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How to choose a digital asset management system

6 questions to help you find a digital asset management system that turns chaos into clarity, and delivers transformative results

CHAPTER 2

Start with who

Question 1: Who will be using the DAM system?

Before diving into features and functionality, it is important to connect with internal and external stakeholders who will use the digital asset management software. Typically, this includes creative users, technical users, and business users. You want to clearly understand their problems (i.e., “pain points”), needs, goals, and expectations.

This dialogue can also go a very long way toward helping teams and individuals adopt vs. resist the system once it enters the environment. Indeed, many people who apparently fear new technology do not suffer from technophobia. Rather, they are worried about the uncertainty that significant change can bring. Engaging and involving stakeholders early in the process can help reduce some of this anxiety, and replace it with open-mindedness and enthusiasm.

Furthermore, this dialogue and consultation can help ensure that stakeholder expectations are reasonable and realistic. For example, a DAM solution does not create assets from scratch. However, it will certainly streamline the creative process, which is a big win for everyone involved in content creation, modification, distribution, administration, and governance.

CHAPTER 3

Get a handle on asset volume & type

Question 2: How many assets do you have, and what types of assets are they?

You may be surprised to discover the sheer volume and diversity of digital assets you have in your organization. Indeed, many enterprises have thousands — and in some cases millions — of templates, banners, logos, videos, audio recordings, presentations, sales decks, banners (and the list goes on) in various cloud repositories, hard drives, portable storage devices, email attachments, etc.

Do not let this overwhelm you. The focus here should be on generally understanding the volume and types of assets in your ecosystem so that you can better identify the core functionality and integrations you need in your system. Later in this article we look at some popular digital asset management integrations and highlight what to look for when choosing a vendor.

 

Putting an end to version control nightmares and establishing compliant digital rights management are two of the biggest benefits of a digital asset management system.

 

CHAPTER 4

Identify & analyze objectives

Question #3: What are your objectives?

Naturally, different teams and individuals will need to manage digital assets in various ways. For example:

  • Your creative users may strongly want to put an end to version control nightmares.
  • Your business users may want speed when it comes to finding the templates and files they need for sales presentations, proposals, and so on.
  • Your technical users may wisely point out that it really does not matter what game-changing features and tools a digital asset management system might offer: if it creates gaps in the cloud information security posture, then then it is a liability instead of an asset.

Ultimately, you want to discover and analyze these stakeholder requirements, in order to establish your organization’s core needs. Your list may include things like:

  • Improving discoverability by reducing the spread of assets across shared drives, and using standardized naming and tagging conventions.
  • Making it easy to upload new versions with different extensions to support additional marketing channels, and ensure that everyone is always working on the latest asset (in other words: no more version control nightmares!).
  • Optimizing campaigns and automating workflows to scale.
  • Publishing assets across multiple channels at the same time.
  • Adding metadata (e.g., language, location, etc.) to assets, so there is instant clarity on when and where to use them.
  • Adding digital rights management (DRM) data for managing user permissions and access control to copyrighted and licensed material.
  • Enabling teams to batch edit, download, and delete all file types, which dramatically improves productivity and reduces the potential for human error.
  • Establishing consistency by ensuring that the same customer is engaged with consistent and cohesive messaging and branding as they journey across different channels (e.g., web, social), and use various devices (e.g., smartphone, desktop).

Essentially, what you are doing here is taking everything you learned from answering questions 1 and 2, and creating a checklist to help you focus on DAM software (and vendors) who are likely to meet your requirements.

CHAPTER 5

Integrations for next-level digital asset management software

Question 4: What integrations do you want and need?

One of the most significant advantages of DAM platform is seamless integration with other cloud-based sources and solutions in the environment. Here are some of the most valuable possibilities:

  • Integrating a digital asset management system with a content management system (CMS).
  • Integrating a digital asset management system with an email marketing and marketing automation platform.
  • Integrating a digital asset management system with native creative apps (e.g., Adobe Creative Cloud, Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, Figma, Sketch, etc.).
  • Integrating a digital asset management system with CRM (e.g., Salesforce).
  • Integrating a digital asset management system with product information management (PIM).

CHAPTER 6

A phased implementation works best

Question 6: What is your timeline?

Earlier, we highlighted the importance and value of engaging stakeholders (e.g., creative, technical, and business users) early in the process, so that instead of concern and unease about implementing a new DAM, they are enthusiastic and energized.

However, you do not want to go to the other end of the spectrum and get people so utterly thrilled and excited, that they expect the system to transform everything immediately. If you implement the system too quickly and “bite off more than you can chew,” then your teams will likely face bottlenecks instead of reap the benefits.

Instead of trying — and unfortunately failing — to do everything at once, it is wise to build your timeline around a phased implementation process. Begin by focusing on your top priority assets (e.g., sales presentations, email templates, etc.), so that teams can get familiar with tools, features, functionality, and integrations, while at the same time optimizing for usability, scalability and productivity.

CHAPTER 7

The importance of the right vendor

Question 5: What should you look for in a vendor?

So far in this discussion of how to choose a digital asset management tools, we have focused on your organization: your creative teams, your brand assets, your integration needs, and your implementation process. However, a critical piece of the puzzle is not about your organization. Rather, it is about your vendor.

Simply put, choosing between DAM providers will directly determine whether your experience is rewarding vs. regrettable and whether your investment is profitable vs. costly. To choose the right vendor and steer clear of the wrong ones, here is some essential advice:

  • Carefully evaluate all prospective vendors, and analyze what they offer against your technical, functional, business, and security requirements.
  • Ensure that your vendor has an established, vetted, and proven network of solution partners to help you develop a customized, comprehensive digital strategy, as well as implement the digital asset management system per your roadmap and timeline.
  • Ensure that there is an active developer community to ensure that the digital asset management system will evolve with your changing needs.
  • Sign-up for comprehensive guided demos, and feel empowered to ask tough questions. If a vendor cannot clearly prove what their system is capable of, then cross them off your shortlist.
  • Examine “social proof” like case studies and analyst evaluations. Some leading vendors have designated sections of their website that features customer stories.

CHAPTER 8

Next steps

The process of choosing a DAM system should be enjoyable and energizing; not difficult and daunting. Use the advice above to guide your journey forward. With the right approach, system, and vendor, your organization will soon be reaping game-changing rewards!

CHAPTER 9

Learn more

Sitecore Content Hub DAM is a best-in-class automated digital management system that enables your organization to centralize all digital files and deliver them to any customer touchpoint. Your teams can easily:

  • Leverage digital asset management integrations and connect to any content source, in order to store, manage, and enrich assets for various content destinations.
  • Use AI assistance to locate and share any digital asset with lightning speed.
  • Dial into specific content modeling and commercial needs.
  • Take advantage of an app connector that allows teams to work in their favorite apps and maintain total control.

Request a personalized demo for you and your team. Discover how Sitecore Content Hub DAM can prove a valuable asset for your organization and help your brand deliver exceptional user experiences.

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