Another DAM Podcast

Audio about Digital Asset Management

Another DAM Podcast interview with Steven Brier on Digital Asset Management

Here are the questions asked:

  • How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
  • Why does an international hotel chain use Digital Asset Management?
  • What advice would you like to share with DAM Professionals and people aspiring to become DAM Professionals?


Henrik de Gyor: [0:00] This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset
Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with Steven Brier. Steven,
how are you?
Steven Brier: [0:10] I’m just fine. How are you?
Henrik: [0:12] Good. Steven, how are you involved with Digital Asset
Steven: [0:15] I’m the Product Owner, for lack of a better term, of the Marriott
Digital Asset Management System, and several applications that leverage the
DAM to activate brand voice, and automate marketing and sales efforts for 11
different brands worldwide.

[0:34] In this role, I develop a strategy. I prioritize
the development. I manage all the internal and external resources. Whether that
be our development shop, advertising agencies and others. I serve as liaison
between the business and what we call the tools, which includes the DAM and
any of the other applications that link into the DAM. I also project manage any
integration efforts between other applications in the DAM which is extremely
[1:05] We’ve made the DAM accessible through an API. That makes it much
easier for other applications to tap into those assets that live there, further
gleaning and pulling value out of those assets.
Henrik: [1:23] Why does an international hotel chain use Digital Asset
Steven: [1:28] Marriott uses it to secure the investment that’s made in digital
assets from a property standpoint and also, from a corporate standpoint.
Whether we have assets for brand and brand marketing, human resources, internal
communications, we use the DAM to secure that investment. Also, to glean
the maximum value we can out of those assets.

[1:56] Before we actually had this
thing, assets were stored on servers in hard drives and disks. You really couldn’t
access them, not in a global fashion, and certainly not even a cross department
way. This now allows people to use these assets, and to actually get them out
to people.
[2:18] The reason why we initially built it was to help build our brands. We were
going to a strategy of brand distinction. We really needed to categorize assets
that would be used specifically for each brand and not cross pollinate, if you will,
so that we could get a distinction.
[2:40] I guess the final thing you could say is just to save money, because they’re
specific. We collapsed nine different databases around the world, and I wouldn’t
even say that was all of them.
[2:56] We did that in a formalized way, but then I think there have been other
teams, groups, and organizations throughout Marriott who have since found our
tool and added their assets to the system, as well.
Henrik: [3:12] What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and
people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
Steven: [3:18] The first thing is, if you’re going to be taking something on like
this, you’ve got to have some thick skin, [laughs] because it’s very sensitive.
Everyone has their own ideas how it should be done, and then they’re very
protective as to their assets and the control of those assets.

[3:38] In large corporations like Marriott it is, as I like to say, a house to house battle. It’s pretty rare that you see a company that scopes out to centrally fund an enterprise like
solution, because many times it’s millions of dollars, you have to fight through all
of the systems, and there are misunderstandings.
[4:00] A way that we were able to do it was we built small. We proved it out, the
concept to do a certain set of tasks, or to solve certain problems. Then, as we
proved that out, we started to evangelize the system to build that support and
get others to take ownership of their slice of the pie.
[4:24] In a sense, I guess you should be a salesperson, too. That’s not always
something that people in this position really aspire to or have the skillset to do,
but it’s just a matter of getting out, talking to people, and helping paint the picture
for them so they can see what the Digital Asset Management System can
do for their group, and what centralization of that, the value of centralization,
can have to their organization.
[4:57] The other thing is just to be open and solicit feedback, even criticism and
complaints. This is somewhere all the good ideas for our system have come. I
always like to say that, when people stop complaining, [laughs] I don’t have a
healthy system, because it means people are starting to disengage.
[5:15] I have really fostered this open door policy so that people understand that
if they have an issue with the system, if it can be solved. We’re perfectly willing
to do that.
Henrik: [5:28] Allowing people to complain, but taking those complaints and
seeing what challenges can be resolved to make the system better. That’s a
great piece of advice there as well.
Steven: [5:36] Right.
Henrik: [5:38] Thanks Steven.
Steven: [5:39] You are quite welcome.
Henrik: [5:42] For more on Digital Asset Management log onto Another DAM Podcast is available on Audioboom,
Blubrry, iTunes, and the Tech Podcast Network. Thanks again.

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Author: Henrik de Gyor

Consultant. Podcaster. Writer.

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