Skip to main content
All Posts By

Michael Waldron

Productivity and performance in DAM

The Future of DAM: Productivity & Performance Insights that Drive Engaging Digital Experiences for Consumers at Scale

By Blog

In case you missed the news, Tenovos has received a $10 million Series B investment from S4S Ventures and BDMI, two heavy hitters in the world of digital media.

So, why DAM and why Tenovos?

The obvious answer is that we’re a modern, data-driven digital asset management (DAM) platform. Unlike many competitors out there, we’re built specifically to help enterprise brands accelerate content development, effectively reuse content, and gain insight into content performance.

That said, there’s more going on here that brought these large investors to our door.

Digital Transformation and the Loss of Media Signal

Digital transformation continues to lift businesses to new heights. As more of the world’s consumers go digital, the opportunities for companies to transform engagement with their customers are multiplying.

While this is a positive thing for companies, it’s having unwanted repercussions. As more brands embrace transformation, the ubiquity of digital experiences is leading to fatigue.

Consumers are overloaded by a wall of digital noise, and brands are struggling to break through it to engage in meaningful ways. Add in the loss of media signal resulting from cookie deprecation and identifier for advertisers (IDFA) changes, brands are now doubly challenged to engage buyers.

What we’re seeing in response are companies trying to scale the creation of personalized and optimized content to cut through the clutter, meet consumers on new channels, and find new paths to engagement through content.

S4S Ventures and Bertelsmann’s BDMI Co-lead Series B Investment in Modern Digital Asset Management Provider Tenovos

Read the Press Release

How Tenovos Connects Content to Buyers

Here’s where things get exciting for Tenovos, our customers, and our new investors.

Achieving this level of scale requires a modern digital asset management (DAM) system that, from ideation to publishing, acts as the system of record for a brand’s product and marketing content. As the one source of truth for content, brand teams can streamline the creation process by leveraging the platform to improve content discoverability, reuse, and automate publishing to channels such as web, and social.

But, breaking through the wall of noise takes more than just a massive volume of content. Brands must pick the right content, for the right channel, and deliver it at the right time. That’s no easy task.

According to Forrester Research, 33% of B2C marketers are still unsure of what type of content to create, an issue compounded by the loss of signal we mentioned earlier. That’s why Tenovos built a DAM on the foundation of strong analytics, empowering brands with productivity and performance insights to not only help create content quicker, but also create more impactful content to drive engagement, revenue, and retention.

The teams at S4S Ventures and BDMI share a similar vision, believing in unlocking the capability for brand teams across media, content, and creative to have a direct conversation with the consumer by empowering them to own their data in-house.

By marrying both productivity and performance metrics in the DAM, Tenovos allows brands to answer questions like:

  • Is my content driving engagement and revenue?
  • Is my content even being used?
  • Do we have consistent creative and branding across all channels?
  • Which product image drives the most likes on Instagram?

This access to real-time productivity and content performance data within the DAM helps brand teams not only improve the efficiency of their storytelling (by reusing content that works), but also optimize future content (by creating more of what’s resonating).

Global product brands such as Amazon, Mattel, and Saks Fifth Avenue, are leveraging Tenovos not only because of the unique data but also because of some key features such as:

  • PIM Framework: Universal connection to enterprise PIM systems allowing users to leverage product information in the DAM to increase content findability, and package product creative and information for publication on eComm platforms.
  • Rights management: Built-in rights management to ensure compliance with licensing agreements, and easily manage, find, track and measure licensed content.
  • Storyboards: Secure branded content portals to easily share and manage content with internal and external partners or agencies.
  • Workflows: Automate creative editing, review and approval processes to speed up creative timelines and delivery.
  • Configurability: Boost user adoption by easily configuring the system to match user needs, and easily manage or evolve metadata structures that automatically apply across the platform, all without the need for IT.

Investing In the Future

This new round of investment is validation of our vision for the future of DAM, and the needs of enterprise brands in this evolving world of digital media. As a DAM-only vendor, the entirety of the investment will be used to drive innovation in our platform and success for our customers.

To learn more about our technology and why we’re the DAM for the future, click here.

You can read more about the recent round of investment here.

Simple Steps for a Successful DAM Migration

By Blog

Digital asset management (DAM) technology has come a long way over the last few years, yet many stick to legacy platforms with less functionality, just because it’s too much hassle to make the switch.

The truth is, buyers today are consuming content in new ways, and at a scale we haven’t really seen before. The top brands are those who successfully meet these buyers on their channel of choice, with the content they’re looking for, when they want it… but achieving this is no easy feat.

It takes incredible productivity to output that much content so quickly, the right tools to optimize each asset by the channel it’s going to, the ability to find those assets when you need them, and access to data and insights to know what content those buyers want in the first place.

In other words, it takes a modern DAM!

Now, let’s skip the part where fear is holding us back from migrating to a new DAM – whether that means leaving an existing DAM or some other storage solution like Google Drive – and instead focus on what steps you can take to make the migration as easy as possible when you decide to move forward.

Preparing Your Migration

Take inventory

Yep, this is the obvious first place to start. You’ve chosen your new DAM and it’s time to plan for the migration, so you first need to know exactly what assets are making the move.

Before you create a giant spreadsheet with all your content listed on it, begin by reviewing any and all existing content/asset-related policies. For example, you may have a retention policy that dictates how long you need to store content (popular amongst highly-regulated industries). These types of policies give you important information about what assets need to move, and where they need to go.

Next you’ll want to gather the content. Some things you’ll want to take note of include:

  • What type of content is it? – produced in-house, contracted through agencies, licensed, stock, etc.
  • Is there a standard file naming convention we need to follow in the new DAM?
  • What kind of existing metadata do I have for these assets?
  • What asset types and sizes are they?

The note about metadata is important, and here’s a pro-tip: Migration is not only about moving the physical files, it’s also about moving the metadata attached to them. At this stage, you’re gathering that metadata so that on the receiving end of all this content you can organize your files, and users can still find the assets they need.

Failing to map metadata at this stage can lead to mass confusion before the end of the process, which in turn impacts both the quality of the migration and DAM implementation, as well as the timeline to get everything done.

This is also the time to make any changes to your metadata structures before making the move.

Many DAM implementations fail because users don’t want to use the new system. We’ve built a toolkit to help you manage the change, drive user adoption, and ultimately have DAM success.

Download the toolkit

Prioritizing assets

By now you’ve compiled a giant list of assets you want to migrate over, but here’s a reality check: migrating content doesn’t happen overnight. It can take time depending on the volume of content you want to move over, and how well you’ve organized everything in the first step.

With that in mind, it’s a good idea to prioritize the content you want to move over. Some brands will choose to move any currently live content, or content needed for campaigns, as a starting point. Anything moving over that isn’t currently active in the market, or archives, gets deprioritized. Ultimately it’s up to you and your team how you want to prioritize content migration.

When it gets underway, this prioritization will allow users to be in the DAM right away, with access to the content that you feel is more important to them.

What is content migration lag?

Creative teams never stop making new content. However, because migrating from an old DAM or storage solution to a new platform can take time – often content uploads happen in batches – often the existing solution is still used during the migration. This means newly created content gets put in the older system and has to be moved over as well, creating ‘lag’ in getting these new assets into the DAM.

The overall DAM implementation plan needs to account for this. The new platform should be up and running as fast as possible, otherwise the backlog of new content that has yet to be put into the DAM extends the timeline for migration, which in turn can extend the backlog, creating a continuous cycle that severely threatens implementation timelines and deliverables.

Migration planning

As part of your new DAM implementation, you need to create a migration plan. This step will save you hours of stress and worry over timelines if you just have a good plan in place. Your migration plan should take into account:

  • How much content you’re moving over
  • When you can start moving assets over (what point of the implementation is the system ready to ingest  content)
  • The state of metadata and overall content organization
  • How many batches of content need to be migrated to the new DAM
  • Any predicted content migration lag that should be accounted for in the timeline.

With all of these in mind, your plan should provide clear dates for key milestones in the migration, including when the DAM can start accepting content all the way to the final migration. Sticking to the plan lets you better manage your resources, and the expectations of your stakeholders – who ideally have all agreed to the timelines presented.

Content staging

Most DAMs will have some sort of staging environment where content can be moved to while it awaits its migration.

Whether you’re managing this internally, or you have a migrations team helping you, content will be taken from the staging area and moved into the new DAM. That means at this stage, you’re essentially getting everything queued up to migrate, based on the structure and priorities you’ve set in previous stages.

Once this is done, we can start moving content.

Beginning the Migration

Confirm metadata configurations in the new DAM

As assets start moving into the DAM you want to make sure the metadata configuration was done right. Refer back to your original content audit where you included the metadata, and make sure it’s all carrying over the way you intended it.

You need to validate this now. Waiting can mean users catching the problem post-DAM launch, which is catastrophic for user adoption as it erodes their trust in the system. Maybe as damaging is the amount of work it could take to reapply new metadata structures to all of your content in the DAM if you miss it early.

Now, some DAMs like Tenovos actually make it pretty easy to adjust your metadata structures, but not all platforms have the same functionality. Regardless of which type of DAM you’re migrating to and its functionality, this is a best practice you don’t want to skip.

Confirm your timelines & set up checkpoints

In the preparation phase of the migration you outlined how long you thought the migration was going to take. Now that everything is underway, it’s time to validate that plan. 

Are any adjustments needed? Do you have the right resources, and did you give yourself enough, or too much, time to get the job done? 

To help you identify where you stand in the migration, refer back to your migration plan and establish specific checkpoints in the process – for example, create a checkpoint after the first batch of content has been uploaded. Are you on schedule so far? Is there anything that needs to be changed leading into the next batch of uploads?

Do this throughout the entire migration process to help you stay on top of everything and ensure it’s moving smoothly. The earlier you can identify issues in the timeline, the sooner you can correct them to mitigate the risk of missed deadlines.

Completing your Migration

You’ve followed all the steps above, and guess what? The migration is over!

Ideally you’ve hit your timelines and it’s time to cutover to the new system completely. This can be a scary process, but it’s important not to linger too long with multiple systems or you risk content lag as we discussed earlier in this blog.

If you’ve done the job well, your users will be able to dive into the new DAM and access all their content with ease, while leveraging the new and improved features you bought the platform for.

Too often, sub-par enterprise tech vendors (DAM included) will actually count on the difficulty of moving between systems as a way of helping retain customers, making it easier for them to overlook customer feedback on the platform.

In contrast, top vendors provide migration support to overcome perceived barriers to swapping vendors. By following the steps outlined above, and choosing a DAM vendor with the expertise and resources to support you through the migration, you can benefit from new, modern and innovative DAM technology in no time at all.

To read more about what you should expect from your modern digital asset management platform, download our vendor guide.

Brown-Forman: 5 DAM Tips from a Leading Global CPG Brand

By Blog

You may not recognize the name Brown-Forman off the top of your head, but you certainly know their brands – Jack Daniels, Woodford Reserve, Old Forester, and Finlandia, just to name a few.

This is a global CPG company that owns and operates some of the most recognized fine spirit and wine brands in the world, and you’ve no doubt been exposed to their content – either at local establishments or through various digital channels.

What you might not know is that Brown-Forman utilizes the Tenovos digital asset management (DAM) platform to manage their creative asset lifecycle across the organization and all of their brands, from ideation and collaboration all the way to distribution of content.

We recently hosted a webinar where the company shared how they’re using DAM as the central technology in their ecosystem to manage digital assets. We thought it would be interesting to share some key takeaways from the webinar, which you can also watch in its entirety here.

Let’s dive in!

DAM Should Enable Teams to Create and Deliver Great Content

As a global company, Brown-Forman has recognized the opportunity to both leverage content from their global brand team across the entire organization, as well as identifying content from local brand and marketing teams that can be impactful in other markets.

But how do they achieve it?

The answer is through their DAM. Brown-Forman uses Tenovos as their single source of truth for digital assets. And while some organizations may be tempted to set up the DAM to serve their global teams only, Brown-Forman has decided to address the needs of all their stakeholders within the platform.

What this means is that both the global, and local brand and marketing teams, have access to the platform. It allows them to engage with their various partners – retailers and agencies for example – and share assets through the DAM.

Then, if the global team has created something for the entire organization to leverage it can be found easily. And likewise, should a local team create something of wider value to the organization, it can be surfaced and circulated with ease.

At the end of the day, Brown-Forman says the entire goal of this configuration is to “capture the amazing creative we’re generating across the organization.”

Creating Content with Purpose

Brown-Forman manages hundreds of thousands of assets in their DAM, and a big part of their program is monitoring how those assets are being used.

They track things like download rates, reuse rates, usage, and uploads, looking to understand what content is being used, what isn’t, and why.

The idea here is straightforward: while the need for content across their company is growing, it’s important that content doesn’t get created just for the sake of it. Content must have a purpose, and so they’re always looking in their library to ensure the right content is being created by their teams.

Some ways they’ll gain that insight is by looking into how people search for content, and what they find as a result. It sounds like an exercise in metadata and search optimization (and it is that), but it also provides insight into what content is needed, and maybe what isn’t.

This allows them to focus their asset creation on the content people need, based on the data they monitor in the system. It helps them improve content findability, while also curating assets for their users that is truly relevant to them.

KEY INSIGHT: If you want people to reuse content, then you have to give them access to reusable formats.

It’s not realistic to expect an asset to be reused exactly how it was originally created. The Brown-Forman team allows raw assets and formats to be included in the DAM to encourage users to reuse assets and adapt them to their needs. 

Digital Asset Management Is Central in the Tech Ecosystem

One thing Brown-Forman has realized is that they’re always moving assets and data between systems. It’s constant.

You can think of it in terms of creative workflows, for example, where a final asset is in the DAM but needs to be adapted for a new campaign. Now it moves to a different system to be revised, and re-uploaded back into the DAM.

But for enterprise tech ecosystems, it’s often more than just one system. You may have technologies where you store data like a product information management (PIM) system, or a platform to help you optimize content. The list goes on.

Brown-Forman created a map of every technology that touches an asset throughout its lifecycle. Their approach is to look at the entire tech landscape as one connected ecosystem, rather than individual siloed platforms.

Why is that?

Before having this integrated approach, Brown-Forman brand managers never had clear insight into how their content was performing. Disconnected systems left too many gaps, and as assets moved through their lifecycle, the brand managers lost sight of how it was being used, where, and how it performed.

While their journey towards this interconnected ecosystem is not complete yet, the Brown-Forman team strives for an integrated, cyclical tech stack where assets are created, and seamlessly move between systems for optimization, reuse and redistribution, in a continuous cycle.

Watch the full webinar to hear directly from Brown-Forman how they’re leverage digital asset management to drive content performance.

Watch the webinar

Obsessing Over Metadata and Performance

During the webinar, participants were asked how they used their DAM to gather content insights today. The results were interesting.

Just over half of the participants said they tracked basic content usage data in the DAM. No one said they leveraged the DAM to track performance, and nearly a quarter said they didn’t track anything in the system at all.

It’s not uncommon to hear performance data is not a core focus for some brands, because it’s hard to accurately measure. However, Brown-Forman has found a way to leverage digital asset management for insights they can use to understand and optimize content performance across all their brands.

The secret for them is linking their taxonomy structure with performance data. Their goal is to be able to look at any asset and know where it ran, how much was invested in it, who saw the content, where it performed best, and so on.

From there, the insights they gather are passed on to their creative and brand teams, who use them to inform future creative and media decisions. In turn, this leads to performance improvements across Brown-Forman’s digital channels.

It’s worth mentioning this is enabled by the interconnected tech ecosystem they’ve built, as referred to in the previous section.

Driving Performance with Digital Asset Management

While the Brown-Forman use case for DAM may seem advanced for some companies, they’ve been able to create a tech ecosystem that drives performance by correctly identifying digital asset management as its central technology, and prioritizing the right integrations around it.

By connecting all systems that touch an asset through its lifecycle, and the clever use of taxonomy to help identify and measure performance, they’re able to successfully gather insights into their content that empowers teams to do more of the content that’s working, optimize what isn’t, distribute it across their global brands, and reuse impactful assets for maximum return on their creative investment.

To learn more about how Brown-Forman is driving content performance through DAM, watch the webinar here.

Integrate DAM and PIM

5 Reasons You Should Integrate a DAM With Your PIM

By Blog

If you’re a company that makes or sells any kind of product – and yes, we include things like movies and other entertainment in that bucket – then no doubt you have a ton of data and important information about that product that needs to be managed.

And, it’s likely you achieve that with a product information management (PIM) system.

Your PIM platform should be a system of record for all your product information – things like descriptions of the product, specifications, unique ID numbers like SKUs, and hundreds or sometimes thousands of other product attributes. But what a PIM doesn’t do is host any sort of visual or other digital asset that’s been created for that product.

You do that in a digital asset management (DAM) platform, like Tenovos.

Some platforms will let you push assets from the DAM into the PIM, but you can unlock so much more value with a bi-directional integration between the two systems.

Before we dive in further on why this is so valuable, let’s start by just explaining what a bi-directional integration actually means.

PIM & DAM Integrations

The value of linking these two technologies is the ability to leverage their full functionalities while seamlessly sharing data and assets back and forth between them. A bi-directional integration between DAM and PIM will:

  • Allow the PIM to be the system of record for all product data
  • Give the DAM read-only access to product data from the PIM
  • Allow the DAM to automatically pull in product data and attach it to assets
  • Enable the DAM to push assets and asset data back into the PIM

At its core, the PIM and DAM integration is about enriching both systems with data from the other to enable greater efficiencies in terms of finding, managing and publishing product data and assets.

With that in mind, here are five reasons this integration should excite you.

DAM PIM Integration

1. Improved Content Discoverability in the DAM

In digital asset management, we’re always thinking about ways to make it easier for users to find the content they need. That takes the shape of new metadata structures, AI-tagging, keyword strategies, and so on.

But for the most part, these metadata fields in DAMs describe the asset and its subject, and not the product specifically.

Instead, shouldn’t you be able to just search for a SKU number in the DAM and pull up all assets related to that product? Well, yes! From there, 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.

The ability to quickly and easily find content in the DAM using product information is an incredible time-saver for users, and has other productivity and ROI benefits, including…

2. Enabling Content Reuse

One of the added benefits of making it easier to find content in the DAM is also making it easier to find content you want to reuse. Brands spend millions creating content to help them sell their products. But sometimes, if content isn’t tagged the right way or is missing certain keywords, it can get lost in the DAM. That means companies are spending even more money to recreate assets they already have in the system (this actually happens way more than most companies like to admit).

Automatically pulling product data, and applying it to assets in the DAM, helps ensure content doesn’t get lost. It makes it easy for users to find assets they can reuse, thus increasing the value of each one of those assets while reducing content spending overall.

Choose a DAM vendor that helps you integrate your tech stack.

Read the Vendor Guide

3. Streamline Content Distribution

Listing a product on an ecommerce website isn’t always as easy as it should be. You’re often copying data from your PIM into a CMS or eComm platform, manually downloading an asset from the DAM and re-uploading it to the site, and then configuring a product detail page to make the listing just right.

Well, scratch that. When you integrate your PIM with your DAM, you allow the product information to automatically be attached to your content. And, depending on the DAM you have, you can then package the asset and product data together, and publish it directly to your eComm platform or website directly.

You might say that the productivity gains for just one asset isn’t worth the effort of integrating the systems, but for large product and retail companies that manage this at large scale, the benefits compound into a huge time and money saver.

4. Data Consistency

Enterprise brands have incredible amounts of data to manage, and keeping it all organized is essential to doing so successfully. Each new system that operates in a silo increases the risk that data standards aren’t followed – things like taxonomy, tags, and other sorts of metadata. At the scale with which these companies are creating content, it can quickly devolve into data chaos.

Bringing the DAM and PIM together is just another way to ensure the way you represent a product in your system of record – the PIM – is consistent across other systems like your DAM. It’s what allows data to be shared between technologies, and enables in-depth reporting and transparency that would otherwise be impossible to manage in any sort of automated way.

Brands spend significant time and resources undertaking data cleanup projects and realigning their systems. Integrating the DAM and PIM is one preventative measure that pays off in terms of processes and data transparency.

5. PIM Alternative

As members of the MACH Alliance, Tenovos is committed to being integration-first. We believe organizations are best served purchasing best-in-class technologies, and not tools that try to do everything.

That being said, there are cases where brands may not be ready to invest in two technologies. For that reason, a DAM with a built-in bi-directional PIM integration framework – like Tenovos – can be configured to also manage product information and act as a functional, though ultimately limited, solution until a true PIM can be purchased.

In doing so, you can still benefit from combining the DAM’s assets with product information, albeit when you’re able to purchase a PIM and connect the systems instead, we feel that’s the best approach to maximize the true capabilities and values of both systems.

Integrating Your DAM with Your PIM

Modern DAM platforms like Tenovos are designed to connect to other enterprise technologies in order to facilitate this two-way communication of data. Not all DAMs are created equal, and so it’s important to investigate with your vendor, or potential vendor if you’re in the evaluation phase of a new DAM purchase, their ability to connect to your PIM and enable the aforementioned functionalities and benefits of the integration.

To learn more about how to choose a vendor capable of helping you with integrations like these, click here to read our vendor evaluation guide.

How to Implement a Digital Asset Management Platform: Tips from Onnit’s DAM Manager

By Blog

Implementing a new digital asset management (DAM) platform is a daunting task.

These are complex systems that are used to managed thousands, sometimes millions, of digital assets, and have stakeholders from multiple teams within the organization. They must satisfy the needs of highly organized DAM managers, while simultaneously delivering a fantastic user experience for the company’s most creative minds.

Implementing a DAM, while exciting, is no small feat.

When tackling a big project, it’s always a good idea to start by learning from those who have done it before. Today, we’re going to learn from Vanessa Escobedo Barba, DAM Manager at Onnit.

Vanessa recently completed a successful implementation of a brand new DAM for her company, and she shared her thoughts and insights on successful DAM implementations in a webinar earlier this month.

Here are Vanessa’s top insights (but if you can spare the 45 minutes, it’s worth it to watch the entire webinar for even more great tips).

Engage With Users and Stakeholders Early in the Process

As mentioned already, there are a number of users, stakeholders and teams who will be in the DAM on a daily basis. It only makes sense to start by talking to them, early. Why?

The key to successfully implementing a DAM is understanding what the key requirements for the technology are going to be. Every organization will be different, which is why you need to start by talking to your stakeholders.

It’s also an important time to set proper expectations with those people. As you learn their requirements and use cases for the DAM, you may hear something that you know won’t be possible in the tool. Now is the time to set that expectation, while simultaneously starting to work on a solution.

This is going to build trust with your users and stakeholders that you understand them, which leads to stronger user adoption when the system goes live. And of course, it’s going to help ensure any DAM platform you purchase is going to satisfy the needs of your users.

Project Management Is Key

Some companies are going to have more resources than others. For those lucky enough to have them, it’s a good idea to leverage existing project management teams or resources to help keep your implementation on track.

Planning is essential to this entire process. From communication plans to training, testing, data and asset migration, and more, there are countless moving parts and ways for the timeline to get out of control. A project manager helps immensely to keep things running smoothly.

If you don’t have access to a project manager, then instead try to use some kind of project management tool to stay organized. The scope and scale of a DAM implementation necessitates some kind of digital tool to stay on top of everything. Post-its and paper notes just won’t cut it.

Communicate, and Communicate Some More

During a DAM implementation, there’s no such thing as over-communication. The best thing you can do is keep everyone in the loop on where things are at, any roadblocks or problems, and key milestones.

Sometimes we think of communication as simply emails being sent, but it really includes everything from training to executive presentations. Make sure you have a concrete communication plan that tracks all the different communications you want to send, where they’re going, and what’s in them. Stay on top of it to build trust between you and your stakeholders that everything is under control, and that they’ll be notified if or when something requires their attention.

Learn how Onnit successfully implemented their DAM, from executive buy-in and budget to go-live.

Watch the webinar

Keep It Simple

This is a tough one, specially if you’re moving from an outdated folder-based system like Google Drive to a modern DAM like Tenovos. How do you recreate those folders structures that are 10 layers deep?

The answer is, you don’t.

Modern DAMs are designed to optimize the user’s ability to find assets. The best thing you can do is keep your structures as simple as possible. Don’t try to recreate the old way of doing things, but simplify and optimize for the new tool.

It’s worth remembering the DAM will evolve over time, and things will need to change. So, for the purpose of a smooth implementation that delivers a functional user experience, don’t overthink it just yet.

Ongoing Maintenance Keeps the DAM Running Smoothly

A common mistake people make is thinking a DAM implementation is done the minute the system goes live. Sure, the system is up and running but there’s still a lot that needs to be done to keep it working well.

As part of your implementation, take time to build out a regular maintenance plan and processes to ensure things like asset and metadata audits and cleanups happen regularly, that user permissions are being checked on, and that automations or workflows are operating the way they were designed.

Being proactive with maintenance means fewer issues and complaints from users down the road, and it keeps them working in the tool rather than defaulting to old systems and processes. This is especially important in the early going of the DAM, where users are most likely to push back on the tool if they see problems that don’t get fixed fast.

Not Everything Will Go As Planned

Digital asset management implementations are big projects for big technologies. It’s inevitable that something is going to go wrong.

The sooner you accept that reality, the more prepared you’ll be to overcome it when it happens to you.

It’s impossible to think of every eventuality or requirement in the DAM. Maybe something doesn’t work the way it was intended, or a key requirement is somehow overlooked. These things happen to everyone. What’s important is that you don’t get overwhelmed, and look for creative or resourceful solutions to the problem.

Create a Hard Cut Off

Change is hard, and no one likes to do it. At Onnit, Vanessa’s team moved from a Google Drive to DAM. It was important for her to give users some time with both systems so they could feel comfortable, but also have a cut off date set in stone where access to G Drive would be terminated.

It needs to be a clear cut transition to using the new system full-time. Some people may find this a bit harsh, but it’s truly the only way to push people into the change they need to go through. Digital asset management platforms can be daunting for new users, but if you’ve done a good job at change management leading up to this point, you should have an excited group of people who, although nervous, are ready to take their first steps into the new system.

But just like you wouldn’t push a new swimmer into a pool without the lifeguard on duty, you shouldn’t force new users into a DAM without adequate support and training. Make sure your implementation plan includes time to build out support resources or processes, so that users have help when it’s time to move from old to new.

The Ongoing DAM Evolution

As mentioned above, the job of implementing a DAM doesn’t end when the system goes live. It’s a continuous cycle of change management, collecting feedback, optimizing the system, and measuring performance.

Follow these DAM implementation tips and you’ll be well on your way to launching a successful digital asset management platform of your own. And if you want more details on how Vanessa led Onnit’s implementation, from securing executive buy-in and budget to go-live, watch her webinar here.

What Is Metadata and How Is It Used in Digital Asset Management?

By Blog

What is metadata?

The common definition goes something like this: Metadata is data about data, or, data that provides information on other data.

In the world of digital asset management (DAM), that ‘data’ – as in the description above – refers to your assets. So, we can rework the definition of metadata to be: Metadata is data that provides information about your content, or assets.

Why is metadata important? Without metadata, your content and assets would just sit in a digital archive, unable to be found or managed in any effective way. That’s because the system would have no way to understand what the content is, and as a result, users could never put in any kind of search term, or use labels, to find the content they need.

In fact, there are a variety of types of metadata, each enabling a different kind of activity or function within the DAM. It allows administrators to organize content effectively, or external users – like customers – to find content on your ecommerce site.

In this blog, we’re going to quickly explain these different metadata types – focusing primarily on descriptive and administrative metadata – so you have a better understanding of how to use your metadata effectively.

Here we go!

Descriptive Metadata

When you think about metadata, often the first thing you think about is descriptive metadata. 

Descriptive metadata is metadata that describes your asset, and is often tied to some kind of search or retrieval process for your content. It helps identify the subject of the content so that users can use it to find the assets they’re looking for.

Let’s use an image of yellow sunglasses as an example. Descriptive metadata will tell you things like:

  • The image is of sunglasses
  • The sunglasses are yellow
  • The image is of the sunglasses by themselves on a table
  • The style of sunglasses depicted in the image

These types of descriptive metadata can be used to search for the asset in the DAM. You may also have metadata that describes the asset beyond its subject. For example:

  • Type of asset (ex. .GIF, image, video, etc)
  • Name of the photographer
  • Title
  • Keywords

In your DAM, the metadata types can take several forms, from open text boxes you can fill in for an asset description all the way to drop-down fields with predetermined values. There is no set standard for how these metadata types appear in the DAM, and they vary by each organization. However, this category of metadata – descriptive metadata – is relatively universal.

Keywords vs. tags – Are they the same?

In short, no. While both are types of metadata used to search for assets, they differ in a key way. Keywords may capture the visual attributes of an asset, the story behind it, or even the way the asset is designed to make you feel. They provide more context and nuance to the asset that other forms of metadata don’t. Tags, on the other hand, tend to be more verifiable facts about an asset used to categorize it.

Using our sunglasses example above, you may use tags like ‘yellow’ and ‘sunglasses’ because those are the exact definition of the subject of the image. However, you could use keywords like ‘cool’ and ‘modern’ to capture how the buyer would feel wearing those sunglasses, and in turn give that customer a new, personalized way to find the sunglasses on your ecommerce site by searching for “cool sunglasses.”

Learn more about metadata and keywords from the experts in our guide to DAM data, available free online with accompanying podcast series.  

Learn More

Administrative Metadata

Just as the name suggests, administrative metadata is metadata that allows the assets to be managed within the DAM.

This is the metadata that allows a DAM manager, for example, to assign access rights to various assets, or to understand when a piece of content needs to be archived. There are different types of administrative metadata, but each serves a similar purpose in that it makes sure the digital assets are managed and used appropriately.

Technical metadata

This is the metadata that describes the technical aspects of a file or asset. It doesn’t describe the subject of the content, but rather the file itself. Things like:

  • File type (.pdf, .jpg, mp4, etc)
  • When an asset was created
  • Who created an asset
  • How the asset was created (what camera took the image, camera settings)
  • File size
  • Video duration

This technical information is useful for an administrator to keep the DAM organized, to track the assets of certain types within the DAM, or to understand what assets – or asset types – are taking up storage within the system.

Preservation metadata

This type of metadata defines how content should be stored – or preserved – within a system and why. You’ll often see this in companies that deal with certain regulations, where content needs to be saved for a certain period of time in order to remain in compliance. In this example, the preservation metadata will tell the DAM manager how long an asset needs to be kept for, where it is to be kept, and when it can be archived or deleted.

It’s also used to track content created for things like marketing campaigns. These assets that are designed for specific campaigns can be archived once the campaign is over, because the preservation metadata lets the DAM manager know to archive it at a specific time.

Use metadata

Use metadata is all about understanding how or what is happening to, and with, your assets.

This type of metadata can include things like:

  • How an asset was used
  • Where it was used
  • Who downloaded it
  • When was it last modified

You’ll sometimes see the inclusion of asset analytics in this metadata, like how many times an asset was downloaded from the DAM. This type of information helps track the ways your content is used across the organization, and it helps with things like due diligence and content use.

Rights / legal metadata

Asset licensing is an important part of digital content creation. Licenses can range from inexpensive, one-off purchases from a stock photo site, to large contract licensing of popular music or video assets for an advertising campaign. Rights metadata, sometimes referred to as legal metadata, is the parameters of those licensing agreements attached to their relevant assets in the DAM. This metadata tells users what is covered under a license, how the asset is permitted to be used, where it’s permitted to be used, and when the agreement expires.

Without this metadata, administrators and creatives alike would be in the dark in regards to what assets they have permission to use, which would lead to brand damages and financial penalties for breaching agreements.

DAM Metadata Within the Tech Ecosystem

We won’t get too much into it within this blog, but it’s important to note that many large enterprises aim to share a single metadata structure across their entire tech ecosystem. They achieve this by integrating their DAM with other platforms, like their product information management (PIM) or master data management (MDM) systems, so data and metadata can be passed freely between them.

In practice this can take various forms depending on the companies, their tools, and what their goals are for the integrations. At Tenovos, we help brands attach product metadata directly from their PIM to assets within our DAM. This lets them use assets from the DAM on their ecommerce site, and because the PIM data is attached to those assets, it automates the creation of a product details page, for example.

As you break down the role of metadata in the world of digital content, you realize it enables everything brands want to do with their content – from getting that content in front of buyers all the way to measuring asset ROI.

If you want to learn more about metadata in DAM, read our eBook or listen to our data guide podcast series where we share insights from leading data experts in digital asset management. You can read it here.

Quick-Start Guide to DAM Integrations

By Blog

Every article or blog that talks about best practices in digital asset management (DAM) is going to highlight the importance of having a fully integrated enterprise technology ecosystem, within which your DAM will play an important role.

Great. So what does a fully integrated technology ecosystem actually mean? What technologies can you, and should you, integrate with your DAM, and what do those connections actually do? In this blog, we’re going to help answer those questions by listing the most common digital asset management integrations, with a short description of what those technologies will do for you.

If you want to know more about digital asset management integrations, read on!

Why Digital Asset Management Integrations Are Important

Some people might find this to be an obvious answer, but it’s worth mentioning anyway. Integrating technologies to your DAM serves a few purposes.

First, it makes everyone’s lives easier, and that’s important to increasing user adoption of your DAM. The most common reason DAM implementations fail is because users choose not to use the system. This happens for many reasons, one of which being that the DAM just makes their lives harder, not easier.

Integrating the right technologies solves this problem – it can reduce work, time spent on mundane tasks, and errors, letting users find more value out of the DAM and encouraging them to use the tool as it is intended.

Integrations are also important to creating a single source of truth in terms of your data, and your assets. If you can connect your technologies and allow them to share data, you help protect the quality and integrity of that data. The same is true of your assets – sharing them directly to other systems where they’re needed, rather than requiring a user to download and manually move those assets, reduces errors, protects your brand, and saves time.

The last reason we’ll mention here (though there are others) is to increase transparency across the enterprise, reduce data-lag through the organization and make sure all teams have the insights and content they need to execute at the highest levels.

Commonly Connected Enterprise Technologies

Let’s take a look at some of the enterprise technologies that are most commonly connected to digital asset management platforms.

Master Data Management Systems (MDM)

This technology helps companies coordinate their data across the enterprise. Companies have existing data stored in the MDM that needs to be attached to digital assets, so it’s common to have these systems integrated to the DAM. This connection allows the DAM to pull data from the MDM and attach it to the assets.

This is an important integration as it achieves two key things for the company. First, it removes the need for users to manually input data over and over into the DAM when it already exists somewhere else. This reduces the risk of human error corrupting the data, and keeps users productive on valuable tasks, not tedious data-entry.

Second, this integration protects your data. By leveraging the MDM as your source of truth, it allows you to manage that data centrally and trust that it will update the DAM, and other connected technologies, automatically.

Product Information Management (PIM)

Similar to the MDM, the PIM system manages all the data you need to put a product to market – things like SKU numbers, product specifications, tags, etc. Connecting your PIM to your DAM is one of the more common integrations you see, because it supercharges your ability to put products to market effectively.

This connection will allow you to match assets to a SKU in the PIM, and all that product’s vital information will be attached to that asset directly. Some DAMs, like Tenovos, will also share the asset back to the PIM so you can see the content within that system, too.

It also makes the assets in the DAM searchable by the data that is managed within the PIM, like SKU numbers or product specs. More than a quality of life upgrade, this connection will automate metadata for your content that is essential in use cases like ecommerce.

Project Management, Campaign Management & Workflow

These platforms, and others like them, are used by companies to manage different projects, tasks, marketing campaigns, content creation processes, and the list goes on. So, what happens when you connect these systems to a DAM?

First, the integration will create a direct link between the management or workflow software and the DAM library, providing searchable access to all the content in the DAM. This is a crucial connection for creative teams, for example, as they can attach brand assets directly from the DAM to the task in their workflow or project management system, work on those content updates, and feed the updated asset back into the DAM to be used in an upcoming campaign.

The integration will also feed data from the project into the DAM as metadata, which could include things like campaign names, product descriptions, task descriptions, comments – all important contextual metadata that ensures the proper use of the completed asset.

Digital Rights Management (DRM)

Licensing of content is a huge business, just ask our friends at Charles M. Schultz Creative Associates, owners of the Peanuts brand (Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the gang). So, how do you make sure that you’re either controlling access to your content based on license agreements, or that you’re only using the content you have purchased licenses for?

Well, if you do a lot of licensing you may manage those agreements within a digital rights management, or a licensing, system. This is a technology that helps you keep track of who you have purchased from/sold rights to, what the details of those agreements are, when they expire, and so on. Integrating that system with your DAM lets you automatically leverage those agreements to control access to content within your digital asset management platform.

Based on your license agreements, you can automate access of licensees (external parties) to the content they’ve purchased rights to, and pull that access when the agreement expires. Alternatively, you can automatically attach agreement details, such as approved use cases and regions, to the assets you’ve purchased rights to so that your DAM will only give you access to content you’re allowed to use based on those license agreements.

This is an important integration to protect your assets from unauthorized users, and to protect your own company from risk of misusing licensed content.

Creative Suites

Creative teams use specific tools to create and edit assets. Rather than asking these teams to manually download assets, work on them, and re-upload them to the DAM, these connections allow creatives to access their design tools directly from within the digital asset management platform.

These connections allow a reviewer to place comments on the asset and trigger a workflow that notifies the creative, who never has to leave the DAM in order to make the required changes. Not only is this a huge time saver for these teams, but it also helps improve version control of assets, and makes sure only approved assets are used in the creative process.

Business Intelligence (BI)

One of the main benefits of an integrated enterprise tech ecosystem is to provide transparency through data across the organization. Business intelligence tools let you build customized dashboards and perform analysis on data from across the enterprise using multiple data sources.

To put it simply, connecting a BI tool with your DAM lets you pull in asset-level data into those dashboards to include in your analysis. More advanced DAMs will also leverage data back from the BI tool to improve content analysis within the platform, as well. 

Building an Integrated Tech Ecosystem

As a member of the MACH Alliance, Tenovos is committed to maintaining an open API architecture that facilitates the quick connection of our enterprise DAM to other technologies in the tech ecosystem.

This allows companies to leverage best-in-breed technologies to power their enterprise, while benefiting from the transparency and synergies these systems can provide.

In order to achieve this integrated vision for your organization, it’s important to speak with your DAM vendors early in your relationship to understand their ability to connect to different technologies. Involve your IT teams, and always ask for examples of how other companies have used similar integrations to power their DAM programs.

If you’re evaluating vendors currently, read our guide on how to choose the right DAM vendor for your organization, which includes details on integration capabilities.

DAM publishing

Transform Your DAM From an Archive Into a Publishing Powerhouse

By Blog
DAM publishing

Let’s face it—traditional digital asset management (or DAM) software isn’t built with the needs of today’s modern marketing teams in mind. Most DAMs function primarily as an archive, providing a central place for you to store and share content. But once that content makes its way out into the world? Poof! It disappears off your DAM’s radar. There’s no easy way for you to see what’s been published, what channels your assets are on, or where there are content gaps. Like peering past the event horizon of a black hole, it’s just… gone. 

This is all bad news for your creative team—and especially your designers—who are left scratching their heads over which assets are getting used most frequently and which have hardly been touched. Because you don’t know what’s working well, you can’t optimize to produce more of what’s resonating with your audience. All that unused and unsuccessful content is money down the drain. Research shows that marketers waste about a quarter of their budgets on ineffective channels and strategies. 

There’s a better way. That’s why we created a modern DAM platform with the ability to not only manage your content, but also act as your publishing hub. 

Intrigued? Let’s explore what the modern DAM looks like and why it’s so revolutionary.

Traditional vs. Modern DAMs

Traditional DAMs

 

Content archive 

Download content from the DAM then upload to publishing channels

Doesn’t track where the content is published

Modern DAMs

 

Content library, workflow, and publishing tool

Publish directly to social and other channels from the DAM

Able to see all publishing destinations across channels

A traditional DAM acts as a storage facility. It’s one easy-to-access location for all your team’s content, like licensed images, logos, and infographics. Compared to a shared folder or drive, it’s a big upgrade. It makes content accessible to everyone on your team, empowers the design team to maintain control over your creative, and ensures that folks aren’t going rogue with your branding.

But there are issues with traditional DAMs too. It’s almost impossible to publish directly to your social, ecommerce, or web channels. You have to download assets from the DAM to pull into channels and campaigns, meaning that the design team is often left in the dark over how assets are actually being used. Unless you manually search for your content on each channel, your designers won’t know what pieces were published and where there are opportunities for content reuse. This means design feedback is slow and it’s challenging to optimize your assets for next time.

The modern DAM completely upends this paradigm by becoming a publishing tool. Instead of simply storing your assets, the DAM becomes a one-stop shop for curating, publishing, measuring, and optimizing your creative.

Rather than downloading your content to use in campaigns, the modern DAM integrates with your marketing suite so you can publish it directly to all your channels (social, ecommerce, etc.), easily analyze content gaps, and recall any outdated assets from publication so you can maintain a consistent brand.

This means when you pull an image from the DAM into a campaign, the DAM is quietly building a “context path” in the background so you can trace it and understand its full usage lifecycle. A modern DAM shows you an exact picture of what content is getting used, who’s using it, and what content is ripe for reuse.

Tenovos: The Next Phase of DAM Evolution

You’ve invested so many hours, resources, and effort into your content—we think it’s about time you were able to truly understand its impact on your business growth. With its open, cloud-based platform, and holistic view of content, we built Tenovos to be the modern DAM that marketing teams need.

Tenovos’ Story Activation feature lets you quickly publish content and track it across digital channels, allowing you to obtain real-time insights into your content investment. No need to toggle between all your different marketing tools. It’s time to stop publishing into the void, and start producing more of what your audience wants.

Glossier & Sephora: Three DAM Thoughts On the New Partnership

By Blog

Longtime direct-to-consumer beauty brand Glossier has launched its first ever partnership with a retailer – Sephora.

The move was announced in July, with the partnership set to get underway in early 2023. And while consumers are no doubt excited to be able to find their favorite Glossier products in any of the 2,700 Sephora stores worldwide – and its online store – Glossier still has some work to do in order to maximize this partnership.

Before we get into it, it’s important to understand the impact digital assets have in the world of online retail stores. Consumers make decisions based on the products they see – in images, in ads, through influencer content – meaning how your products are represented in this online environments is one of the most important factors in how well they sell.

The same is true for physical stores. Although the product is there and you can see it in person, its displays, the surrounding posters and images, and other branded assets in the store, all play a vital role in selling those products.

For the first time ever, Glossier is not going to be in full control of the point of sale, therefore how they provide Sephora with content will be an important consideration as this partnership moves forward.

With that said, here are three DAM-related thoughts on Glossier selling its products through Sephora.

Glossier Needs to Stand Out Through Its Content

Glossier has a powerful brand and a healthy community of consumers who enjoy their product. But while the benefits of selling on Sephora.com and in Sephora stores includes widespread exposure to new buyers, it also means increased competition with other brands and products for sale at those locations.

Sephora partners with 250 brands, selling more than 78,000 products on its website. If Glossier wants to make an impact, they’re going to have to make sure Sephora has immediate access to all their latest and greatest content, showcasing their products in a way that is impactful to the target buyer.

This new partnership is no doubt complex, so the last thing Glossier needs is another convoluted process to get assets to external partners like Sephora. Fortunately, modern digital asset management platforms like Tenovos offer easy solutions – allowing external partners to have secure, immediate access to content without any IT involvement or complicated platform customizations.

These asset portals – at Tenovos we call them Storyboards – can be populated with content automatically, and shared directly with external partners. This helps ensure there is zero delay in getting new content where it needs to go.

In the case of this Sephora partnership, that will increase speed to market for any new Glossier products as they launch, while also letting Glossier update existing content and resharing those assets easily.

Governance Will Be Crucial

Glossier is known for its community-led content strategy, but recently it’s gone a different direction by engaging with influencers to help promote their products.

Whichever type of content the brand goes forward with, ensuring Sephora is only using approved content that is licensed appropriately and targeted for the right buyers is going to be important.

Influencer contracts expire, and when they do, existing content may need to be pulled down or changed. Or, it could be Glossier has assets to promote its products most effectively in specific regions – like altering an image for a North American buyer versus a European one.

Digital asset management plays a big role here, as it will allow Glossier to control who has access to what content, where and how they use it, and directly pull in licensing and rights details to ensure compliance with any influencer or other licensing agreements to do with the assets.

Tracking Content to Augment Performance

As mentioned above, this will be the first time Glossier does not control the point of sale. It also means they’re reliant on Sephora sharing data with them to understand not just what products are selling, but what content is contributing to those transactions.

However, DAM offers a better solution. Tenovos, for example, can publish content and track it across digital channels. We allow companies like Glossier to have their content published to channels they don’t own (in this case Sephora’s e-comm and social sites) while still tracking where it lives and how it’s performing.

With insights from their DAM, Glossier would be able to see where their content lives, and how it’s performing there, all without relying on Sephora.

Why is that important? Speed, mostly. Relying on data from third parties means you’re slower to react. Understanding where content is being used and how it’s performing in real-time will let Glossier make on-the-spot decisions about what assets it should make next to maximize sales through Sephora.

Driving Sales with Digital Assets

As Glossier embarks on this new journey, it’s going to require a shift in how they think about their digital assets. From a fully internal approach to sales enablement to now leaning heavily on a third-party – in this case Sephora – it means making content available to a whole new group of users who are external.

That changes a lot, but it’s something that modern DAM platforms can solve for. And if Glossier can leverage their DAM successfully in this way, they will have the content insights they’ll need to arm Sephora with content that resonates with buyers, in order to maximize the value of this new partnership.

6 Tips to Building Better Creative Workflows

By Blog

We’ve all been there—your creative workflows are mired in endless delays, email threads, and confusing feedback. There are better ways to create more impactful assets and optimize your digital asset management system (DAM). The question is—how? 

In this article, we’ll break down some uncommon tips to make your creative workflows (with or without a DAM) more efficient. Whether it’s doing a workflow audit, playing a bit of task tennis, or implementing points of no return—these tips will help you build better creative workflows so you can do more of what you actually enjoy—making cool content.

1 - Start With a Workflow Audit

To solve a workflow problem, you need to diagnose it. Look at the state of your processes. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is holding up our approval reviews? Is it people (too many or too few), tech (endless email threads), or processes (obstacles that come up over and over)? 
  • Are we efficiently using our tech stack to achieve our goals? Is our project management or DAM software helping or hindering us?
  • Do our freelancers and agencies feel overwhelmed or underutilized? Why?

Consider enlisting the help of a DAM specialist or change management consultant to help you diagnose the people, process, or data issues that are causing workflow delays or creative inertia. 

2 - Define How Everyone Is Involved (and Protect Their Peace)

Sometimes you can’t help it—there are too many cooks in the kitchen and you’ve gotta prepare dinner anyway. When you’re managing creative teams all over the world and overlapping approval processes, it’s bound to get a bit crowded. That’s why it’s important to clearly define the roles of everyone involved in your creative workflows—from ideation, to publishing, to post-mortem. 

Define each role using the RACI model—responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed. Each person involved is categorized into these groups for efficiency and clarity. In fact, not every role needs to be directly involved in every project or task. Categorizing everyone involved under these roles will help you identify and solve for roadblocks in your processes.

A simple way to begin is to map out the current state of things on sticky notes and a whiteboard. Write each person who engages in your workflow and whether they need to be:

  • Responsible—those completing the project 
  • Accountable—the approver 
  • Consulted—often subject-matter experts 
  • Informed—those kept apprised of progress

Then place them beside each step in the workflow they contribute to. Step back and evaluate—how is this workflow taking shape? 

8 stages of creative workflow management

Place each RACI role next to its corresponding place in your own creative workflow. Where are you noticing overlapping responsibilities?
That could be a sign of inefficiency.

From time to time, the person who is accountable for a task may also be responsible for delivering it. But outside of that exception, each person in a process should only fall under one of the RACI participation types. If you’re noticing that someone is wearing multiple hats, it might be a sign that your process has some unresolved issues to iron out. 

3 - Use 'Task Tennis' to Minimize Unhelpful Editing

There’s nothing that stifles creativity like opening a shared document, only to see an anonymous “badger” or collaborator’s icon staring down at everything you do. That’s why you should play “task tennis” in every creative workflow. The concept is simple—when anyone who is accountable, consulted, and informed is involved, those who are responsible sit and wait for them to “pass the ball” back.

Each party is completely hands-off until the other party communicates that the asset is ready to go through its next feedback round or review. Without this, if someone interrupts your editing to reply to comments or accept changes, you may miss important revisions.

Reviews also start from top to bottom, from those who are accountable to the project down to those informed, so everyone gets a say in order of priority. Task tennis ensures there is no overlap in collaborative documents, missed edits between revision rounds, and frustration from creatives.

4 - Alternate Between Adding or Subtracting Ideas

Every workflow reflects either an expansion of choices or a contracting of them. This idea stems from IDEO’s design-thinking approach to workflow, wherein those divergent phases are the periods of gathering ideas, research, and materials before the converging phase where the ideas are refined until the final form emerges. 

It’s important to recognize this natural expansion and contraction in your creative workflows and create intentional space for those periods to flourish. If you interrupt them—prioritize one over the other, or remove either—you risk missing out on the insights those periods inevitably reveal. 

Your review and revision processes will often align with these expansion and contraction periods

On the other hand, when it comes time to move on, you would do well to create boundaries that your RACI roles respect. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that an asset is “locked” from further edits or reviews, especially if you’ve communicated the expectations at every stage of the process. Determine how many “checkpoints of no return” you need and communicate with everyone involved before and throughout the workflow. 

5 - Send Out Regular Workflow Updates and Cheat Sheets

For those with or without a DAM, communication goes a long way. When it comes to creative teams, everyone is likely too busy to see all the changes being made to your assets and how they’re being managed. Ask your DAM manager (or your brand’s equivalent) to send out monthly or quarterly email updates. If new branded PowerPoint templates are available for download or collections for a new campaign have been moved, you can ensure everyone finds them right away and can access the newest assets.

Similarly, if you have a traditional DAM or Drive, keep a cheat sheet with naming conventions and instructions for uploading content. Include best practices for naming files, common acronyms, and associated metadata. If your team knows exactly how to work in your DAM, it leaves them time and mental load for more creativity and less stress on your DAM manager.

6 - Invest in a Modern DAM With Real Workflow Features

If you’re still using a Drive or Dropbox to manage your assets, you already know there are some limitations—especially when it comes to your workflow. Today’s DAMs are expanding beyond being a static archive for your assets—integrating workflow management, intuitive search, AI tagging, and even publishing in the same platform.

Man wearing headphones with approval notifications

It’s hard to keep track of everyone in your workflows—not to mention, keeping them aligned to the same processes. In modern DAMs, approval workflows fit right into your existing system. Just ensure everyone working in your DAM has individual logins—instead of bestowing one “admin” access to your agency partners. This ensures your DAM manager can keep track of everyone contributing to your projects as they move through approvals. 

DAM doesn’t just contribute to smoother workflows but also helps you quickly find assets, ensures your teams are using the right content (which saves review time), and automatically triggers the right people to collaborate in review rounds. By investing in a DAM, brand teams can focus their attention on creating better, more impactful content, instead of organizing assets and wrangling endless approval threads. 

Creativity Flourishes in Functional Flows

A process is only as powerful as those who design it. Like anything, your workflows require some thoughtful planning to stay functional. So, define the RACI roles in your creative process and lay down the boundaries your team needs to create great work. In the end, when you deliver that next piece of awe-inspiring content, you’ll be grateful you took the time to build better creative workflows.

Now that you’ve got your workflows locked down, read our creative lookbook for inspiration on how you can reuse content like other top global brands.