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What WFH Teaches Marketers About DAM

What Working From Home Teaches Marketing About DAM

Working from home is not a new concept. Many of us have or are remote team members and we’ve managed just fine, haven’t we? So why should this new normal with all of us working from home be any different?

Well, just ask longtime remote worker Sally-from-Seattle, and chances are she has a long list of suggestions for enhancing collaboration within Marketing. Now that we’re all experiencing the new normal, multiply that list by everyone you must work with remotely in your organization, and you’ll see the huge opportunity at hand to set foundational technologies in place now for more agile marketing workflows.

The Power of Asynchronous Collaboration

Working from home remotely all the time as a team is not just a challenge of spatial separation—the hours and times we work have also changed. For most of us, the work day itself is now filled with more interruptions: preparing lunch for the kids, walking the dog, helping with home classes, and trying to stay focused. In a sense, that’s akin to needing to collaborate and manage workflow efficiently with Sally-from-Singapore with no convenient time zone overlap if the rest of the team is in the Western Hemisphere.

The challenge becomes clear if you separate collaboration technology into synchronous and asynchronous tools. By now, we’ve all done the obvious things to improve synchronous communication with Zoom, Slack, or similar tools. But consider asynchronous collaboration, whereby not everyone’s together in real time. That’s typically where most inefficiencies in organizational workflows are hidden. Fixing that has always been hard–and even harder in our new-normal situation.

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Here’s an example. You need that perfect creative asset from your designer today so you can push your email campaign live tomorrow at 6 a.m. U.S. Pacific. However, he was busy making lunch for his study-from-home kids when you sent him the request, and didn’t check his email until much later. When he sent that asset to you at 9 p.m., you were on a Zoom call with your extended family and didn’t check your email until bedtime at 11 p.m. Yeah, he put the asset in a folder on a shared drive but no, you don’t have the right permissions to see it. Oh well, maybe it won’t hurt if the campaign is pushed back by a day. Contrast that scenario with an organization that has a cloud-based Digital Asset Management (DAM) in place as a single source of truth for all teams. If multiple designers, marketers, and even executives must provide input for a particular asset, it’s far easier to all work from a single work-in-progress asset. Sharing folders and collections in the DAM beats waiting for email updates from someone—who might be busy—before you can pick up the next stage in the process.

Also, properly administered role-based access control makes rookie errors like not having access permissions a thing of the past. Comments and @notifications ensure that everyone in the organization always knows the status of the work-in-progress asset. As for finding the right asset, it’s a piece of cake if your DAM can use AI to auto-tag assets.

Here’s another example. A new campaign creative consisting of images and videos coming from your outside agency. You plan to launch the campaign on Instagram tomorrow at noon but must first give the agency your brand assets and logos to add to the creative. Problem is—those folks cannot access your systems. So, you send them an email with the assets attached. Guess what, their email system automatically blocks anything over 20 MB. You try again with a personal Dropbox (yeah, IT’s going to frown, but you take the chance anyway since time is of the essence). There’s a better way: you could’ve just shared the right assets externally from the same single source of truth, the corporate DAM, as a visual collection.

Next, you find out with just hours to go that the external agency formatted the campaign assets incorrectly for Instagram and Facebook; you need a vertical and a square crop in addition to what they gave you. Maybe you’d sigh and push out the campaign by a few days. Instead, contrast that scenario with a team that has a modern DAM with built-in media-editing capabilities, which enables you to self-service more.

Sure, you’re not well versed in Photoshop and InDesign either. Simple, powerful on-the-fly editing in DAM is possible now so you don’t have to always go back to your creative team for straightforward edits. You can even take it a step further with AI-based content-aware dynamic crops. In fact, by leveraging preconfigured transformation presets, your DAM can completely automate the generation of the right transformations for social media, banner ads, logo overlays, and other marketing channels.

Next for Digital Asset Management

Eventually, let’s hope, sooner rather than later—we will return to offices; regular, uninterrupted work hours; in-person meetings; and other traditional approaches to work. However, this ripple in time is not just a blip we’ll forget when that time comes.

The trends toward globally distributed, asynchronous collaboration will endure and strengthen. Although many organizations might resist the call to embrace new technologies, it’s the ones that jump in with both feet and adopt technologies like dynamic DAM that will be well positioned for the future.


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