What if everyone on a contracting team was given the same tools to build a house with? It’s highly likely that, deadlines would come and go while the concrete team struggled to lay a foundation. Frustration would abound around the work site since workers wouldn’t have the tools to accomplish their specific tasks. The worksite might even become dangerous. Without the right tools, people would improvise and go outside conventional, safe ways of doing things to achieve their goals.
While this picture seems silly when the context is a construction site, it’s how many digital asset management (DAM) programs are run. Every end-user, regardless of the way they use, search for, and distribute digital assets, is given the same tools to get the job done. In many organizations, this causes the same problems it would on a construction site: inefficiency, frustration, and risk.
In this article, we’ll discuss how brands can effectively identify, equip, and engage with different user groups so that everyone has the tools they need to succeed in DAM.
1. Identifying User Groups
User groups are, in simple terms, individuals with shared needs, challenges, and goals related to digital asset management. Identifying potential user groups within your organization is the first crucial step toward optimizing your DAM processes. By identifying these groups, you’ll gain a better understanding of the tools they need to get their job done well from a digital asset management perspective, laying the foundation for an effective DAM program.
User groups can be based on different factors such as roles, departments, or projects, but the largest factor differentiating them is what they need from the DAM program as a whole. Below, we've listed some of the most common types of user groups based on these criteria.
DAM Need: Easy Access to Relevant Assets
For some users, the greatest value created by a healthy DAM program is their ability to quickly access the assets they need when they need them. This may not mean that all users in this group have access to the DAM platform. Some users benefit from their requests for assets being resolved quickly by someone else. This is made possible by the assets being easily accessible through metadata, user-specific portals, etc.
If these users have access to the DAM platform, they are likely to only require the ability to view, and perhaps download specific assets. Their permissions are likely restricted to only the assets directly relevant to their work. Below are a few examples of where these kinds of users can come from:
External partners and agencies
Short- or long-term contractors
Departments without their own assets (ex. Executive team, operations, project management)
DAM Need: A Single Source of Truth
Besides having requests for specific assets fulfilled, some users need to be able to browse all of your organization’s relevant, on-brand assets to find the perfect asset to suit their needs. Sometimes they know they need a photo or video from a specific event, but not which asset would work best. For example, they want to reference the graphics that were made for a successful Christmas campaign two years ago for their work on this year’s campaign.
No matter the use case, these users see the benefit of DAM realized in a single source of truth. Here, they're able to find the assets they need without having to spend hours searching through hard drives or servers. This group will be the largest of your core user groups and will likely need to be segmented even more specifically based on department and role, in order to nail down what DAM features and functions they have access to.
Most likely, these users can upload, view, organize, download, and share assets as needed.
DAM Need: The Hub of the Content Lifecycle
The final group of users requires more from the DAM program. To achieve their daily and weekly goals, they need to store assets and utilize dynamic workflows through which assets move into and out of the DAM platform. These workflows often involve integrations with other systems and platforms like your brand’s CMS or PIM, creative systems, and/or approval tools.
This group of users has very specific needs regarding how assets are created, stored, and distributed throughout your organization and beyond. While this group may be small or even nonexistent when you set out to build a DAM program, these are the end-users your DAM program will ultimately serve. Thus, the workflows and functionality they require should be the foundation of how you build your DAM program.
Some of these users may not need full, admin-level access to your DAM platform, but the leaders of this group are likely to be some of your core stakeholders and will thus need to have regular communication with the team governing the DAM program.
Examples of users in this group include:
Web teams creating and managing content on the website
Creative teams developing assets for marketing campaigns
Social media marketing teams distributing assets on multiple platforms
E-commerce teams ensuring consistent and accurate product information
2. Equipping Your User Groups for Success
Once you've identified your DAM user groups, it's essential to equip them with the necessary resources and support to maximize their impact on your digital asset management efforts and the benefits they gain from the DAM program. Here are some effective ways to achieve this:
Training and Education
Investing in comprehensive training programs tailored to the specific needs of each user group can significantly boost their proficiency in using the DAM system. By providing ongoing education, you empower users to stay up-to-date with new features and functionalities, ensuring they make the most out of the platform. Proper training also minimizes the risk your organization faces when it comes to DAM.
Trained users create fewer problems and assets are more secure when the team using them clearly understands their usage.
Establishing Clear Guidelines and Workflows
To promote consistency and efficiency, establish clear guidelines and workflows for each user group. These guidelines should outline the best practices for asset uploading, metadata tagging, and usage permissions. When users understand the proper procedures, they can work harmoniously and avoid potential bottlenecks.
3. Engaging Your User Groups for Long-Term Success
The true potential of digital asset management user groups is unlocked through their active engagement and participation. Here are some ways to foster a sense of engagement among your user groups:
Regular Meetings and Feedback Sessions
Host regular meetings and feedback sessions to gather input from your user groups. This inclusive approach allows them to voice their ideas, concerns, and suggestions, fostering a sense of ownership and commitment to the ongoing improvement of the DAM system.
It’s also useful to regularly deploy user surveys to gauge whether the DAM program is fulfilling the needs of its users and learn what improvements would help the most people.
Ongoing DAM Governance
Your users may love the DAM program when it's first launched, but without proper governance of the system itself, its usefulness will wane along with their happiness. You can ensure this doesn't happen by identifying and assigning specific roles and responsibilities to DAM users, then establishing routine governance tasks such as archiving, metadata adjustments, and updating training materials.
Stay on the Cutting Edge of DAM
Everyone loves new technologies. A great way to engage with your end-users is to constantly identify and evaluate the newest technologies and features in DAM and consider how they might benefit specific user groups. Enlist users to help beta test new features. Assign users as points of contact between your organization and your DAM platform vendor to stay up to date with their roadmap and feature list.
Forming digital asset management user groups is a powerful strategy to enhance your organization's DAM practices. Identifying, equipping, and engaging your users ensures a streamlined and efficient workflow, leading to increased productivity and overall success.
If you're ready to take your digital asset management to the next level, contact Stacks today! Our team of experts is eager to help you set up and optimize your DAM user groups, empowering your organization to thrive in the digital age. Don't wait; reach out to us now and unleash the full potential of your digital assets!