Doug Mullin discusses Digital Asset Management
Here are the questions asked:
- How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
- How does an organization focused on sports equipment use Digital Asset Management?
- What are the biggest challenges and successes with Digital Asset Management?
- What advice would you like to share with DAM Professionals and people aspiring to become DAM Professionals?
Henrik de Gyor: [0:01] This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset
Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with Douglas Mullin.
Douglas, how are you?
Douglas Mullin: [0:09] I’m doing well, thanks. How are you, Henrik?
Henrik: [0:10] Great. How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?
Douglas: [0:13] I’m the digital asset librarian for Oakley Incorporated in
Southern California. I work for the design graphics department, which is one
of several silos of content producers. [0:25] I manage primarily final and master
mechanicals for the signage. I would see, let’s say, if you went to Sunglass Hut or
something, you saw the signage of the windows.
[0:34] I have master files, different regions, localities to download, to print their
own files. We also have product photography and video. We have several different
departments working with that.
[0:44] With my executive sponsor, I have a project to try to create a real enterprise
DAM program to bridge a lot of our content production silos. Those are
my two main functions of both working for one silo, currently and trying to build
more of a proper enterprise DAM program to bridge a lot of our content production
silos. Those are my two main functions of both working for one silo,
currently and trying to build more of a proper enterprise DAM system.
Henrik: [1:00] How does an organization focused on sports equipment use
Digital Asset Management?
Douglas: [1:05] As I mentioned, we have a point of purchase signage. Lots of
athlete photos get used. We have the signs that go up in stores that are selling
our products, road signs, billboards, bus wraps, and other things like that. [1:19]
We have, of course, a website, which has a lot of content. Content marketing is a
very big thing at a company like Oakley.
[1:25] We have an in-house photo studio. We have a team of photographers who
go on-site who shoot athletes at sporting events or for sponsored athletes for
events that have we have set up.
[1:37] We have a video team, as much the same thing and produce a lot of content.
Content marketing is a very big thing here. It’s pretty much what DAM is
about from our point of view.
Henrik: [1:48] What are the biggest challenges and successes with Digital Asset
Douglas: [1:51] For us, the biggest challenge really is user interface issues and
process issues. Currently running Artesia 6.8, which is a very powerful product,
but it is a bit of an older product. [2:04] The user interface is not up to current
standards. A lot of consumerization of the enterprise, people’s tolerance for
learning challenging systems has gone down a lot over the years. Certainly, at
Oakley, that’s an even bigger challenge.
[2:20] A really strong user interface is something that we need. As we look forward,
Artesia is going to go away, at some point, and we will get another product,
either from that vendor or from somebody else. It’s still undecided.
[2:35] User interface challenges are a big thing for us. After that is process. What
photos should be shared? What photos should not be shared? Which videos
should or shouldn’t be shared? There are lots of different factors that go into
that calculation. Is a product a current product? Is it a past product, is it a prototype
[2:55] I would see the legal contract that we have with the athletes. These kinds
of issues be very complex. So, it’s an athlete, let’s say, a whimsy contest wearing
our board shorts, which are not yet publicly released, should we use that
photo? Or should that photo not be used because the product is not actually
publicly released yet, even though the athlete winning a major contest is a major
coup for us?
Henrik: [3:20] What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and
people aspiring to become DAM professionals?
Douglas: [3:24] I think it’s very important to understand that this is very varied
profession, in which it is people, process, content and technology. It’s not possible
just to focus on any one of those. [3:34] Some people imagine that a digital
asset person is a bookish person hidden away in a corner just attaching metadata
to files. But in reality, it is much more difficult than that. You must be able
to interact with your end users to understand what their needs are. You often
have to be assertive about getting your content people are busy and you often
have to reach out to people, work with them to get content.
[3:58] The process issues are huge. Being able to understand the business in
order to help people solve those problems and come to an agreement about
them. Then, of course, at the technology side, you have to know how to talk
the language of the IT people in order to have credible conversations to be an
advocate for your own DAM health, so to speak. That is very important.
[4:20] There’s sort of a trend going on in the world today of…”marketing technologist”
is a phrase that I’ve heard a lot about. But people who come from the
business side of the company but who understand technology, and I think that
being a DAM librarian kind of fits in with that in certain ways.
[4:36] I very much come from the business side. I understand the people and the
content and process issues, primarily. But I’m also able to speak the language of
the IT department to be an advocate for my stakeholders for their requirements.
[4:49] In addition to that, there’s a lot of training opportunities out there in the
world today. DAM is growing a lot. There are a lot of people trying to learn
about it. There’s free webinars stuff that one can certainly see other opps. That’s
vendor sponsored and so it tends to be very solution focused and not always as
focused on the people, process, content, although people do talk about that,
[5:11] Then, there’s just great conferences at Henry Stewart and Createasphere.
I’m a member of SLA, which keeps me connected to the library world, the
Special Libraries Association. And then the DAM Foundation. It’s also, I think, a
great resource to learn a lot more about the profession.
Henrik: [5:27] Well, thanks Doug.
Douglas: [5:29] Well, thank you, Henrik.
Henrik: [5:31] For more on this and other Digital Asset Management topics, log
on to AnotherDAMblog.com. Another DAM Podcast is available on Audioboom
[5:39] If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me at
AnotherDAMblog@gmail.com. Thanks again
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