Managing Your Digital Asset Management Workflow: Best Practices
It wasn’t that long ago that managing the workflow for digital assets wasn’t even a blip on the CMO’s radar. But today, digital assets play a crucial role in attracting, nurturing, and converting leads as well as in providing customer service post-sale and maintaining the customer relationship.
In the early days of the digital world, the digital asset workflow largely relied on basic file storage and email, but as enterprises accumulate increasing volumes of content and other assets, along with data about those assets, those old methods have become inefficient. Today, the efficient management of digital assets must encompass storage, retrieval, sharing, and other elements that make it simple for users to quickly search for and locate specific assets, obtain those assets from storage repositories, and share them with co-workers, stakeholders, or customers with ease.
The best digital asset management solutions, however, also encompass organization, categorization, archiving, and other features to support the entire workflow from start to finish.
Digital Asset Management Best Practices
The following six best practices are key for any organization wanting to master the digital asset management workflow.
- Identify key problems and priorities. Gaining input from all people involved in your organization’s current workflow will help to pinpoint the primary pain points and the various steps at which hangups occur that decrease your team’s effectiveness. Which challenges stand to have the biggest impact if successfully streamlined? For instance, marketing reps may locate informative assets but are required to verify with a superior that the content contains approved brand messaging before making use of any materials. This added step can create unnecessary delays and result in the loss of prospects, but with the proper tools and solutions it becomes an efficient, streamlined process.
- Establish clearly defined roles and responsibilities. Because most enterprises are dealing with a plethora of digital assets today, creating an effective workflow isn’t a one-person job; in fact, it’s best implemented with input from all departments, particularly both sales and marketing. For this reason, it’s helpful to assign roles responsible for tasks such as conducting content audits and cataloging existing assets, project managers to oversee implementation, staff responsible for training and ongoing oversight (such as asset approvals), and the like. It’s a good idea to clearly define who is responsible for asset creation, editing, and approval.
- Ensure asset integrity and security. When deciding on digital asset management solutions, security should be a top priority. Ensuring the integrity of assets through permission-based access and editing capabilities, for instance, can aid enterprises in maintaining on-brand assets and avoiding costly mistakes in communications. Defining access and use permissions based on roles and responsibilities is a clear method for ensuring that the right people have access to the right assets at the right time.
- Implement robust search functionality. Digital asset management becomes increasingly complex as organizations manage ever-greater volumes of content and other assets. When search functionality is limited to specific parameters, key assets can easily fall through the cracks when marketing or sales reps are searching by keywords that may not be represented in titles or tags. By implementing more robust search functionality, enterprises can improve discoverability and enable any employee searching for relevant assets to quickly locate the most recent, approved, and on-brand information.
- Purge out-of-date and irrelevant content. The fast pace of innovation means that in many enterprises, what was relevant and pertinent yesterday may be old news today. For this reason, many organizations find that a great deal of manual oversight is required to ensure that out-of-date assets are removed from repositories to avoid their inadvertent use. What’s more, for organizations working across multiple asset repositories, it’s easy to miss one or more assets that should be removed. When employees have just minutes to find the knowledge materials they need at the moment, costly mistakes are far more likely. Integrating steps for comprehensive oversight, removal, and archiving or purging of out-of-date and irrelevant assets enables fast-paced enterprises to ensure their teams have access only to approved, up-to-date assets.
- Use consistent naming conventions and categories. Digital asset management only functions as smoothly as it is configured. With more organizations needing to share assets across teams and departments, consistent naming conventions and categories are crucial. If sales relies on a completely different set of rules and procedures for naming files and categorizing assets, it hinders cross-departmental discoverability. Use a universal system for consistency and reliability.
Managing the digital asset workflow is often overwhelming for organizations that have not adequately process-ized as asset volume has grown. CMOs can dramatically enhance productivity by implementing comprehensive standards, procedures, and processes for the digital asset workflow from start to finish, arming not only the marketing team but the entire organization with ready access to the whole of the enterprise knowledge vault.
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