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Michael Waldron

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


feature reference architecture

Optimize Your Media Supply Chain: The Blueprint for Composable Architecture (and the Role of DAM)

Discover the value of composable architecture for enterprise brands, and explore our industry-specific reference architecture…
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BlogDAM essentials RetailProductivity-Reuse

Retail Challenges and Digital Transformation: 2024 & Beyond

Written by Tenovos in collaboration with iSoftStoneIn an era where online shopping, digital marketing campaigns,…
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Blogbusiness case template relatedIDC_marketscapeProductivity-ReuseResources

Why DAM Implementations Fail and How to Plan for a Successful DAM Project

By Tenovos in collaboration with iSoftStone and QvestDigital Asset Management (DAM) systems have become indispensable…


Stay connected for more thought leadership content from Tenovos:

Digital asset management challenges and why users hate your DAM.

Digital Asset Management Challenges & Why Users Hate Your DAM

By Blog, multi-personas, Platform-DAM, User Adoption
Reading Time: 8 minutes

For enterprise brand users, the value of a digital asset management (DAM) platform is pretty clear: it’s a productivity tool that streamlines content creation by making it fast and easy to find brand-approved digital assets, approve that content, and distribute it to internal teams and external partners to achieve revenue goals.

But if it’s such a powerful tool, why do DAM managers find it so hard to get users to stay in the system? User adoption remains one of the top barriers to DAM ROI for enterprise brands today.

There’s little question of the value of a DAM at the enterprise level. It’s a necessity, not a nice-to-have, for teams to keep up with the growing demand for digital content. So then, why do users hate your DAM?

Here are four questions you can ask to identify and address digital asset management challenges.

1. Is the DAM intuitive and easy to use?

As with all things, not all DAMs are created equal. Some legacy vendors still sell technology designed more than 20 years ago. These platforms are functional, yes, but they are clunky and hard to use. Menus don’t make sense. Features don’t work the way you expect them to. Visually it’s a mess and finding what you want is an exercise in futility.

A big price tag doesn’t mean a good system. Modern DAMs are developed with the user’s experience in mind. They deliver a streamlined user interface, with workflows that make sense. Any barrier to productivity is removed, and you’re left with an enjoyable platform that encourages users to come back for more.

If that’s not your DAM, then immediately this is a problem. Your users have too much work on their hands already to spend time fighting a system they hate using. Instead, they’ll quickly turn back to old systems and processes that – in their mind at least – work better.

You’ll never achieve a good DAM ROI that way.

The solution: While looking for a new vendor may be the obvious answer here, we all know it’s more complicated than that. Vendor selection processes are lengthy, and migrating to a new DAM is a monumental task if you aren’t well prepared. 

Instead, start with evaluating how your DAM is configured. Many systems have different configurations you can adjust to make them a bit easier to use. In some cases the options are limited, but DAMs like Tenovos, for example, allow you to configure all sorts of areas of the DAM to give users a more streamlined experience.

It’s also a good idea to investigate with your users what exactly is keeping them from wanting to use the DAM. Is it too slow? Do the files not load properly? Maybe it’s just too hard to navigate… whatever the issues are, put some kind of plan in place to address these.

If, despite your investigations and efforts, you’ve been unsuccessful at fixing the problem, then it’s time to start looking at new digital asset management vendors. Poor user adoption is not something you can leave alone, and it might be better to start anew than try to salvage a poorly implemented, or a poorly selected, digital asset management platform.

2. Does the tool provide value and boost efficiency for all teams?

So the DAM’s UI/UX aren’t the problem. Why else could users be choosing not to use the system? Well, the next most likely reason is because it doesn’t actually help them do their job better.

We hear this one a lot, where stakeholders haven’t been included in the selection or implementation processes. This can lead to a brand choosing a DAM that isn’t right for the job – lacking key features or functionalities – or establishing processes and workflows that don’t make sense.

Remember, the DAM is meant to improve productivity and efficiency. If it doesn’t make your users’ lives easier, they won’t use it. Period.

The solution: Talk to your stakeholders. You need to understand if the system is meeting their requirements, or if it’s more of an issue with processes (how the DAM is set up).

Many times simply by communicating with stakeholders, you can get an idea for how DAM processes can be adjusted to make a little more sense for users. It’s not necessarily an easy fix – sometimes involving several teams and even IT if your DAM configurations are hard to change – but it’s a start in the right direction.

Some things to look for are:

  • Do workflows make sense?
  • Do users have the necessary permissions to do what needs to be done in the DAM?
  • Can users complete their tasks in the DAM or are they bouncing between too many systems?
  • If users can’t find content, do you have the proper processes in place to ensure content is being tagged properly when it’s ingested into the DAM?
  • If yes, then is your metadata structure the problem?

Also, make sure before you start changing processes that you evaluate them against the needs of all your stakeholders. You’d hate to fix one problem only to create another one somewhere else.

Having a user adoption problem?
Get help with our free toolkit!

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3. Do stakeholders have the necessary training?

Digital asset management platforms can be complex tools. That’s why training (at the time of implementation and ongoing thereafter) should be a key part of any DAM program.

If users don’t understand how to use the system, they’ll default to what they do know – legacy technologies and processes. It goes further than just the technology side. Have you trained users on your metadata structure? Do they know how to search for content (both in terms of how search works in the DAM and how to choose the right queries to find what they need)? 

And lastly, do they know how you expect them to use the system? It’s not enough to know how it works, they need clear direction on what they’re supposed to be doing with the tool. 

The solution: This one is simple: set up ongoing user and admin training in the DAM.

Whether you make this a resource users are expected to refer to or consume on their own, or a guided training program, it’s essential to any successful DAM.

Don’t forget you have different users from different parts of the company – and each group has its own purpose for being in the DAM. Tailor your training accordingly. For example, what the creative team needs to understand in the DAM is different from the social media team. Make those distinctions clear and put each user on the correct path.

Ensure your training covers the technology, the metadata, and the processes they need to know, and you’ll find a boost in user adoption once they understand how it all comes together to make their lives better.

4. Does the tool interact with my other technologies?

While this one could have been included with #2 above, integrations are worth their own section of this blog.

Previously we mentioned users having to jump around between too many systems. This is a productivity killer and sometimes, the DAM is just one more system they can’t afford the time to log into.

Some integrations are nice to have, while others are just essential. And while it depends on your use case for DAM, recognize that user adoption will suffer if you’re not connecting the right technologies.

The solution: As we’ve said a few times now, talk to your stakeholders and discover what integrated technologies are missing.

Common answers will be:

Reach out to your DAM vendor and find out if they offer these integrations. There will be a cost associated with it, so weigh that against the value it’s going to bring to the business. But if you’re boosting user adoption while facilitating the flow of data and assets across the organization, it could be a worthwhile investment.

If they don’t offer these integrations, that should trigger an evaluation of your company’s priorities when it comes to its enterprise tech stack. Best practices call for integrated technology ecosystems that pass data across platforms to improve transparency and drive better decision-making. If this digital transformation and integration is one of your company’s strategic directives, this may be the time to bring DAM into the project.

User Adoption of the DAM Platform

It doesn’t matter how much time and money you invest in your DAM – if users aren’t in the tool, it’s not helping you. The ROI will be non-existent, and your leaders will start to ask why they’re spending so much on a tool that no one is using.

Ask yourself the questions above and go through the process of identifying why user adoption is so poor. Recognize this isn’t a problem unique to you, but with the right approach you can resolve your digital asset management challenges, boost user adoption, and get back to that positive ROI all of us are after.

To learn more about user adoption, watch this webinar with change management and DAM expert Kristina Huddart.

Identify & Address Red Flags To Achieve DAM ROI

By Blog, dam-manager, DAM-ROI
Reading Time: 9 minutes

Enterprise digital asset management (DAM) systems are a big investment of resources. They can cost quite a bit to purchase, and require a commitment of people and time to select, implement, and ultimately manage this important tool.

So it goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyway) that few companies can afford to waste all that time and money on a system that isn’t providing a good return on investment.

As a DAM manager, the last thing you want is your CMO coming to you asking about this big expense, and you have nothing to show for it. Before things get to that point, here are some red flags you can watch out for that will let you know your DAM isn’t doing what it should – and potentially trigger actions to start seeing that ROI you and your leaders are looking for.

Let’s get into it.

1 - Poor User Adoption

Maybe the most obvious (and important) thing to look for is whether or not people are using the DAM – and using it the way it’s designed to be used.

You’ve put a lot of time and effort into understanding the needs of the business and your users (if not, this might be the root of the issue), and have selected the DAM accordingly. You’ve designed workflows and processes alongside your stakeholders, and yet still they’re refusing to abandon old ways of doing things, or legacy tools and systems.

If users aren’t using your digital asset management platform as intended, that’s an immediate red flag you aren’t getting the DAM ROI you want.

The cause can be any number of things, including poor user experience in the DAM or the system not actually having the functionality they need. But by far the most common reason we see that users aren’t in the DAM is a lack of ongoing change management practices on the part of the DAM team and leaders.

Remember, users are people, and people are creatures of habit. If they’ve been using processes or tools for a long time, getting them to change is hard. That’s why, as part of any new DAM implementation, change management should be an integral part of the process.

But where DAM managers often go wrong is thinking that once the system is launched, change management is over… Instead, you should have ongoing communications, training sessions, activities, and support for users to keep them in the tool. You should be making an effort to understand how the needs of users are evolving, and plan for ways to solve those before they become a problem that pushes them into old habits.Your DAM should evolve, too. So if user adoption is a problem for you, start with evaluating change management.

And if you need additional support to do that, check out our user adoption toolkit for some helpful tools.

2- Users Can’t Find Content

As the DAM manager, maybe one of your worst nightmares is users being unable to consistently and quickly find content in the DAM.

Modern DAM platforms like Tenovos exist to help you maximize the value of your content. We want to help your users find the right assets at the right time, and get in front of the right people, in order to achieve a goal. So, if the DAM isn’t doing that, it’s not giving you the ROI you need – and it’s impacting the ROI of your content, too.

That’s a problem.

Going back to change management, there is a human element here that can be part of the challenge. Your users may not be searching for content properly, and a few education sessions will go a long way to solving the issue. Do they know how to search? What advanced functions and filters exist to find content, or what taxonomy do you use to identify the right content?

If the answer is no, well, start there. If the answer is yes, then maybe it’s your metadata structure that is the problem. It could be time to reevaluate. You’ll want to look at how you’ve structured your metadata and organized your content, what keywords are you using and do they contain language that makes sense. You also want to speak with your users. How do they search for content?

A pro tip here:
look at searches in the DAM that failed to return any content. This will give you insight into how users look for content.

We’ve published a whole guide on metadata in DAM you can read through for even better insights into maximizing content findability in the DAM. Start with chapter 3 on keywording.

3 - Duplicate Content

If you’re finding duplicate content in your DAM, something’s wrong. This issue piggybacks off #2 above, and is often the result of users not being able to find content fast, so they remake it.

But it’s a big problem when you’re talking about spending more time and money (resources today’s creative teams just don’t have) to make content that already exists somewhere. It also leads to inflated agency/content licensing spend to pay for things to be recreated or a photographer to shoot (another) round of product images.

Duplicate content can be a symptom of the findability issue, but it’s an immediate indication your DAM isn’t performing in an optimized way. Many of the fixes for this issue we’ve already discussed – think about improving content findability in the DAM and educating users on how to find content quickly.

It’s also an opportunity to talk to your stakeholders about processes. Are users searching the DAM first? Are they trying to find the content, or just putting in a quick search and immediately abandoning it to create a new creative brief instead? Some of the responsibility has to be on users to look before they create, but at the same time, the DAM needs to surface that content without too much effort, otherwise this problem will persist.

There is another reason this happens, and if this is the case, while not technically your job as the DAM manager, it impacts your DAM’s ROI. Digital asset management platforms should empower creative teams to reuse existing assets as both a way to maximize the value of their content, but also to move faster in terms of productivity. This is one of the best ways to achieve a positive DAM ROI.

So, if your stakeholders complain that reusing content isn’t as good as building from scratch, remind them that not only does content reuse save them time and money, it can also be done in incredibly creative ways that drive audience engagement across multiple digital channels simultaneously.

4 - Little to No Productivity Gains

The DAM is a productivity tool (among other things). It helps your users get more done by making content accessible, fast.

Where once DAMs were just archives, today’s platforms are workflow power tools that let creative teams find, edit, review, approve and publish content without ever leaving the system. Which means, if your creative team says their output hasn’t increased or it’s harder for them to get their job done, something’s gone wrong.

This DAM ROI red flag is one you need to address. It will impact user adoption (as discussed above), and ultimately slow down your marketing team’s ability to drive audience engagement with your brand. In today’s digital landscape where teams are publishing more and more content every year, it puts a lot of pressure on the DAM to perform to its full potential.

No one wants to be bogged down by process, so start by evaluating how you’ve designed the DAM to work between teams. Does it have the capabilities it needs to achieve the level of integration you want with existing enterprise technologies? Do the workflows make sense with how stakeholders are expecting to use the system? Does the DAM effectively eliminate manual tasks or does it create more work in other areas?

These are all questions you want to ask, and get answers with the help of your users. Remember, the DAM is for them to use – therefore they’re your best resource for help at this point. The ultimate solution here could be as simple as a few process tweaks, or the extreme response of switching DAMs to something more suited to the needs of the business. But ultimately it’s something you can’t afford to wait on – action is required here.

To better understand how your creative teams are using DAM for productivity, read our DAM productivity guide.

5 - You’re Still In the Dark

How your marketing and creative teams decide what content they should make is all dependent upon data: what content is published to which channels, how it performs, who engages with it, who uses it. These are all things they care about, and while many digital channels provide that information piecemeal, the DAM should be a source of truth for all users to access important asset-level data to make better content decisions.

This is the next evolution of modern digital asset management. Not every system can achieve this for you, but it is still an expectation of your leaders that at least some of this data is available in the DAM. If not, that should be an indication you have the opportunity to extract more value from the DAM – whether by improving reporting in your existing tool or thinking about a new platform to give you those insights.

Today’s marketers just can’t afford to publish content in the dark anymore. They require asset-level insights to make the right choices – and it’s on you as the DAM manager to provide those through your system.

The good news is that data not only helps your stakeholders, it helps you calculate the true ROI of your DAM. You’ll be able to understand who is using the system and how, and when content performance metrics are included, you’ll even be able to understand the DAM’s impact on things like revenue.

Now that’s a goal to shoot for.

Want to understand how your DAM data can help you calculate true ROI? Read chapter 4 of our data guide, here.

Modern Digital Asset Management

Your DAM is a big commitment of time and resources to keep operating, and as its manager you’re always on the lookout for ways to improve ROI in order to justify that spend. It’s also going to help your career, help you secure additional resources for support (so many DAM managers are teams of one, even at the enterprise level), and budget to invest further in this integral piece of technology.

Keep an eye out for these red flags, be proactive in addressing them, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving positive ROI for your DAM.

8 must have

8 Must-Have Digital Asset Management Features

By Blog, multi-personas, Platform-DAM
Reading Time: 7 minutes
8 mi

We’ve sought far and wide to find the top 8 must-have features you’ll want in your digital asset management (DAM) platform—whether you’re shopping for a new DAM or hoping to expand your capabilities with a current one.

From new AI features and expanded rights management, to drag-and-drop user interface settings, these eight features are the ones every DAM manager will want to have this year to boost productivity and performance.

1. AI Tagging and Metadata Creation

If your DAM doesn’t already have AI, it should be at the top of your wishlist. Rather than users manually watching videos and attempting to catch all the relevant tags, machine learning technology can automatically scan photo and video assets to assign tags related to products, people, and objects.

With the help of AI, your DAM will now:

  • Recognize a particular brand of item and tag the image or video accordingly
  • Recognize individuals and attribute the applicable tags across assets
  • Tag based on topic or complex concepts—like “glamorous theater”
  • Embed subtitling and speech-to-text translation in 30+ languages, making all audio effectively searchable in the DAM

And when machine learning does the tagging, or supplements users’ tags, all your content becomes a lot more discoverable.

2. Two-Way Integration with Your PIM

What if you could harness the power of your product information management (PIM) system with all your digital assets? If that sounds enticing, add a PIM integration to your DAM wishlist. A two-way integration between your PIM and DAM will:

  • Keep your PIM as the system of record for all product data
  • Give your DAM read-only access to product data from the PIM
  • Allow the DAM to automatically pull in product data and attach it to assets, making content searchable by product attributes like SKUs and dimensions
  • Let you quickly package product data and assets to publish a product details page (PDP) with ease

With a PIM and DAM integration, your PIM remains the source of truth but allows product data to be associated with assets. With those specifications, dimensions, SKU numbers, colors, and more, you’ll effectively add another layer of searchability to your assets. Are you looking for product photography but you want to search by SKU? Now you can.

Not to mention the productivity gains. Depending on your DAM, you can package asset and product data together and publish it directly to eComm platforms like Amazon or your website without leaving your DAM. With a bi-directional PIM integration, there are so many possibilities.

3. Robust Rights Management

Centralize your rights agreements and entities in one place so you can manage it all. Allow users to access only approved assets—whether that’s based on licensing entity, permitted regions, or expiry dates.

Consider adding download request forms into your rights management process to keep in compliance. When assets are requested for download, include a step to fill out a customizable form that notifies the team responsible for managing that asset. You can ask questions like: What’s the purpose for downloading this asset? Has it been approved to be used in these regions and for those uses?

If you’ve got the right DAM, assets that are no longer approved for use can be hidden from search, or available for viewing but not downloading. Robust rights management features protect brands from publishing unlicensed content or misusing content. Be confident that no legal fees, reputation damage, or non-compliance hiccups will hurt your brand.

4. Dynamic Templates

One of the most time consuming tasks for creative and marketing teams is to manually localize assets into different languages and check that each asset has remained brand compliant in the process. To save your team time and effort (the whole point of a DAM!) dynamic templates are an absolute must-have feature to increase productivity and save resources:

  • Quickly create localize derivatives of assets by leveraging translations in-house in a PIM or other third party
  • Empower sales & partners to generate their own marketing materials with drag and drop functions on pre-approved templates
  • Save millions – yes, millions of dollars by reducing creative costs required to generate and approve translated renditions manually

5. Intuitive Workflow Features

Modern DAMs are increasingly adding workflow features to their platforms. If your approval workflows are still buried in endless email or Slack threads, it might be time to add this one to your DAM wishlist.

Centralizing your creative workflows in your DAM saves your team time searching for content (it’s all right there) and automatically triggers the right people to collaborate in review rounds. In many DAMs, you can mark up, comment, review, and approve assets right from the platform—anything from graphics and print assets to rendered video assets.

But don’t forget to give everyone involved in workflows their own logins—instead of bestowing one “admin” access to your agency partners. That way you can keep track of everyone contributing to your projects as they move through approvals.

6. Creative Suite Workflow Integration

Imagine this scenario. Your creative team gets design feedback, “Move this overlay down four pixels.” They have two options. Download the asset from the DAM, upload it to their design software, make the edit, and re-upload the asset to the DAM. Or, they access their design software from within the DAM, make the modification, and save it right away. Which workflow do you think they would prefer?

That’s the simplicity of adding an integration with your creative suite to your DAM workflows. Now, you open and modify assets using your creative tools, all within your DAM. This speeds up workflows and allows creatives more time to do what they love.

7. Drag-and-Drop Metadata and System Configurations

Today, modern DAMs come with easily customizable backend hubs to build the metadata systems you need without IT requirements or downtime. It can take minutes to create new tagging structures, asset collections, or add new metadata fields, rather than months to reconfigure your whole metadata structure.

Similarly, you’ll want the customizable system settings that come with modern DAMs. DAM managers can make adjustments to the user interface and experience using their admin tools. Drag and drop your DAM’s user interface to your heart’s delight. Adjust how your DAM appears to users based on permissions, role-based rules, or optimized for usability. Fast and simple—no coding needed.

8. Continuous Integration, Continuous Deployment (CI/CD)

Do your legacy DAMs struggle with downtime? For many older systems when it’s time to push a major update, the entire service is interrupted and redeployed, which can be expensive and complex. Oftentimes, enterprise DAM clients will delay updates for years, risking the security issues that crop up with aging software just to avoid the cost.

Reduce anxiety and recover productivity by seeking out a modern, cloud-based DAM. Today’s DAMs use the CI/CD approach—meaning that anytime they push an update, it goes live right away with no downtime to the system. Many DAMs even push deployments without any additional cost to the customer or involvement with IT. With a CI/CD approach, large enterprise DAM users receive faster system updates, more new features, and fewer service interruptions.

Productivity and performance in DAM

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

By Blog, multi-personas, Productivity-Reuse
Reading Time: 5 minutes

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, dam-manager, User Adoption
Reading Time: 8 minutes

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, CPG, cpg-essentials-related, Customers, multi-personas
Reading Time: 8 minutes

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

Brown-Forman has realized that they’re constantly 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 it’s often more than just one system for enterprise tech ecosystems. 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, and thanks to the power of AWS, can integrate them with ease. 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 a 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 incomplete, 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

It’s not uncommon to hear that performance data is not a core focus for some brands because it’s hard to measure accurately. However, thanks to AWS technology, 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.

Their secret is linking their taxonomy structure with performance data, made possible by AWS. Their goal is 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.

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, cpg-essentials-related, dam-manager, Integrations
Reading Time: 7 minutes

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.

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 can also be configured to 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 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, CPG, dam-manager, User Adoption
Reading Time: 8 minutes

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, Discoverability, multi-personas
Reading Time: 7 minutes

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, helps creatives find content, and external users – like customers – to find content on your e-commerce 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 understand 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 to measuring asset ROI.

Want to learn more about metadata in DAM?

Check out our guide on data in digital asset management, or listen to our data podcast series, which shares insights from leading DAM data experts.