How to Win with Your Digital Asset Management Platform

What happens when you marry supply chain management expertise with content management know-how? You get a winning formula for digital asset management. Greg Crowe, DAM Program Manager at CarMax and past Digital Product Data Lead for Kraft Heinz ? reveals his recipe for DAM success. Learn how to adopt, implement, and optimize your digital asset management platform, including how to develop a business-wide taxonomy and slice through department silos. 

11:41 – Cheat Code #1 – Treat content as your product

When everyone on your team views content as the product, you start to speak the same language, which translates into a strong DAM taxonomy, aka, how you classify assets.

I would love more than anything to get content to be our product. I want to see that as our emerging effort, because that kind of consolidation and vision is how you start to have a more solid standardized taxonomy.

That’s how you have a more collaborative vision, where you can say the same thing, and it is all one language to your team. That is definitely something I would say people should strive for across the board, whether it’s content or not. Having that definition and understanding is essential. 

17:40 – Cheat Code #2 – Tie your DAM to your goals

If you’re having trouble deciding on a new DAM, ask questions related to company goals. Examples: ?Why do I have a DAM? What do I intend to use it for? Is it adding value?? 

Why you have a DAM, what you intend to use it for, its value-add? that’s what you need to consider. If I’m given a problem, whether it’s something wrong with the system, whether we need to find a new process for assigning security and allowing access, it needs to fall in line with that vision.

Am I solving this in a way that is aligned to a vision? Is there a different approach? The way we want people to use DAM involves processes. Are they just going about it the wrong way? All these things need to be considered toward the company goal ? and that goal is gospel. That’s what’s so necessary for a successful DAM.

19:23 – Cheat Code #3 – Take usage rights seriously

Make sure your DAM has robust digital and usage rights management. This will help you enforce usage guidelines, stay compliant, and deliver a successful product lifecycle. 

I can’t tell you how much usage rights go into a DAM. I have to understand the different agreements we have, how they should be used, and make that translatable. It can go to a whole host of people. It’s so important to understand usage rights because it can blow up on a company so easily. 

If you make an agreement with talent, using it out of compliance can either turn into a lengthy, expensive lawsuit or an endless series of forced renewals. Then, not only do you have stagnant content, but you’re paying for something over and over again that you don’t need. 

Being able to do usage rights management successfully means having a successful product lifecycle, and it ensures that people know what to use. It gives a creative, a business partner looking for something, the confidence to say, ?Yes, I can use this, and I don’t have to worry about it ever again.?

22:06 – Cheat Code #4 – Take time to make a taxonomy

Take the time and effort to put together a business-wide DAM taxonomy. Doing so will make assets easier to find, use, distribute, and repurpose, speeding up your time to market.

For speed to market and reuse, it’s about making it easier to find, to use, to get it out to your consumers, and most importantly, easier to get specific content to your users. That’s where we come into a stable, somewhat standardized taxonomy ? and talk about an undertaking?

It takes a lot of alignment across a lot of people, and a lot of very long conversations. But it is so worth it because being able to have someone go into a DAM, do a search, click a couple of filters and get exactly what they’re looking for, or at least close, is so powerful.

Being able to have a set of assets to use across multiple stores or different websites, and legal disclaimers, then being able to have a static place to say, ?I need this new sign; okay, I know exactly where it is,? and then downloading it, is again, powerful. 

24:48 – Cheat Code #5 – Look for interoperability  

A winning DAM delivers interoperability, where there’s two-way communication between your MarTech MVPs, like CMS and PIM. With 90+ integrations, Aprimo was built for it.

You have your PIM. You have your DAM. And then a CMS. With all these systems, you want two-way communication, to keep your data sacred. You want it to be a single source of truth. You don’t want to change something in the PIM that’s then not reflected in your DAM.

You don’t want to fine-tune something in a CMS that doesn’t go back to these systems to say this is what the sacred record is. You need a workflow, whether it goes to a PIM or DAM, that can really manage your content and how it’s created, and understand where the data comes from and how the data is assigned.

31:14 – Cheat Code #6 – Ask a lot of questions

When building a DAM taxonomy, ask questions to ?cut the fat? and get to what’s really important to your team, vendors, and customers. Then, have something for them to react to.

Ask a lot of questions. The feedback I get is: ‘This is what our vendors need. This is what our partners need. This is what our consumers want.? I’ve learned to ask, ?Are you sure?? Go back and ask the vendors. Having that aspect of vendor relationship management across all this is important because it helps you x-out processes that aren’t needed. 

A DAM system, PIM, CMS? they’re not doing people’s jobs for them. They’re making it so they don’t have to go through a slog of manual work. Help them do the stuff they don’t want to do. Build something for them, so they can tell you why it’s wrong, or why it’s right, or why it’s helpful.

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