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Getting the Picture: How to Assess Your Firm’s Digital Asset Landscape

Published on 30th September 2015 at 21:04 by Nikki Dever

Getting the Picture: How to Assess Your Firm’s Digital Asset Landscape

Our research reveals that A/E executives often underestimate just how many digital assets their firms have—and how many they will be adding in the near future. As a result, they could overlook their company’s need for a digital asset management solution. And such an oversight could be costly. Firms that have DAM solutions in place are likely to enjoy greater marketing productivity and process efficiencies, according to the firms we surveyed.

So how can you get a clear picture of your firm’s digital asset landscape? It starts with talking to the right people and asking the right questions. Here are some steps you can take to see the big picture, and determine the best way to manage your digital asset situation.

1.) Have a heart to heart with your marketing department.

  • OpenAsset’s research suggests that marketers and executives rarely see eye to eye when it comes to understanding their image assets. Specifically, executives often estimate that the firm has fewer assets than marketers think.

    So start by talking to the marketing department. Find out how many assets they believe the firm has, and how many more they expect to add this year. If their estimates far exceed your own, ask for an explanation. Perhaps you are not considering how many new project will be in development—and how many new images you’ll need as a result. Furthermore, marketing may have a better handle on upcoming marketing initiatives and how many images you’ll need to support these projects.

    In any case, once you understand what’s driving marketers’ assessment of the image situation, you’ll likely have a better idea of your firm’s digital image reality.

2.) Find out who has access to images, and learn their top concerns.

  • It can be insightful to find out who’s using the firm’s digital assets and how they’re being used. Start by asking marketing associates, but be sure to check with other departments as well. For example do your architects and engineers have access to images? How about your HR and business development people?

    If these professionals don’t currently have access, do they wish they did? You might learn that these departments have a real need to access images. You might also find that the marketing department is a current bottleneck in the process, and that they’d love to open up access.

    On the other hand, plenty of people could have access to images, but they may not be able to find images efficiently. Companies that do not use a DAM report that their biggest image problem is a lack of time to look for images. People end up using the most recent and familiar images as a result.

3.) Consider if a DAM can solve some of your image issues.

  • If people in your company find image access to be a problem, a DAM could be the answer. A/E firms that use one say that quality images are much easier to find and that the solution opens up image access to more users. This can eliminate the burden on the marketing department and improve overall marketing productivity. It can also help improve overall quality of presentations, proposals, are other deliverables.

4.) Start assessing DAM tools and establish a shortlist of DAM platforms.

  • If you determine that the advantages of a DAM can benefit your firm, then it’s time to decide which DAM is right for you. Of course, you’ll want to keep your budget in mind and you’ll want to make sure the DAMs you are considering have the basic features to meet your needs, such as project-based tagging, a fast file uploader, multiple image search options, and controls for who can and can’t access images.

    You’ll also want to consider what systems your marketers currently use, and if your DAM contenders can integrate with these systems. Yet another consideration is where you want to host your system—in the cloud or on-premise.

When you take the time to find out more about your firm’s current image situation and challenges, you’ll know what you need from a digital asset management solution. You can develop a comprehensive wish list and identify the best DAM options to meet your specific needs. When the time is right to invest in and implement a DAM, you’ll be well prepared to make a smart decision and gain the greatest advantages from your DAM solution.

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