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Where is DAM in Your Organization?

As the cost of creating and managing digital assets drops, organizations are finding that many different business processes are seeking to improve the way in which digital assets and text content are integrated.  Below, I list ten that we have recently discussed with clients or prospects.

My key take-away: there is across-the-board demand for improved content handling in large enterprises; and companies that build an enterprise competency using shared technologies will minimize their overall cost as compared to companies where each business process seeks its own solution.

Here’s my list of business processes seeking to improve handling of digital and text content through more sophisticated metadata management strategies.

  1. Production of brochures, advertisements, product photos, presentations, rich media, audio, video, illustrations, etc. These require internal and external coordination, communications, approval processes, collaboration, task assignment and tracking, production management and ongoing monitoring.
  2. Marketing workflows. These are notoriously difficult to design and refine and creative people are typically resistant to being constrained by structured processes. Nevertheless, asset and resource management can provide tremendous savings and efficiencies through reuse and reduction of low value “housekeeping” activities. Even small increases in asset reuse can yield savings that more than offset the cost of acquisition, development and deployment of systems.
  3. Marketing production processes. These range from marketing resource management and marketing asset management tools to production editing and design systems.
  4. E-catalog image management. Digital asset management functions are by necessity an aspect of e commerce tools. Product images are included in page rendering and presentation and can be better managed with the capabilities of asset management applications, especially when those assets need to be reused in multiple contexts and processes.
  5. Customer self-service. Increasing usage of video clips to enable product sales and support, customer education, problem solving and self-service puts a greater functional demand on systems and tools that were not designed for video asset management in the first place.
  6. Training and education. Development of training and on-line learning materials rely on managing visual interesting and engaging content that requires reuse and recombination in multiple courses, contexts and modules.
  7. Manufacturing process documentation. In complex manufacturing environments, visual materials (schematics, process diagrams, parts drawings, illustrations) are required to document equipment configurations, assembly instructions, and troubleshooting procedures. 
  8. Field service knowledge bases. Field service technicians need to identify, repair or replace parts to a wide variety of sophisticated equipment on client sites and in factories and remote locations. One customer in the semiconductor manufacturing space integrated digital assets with inventory management systems to quickly identify and order equipment components.
  9. On demand sales enablement. Gone are the days of preprinted sales collateral. Materials are customized, adapted and produced for specific lines of products, distribution channels and applications. Assets are reconfigured for particular customers and to communicate specific messages as needed.
  10. Cross-channel content processes. Branding, messaging and imagery needs to be coordinated and integrated with channel specific criteria for communication through a variety of devices and mechanisms. For a retailer these might include in-store signage and messaging, traditional print catalog and magazine advertising, packaging design, segmented email marketing, and web content. On-line content requires additional design translation for different devices and formats: tablet-based applications of various sizes and systems, different flavors of smartphones from BlackBerrys to iPhones and Androids, and old fashioned windows and mac laptop and desktop formats.

Quite a list! Where is the DAM need in your company? Which business processes need to improve metadata management to address content integration, reuse and/or the workflow for content preparation? Are you taking an enterprise approach? Let me know at or put your comments below.

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Seth Earley
Seth Earley
Seth Earley is the Founder & CEO of Earley Information Science and the author of the award winning book The AI-Powered Enterprise: Harness the Power of Ontologies to Make Your Business Smarter, Faster, and More Profitable. An expert with 20+ years experience in Knowledge Strategy, Data and Information Architecture, Search-based Applications and Information Findability solutions. He has worked with a diverse roster of Fortune 1000 companies helping them to achieve higher levels of operating performance.

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