Building your 'DAM Fam' [1/4]: How to kickstart a digital asset management project
Digital asset management is something that provides more value the more it’s used. So before you can begin boosting brand consistency, centralizing your assets, and creating a “smooth operating” content lifecycle, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got the right resources in place to ensure your DAM project will survive and thrive for the long haul.
This 4-part series will provide tips, tricks, and best practices on how to build out your internal "DAM Fam" the right way.
After all and as you'll learn, a digital asset management solution like Bynder is an investment into improving your organization and how it manages content. The best way to protect that investment is to create personal accountability.
Building out your digital asset management (DAM) team is an integral piece of a DAM initiative. Typically, this entails a new job function within your team—quite literally a digital asset manager—as well as a team of dedicated stakeholders who can support the DAM project.
Done right, and you can revolutionize how your team creates, finds, and uses content for maximum efficiency. The wrong team, or not having a team at all, is one of the biggest reasons that a DAM project can fail.
If you’re an organization who has created a new DAM-related position and hire, consider yourself a leader in DAM strategy! Many organizations are just coming to grips with the realization that they need a DAM system, and haven't considered that the system does not run itself. If you’re ready to introduce DAM at your organization, the first step is understanding part of your foundational strategy that will include people, process and data.
Then it’s time to either start crafting a DAM team from scratch, or aligning the right skill-sets of existing personnel that can translate to DAM roles and responsibilities.
It’s no small undertaking, but by following the steps outlined below, you can make the process a walk in the park, with a DAM project that is destined for success.
Define roles & responsibilities for DAM
Who will own the DAM initiative in your organization from a governance perspective?
Someone (or multiple people) will have to create and facilitate a tactical digital asset management plan from a strategic, enterprise perspective. Each member of the core DAM team needs to understand the journey to DAM success they are about to embark upon, and organizations need to understand that a full-time, dedicated administrator for the system is not just a nice-to-have, but usually a need-to-have.
Finding your DAM champion
Take a look across the web at job descriptions for "Digital Asset Manager" or "Digital Asset Librarian" and you’ll see many top companies, including Fortune 500s, advertising for a dedicated and full-time position.
To understand what the role entails and the value it provides, familiarize yourself with the typical roles and responsibilities for a DAM Manager and start estimating the time and resources necessary to fulfill those obligations.
There are some great (and free) resources for establishing roles and responsibilities of the DAM account administrator. One of those is through job boards. You can find many listings on various popular job boards, but there is also a DAM-specific hiring board online, called the DAM Guru job board.
Taking a look at what other companies include in their DAM role may also help to inspire your organization’s own job description for this role. There will be specific needs for your organization as well as your industry, but you can glean industry standards and core functions from the innovative companies you respect.
What makes an awesome DAM champion?
So, you’ve figured out you need a dedicated digital asset manager. You’ve allocated the budget for them. You’ve posted the listing (stay tuned for Part 4 of this series for more on this!) on various job boards, and you’ve compiled a list of questions to ask them (covered in Part 3).
There are several "soft skill" to look out for in this person, as well as some shared traits that all DAM champions and digital asset managers should have. These people are:
- Excited for change management
- Intensely curious and want to know how people and things work
- Engineers in the sense that they like to build things
- Translators between IT and business managers
- They pick up on new technologies very quickly
- Friendly in the sense that they are customers themselves and know how to treat others who may need their help
- Open and approachable team players! These people know they need the team behind them and can’t do it all by themselves
- Knowledge-sharers, not knowledge-hoarders
- Lifelong learners
- Knowledgeable about your organization and business processes, or willing to put forth a great amount of effort to get up to speed very quickly
The right DAM champion for your project could already be working at your organization, or could be out there as your next great hire. In either case, the key is zeroing in on the core responsibilities for the technology and for the business, and then finding the right personality that also exhibits all those traits you seek. That is the first step in knowing your DAM project will succeed.