You’ve probably heard the phrase “practice makes perfect” from a coach, mentor, or parent. Basically, the idea is that if you want to improve something, you must work on it. Some people like the late Vince Lombardi, legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers, take this idea a step further. Lombardi is credited with saying, “Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.”
In other words, what Lombardi meant was that for your work to pay off, you have to practice the right things. Otherwise, you’re wasting your time. This idea doesn’t apply just to skills and sports. It’s also helpful when working to improve systems, programs, and processes at your organization such as digital asset management (DAM).
DAM is the backbone of an organization’s digital strategy. A successful DAM program streamlines workflows, increases productivity, and improves the overall customer experience. It’s important to continually improve and elevate the system—to practice perfectly—to truly benefit from it. In this blog post, we’ll discuss five special projects (i.e. practices) that can help you take your DAM program to the next level.
1. Develop and Build a Robust Asset Archive
One key way to elevate your DAM program is to develop and build a robust asset archive. This involves moving out-of-date or irrelevant content to a different place. It also requires establishing standards and processes that enable your team to continually identify these assets and store them in a manner that allows them to be easily found again if needed.
Archives don’t simply have to be cold storage for old assets; they can be dynamic and useful libraries that can produce value for your organization and influence the types of content you create. Removing these assets from your current library makes searching for and finding up-to-date assets far easier for your end-users.
Before archiving assets, create and document metadata standards that will help you organize and search for them. Be sure to also establish a clear folder structure that makes it easy for users to navigate the archive. Finally, develop brand guidelines and approval processes that ensure your DAM management team can regularly audit your assets and properly identify those that need to be moved into the archive.
2. Audit and Expand Metadata Taxonomy
One of the key elements of a successful DAM program is a strong metadata taxonomy. Metadata provides valuable information about your digital assets and helps users organize and search for them in an almost Google-like fashion. Over time, however, your metadata taxonomy may become outdated or insufficient, leading to confusion and inefficiency.
It’s important, therefore, to periodically audit your metadata taxonomy and expand it, as necessary. This involves reviewing your existing metadata fields and adding new ones as needed, building out master keyword lists to account for new products or services, and retiring or adjusting language that’s no longer relevant. A few examples could be accounting for new regulations in your industry, adjustments in marketing strategy that make a specific channel or category of assets irrelevant, or acquiring or merging with another organization.
3. Onboard New Departments and Their Assets
As your organization grows, new departments and teams are likely to come on board, each with its own unique set of digital assets that generate value for that team. To ensure that your DAM system continues to meet the needs of your organization, it’s important to onboard these new departments and their assets systematically and efficiently.
To onboard a new department to your DAM program, start by identifying its key assets and categorizing them according to your existing taxonomy, expanding your taxonomy and workflows wherever necessary. Next, work with the department to ensure that their assets are properly tagged and organized. Identify and implement any integrations or features of your DAM platform that don’t exist but could assist that team in their workflows. Finally, train department members on how to use the DAM system to find and access their assets.
4. Integrate with the Rest of Your Tech Stack
To get the most out of your DAM system, it’s important to integrate it with the rest of your tech stack. This involves connecting your DAM platform to other tools and platforms, such as your content management system (CMS), marketing automation software (CRM or MRM), product information management (PIM) software, or analytics tools.
Integrating your DAM system with the rest of your tech stack can provide a range of benefits, such as streamlining workflows, reducing duplication of effort, and improving data accuracy. To integrate your DAM system, work with your IT team or a third-party vendor to identify the best integration options for your organization. Also, consult with your DAM platform provider about existing integrations you could leverage with the click of a few buttons.
5. Develop and Implement a User Feedback Strategy
Finally, to ensure that your DAM system continues to meet the needs of your users, it’s important to develop and implement ways to regularly gather feedback from users on their experience with the DAM system and use that information to make improvements.
To develop a user feedback strategy, start by identifying key stakeholders and end-user groups. Next, create a survey or other mechanism that allows users to provide input on the DAM program. Finally, review the feedback and use it to make improvements to the system.
Sometimes your findings will make sense to you, and other times you’ll need to drill down into the data to provide context to users’ submissions. For example, if many users report that they aren’t using the DAM program and are using other means to store and distribute assets, you may need to follow up with more targeted surveys and interviews with users to understand the problem more deeply.
Elevating your DAM program requires ongoing effort and attention, in other words, “perfect practice.” By developing a robust asset archive, auditing and expanding your metadata taxonomy, effectively onboarding new departments and their assets, integrating your system with the rest of your tech stack, and creating avenues for collecting feedback from your end-users, your DAM program will grow with your organization and continue to generate immense value for it.
Completing all the steps we’ve outlined above can be overwhelming. If your team understands what “perfect practice” looks like for your DAM program but needs help executing it, contact Stacks today! We work with brands both large and small, across many industries.