By Mark Halford, European vice president of Communication and Marketing Services for Xerox

(From the editor: The following is an excerpt from “Managing Global Marketing Content Made Easy with Digital Asset Management,” which was first published in Digital Marketing Magazine.)

An acronym hovering around global brand and marketing departments at large enterprises succinctly describes a particularly annoying problem: DAM, which stands for Digital Asset Management.

DAM represents the notion that digital “piles” of valuable content created from marketing and other communication efforts must be organized. The payback is material that’s easily repurposed for multiple communication channels; support brand consistency across channels, divisions and geographies; and strengthen decision making.

At first glance, DAM seems easier said than done. Business units and geographies often have different IT systems, processes and suppliers for the same thing. It’s harder to adopt best practices when you have multiple sources for the same information: It hampers both innovation and standardization efforts.

A successful project unlocks the potential for more efficient marketing operations and faster digital innovation.  So how can large organizations overcome these obstacles, save revenue and improve campaigns for the long term?

Here are four best practices that will ensure your DAM consolidation project is successful:

  1. Lose repositories. When a new, single repository is created it’s vital to close down all the old ones to avoid their continued use. That way users will quickly understand there’s one central store where they can find all the assets they need.
  2. Tell users why it’s important. Continuing to use out-of-date assets is a business risk. Users need to understand why using correct, up-to-date and on-brand assets matters. For example, if a pharmaceutical company uses the wrong labels, it could lead to serious repercussions for its business and its customers.
  3. Make finding information easy. Tagging assets appropriately and ensuring you have a really good search function in the DAM will encourage people to use it, as they’ll be confident of finding what they’re looking for quickly and easily.
  4. Avoid the DAM “dumping ground.” Monitor the assets stored in the DAM regularly. Remove duplicate or out-of-date items, and create a clear folder structure.

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