

This is going to sound straightforward, but the key to good DAM productivity reports is having a system that enables you to gain the insights you need.

Is your DAM good at reporting?

Not all DAMs are created equal. Some are limited to reporting very basic numbers, like how many users are in a system or the number of assets you’ve stored there. To really get to the heart of productivity, you need access to advanced reporting in two areas: asset lifecycle and metadata.

Asset lifecycle reporting lets you measure things like workflow completion rates and speed, and content reuse percentage. Your DAM needs to be able to tell you how an asset is moving through the system, how long it takes, and whether or not your content is being used (or reused) in a productive way.

Metadata reporting, on the other hand, lets you know how users are finding assets in the system. These types of metrics let you measure how long it takes a user to find content, how many failed searches they have before they find what they’re looking for, and if there are ways to better optimize your metadata to improve findability of assets.

Is your DAM configurable?

Every brand has a slightly different use case or process they want to measure in the DAM. This makes it really hard for any one DAM to provide all the insights you want straight out of the box. You need a platform that you can configure to tell you the things you want to know.

Ask yourself these two questions. First, can you easily configure the system to give you the reports you’re looking for, either through customized dashboards or things like role-based reports. Second, can you configure the metadata across your system easily so you have access to the insights you need at the asset-level.

If the answer is no, you won’t be able to get the full value you’re looking for.

Where is your data coming from?

Take a look at your tech stack and ask yourself: where is my data coming from?

This is a little more advanced than some of the other ideas in this blog, but the concept is straightforward when you think about it. There are many tools you have that impact an asset’s lifecycle, and that your DAM interacts with to get content from creation to publication and distribution. What you want to know is, how is your DAM pulling information from those systems to give you a more complete picture of that entire asset lifecycle?

If your DAM can’t receive or pass data along the tech stack, it’s limiting your ability to truly understand how the DAM is improving (or hurting) productivity for your users. This hinders you in terms of measuring ROI of the DAM, and of optimizing efficiencies to meet your aggressive content targets.

Get started on your DAM productivity reports

Getting started is easy. By using the above direction, you can start pulling together reports today that will serve you year-round and beyond. Your leaders will appreciate the insight into how the DAM is bringing value to the business – which helps justify the spend – and your stakeholders will value the direction you can give them on where to find opportunities to improve their productivity across the asset lifecycle.

To learn more about getting started, watch our webinar with John Horodyski of Salt Flats where he tackles this exact topic.

3 Productivity Reports You’re Going To Be Asked For This Year & How To Pull Them!

By Data, multi-personas, Productivity-Reuse, Webinars
Reading Time: 2 minutes

3 Productivity Reports You’re Going To Be Asked For This Year & How To Pull Them!

Your Digital Asset Management (DAM) platform is full of incredible data, but like so many others, chances are you’re still struggling to measure your DAM’s true impact on productivity and performance.In this webinar, we team up with leading DAM data expert John Horodyski, Executive Director at Salt Flats, to identify the top three reports you simply must have in your repertoire to answer these and other important questions. We’ll then take a look at how you can find and build these reports in your DAM.

Key Takeaways:

  • What metrics, KPIs, and measurements matter when it comes to measuring productivity in DAM
  • How to build those metrics into a report that have value for your leaders
  • The role of technology in good productivity reporting

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