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To do anything well, you'll need to prepare for doing it. In sports, it means practicing and knowing the rules. For new parents, it means purchasing the right tools, reading books, and baby-proofing the house. For digital asset management (DAM), preparation requires your team to sit down and determine your specific needs and use cases. In this section of the Consumer's Guide to Choosing a DAM Platform, we will help outline what activities set you up for success in your platform search.

Preparing for the DAM Platform Search Process

Below are some universal steps that will help any organization looking to find and implement a DAM Platform do so more effectively. Keep in mind that every brand is different, and so there may be some additional steps unique to your organization that would make things even more simple.

1. Identify DAM End-Users and Stakeholders

DAM stakeholders are essentially those who stand to benefit from the creation and growth of a DAM program. End-users are those who will be accessing, using, and managing the DAM Platform. Once these people are identified, assign roles in the DAM Platform search and onboarding process, identify your future DAM staffing needs, and bring representatives from these stakeholder groups together to gather feedback and input. This will serve as your DAM team as you choose a DAM Platform and develop a DAM Program around it.

2. Develop Goals and Understand Needs

Once your stakeholder group is identified, use their expertise in the challenges and use cases your organization faces when it comes to managing content. Using interviews, surveys, and other feedback collection methods, gather information about how your brand creates, uses, and manages content on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Understand the core use cases a DAM Platform will need to integrate within and what the most pressing challenges you need to solve are.

3. Educate Yourself in the Space

There are a lot of DAM Platforms out there. All of them have different and compelling selling points and talented salespeople. To be successful in your search for a DAM Platform, it's important to understand the high-level landscape of the DAM Platform market so that you can sort the truth from the elevator pitch. Most DAM Platforms fall specialize in a specific level of complexity, whether it be small-to-medium business (SMB), mid-market, or enterprise level. Read case studies, examine websites, and read testimonials to narrow your search to the level of sophistication that fits your organization.

4. Determine a Clear Budget

It's vitally important to know what you need before you begin the search process, but you also need to know if you have the buying power to make the right choice. Not only does clarifying your budget allow you to narrow your options before initiating a search, but it also speeds up the procurement process once you do choose a vendor. Make sure you know that you can afford what you need and don't settle for something you'll have to ditch later. Migrating platforms is far more costly than implementing the right one the first time. During the sales process, discuss how you may be able to start small and grow your DAM Platform over time if your budget is limited.

5. Develop a Detailed Launch Plan

While the headline may sound intimidating, the biggest piece of information to prepare is related to timing. Make vendors aware of what kinds of assets you'd like to have in the DAM Platform, when you'd like them to be migrated, when you'd like users onboarded, and what your ideal "launch date" is. This will allow you to set the pace of your implementation and hold vendors accountable to deadlines from the start. It will also keep your internal stakeholders focused on preparing the DAM processes and standards they need to be implemented, organizing assets, and identifying needs.

Looking Back

Did you just jump into the Consumer's Guide here? Take a look back at what you missed in the earlier portions of the Consumer's Guide to Choosing a DAM Platform!‍

Part 1: DAM Systems, Platforms, & Programs

What is a DAM Platform? How does it fit into the overall DAM program within your organization?

Part 2: Common Features of a DAM Platform

What problems can a DAM Platform solve for your organization?

Next Steps

Now that we've armed ourselves with all the information we need for a smooth search process, it's time to get started searching for a DAM Platform in Part 4!‍

Part 4: The Search Process

What are the right things to look for during your search?

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