Creating & Expanding DAM Success
Let’s turn our attention to the second category of factors for building DAM success , which is about building the DAM Solution itself.
And this is really hard work, which as Henry Ford once said, “most people spend more time and energy going around problems than in trying to solve them.”
But as we often say, building DAM is about building a solution that’s supremely helpful for users. So let’s talk about our DAM Solution, which encompasses four dimensions: Versioning, Discovery, Sunsetting and Distribution.
DAM Solution: Versioning
Now, versioning is about the initial creation, and subsequent revision and rendition, of assets in the DAM.
Of course, this begins with Ingestion, and with the first version of an asset. This is about uploading the asset itself, extracting embedded metadata, augmenting that with sidecars and calculations, and assigning the asset to corresponding taxonomy.
Next we build Revisions, which involves asset editing, and version management. We should also include AI-based metadata enrichment, as well as the ability to batch-edit assets.
Finally, we need to offer Transformation. This will allow users to be self-sufficient in terms of downloading assets in the formats and sizes they need.
DAM Solution: Discovery
The second dimension of our solution is Discovery, meaning, the finding of assets for a particular search criteria, or a specific usage scenario.
Obviously, this means we need to build robust Search capabilities, allowing for simple and advanced searches with expressions, drill downs, and facets.
It also means we need to offer search Suggestion, so that users are offered additional assets based on qualitative, inferred, or related matching.
And finally, we need to incorporate continual Optimization of our search capabilities, the point here being: let’s not forget that great asset discovery is about more than just metadata – it’s also about monitoring search results, enhancing the indexing, and continually optimizing the search engine itself.
And nowhere will all of this be more apparent than when we target large number of consumers.
While basic search capabilities may suffice for early audiences like content creators and contributors, all factors of asset discovery will be vitally important to drive adoption of mainstream DAM consumers, both internal and external.
DAM Solution: Sunsetting
The third dimension of our solution is Sunsetting, which is about the decommissioning and replacement of assets at the end of their life cycle.
Now, Sunsetting is often given less consideration than it deserves – maybe because it comes into play further down the tracks, after the DAM goes live.
But assets do eventually reach the end of their lifecycle, and that’s when your DAM will start to drift away from being the Single Source of Truth we created in the first place. If we don’t build sunsetting capabilities, our Operational System of Record will inevitably have its days numbered.
So the first thing we need is Expiration management. This means storing and managing expiration dates and related information, with corresponding triggers, notifications and processes for asset removal and retirement.
We’ll also need Archival capabilities, particularly in industries with strict regulations around asset retention and auditing. And remember, this is not about archiving only the asset, but also all information about that asset, even usage information. So we need a full array of triggers and processes to support all retention policies.
And last, the DAM should enable Succession. Now admittedly, this is easier said than done. But the idea is to have a replacement asset ready to go the moment its predecessor expires.
This means triggering the production of the replacement asset before expiration occurs, and also – for extra credit, mind you, because this is hard to do – the automated publication of the replacement when expiration occurs.
And I’ll concede, that may sound a little out there.
But Sunsetting is less about the day your DAM goes live, and more about safeguarding the DAM’s future. Sunsetting, more than anything, is about preventing the drift and fade of our Operational System of Record as time goes by.
DAM Solution: Distribution
So now let’s turn our attention to Distribution, which is the fourth and last dimension of our Solution category. This is about enabling the delivery of assets, and content, to our own properties, public platforms, and media channels.
First of all, achieving distribution in a large-scale, efficient manner will involve prep work, namely Atomization. This means defining larger content in terms of componentized, or atomized, discrete assets which are embedded and re-used across several content packages.
Distribution also entails Publishing, which will allow us to push content packages, and their corresponding atomized assets, to online magazines, websites, and other platforms.
And Distribution may also entail Syndication, where we define partnerships with specific media channels and periodically push content to them, for even broader dissemination into the world.
So our new DAM model is really coming together: the solution-related dimensions are now all in place.
To recap, Versioning will be important for creators and contributors, while Discovery becomes a key factor for large numbers of consumers.
Also, as we mentioned earlier, notice how Sunsetting will affect nearly all audiences, while Distribution will drive properties and placements.
But frankly, all four of these foundational dimensions are ultimately key factors for the success of all target audiences. It’s certainly worth the while to go the extra mile when defining your DAM’s foundation – the foundation is one area where there really is no such thing as over-delivering!
“DAM Perspectives” is a series of posts that came from the work we did to develop a new DAM maturity framework. So, as a next step, we invite you to check out some of the other posts in this series:
- DAM Perspectives (Part 1): The Need for a New Approach
- DAM Perspectives (Part 2): The Two Key Outcomes
- DAM Perspectives (Part 3): The Target Audiences
- DAM Perspectives (Part 4): Building the Foundation
- DAM Perspectives (Part 5): Building the Solution
- DAM Perspectives (Part 6): Building Conformity