The Challenges of DAM-less Content Creation: Alleviating the Pain With Automation  


Skyrocketing consumption of digital media in 2020 has brought with it internal chaos for remote organizations managing digital assets. A competitive advantage in 2021 will go to the brands that acquire tools needed for agile content management, shares, Russell Barr, director of DAM, Cloudinary.

The list of business interruptions caused by the pandemic this year is long. One that has been especially challenging for marketers has been the dramatic increase in demand for and consumption of digital media, bringing with it internal chaos for organizations that manage assets.

Digital marketers were already struggling to create, manage, and store content at the scale required to compete before the pandemic. At least “back then” teams operated under the guise of alignment because at least everyone (or almost everyone) was in the office together. This year, teams were forced to work autonomously and remotely, virtually overnight, which has ripped off the metaphorical bandage, further intensifying the pain of inefficient content management workflows and digital delivery.

There are two distinct areas where the pain of a DAM-less operation has been experienced in light of COVID: collaboration and consistency. Even as some offices make plans for an eventual return to normal operations, the “virtual” shift they’ve acclimated to since the world first shut down has highlighted priorities for organizations moving forward, including the very real need for automation.

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Without a Common Platform, Digital Collaboration Is Disorderly

It’s possible for teams to piecemeal together a collaborative process when officing together, but remove the physical proximity of those individuals, and any sense of cohesion quickly dissolves. Sure, business has still taken place virtually in the time since COVID hit. But when workflows happen disjointedly both offline and online – not to mention during “off” hours when team member availability may be spotty – collaboration suffers without a shared technology to keep the team on the same page.

When everyone was sent home to shelter in place and work remotely this year, it became apparent to many companies that teams didn’t have democratized access to digital assets or that proper permissions weren’t set up for the files they’d need when separated from officemates. Secure sharing of media files could have been another real pain point this year, as IT teams worked to make shared servers available for creative work to continue.

Without a Centralized System, Consistency Is Difficult To Maintain

Like a North Star, content-developing teams need a tool that acts as a single version of truth, ensuring the consistency of created and repurposed assets. As mentioned with democratized access: if everyone is working autonomously and remotely, they need to be still able to use the right files in the right places. The nature of creative workflows requires regular feedback and iterations, which are more challenging to facilitate in siloed solutions. When those feedback loops aren’t captured, time is wasted with more back-and-forth conversations than necessary.

When an organization employs a DAM solution, companies are freed up to build content without worry while also maintaining brand standards. The system retains and tracks version history so that no confusion creeps in. Verification is baked in, too, safeguarding teams against the excuse that there was uncertainty about the correct version of the assets in use. Brand guidelines can be centralized in the system as well, boosting team confidence as they develop digital content.

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Automation Available in an Asset Management Tool Boosts Team Productivity

With consumers spending more time online this year as a substitute for traditionally in-person experiences, it’s critical for brands to keep channels up to date more quickly than before. Organizations have likely realized a suddenly-glaring need for distributed or reduced teams to generate the same amount of output at the same high quality. Whether a creative team has one designer or ten at their disposal for content needs, there’s not enough time in the day for artwork and iterations to be created for every user’s needs.

For companies to continue scaling their content efforts without any delay or bottleneck, they’ll soon realize the need for automation. An intelligent DAM system will automate simple file-management tasks, such as converting file formats, resizing, making simple crops, or adding pre-set filters or overlays.

Whatever a company’s focus – services, a physical product, or information sharing out to the market – a DAM solution helps the content to be delivered more efficiently and in the right way. Teams can work quickly and in a more controlled, precise, and consistent manner.

The DAM-less pain teams are feeling, unfortunately, won’t just go away, and the volume of content and versions required aren’t anticipated to slow down. The question then becomes, are you prepared to come out of this scenario faster than the competition? In many ways, every business is in the same position to determine how they’ll streamline and build in efficiencies to come out stronger. Make sure you have the tools in place to benefit from the opportunities that will come along and stay agile. This will be the competitive advantage coming out of this most unique calendar year.