Kyle\'s Plain American English Guide to Digital Asset Management


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Kyle one of the resident experts on Digital Asset Management (DAM) at Gabriel Group\'s Plain American English Guide to Digital Asset Management.

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Kyle\'s Plain American English Guide to Digital Asset Management

  1. 1. an English KYLE’S n AmericPlaiGUIDE TO DIGITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT BY KYLE ZIERCHER © Copyright 2011 Gabriel Group. All rights reserved. NEXT
  3. 3. INTRODUCTION Hello. I am Kyle and I am one of the resident experts on Digital Asset Management (DAM) at my company. When I joined the company, I needed to learn about Digital Asset Management quickly, but everything I read was in techno babble, which is not my native tongue. But pretty soon, I could babble with the best of them. Well, I tried my new skill on a few clients and some of their eyes G-L-A-Z-E-D over. Lesson 1: Only techs love their jargon. The rest of us prefer good old American English. Lesson 2: People don’t buy what they don’t understand. So I started thinking about making sense of Digital Asset Management. And for those of you who have wondered what it’s all about, here it is…my Plain American English Guide to Digital Asset Management.n KYLE ZIERCHER KYLE’S PLAIN AMERICAN ENGLISH GUIDE TO DIGITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT n 3 PREVIOUS NEXT
  4. 4. CHAPTER ONE JUST WHAT IS DIGITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT? Digital Asset Management (DAM) is a tool that helps even the most scatterbrained FACT: marketing department keep track of all its digital “stuff.” At its most basic level, it is an electronic Seventy-two percent of survey filing cabinet which accepts, stores, classifies and distributes digital files of a wide variety of types, respondents said it was harder ranging from a simple document, to graphics files for logos, to videos, presentations, animations, etc. to find content owned by their organization than information It’s like having a really good, really fast librarian at your beck and call. not owned by them. Like a good librarian, a DAM system catalogs the owner/donor of the file, when it was entered, when Source: AIIM Market Intelligence,Content Analytics, Find, Control and it was used and by whom. It knows from whom it can accept files…and who has access to a file Optimize Your Information, 2010 once it is entered. There are all kinds of DAM systems. A photographer friend uses a program called Lightroom® to catalog images on a small hard drive. Companies like Amazon that sell content have humongous DAM systems that feed digital books to their buyers. I talk to mostly marketers of one sort or another, so I am going to focus on DAM as a brand management tool. It’s a pretty simple idea. You set up a centralized storage area for all of your digital files—raw materials like graphics and logos, brochures, sales sheets, ads, videos, presentations, commercials, you name it. You make rules about what can and can’t be changed in these files, and who can and can’t access them. That may be a little oversimplified—there is some slick software and hardware that makes it possible. We’ll get into those issues later. Right now, let’s talk about why you need this. n KYLE ZIERCHER KYLE’S PLAIN AMERICAN ENGLISH GUIDE TO DIGITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT n 4 PREVIOUS NEXT
  5. 5. CHAPTER TWO ELEVEN REASONS WHY YOU NEED DAM 1. You want to save time. 2. You want to save money. 3. You have a lot more to keep track of than you used to, and you are running out of space. 4. You have associates in different offices, cities or countries with whom you need to share assets. 5. You need to get to market faster. 6. You have dependents to support—no, not the kids—your sales force, distributors, VARs, retailers, franchisees, agencies, PR people, the list goes on. 7. Your dependents sometimes go rogue on you. 8. Your products change constantly and quickly. 9. You have too many files in several formats. 10. Your group recreates too much. 11. Your group has better things to do than tracking down lost stuff…like improving ROI. You may have more reasons of your own, but the ones I mentioned come up all the time, and I’m sure you can see why. Looking for misplaced files is a major time waster, and there are so many better ways to use that time. Frustration is not a productive emotion.n KYLE ZIERCHER KYLE’S PLAIN AMERICAN ENGLISH GUIDE TO DIGITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT n 5 PREVIOUS NEXT
  6. 6. CHAPTER TWO Marketers are always under the gun to improve financial performance. That’s hard to do when sneaky costs are eating into ROMI. Staff time is expensive, and so is recreating things you already have. Marketing management is complicated. Just think of the explosion of media options. A few years ago, who was thinking much about social media? Facebook was just a bunch of teenagers sharing embarrassing pictures, only birds tweeted, and mobile marketing was just getting started. On top of that, you are being pushed to get products to market faster, and those products are growing obsolete at a truly scary pace. Every marketing department has groups of people who want things, and most of them want them now. Good DAM lets them do their own looking. Plus it’s an easy way to keep them in line by locking down such things as graphic standards, messaging and required legal copy. It’s also an easy way to keep track of versions and file formats—whether still, motion, sound, animation or whatever, one medium needs this, another that. It’s hard to keep them straight. And what happens when you can’t find the one you need? Someone recreates it, costing time, money and producing confusion. Would it not make more sense to have the marketing staff focused on the satisfying job of making money, rather than time-wasting frustration?n KYLE ZIERCHER KYLE’S PLAIN AMERICAN ENGLISH GUIDE TO DIGITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT n 6 PREVIOUS NEXT
  7. 7. CHAPTER THREE WHAT YOU’LL WANT YOUR DAM SYSTEM TO BE n Fast n Flexible n Easy to Use n Web accessible 24/7 by any authorized user n Secure n Easily expandable n Economical n Easy to sync with other systemsn KYLE ZIERCHER KYLE’S PLAIN AMERICAN ENGLISH GUIDE TO DIGITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT n 7 PREVIOUS NEXT
  8. 8. CHAPTER FOUR WHAT YOU’LL WANT YOUR DAM PLATFORM TO DO Basic Capabilities n Storage n Cataloging n Easy retrieval n Easy distribution n Allow access selectivity on a need to use basis n Usage tracking Getting Up to Speed with Additional Options n Modification By authorized persons Predetermined customization areas n Billing, if needed n Give usage reportsn KYLE ZIERCHER KYLE’S PLAIN AMERICAN ENGLISH GUIDE TO DIGITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT n 8 PREVIOUS NEXT
  9. 9. CHAPTER FOUR Integration of Advanced Capabilities—Now We’re Talking n Linkage to mail or email lists n Order print production n Order, create and initiate email n Initiate fulfillment orders n Track inventory and alert to low quantities n Serve content to website, blogs or social media sites n Link to other marketing-related platforms Thinking of the Future? Keep These in Mind n Built on standard platforms, not proprietary stuff n Built to keep up with new technologies n Capable of analyzing content usage by user, medium and other metrics pertinent to your industryn KYLE ZIERCHER KYLE’S PLAIN AMERICAN ENGLISH GUIDE TO DIGITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT n 9 PREVIOUS NEXT
  10. 10. CHAPTER FIVE WHO NEEDS IT AND WHY With the stupendous growth in the number and variety of digital assets, it is hard to imagine any organization that can market efficiently without a DAM system. Advertising Agencies If you think managing digital assets for one brand is hard, imagine what agencies with 20 or 30 clients go through. DAM is an absolute necessity for them. Manufacturers It doesn’t matter whether they’re making parts or perfume, manufacturers have distribution networks to support, campaigns to manage, websites to maintain, catalogs to keep up to date, brands to protect from distributors and franchisees who like to redesign their logos, and sales forces that always need customized materials yesterday. Retailers Retailing is a fast-paced market, so any time wasted locating or recreating assets is money lost.n KYLE ZIERCHER KYLE’S PLAIN AMERICAN ENGLISH GUIDE TO DIGITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT n 10 PREVIOUS NEXT
  11. 11. CHAPTER FIVE Service Industries Many of these have multiple locations and franchises. Some like the travel, and hospitality industries also have “retailers” such as travel agents or tour operators to support. Financial Marketers Banks and credit unions have multiple locations, and insurance companies have state-by-state rules requiring special treatments for certain states. DAM makes it easier to keep track of versions, deploy them accurately and ensure compliance adherence. Nonprofits National nonprofits have local entities to support and brands that require protection just as those in the commercial world do. KYLE’S PERSONAL TAKEAWAY If you create a lot of files, especially rich media files… If you have a brand or brand worth protecting… If you need to give others access to those files and set limits about who can access them, what they can get and what they can change… If your products become obsolete quickly (think mobile devices)… …YOU DON’T JUST NEED ACCESS TO A GOOD DAM SYSTEM, YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT IT!n KYLE ZIERCHER KYLE’S PLAIN AMERICAN ENGLISH GUIDE TO DIGITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT n 11 PREVIOUS NEXT
  12. 12. CHAPTER SIX BUILD, BUY OR SHARE? Let’s say you’re compelled to have a DAM system now. Do you rush over to the developers— do you HAVE developers?—and say, “Get going on this now!” Or do you say, “Look, there is some decent DAM stuff on the market now. Let’s look it over, put together a cost justification and request, get the money and we’ll be off and running in about six or seven months.” Or do you figure out that there are companies out there who HAVE these systems up and running, with ALL the bells and whistles and they will be happy—no, THRILLED—to share them with you, for a price. A small price. If you ask me, and I do have a bias, it is no contest. Here are the bullet points: Build n Takes forever n Costs a fortune n 50/50 chance that it will ever work the way you want it to n Obsolete before you get it up and running n All the upgrades are on youn KYLE ZIERCHER KYLE’S PLAIN AMERICAN ENGLISH GUIDE TO DIGITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT n 12 PREVIOUS NEXT
  13. 13. CHAPTER SIX n All the expansions are on you n You have to develop the training because nobody else knows how the H@%# it runs Buy n Costs a fortune n Expansion is on you n Upgrades are on you n Lots of agonizing and finger pointing if it doesn’t work n Training often costs extra n You pay for everything up front Share n Nearly immediate access n Existing system can be customized to suit your needs n The vendor keeps the system up to date n You don’t pay for upgrades n Expansion is the vendor’s problem n Training is often free and some systems are so easy to use, training is a mere formalityn KYLE ZIERCHER KYLE’S PLAIN AMERICAN ENGLISH GUIDE TO DIGITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT n 13 PREVIOUS NEXT
  14. 14. CHAPTER SIX n The system can be linked to production and mailing facilities n The system can be synced to your accounting department’s needs n It looks like it’s all yours n Keeping it refreshed, technologies like content analysis and faceted search are the owner’s responsibility, not yours. n nd you pay only for what you use A I rest my case.n KYLE ZIERCHER KYLE’S PLAIN AMERICAN ENGLISH GUIDE TO DIGITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT n 14 PREVIOUS NEXT
  15. 15. POSTSCRIPT In the interest of full disclosure, I have to tell you that Gabriel Group has one very fine suite of marketing resource management services, including Digital Asset Management, which currently supports the needs of some Fortune 500 companies and recognized and respected nonprofits. If you would like to know more about it, give me a call, and we’ll talk. Plain English—I promise. Kyle Ziercher Gabriel Group 3190 Rider Trail South Earth City, Missouri 63045 314.743.5729 You are invited to visit the Gabriel Group website at While you’re there, be sure to visit Joe, Moe and Flo…and watch their show.FEBRUARY 2011 n KYLE ZIERCHER KYLE’S PLAIN AMERICAN ENGLISH GUIDE TO DIGITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT n 15 PREVIOUS