Tag: Digital Asset Management

Building an Effective Digital Asset Management Strategy

Posted by on June 24, 2019

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Many businesses are finding their digital assets just as important as their physical assets. Yet control over a digital asset can be far more nebulous. Digital assets must be warehoused, shared, monitored, and maintained. They need to be able to be tracked through a content strategy pipeline and analyzed for effectiveness. All of this requires a comprehensive Digital Asset Management (DAM) strategy.

Does Your Organization Need a DAM?

Any organization invested in content strategy and marketing needs a DAM strategy—even if that strategy is fairly light. A DAM controls all of the elements of media that are involved in a marketing or content strategy, from stock photos to video. Without a DAM, a brand cannot make effective use of its content.

DAM strategies have the following advantages:

  • Productivity improvements. By creating a centralized resource of digital assets, you can make it easier for these assets to be accessed and used.
  • Better ROI. DAM strategies make it easier to analyze the overall impact of each digital asset, thereby improving the revenue generation for the business.
  • Superior compliance. A DAM strategy will ensure that media and content is properly licensed and legally published.
  • Redundancy and scalability. As a company’s digital assets and content strategy grow, a DAM will ensure that assets remain controlled and secured.

Organizations may need Digital Asset Management strategies if they have found themselves growing their digital asset inventory, relying more upon their content strategy, or growing as a business.

How Can a DAM Solution Benefit a Business?

A DAM solution has specific use cases which benefit a business:

  • Connecting multiple archives of content assets. Rather than having to search through a file architecture or ask other employees for help, employees are able to look through a central repository for any content assets they need.
  • Performing widespread content analysis. Through a content management system or enterprise content management, data-driven analysis can be performed regarding the types of content being found most effective.
  • Growing marketing campaigns. When marketing strategies are being revised, a DAM solution provides the scalability necessary to scale the marketing campaigns up as desired.
  • Protecting multiple data assets. Through backup solutions, syncing, and redundancy, multiple versions of every data asset can be stored, preventing them from being overwritten or destroyed.

If the above issues are problems for your organization, it’s likely that you need a data asset management strategy.

How Can You Create a Digital Asset Management Strategy?

  • Inventory your existing digital assets. Your existing assets will need to be archived and ported into your new DAM solution.
  • Create new business processes for the consolidation and maintenance of assets. Employees will need to be trained on these new processes and policies.
  • Find the right technology. A DAM solution is driven by a content management, enterprise content management, or digital asset management solution.
  • Integrate your technology. If you’re using multiple DAM, ECM, or CMS solutions, they will need to be integrated to work seamlessly together.

What Technology is Best for a DAM Solution?

There are several technologies often used for DAM: CMS, ECM, and niche DAM solutions. Some organizations use one platform over the other. Other organizations use all of them together.

A content management system is a broad scope solution that’s designed to manage the organization’s content in a consolidated location. Many CMS solutions are client-facing rather than business-facing, making it easier to present content and digital assets to clients and follow a marketing strategy.

An enterprise content management system is a client-facing and business-facing architecture that also often functions as an intranet solution, allowing for easy access to a company’s internal data assets as well as publication of content.

A CMS and an ECM differ primarily in terms of scale. Many smaller or mid-sized businesses can operate solely with a content management system, while an ECM solution is a more robust solution that is used for larger businesses.

In addition to CMS and ECM solutions, there are niche DAM solutions which specialize in managing specific types of assets. As an example, a DAM solution may manage a company’s video assets specifically. A company that deals in a specific type of content may need a DAM utility in order to manage that content.

Key Takeaways

If your organization deals with content management, digital marketing, and digital assets, it’s likely that it does need a digital asset management strategy. A DAM can be quite lightweight and simple or more robust and complex depending on the organization’s needs. By finding the supporting technology, a company can secure and maintain its digital assets, while also improving productivity and providing for better marketing analysis.

Content is becoming one of the major assets for any organization, and the management and maintenance of this content has to be performed in an efficient and productive way. CMS, ECM, and DAM solutions make it easier for employees to interact with, share, and build content, while reducing the chances that this content could be lost, overwritten, or destroyed.

Why Every Digital Business Needs a DAM Solution for Effective Data Management

Posted by on November 09, 2017

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You don’t have to look far in most organizations to find a tangle of different technologies in use for Digital Asset Management (DAM). Some people may be storing their files on their desktop (gasp!), while others have them hidden in a multi-level folder structure that makes the pyramids of Giza look like some simple Lego blocks. Still other workers are storing their files in the cloud, on thumb drives, on ftp sites with their vendor . . . you get the picture. Digital asset management is a serious and growing problem for management and marketers alike. People love to engage with multimedia content, but if you can’t find your digital assets this can make the job of marketers that much more difficult. Here’s some best practices for effective data management using a DAM platform for your business.

DAM Defined

Digital Asset Management, or DAM systems, provide a cohesive way to store and access all types of data, often from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. This central repository allows you to manage organization, metadata, licensing and distribution of a vast array of information, such as:

  • Images
  • Video
  • PDF, Word and Excel documents
  • Social media posts
  • Audio files
  • Layered graphic layout files
  • XML or HTML files

The beauty of a consolidated DAM is that any authorized individual can add to and access this massive quantity of data, quickly and efficiently without disturbing someone else who may also be using the same information in a different way. A great example is a designer who needs a specific image for a website and a designer in a different department who wants to use an image in a print ad. Instead of both designers purchasing and storing the files, a DAM provides a way to effectively share the digital assets without confusion.

Benefits of a DAM

Aside from allowing colleagues to collaborate, there are many benefits to centralized digital asset management for your organization. With an active DAM and solid standards, you’ll be able to capture detailed metadata — or details about the data — that aid searching and retrieval of your assets. Unlike a hard drive on your computer, digital asset management is infinitely scalable, allowing you to purchase access to a system that is just large enough to meet your immediate needs instead of overspending on storage for the future. As your business needs grow, so can your DAM system requirements. Many asset management systems provide you with tools to migrate from popular cloud-based storage solutions such as Google Drive and Dropbox, which are adequate for smaller businesses but do not include workflow functionality or true DAM capabilities.

Protecting Your Assets

Digital asset management does more than simply store your data, it truly manages the assets that belong to your organization. This means digital rights to manage copyright and licensing terms, and the ability to check assets into and out of the system for access control. As long as you set up permissions properly within your DAM, you can easily invite others to have limited access to files while tracking their usage and assuring that all downloads meet your guidelines. Version control is also available in many DAM systems, so if a file is lost or damaged you’ll have immediate access to a backup solution.

Full Distribution Control

Want to distribute a piece of content, but limit the usage or ensure that it’s fully copyrighted? No problem with a robust DAM solution in place. You’re able to distribute specific assets easily and in a very controlled fashion — even setting an embargo on files until a particular date and time. Automated workflows provide convenience and process control, while speeding content creation and distribution. Some DAM systems even allow file movement from within a mobile app or website, for the ultimate ease of use.

Brand and Creative Control

It’s a marketers nightmare to have an old version of a creative design out in the marketplace, and a powerful DAM helps ensure that only the final and approved versions are available for distribution or use. Brand guidelines are easily stored and consolidated, and leveraged by different departments at the same time. When this type of document is stored centrally, you can assure that designers are always following the right version of brand guidelines and recommendations. Control brand look and maintain uniformity by having one approved version of logos, taglines, templates and letterhead, while archiving older versions for future viewing.

Provide Access to Vendors

Collaboration doesn’t occur only within your building, and many organizations outsource video, design and copywriting to external agencies. This can be challenging if you’re using traditional local storage solutions, especially with large video or audio files. Fortunately, DAM systems allow you to provide partners with limited access to files for read-only access or the ability to drop the latest version into the workflow. You can integrate venders as deeply or as lightly as you desire with a fully-configured DAM system.

Finding the right digital asset management system for your needs can be challenging, especially if you’re not familiar with the technology or how it can be successfully implemented. Partnering with an experienced system integrator can ensure that you find and implement the right solution that’s tailored to your business needs.

To learn more about DAM and how it can benefit your organization, read our e-book, How to Maximize Marketing Productivity and Sales Effectiveness with Digital Asset Management.

Web CMS and Digital Assets: Crafter Rivet / Alfresco Integration with Adobe Photoshop

Posted by on February 21, 2013

Digital assets are a key component of almost all web experience and customer engagement projects. In today’s era of engagement with all of the additional content targeting, personalization, internationalization and multi-channel publishing the number and permutation of digital assets associated with any given project are growing rapidly.  This trend will only continue as we move forward.  Content workers (authors, designers, content mangers) need to be able to create, locate, modify and manage the growing number of assets easily and efficiently in order to maintain brand quality and deliver projects on time and on budget.

In today’s blog entry we’re going to focus on the creative side of WCM (Web Content Management) and DAM (Digital Asset Management) even though this is only a small portion of the overall set of use cases.

Let’s begin by considering the following example use cases:

  • Create mobile appropriate image resolution variants
  • Create video stills
  • Imprint watermarks
  • Thumbnails for galleries and promotional kickers

Each of these use cases are important ingredients in providing the user with a great experience but they also introduce a lot of additional work for our content teams.  One of the ways to deal with the large volume of asset creation and manipulation responsibilities is to automate them.   The use cases mentioned above and many others like them are a perfect candidate for automation.

Crafter Rivet leverages Alfresco’s enterprise content management services for image transformation. With a few simple rules applied at the repository level it’s possible to provide your content team with image resolution variants, video stills, apply watermarks, to scale and crop thumbnails and then to make these assets available for review by our authors all in an automated fashion with no additional labor required beyond uploading the canonical assets.

Another important way to help our content teams cope with the sheer volume of digital asset related workload is to make sure our teams are able to work with the very best tools at their disposal.  With today’s modern browsers it is possible to provide a fairly decent set of tools / asset manipulation functionality right with-in the browser.  However, while purely web-based tools have their advantages they are often slower and much less powerful than the desktop tools serious content contributors are used to working with.

The biggest productivity boosts are gained when we empower our designers and other content workers on our team with rich, native tools that they are already familiar with and work  with on a daily basis.

Adobe’s creative suite (which contains tools like PhotoShop) is the quintessential software package for image/digital asset creation and manipulation.  Designers are deeply familiar with these tools and are able to leverage their enormous arsenal of capability to accomplish a tremendous amount of work in a short amount of time.  The issue that many organizations often face, is that while the tools themselves are great, the interfaces between the tools and the systems that ultimately store, manage and deliver the assets are either non-existent, human-process based, or have clunky integration. This gap creates a drag on the margin of productivity and introduces room for error.

Fortunately Alfresco, Adobe and Crafter Rivet Web Experience Management have a solution that connects rich, creative desktop tools,  to your systems of record (e.g. repository) and ultimately to your systems of engagement (e.g. website) in a seamless fashion.  Content creators work right with-in the rich, local tools that they are familiar and productive with and those tools are deeply integrated with the repository which means that all of the organization, policies, metadata extraction, and versioning provided by the repository etc are seamlessly integrated and enforced.  Alfresco is a CMIS (Content Management Interoperability Standard) compliant repository.  This standards based interface enables it to communicate with external applications like Adobe’s products in order to interact with and operate on the content, metadata, permissions, versions and so on housed within the repository.   Adobe provides a platform called Adobe Drive which enables its tools to connect in a rich fashion over CMIS to Alfresco.  Once we’ve connected our Adobe tools and our Alfresco repository authors working within Crafter Studio, the authoring and management component of Crafter Rivet can now see content updates coming from the Adobe tools right in context with the work they are doing through in context preview and editing. They can also interact with that content through the web based tools, workflow, versioning, metadata capture and publishing capabilities of Crafter Studio.

By closing the integration gap we can now provide powerful tools for productivity and at the same time do so in a way that makes it seamless and easy for our creative teams to collaborate across the entire process.

Click on the video below to see Adobe and Crafter Rivet WEM / Alfresco in action together!

Video of Photoshop altering images in Crafter Rivet Web CMS and Alfresco

 

Crafter Rivet is a 100% open source, java based web CMS for web experience management and customer engagement.  Learn more about Crafter Rivet at crafterrivet.org