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Introducing a New Stage of Digital Asset Management Maturity Blog Feature
John Zimmerer

By: John Zimmerer on October 14th, 2015

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Introducing a New Stage of Digital Asset Management Maturity

Customer Experience | Digital Asset Management

On behalf of CMSWiRE, Ralph Windsor of digital asset management (DAM) consultancy Daydream has written a series of articles outlining the “digital asset management consciousness” stages he believes organizations go through. It’s essentially a DAM maturity model, and we thought he captured the different phases of readiness and need fairly well. That said, we see the need to add one more stage to this model.

In the first article, “The Stages of Digital Asset Management Consciousness,” Windsor outlines the first three stages of DAM consciousness:

“We need something to organize all this stuff.”
The day comes when some essential digital media cannot be found, and there is a business consequence. It dawns on the organization that such a thing should not happen, and a solution is needed.
“It’s more complicated than we first thought.”
Welcome to the DAM world. The organization begins researching a solution and evaluating their digital assets, promptly discovering how disparate their assets are, how spread out and siloed they are, and how distressingly often they’ve just been recreating or repurchasing things along the way. They also discover that internal politics will play a huge role in the DAM plan.
“Someone or something will have to catalog everything.”
The organization begins to understand the importance of cataloging. Having the assets all in one place won’t do a bit of good if no one can find them. Now it’s all about good metadata, which takes a great deal of time and expertise to attach to the thousands and thousands of digital assets some organizations own.

In the second and third articles, “The Next Steps of DAM Consciousness” and Part 2, Windsor goes on to explain the stages of user adoption and change management:

“We need to get everyone to use this thing.”
User adoption has its own set of phases, and it never really ends. You must take it into account when devising your DAM plan.

Windsor explains, “User adoption is so difficult in part because it involves changing the mindset of all the staff and other stakeholders. It requires many different skills: marketing and communications, education/training, human resources and a certain amount of technological understanding as well.” He then lists the stages of user adoption strategy: user profiling, awareness programs, user training, asset ingestion policies, business processes, integration and interoperability, user feedback, and auditing and user activity profiling.

The Next Stage: Granular Assets

DAM-enlightenment

In customer communications management (CCM), we’re most concerned with the integration and interoperability part. We’ve addressed the idea of choosing a DAM solution designed with open standards so you can build your own integrations with your organization’s various software solutions that need access to digital assets.

So, we would add another phase to Windsor’s DAM consciousness model, which is the stage at which many of our customers find themselves or will soon:

“We need this thing to handle more granular digital assets.”
For an industry-leading customer experience, you need consistent branding across all channels and touchpoints. It’s no longer sufficient to use the same logos, fonts and colors everywhere. Now you need to share responsive layouts, synchronize style sheets and standardize content at the component level among all of your content publishing platforms.

DAM Enlightened

As we’ve explained previously, the idea of what a digital asset is has evolved.  Your DAM now has to be able to give employees and partners both inside and outside the organization access to traditional assets and to more granular digital components used to create consistent brand-approved assets – components such as layouts, reusable content objects, and style sheets – to provide order and consistency to the resulting communications. Therefore, we believe the next phase of DAM consciousness pertains to this.

To serve your CCM needs, your ideal DAM is one that can serve the wider array of assets — the layouts, styles, reusable content blocks, digital media and fully-formed documents — your CCM solution must draw upon to build personalized, consistent and fully-automated customer communications. We also believe that the demand for a more consistent customer experience and the need to share these more granular assets across the enterprise will drive up DAM user adoption rates. The key will be interoperability standards like CMIS4DAM, which we’ll discuss in a future blog post. Stay tuned!

This is all very exciting stuff, and we’re talking about it in our LinkedIn group for CX Architects. Come join us!

Click here to explore the  Customer Experience Architects  LinkedIn Group