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While there have been worlds of advancement in the realm of digital asset management in the last decade, there remain a few gaping holes, one of which is the lack of new standards for metadata on multimedia or video files. This is long-existing issue that only an open dialogue and cooperation can successfully tackle.

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Digital assets are, as the name implies, meant to serve the business or organization in which they reside.  But if they are ineffectively managed, these assets can become liabilities.

To prevent this from happening, here’s 5 tips:

  1. Establish digital asset management (DAM) best practices immediately. It’s impossible to manage something without putting forethought into the processes and tools you will use, so if this is your first attempt, take your time and get it right. If you need ideas, check out our DAM Best Practices Guide.

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iStock_000053522702_SmallThe end of the line for your digital assets is a lot like retiring a comfortable pair of old shoes. You can’t bring yourself to do it, so they sit around forever.  Usually it takes an extenuating circumstance to force us to say goodbye to our beloved items. But it shouldn’t.

In most data centers – where your digital assets live – the main three concerns are:

  • Power – Power doesn’t apply here since servers have become optimized for green energy initiatives;
  • Space – In the ‘old’ definition of space, people were concerned with server racks.  With VMs, that really doesn’t apply;
  • Cooling – It’s already well handled.

So when it comes to dealing with old digital assets, what should we be concerned with?

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Within IT there is a well established and commonly followed discipline around the management of physical assets like laptops, servers, hubs and routers, etc.  This discipline, championed by industry consortiums such as the International Association of IT Asset Management, focuses on counting, management, and in many cases the disposal of those same assets.

Digital Assets Just as Important as Physical Assets

In the era of digital content, the question that should be just as critical is ‘why not apply the same rigor to management of your digital assets?’

Digital asset management (DAM) is another discipline which has been practiced for many years, but never given the same focus as managing Adobe or Microsoft licenses. That’s not to suggest that there is always an audit true-up that can cost you penalties and damages, but there certainly can be negative ramifications if digital assets are not managed correctly.

Consider if your firm purchased some artistic works to be used in very specific cases, and only for a specific amount of time.  When you agreed to purchase these you (likely) signed end user license agreements, which stipulated very clearly that there would be severe penalties for improper use.  Warning…if you think this is wrong, go back and read it again!

Now let’s say that without tracking those use terms in a DAM system, one of your content teams finds this great artwork and inadvertently uses it improperly.  When the poster, magazine, catalog or whatever media goes live…BANG, you just stepped on a legal landmine!

So let’s start with the notion that managing your digital assets is important; let’s further acknowledge that IT needs to be involved and apply proper technique to managing not only hardware and software, but also digital assets; and let’s open up a dialog here about how and why we can all get better about the discipline of managing digital assets.

In an upcoming series of blog posts, we will tackle best practices on digital asset management, talk about how the creative teams can work with the IT groups to facilitate this, and help explain to the business as a whole why this is so important to the bottom line.

Check back next week when we discuss archival best practices, and how end of the line for your digital assets is a lot like retiring a comfortable pair of old shoes.

Want to learn more about digital asset management?

Check out our new DAM Toolkit, a set of resources to help you determine if DAM is right for your organization, how to select a system, implementation best practices, and more.


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“Where is that one picture we created for that one campaign that one time?”

Ring any bells? Personally, I understand this challenge. I recall being in an impromptu brainstorming meeting for a campaign that needed to be launched in a week. I tried to find a digital ad that was utilized for a like campaign six months prior. It’s simple, right? All we needed to do was change the ad copy, call-to-action, and boom! We have a “new” advertisement.

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Well, not so simple. Five of us were searching and searching and still couldn’t find the native file. Design had to go back to the drawing board and create the ad from scratch. Not to mention, there were other assets we couldn’t find that needed to be utilized for the new campaign.

Now, marketing teams (agency or in house), work on a spectrum of projects from social media to search engine optimization and more specifically, creating content for the web, advertising, PR, email campaigns, and more. The list goes on. Keeping up with all of it can be a bit daunting, but we do so by working with the tools that we have.

Let’s revisit that last minute brainstorming meeting I was in. Let’s say our team utilized a digital asset management (DAM) system. Using a combination of metadata and keywords, I would search for the file and it would appear immediately, along with any other vital information such as use guidelines associated with that document. We could have easily downloaded the file, handed it to design along with updated copy, and Voila!

Here’s a little more about how digital asset management could have helped me and can potentially help you:

– Self-Service Distribution to Sales:
We know that Sales and Support regularly asks for collateral that is usually locked down in Marketing folders. It would save time if Sales and other departments could get what they need instantly without having to ask someone to track it down. With DAM, a self-service feature can be implemented so documents, project files, collateral, images, etc. can simply be downloaded and utilized instantly. Marketing saves time. Sales gets what they need, when they need it.

– Prevent Assets From Being Used Inappropriately:
Marketing teams can gain control over who has access to what and when. This decreases the risk of violating branding guidelines and liability. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a logo sneak through the cracks and used incorrectly. With a digital asset management solution, marketing teams have the capability to place assets that can be trusted in the hands of people who can be trusted. Features exist that help control who can see assets and who can download them.

– Expire Assets When No Longer Approved for Use:
It’s a best practice to avoid deleting items that are no longer needed, but finding a place to archive these assets and finding them if needed can be tedious. Instead, DAM creates an easy way to archive these assets so they are not in visible. This can prevent misuse and reduce the risk of liability.

We have so many moving parts associated with so many projects and campaigns. Most need to be implemented and completed quickly while meeting high expectations. DAM is a tool that can help improve workflow and decrease organizational chaos so you can concentrate on meeting expectations, instead of trying to find an asset or worrying about someone else using an asset inappropriately. It’s one less thing we as busy marketers have to worry about. Happy Marketing!

Put your thinking cap on! Learn more about digital asset management.

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We’ve been working hard to put together an all-purpose DAM Toolkit to help you learn more about digital asset management and make a strategic investment in a DAM system. The kit includes an ROI calculator, our up-to-date Digital Asset Management Best Practices Guide and more.

Check it out.


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I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about Digital Asset Management, or DAM. But many business still face uncertainties about what DAM is exactly, how will it help their business, and where to even get started.

Digital Asset Management Toolkit

Well, say goodbye to all your unanswered questions! Today we’re releasing a new DAM Toolkit, designed to guide companies from early stages of Digital Asset Management exploration to best practices for implementation and rollout.

With the new Digital Asset Management Toolkit, you can:

  • Become educated on DAM and its benefits
  • Determine if you need DAM
  • Calculate the ROI of a DAM solution, specific to your organization
  • Create a strategy for selecting a system
  • Develop criteria for evaluating solutions
  • Prepare for a smooth and successful implementation
  • Learn best practices for workflow definition & mapping, asset naming conventions, metadata schemas, and more
  • Maximize your DAM system

You can start using the DAM Toolkit today by clicking here.


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Using Extensis Portfolio for social media success

As you may have seen, we recently touted our latest updates to Portfolio, which includes being optimized for OS X Yosemite (v10.10), advanced reporting options, and blazing fast operation.

In this post, we’ll take a more in-depth look at Baylor University’s innovative use of Portfolio to engage their social media audience in real-time.

Digital Asset Management Success Story: Baylor University

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Our new Portfolio release adds support for the latest OS X, advanced reporting features, and more

With the explosion of digital assets and media over the past decade, companies are struggling to keep them organized and accessible while ensuring version control. Locating and distributing files has become a major time and productivity killer.

Fortunately, Extensis Portfolio™ makes digital asset management (DAM) affordable for companies of all sizes. Originally released in October 2014, Portfolio transformed the user experience with suggested, guided search capabilities, millisecond results, a sleek new user interface and elegant thumbnail views. It’s used by hundreds of Fortune 5000 companies. And it’s just been updated to make it better than ever.

Get Your Assets in Gear with Portfolio 1.5

Portfolio has added full compatibility with Apple® OS X® Yosemite (v10.10) and advanced reporting options. It’s also faster than ever, with new features that increase the efficiency of importing, copying, updating, converting and exporting assets.

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With the explosion of digital assets and media over the past decade, companies struggle with how to keep files organized, accessible, and properly managed. More files means more inefficiencies in the form of lost time and money spent trying to find them.

 

The Ultimate Digital Asset Management (DAM) System Has Arrived: Introducing Extensis Portfolio

Introducing Extensis Portfolio

 

Our newest release of Extensis Portfolio™ couldn’t come at a better time. In the words of our esteemed Product Manager of Digital Asset Management Solutions, Maxwell Mabe, “This is the most significant update to Portfolio since its inception, addressing core DAM functionality with an emphasis on workflow and user experience.” Built for collections of up to 10 million assets, Portfolio gets them organized into a meaningful, usable collection, and lets you find what you need, fast. Continue Reading »


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How much can Digital Asset Management (DAM) save you?

Why use a digital asset manager? It saves time and money, giving you a great return on investment (ROI). Learn more about locating, reusing and sharing your assets—Check out our handy dandy infographic to find out how much DAM can save you.

 

Digital Asset Management ROI Infographic

 

Download the Digital Asset Management ROI Infographic

 


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