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Another DAM Podcast interview with Victor LeBon on Digital Asset Management

Transcript:

Henrik de Gyor:  [0:01] This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with Victor LeBon. Victor, how are you?

Victor LeBon:  [0:10] I’m very well, Henrik, how are you?

Henrik:  [0:11] Good. Victor, how are you involved with Digital Asset Management?

Victor:  [0:15] Henrik, I’m the Director of Marketing Technology at a company called ICP.

ICP is a company that started in advertising production which is we still do today. That’s my background and why I joined the company.

[0:28] Advertising production relies on the key principle of reusing and repurposing contents. In essence that its core business, but doing so in a way that is compliant and it complies with legal, regulatory, and brand guidelines as well. That’s the key principle of Digital Asset Management as well.

[0:46] I started working on the advertising production side. My first opportunity with DAM, was helping a client with their migration they wanted to have from one system to another. Then, I worked as a Business Director for Unilever ‑‑ one of our key clients in this area ‑‑ supporting their asset management solution.

[1:02] These days, I look after all of our clients here at ICP and any services supporting marketing technology, of course, of which DAM is a central part. My day-to-day role these days focuses around digital transformation. How to integrate asset management effectively within the wider digital transformation ecosystem.

Henrik:  [1:21] How does a marketing communications production company use Digital Asset Management?

Victor:  [1:26] That’s a great question. We use DAM in all aspects of our business, both the advertising production and marketing technology services. For the marketing communications and production side of things it’s essential for the work that we do. We have to ensure we reuse and repurpose the content for our clients. Effectively reuse their assets.

[1:47] We have to be compliant. We have to provide our clients with visibility and transparency both on the creative process, the review and approval process, as well as the final output.

[1:58] Touch points with DAM, is restricting master creatives, downloading those key assets, the whole MRM aspect which is approval and work flow, as well as uploading the adaptations, which we ourselves produce. Then of course, distributing it to the end points.

[2:14] ICP took a slightly different strategic direction from other marketing communication production companies in the sense that we don’t develop our own software. We very much wanted to remain agnostic and ensure we use whatever solutions best suited for our client needs.

Victor:  [2:30] If a client has a solution, a DAM solution which they themselves have chosen, that’s best suited to their needs in our production areas we can also make use of that. We have a solution that we use in‑house but we are not wedded to it. We can make sure that whatever we chose and recommended is aligned to our client needs.

[2:46] For example, for one of our clients Diageo, we offer both production services and marketing technology services. That works really well because we have an overall understanding of the end‑to‑end process for the assets that we work with for our clients and both the creation thereof and the management thereof in the systems as well.

Henrik:  [3:05] Victor, how do you see the role of Digital Asset Management in correlation with digital transformation?

Victor:  [3:10] I think this is something that’s changed very much in recent times where digital transformation initiatives are happening everywhere we see. Prior to digital transformation, asset management was happening. It was really about finding ROI and finding efficiencies in the clients process. The key change now is that DAM, or Digital Asset Management is now no longer really optional.

[3:38] If a company wants to go through a digital transformation program, they really have to have DAM as part of their core pillar of their capabilities. You need to look at the end‑to‑end states, with digital transformation.

[3:50] You have to start off with sometimes what might be a very mature DAM system. Or if you’re starting at this from scratch, you might need to go on and start an new DAM system or consolidate, but you can’t have services that operate in silos. You can’t have technology that operates in silos, as well.

[4:06] No matter what your technology or supplier landscape in, digital transformation is really about bringing those together and providing a consolidated ecosystem, both of services, and technology, and capabilities to offer that seamless experience for the clients and customers.

Henrik:  [4:23] What are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with Digital Asset Management?

Victor:  [4:28] I’ll try not to be too controversial here. One of the biggest challenges that we’ve seen and I think this is probably the same thing for many companies like ourselves, is internal stakeholders at our clients, and working with lots of different parties. Indeed, they all have their different priorities, their different agendas, their different KPIs and the key things they need to try and achieve.

[4:51] That brings different requirements to the party, and different perspectives, I say, as on what is critical for success. I think the bigger the solution, first of all, the more stakeholders you have to involve to ensure success. That brings in itself its own challenges in getting those individual stakeholders to align. Of course, looking at the reward at the end of that is the bigger the solution, the more the stakeholders, the greater the potential benefit.

[5:16] One other key challenge which we’ve seen as well is technology never moves as quickly as the requirements. Everyone wants something and they want it now. By the time it’s available, they want something different. Looking at change, how technology is implemented, and how support around that technology is implemented, that will stand the test of time.

[5:37] Providing support to the business, and to the various department who uses this technology whilst at the same time continually improving the solution is a big challenge which I think we’ve got a lot of experience in doing. We’re quite excited about delivering that.

[5:52] In terms of successes, again, I’ll be slightly controversial and say that for me the biggest success is when we can get clients to the stage when we can step back and a lot of our core services are no longer required. We will have achieved our goal of embedding that solutions part to business as usual processes.

[6:12] We’ve helped work with software developers and business to make the system more refined or work towards making data gathering process much more efficient. We’re really starting to see success now as when that DAM system achieves a certain level of maturity, that it can really be integrated effectively, within the wider ecosystem.

[6:35] It’s like a well‑oiled machine that operates very effectively on its own sometimes and very independently from us. We’re happy to embrace that because we work almost sometimes to develop ourselves and the services we have into obsolescence because we want to deliver value for our clients at every stage. We know if we deliver value there and demonstrate that to the clients, then they’ll find something else for us to do.

[6:57] That’s something we are quite excited to work in partnership with our clients to deliver.

Henrik:  [7:02] Victor, what advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?

Victor:  [7:08] First of all, I’d like to say that this is a really exciting industry. I’m massively passionate about this. I get to quite excited thinking about working in this area. So much is happening in this space and this is going to be so fundamental to the growth and success of organizations everywhere.

[7:24] My advice would be have a passion for what you do and for delivering value and quality. Start by delivering value in your role in your job, in your company or whatever. Whatever area of the DAM industry that you work in, whether you’re on the client side, or the software vendor side, or the services side as we are.

[7:42] Then the opportunities grow. I think taking that approach of doing the job you’re been asked to do. Doing it really well and passionately, then the opportunities come to you because clients and partners can recognize you’ve got a really good investment in getting it right. Then after, you can grow it from there.

[8:03] The other piece of advice I would say is never stop learning. Never stop asking questions and being curious about the world around you. The technologies change, organizations change, the relationship between marketing and customers has fundamentally changed.

[8:19] Big organizations are getting this now, that they need to embrace change and making it part of their day‑to‑day. Embracing change all together, with all the different parties working together and being OK, with that makes for a really exciting journey that we can go on.

Henrik:  [8:34] Excellent, well thanks Victor.

Victor:  [8:36] Thank you Henrik.

Henrik:  [8:38] For more on this and other Digital Asset Management topics, go to anotherdamblog.com. For this and 180 other podcast episodes, go to anotherdampodcast.com. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to email me at anotherdamblog@gmail.com. Thanks again.


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Another DAM Podcast interview with Kathryn Gronsbell about Digital Asset Management

Transcript:

Henrik de Gyor:  [0:01] This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with Katheryn Gronsbell. Kathryn, how are you?

Kathryn Gronsbell:  [0:10] Good, how are you?

Henrik:  [0:11] Great. Kathryn, how are you involved with Digital Asset Management?

Kathryn:  [0:14] I’m the Digital Asset Manager at Carnegie Hall. I’m responsible for integrating our enterprise Digital Asset Management system into activities that support Carnegie Hall’s retention and use of digital assets.

[0:26] My work ranges from overseeing quality control and managing ingest procedures to helping manage and implement and collaboratively built taxonomy, but also working with staff across all of our departments, to make sure that their needs are being met by the technology that we have, but also by the policies in place to guide that technology.

Henrik:  [0:45] How does one of the most prestigious venues in the world, for both classical music and popular music, use Digital Asset Management?

Kathryn:  [0:52] To back up a little bit, in 2015 our archives completed a multi‑year digitalization project of legacy materials; so  concert programs, flyers, choral workshop recordings, radio broadcasts. Needless to say, the materials in our archives are pretty incredible.

[1:10] Being surrounded by this kind of material has been great and with 125 years of history, there is a lot to see and to share with people. We’ve just moved out of the project phase and into the formalized DAM program, which often includes content that is being currently produced or is in the process of being produced.

[1:29] This more sustainable and integrated approach to Asset Management is taking the requirements identified by Carnegie staff and trying to make them a reality. We expect to roll out our DAM system this summer, and we’ve just wrapped up our initial user testing with select advanced users from target departments. But our continued user testing and configuration will try to make sure that staff see the DAMs as a centralized place to not only deposit and discover content but also engage with it so anything that was created by Carnegie Hall staff or for the Hall.

Henrik:  [2:04] What are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with Digital Asset Management?

Kathryn:  [2:08] The biggest challenge that I’ve seen so far is trying to have answers before you have questions. [laughs] Requirements gathering and understanding current workflows and pinpoints is really essential. It’s kind of saying, “How can I fix something, if you don’t even understand what’s broken, or not even broken, just could work better.”

[2:29] Part of the way that I tried to play down that challenge is looking at the content producers and asking, “What are they doing? What kind of questions are they asking?” That helps us to fill in the gap between providing a place to manage the version of what’s being produced, but also providing source content for those producers.

[2:47] On a positive note, the success for me has been the result of the mix of perspectives from staff members here. At Carnegie, I have a regular meeting with nearly every department, or at least every department that I can get my hands on.

[3:03] It’s a very close partnership with our IT department, who supports our DAMs initiative from a technical perspective, but also our interactive services, niche strategy, digital media, our education wing, which is called The Weill Music Institute, our PR department and our marketing creative services.

[3:22] As we get closer to staff launch I expect that list of departments to grow, maybe to the chagrin of my calendar and their calendar. Every conversation that I have with these staff members either reveals something new or reinforces a need that’s been expected from our DAM initiative. Without the input of all of these staff members, there would be no Digital Asset Management at Carnegie Hall.

Henrik:  [3:45] What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people inspiring to become DAM professionals?

Kathryn:  [3:49] Definitely look to how either allied fields or established fields are handling some of the same questions that we’re facing computer science, libraries and archives, traditional and emerging practices for conservation and preservation, the museum and gallery world, of course, and also community or grass roots based practices and concepts.

[4:13] One thing which I think is less of a popular opinion, maybe among the archivists and library folks, is looking at the commercial sectors, so broadcast and media entertainment companies. Money follows money, so if we have a finger on the pulse of where a lot of investment is being made in technology or structures or infrastructure, we kind of have a good idea where things are going and I think it puts us in a better position to have those conversations.

[4:43] Again, it’s not really about having the same answers as these communities, but mining their answers for something that would work for us. The additional benefit of that is that the more questions and the more conversations that you have with these communities, the more visible that we become for them, so it opens up the door for more conversation and more communication, which also translates to more inclusion in their decision‑making process, hopefully.

[5:05] There is one last thing that I wish someone had said to me when I started out. For every person who this person is usually in a position of influence that tries to exclude you from a conversation, who tries to make you feel inferior or dumb for asking questions, there are 10 people who have your back and also want to know the answers to those questions.

[5:29] The more questions that we ask, the more voices in our community and the better of we will be. If we’re lucky enough to be a person that’s in a position of power, you have the responsibility to be as inclusive as possible and lead by example. I hope that’s helpful.

Henrik:  [5:44] It is. Thanks so much Kathryn.

Kathryn:  [5:46] Thank you.

Henrik:  [5:47] For more on this and other Digital Asset Management topics, go to anotherdamblog.com. For this and another 180 podcast episodes, visit anotherdampodcast.com. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to email me at anotherdamblog@Gmail.com. Thanks again.


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Another DAM Podcast interview with Bryan Cohen on Digital Asset Management

Transcript:

Henrik de Gyor:  [0:01] This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today, I’m speaking with Bryan Cohen. Bryan, how are you?

Bryan Cohen:  [0:10] I’m great, thanks. Thanks for having me on the podcast today. I appreciate the invite.

Henrik:  [0:14] Bryan, how are you involved with Digital Asset Management?

Bryan:  [0:17] I’m the Digital Platform Lead for Pfizer. My main role is overseeing the digital platform that we use for review and approval of all of our pharmaceutical promotional materials. That’s a global system that has about 5,000 users.

Henrik:  [0:33] How does a leading research based biopharmaceutical company use Digital Asset Management?

Bryan:  [0:39] We use it in a couple of different ways. Our key is because we are so highly regulated with what we can actually show to consumers and what we can actually show to our healthcare providers. Our main focus with Digital Asset Management is to review and approval process for all the materials that we create.

[0:57] A lot of people don’t realize…much like a magazine, or a newspaper, even an online website…the amount of review that goes into every little PC you see, whether it’s in a doctor’s office, or commercial TV, or even a radio ad. It goes through a very intense review and approval process.

[1:16] Not just from an editorial standpoint, but also from a medical, legal, and regulatory standpoint, before even gets submitted to the FDA. That is our main focus. There are tons of different rules and regulations. United States is the most highly regulated. There are certain rules in Canada, Latin America, Africa, Middle East and even in the European Union there are about 15 or 20 different regulatory bodies that all have different rules and tweaks, and things that they require.

[1:46] Our review and approval system is almost like one global system that manages a hundred different newspapers with different languages. We have that complexity as well. On top of that, what we are trying to really get our hands around with the rapid pace that we have with acquisitions with companies that we’re either merging with, or smaller pharmaceutical companies that we recently purchased.

[2:10] We’re trying to get our hands around, not only their review and approval system but also their asset management. The pure thing when you think of DAM, normally images, videos, sound files, all of that stuff of course it’s different everywhere.

[2:24] It’s something that we’re even internally at Pfizer trying to get our hands around. With all of this electronic content that we’ve created, with these huge transitions you’re going all digital from a cost perspective and efficiency, and even in efficacy perspective with our advertising.

[2:40] We’re trying to really get our hands around and control all of that intellectual property. We use it at its core for review and approval. The larger picture is figuring out how to get our hands around these assets so we can drive more towards a custom, maybe not necessarily custom, but omni channel marketing and more targeted marketing flexibility with our assets.

Henrik:  [3:05] Bryan, what are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with Digital Asset Management?

Bryan:  [3:10] The biggest challenge for us is trying to convince folks at Pfizer, and even within all our pharmaceutical, the key to really have their hands on an intellectual property. A lot of pharma companies have outsourced the creation of that content. We have all kinds of things that we’ve purchased at agencies, and buried in their storage.

[3:32] The only thing we might see are the two or three photos that we might have used in a particular piece. The challenge is really a perception challenge. We don’t make money out of this digital content that we create.

[3:44] It helps to drive sales, but we’re not Huffington Post. We’re not AOL. A lot of these companies that make content and then make money directly from that content, either through subscription or advertising on their website.

[3:58] Convincing internal executives, and convincing just people in general at Pfizer of the need to focus on access. I don’t necessarily want to say control, but access of understanding of those digital assets is a huge challenge.

[4:16] As you would imagine, they’re focused on producing medicine. They’re focused on producing pharmaceuticals or consumer medicines, and getting those things to market. They’re focused on marketing as a whole and as a platform. Not necessarily worried about the nitty-gritty of how we manage metadata within the Digital Asset Management system.

[4:35] It’s not as sexy to them, and it’s not a focus because they don’t make money directly out of it. However they’re also starting to struggle with understanding what everything is. In order to create all these apps, and websites, and advertisements. The increasingly frustrated, the marketing teams are, with understanding what they already have out there so they can get market quicker.

[4:57] That is our biggest challenge. Our biggest success, I would have to say, over the last few years, at least for us, is going to more of a global mindset with what we create and being able to share this content from region to region or country to country and then fine‑tuning it.

[5:12] That obviously saves cost, but more than anything it gives teams the ability to leverage the things have been created in other places and are effective in other places, and customize that for a local market.

[5:23] We can get to the market quicker if, say, a drug is approved in another country, which happens all the time. It might be approved in the United Sates. A month or two later, it’s approved in Brazil. We need to be able to deploy materials quickly. We can’t recreate all these materials, all the time.

[5:40] Our global platform is a huge success and a big step forward in being able to accomplish that.

Henrik:  [5:46] What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?

Bryan:  [5:51] That’s a really good question. I have to say from a personal experience I never aspired to become a [laughs] Digital Asset Management professional. Really these two questions here are…one leads into another.

[6:05] In a sense that I got into this industry, maybe 20 years ago, totally by accident I started as a graphic designer, and then realized that I really didn’t have the talent [laughs] to be a very good graphic designer.

[6:20] I also realized it’s difficult to make a very good living as a graphic designer. More than anything I noticed that I was way more into the background, the functioning of the applications. I was in desktop publishing and I used to use PageMaker, Quark, and then InDesign.

[6:37] I found that I really like the technical aspect of it more than artistic side of it. Even if I was an art director for a little while at The Wall Street Journal, and even though I did that, I designed pages and special sections, I found that I was much better using an artistic eye than I was creating the art myself.

[6:58] That really transferred into Digital Asset Management working on these large workflow systems and giving a little bit more into how these systems actually connect and make things happen.

[7:11] Becoming at Digital Asset Management professional, I would say that my biggest advice would be to get some experience in how these systems are used. It’s difficult to step right into a Digital Asset Management project and have expertise, because the large ones may only happen a few times right in your professional career.

[7:30] Rather may be better to gain some experience as a user. What we say is on the business side and not focus as much on the technical side. If you do that, then you get a much better understanding of your users and you’re able to transition that into the setup, the configuration, and get an understanding of really what the workflow needs.

[7:50] If you do that, it comes across in your language as you’re addressing your user community and addressing their concerns when you’re trying to roll out these big systems. You tend to give an increased buy‑in when that happens.

[8:03] The final thing that I would really say was first people aspiring to become a Digital Asset Management professional is that as I look back, I see that everything drove to really me being in this profession, but when I was making those decisions to go from role to role, it was never with a…I want to be a Digital Asset Management person and professional as the end game.

[8:29] Rather it was, accepting challenges along the career path that brought into my experience. That’s probably the best advice that I can give. It’s to not turn down opportunities on projects or even new jobs just because they don’t fit tightly within a little box.

[8:47] Use your experience, and then grow.

Henrik:  [8:48] Great advice. Thanks, Bryan.

Bryan:  [8:50] Anytime. I love talking about Digital Asset Management. I’d say this is really a piece of technology that people don’t realize how much it has to do with what they see on their phones, or televisions, or anything, and as we become so digital in our daily lives, be able to manage digital assets and manage that data, and really respond to marketing needs and trends.

[9:15] It’s more critical now than it was 20 years ago when we were pre‑TV, radio, and that was about it. The flexibility that the web has given us…has made our profession just as important as a software engineer or anyone of those program creators, because we have the ability to really the entire horizon when it comes to these things that we’re driving out to our customers.

Henrik:  [9:39] For more on this and other Digital Asset Management topics, go to anotherdamblog.com. For this and 170 other podcast episodes, go to anotherdampodcast.com. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to email anotherdamblog@gmail.com.

[9:56] Thanks again.

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