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Another DAM Podcast interview with Jennifer Anna on Digital Asset Management

Listen to Jennifer Anna speak about Digital Asset Management

Here are the questions asked:

How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?

How does an independent conservation organization use Digital Asset Management?

What are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with Digital Asset Management?

What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?


Henrik de Gyor 0:00
This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today I’m speaking with Jennifer Anna. Jennifer, how are you?

Jennifer Anna 0:08
I’m great. Thank you for having me.

Henrik de Gyor 0:11
Jennifer, how are you involved with Digital Asset Management?

Jennifer Anna 0:14
Right now, I’m serving as the Digital Asset Manager for World Wildlife Fund. And my responsibilities actually encompass several different roles ranging from, say, contract manager, librarian, photo editor to product owner, so kind of a jack of all trades, if you will. And throughout my, I guess, 10 plus year career, I would say that the majority of my roles have been as product owner in some capacity.

Henrik de Gyor 0:52
Jennifer, how does an independent conservation organization use Digital Asset Management?

Jennifer Anna 0:57
So our Digital Asset Management platform is accessible by our entire network. We are a network of approximately 100 offices spanning from Columbia to Myanmar to US to UK. And at this point in time, our library is of photography and video that tells the story of the work that WWF or World Wildlife Fund does. So the way that we work, the DAM team are very small, but I’ll say DAM team works might be a little bit different than how maybe other DAM teams work, in that, we tend to be kind of involved with the full pre-production to kind of post-production processes as well as like the DAM processes of ingestion, cataloging, and distribution.

Jennifer Anna 2:08
What our library contains is the commissions, the trips that we send photographers, or filmmakers out into the field, again, to sort of tell the story of World Wildlife Fund’s work. So we actually have commissioned shoots in the library. We also have staff photography, because a lot of our colleagues are working in program science. And so they’re actually out in the field. And part of their research work is to actually document it. So we also have staff photography, in the system as well. Another thing that we have, to a lesser extent, are what we called camera traps. And this is the way that our science folk capture the actions of animals to sort of understand better how we can help conserve their landscapes, and also kind of like, yeah, conserve their landscapes conserve wildlife. So those are sort of and then we also, of course, have licensed images from stock agencies like nature picture library, we used to license from National Geographic or National Geographic Creative, even though they’re I think they’re no longer licensing. So it’s kind of those like, I think four or five buckets of imagery that we’re kind of pulling in from a global network.

Jennifer Anna 3:39
There’s different sort of like talents and expertise across the network, the DAM team, and also certain production teams across the network, kind of assist with different processes. And that can be helping with the contract process to make sure that we’re getting the right deliverables from our photographers and filmmakers to kind of helping with the editing process when those assets have been delivered, creating B roll packages, and then of course, and then the processes of actually getting them into the hive or which we call our DAM the hive and getting them distributed. So again, it’s a little bit different in that our DAM work actually extends sort of beyond the management of the DAM into said, like contract processes working with photographers and filmmakers, doing edits, and again, like getting them to the system and then getting them distributed. And the way that our DAM is actually used, for the most part, our DAM is accessible by again, our entire network. If you have a WWF employee, you have access to our DAM so we have approximately 4000 users And so, again, our DAM may be a bit different in that it’s not just utilized by marketing and communications teams across a network. Program staff use it. Science staff use it. Our accounting teams probably use it for if they’re working on something. So it’s very far reaching like our DAM definitely serves our users sort of beyond the marketing and tech teams at WWF.

Henrik de Gyor 5:34
Jennifer, what are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with Digital Asset Management?

Jennifer Anna 5:39
So let’s start with successes. I think what I’ve seen in my time in DAM is that we’ve been rethinking DAM as part of a larger marketing technology ecosystem, which I think that’s been a very positive step for the industry. I think we are thinking about DAM more holistically. And understanding they are programs requiring long term management versus standalone platforms or products, which was more the philosophy when I got started, as I said over 10 years ago, I think we understand more now. I think the industry understands more now that it’s a kind of a people first, technology second initiative, and that it can take a village to make these Digital Asset Management platforms run. And I think that’s all very positive.

Jennifer Anna 6:45
That said, DAM program still continue to be undervalued and misunderstood by companies, and therefore, I think they’re still being under resourced. I see large companies, fully resourcing their CMS, their CRM, their social media departments, and other marketing comms tech platforms with teams and budgets. But then they only employ one person to manage all the aspects of the DAM platform. And just to reiterate, these DAM programs take a village to succeed. So I would really like to see the industry help companies set these programs, and the people required to manage them up to succeed.

Henrik de Gyor 7:36
Jennifer, what advice we’d like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?

Jennifer Anna 7:42
I would say a few things, I would say learn about the larger marketing communications technology ecosystem, and approach DAM holistically as part of a larger system of processes and people. I would also say you need to be prepared to speak to different stakeholders in their own language about DAM. Change management is a big part of making a DAM program succeed.

Jennifer Anna 8:20
That said, I would also say it’s important to set boundaries and expectations. Many DAM jobs, depending on what they are, are actually several jobs in one and you will need to be able to educate your stakeholders about what is possible. Many times when you are coming into a new workplace, you will be the expert. No one else in the organization or company will understand DAM the way that you do. And then I would say the final thing is with that said, know that you don’t need to know everything. Technology changes so fast that we are just really running along with it.

Henrik de Gyor 9:08
Well, thanks, Jennifer.

Jennifer Anna 9:09
Thank you so much. This is really a pleasure.

Henrik de Gyor 9:12
For more on this, visit If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to email me at Thanks again.


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Another DAM Podcast interview with Scott Smith on Digital Asset Management

Listen to Scott Smith talk about Digital Asset Management

Here are the questions answered:

How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?

How does preserving brand security and preventing digital liability mean when it comes to Digital Asset Management?

What are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with Digital Asset Management?

What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?


Listen to Another DAM Podcast on Apple PodcastsAudioBoomCastBoxGoogle Podcasts,  RadioPublicRSSSpotifyTuneIn, and more

Need Digital Asset Management advice and assistance?

Another DAM Consultancy can help. Schedule a call today

Another DAM Podcast interview with Nick Felder on Digital Asset Management


Henrik de Gyor: This is Another DAM Podcast about Digital Asset Management. I’m Henrik de Gyor. Today, I’m speaking with Nick Felder. Nick, how are you?

Nick Felder:  I’m good, I’m good. Great to be here.

Henrik de Gyor:  How are you involved with Digital Asset Management?

Nick Felder: I’m probably a very non-traditional, adherent proponent, advocate of digital asset management. My background is production. Here, at Coca-Cola, I’m the global head of film and music production for the entire enterprise, all territories and all brands. I really come at it from a user standpoint of the person in charge of making the stuff that’ll go into the DAM, and also the person who would use the stuff that he would take out. I’m kind of coming at it from a much more practical standpoint.

I do not have an IT background. I do not have a technical background. I’ve learned a boatload about both of those along the way. That’s how I found my way into this space in really helping the company globally, Coca-Cola globally, move forward, digitize its processes and get on capable platforms that can be deployed worldwide, right? We’re not looking at Europe has one, North America has another, South America has a third, you know, an individual company in South America has a fourth, that kind of thing. Keeping us all in the same platform.

Henrik de Gyor: Nick, how does the world’s largest beverage company use Digital Asset Management?

Nick Felder: It’s a really good question, because it has evolved over the years. Our first foray into digital asset management was mostly about distribution and getting assets from one part of the world to another. I should say probably the single word that describes the strategy, really underlines everything we do, is reuse. It’s all about reuse for us. Reuse of work is where the productivity comes from, where the efficiency comes from, where the speed to market comes from and that goes across all brands, all channels, all methodologies really. Everything needs to turn into everything. That is the mantra we use around here.

If I take a still image that was originally intended for out of home and it ends up on my phone, it may end up being a digital image or at least being distributed on a digital platform, but that doesn’t change what it is. Inherently, it is still an image with rights, if there are people in it, frames, resolution, this kind of thing. That mantra of reuse really, really is the main thing, if not the only thing, the company is really looking for in doing that. That means distribution globally, all media, movie media, still image media, audio and interactive, that means being able to do that with rights management components.

Parallel to the DAM system, we have a global rights management system where we’re able to pay, actually extend the usage rights of any work that got made anywhere in the world, so that any other market, anywhere in the world, can reuse it if it wants to. We’ve got a way of paying those rights’ holders reliably in their currency, in their market, globally. Actually unlocking that was really the key, the hidden key, to standing up a viable enterprise-wide DAM platform. It’s got to be transactional. People are going to reuse stuff around the world. Once they can reuse it, they always need to adapt it.

As they adapt it, change out their packaging, change out their logos, change out their branding, however they need to tag it before they put it on air, because that’s where the rubber hits the road, and then reloading that adapted version back into the DAM, so we have a parent-child structure set up to accommodate that. Everything gets associated with the initial core created unit that was made. Probably the last piece I’ll add to that, in the reuse thing is … The other piece of reuse is not just reusing the thing as the thing it was made for, so again if I made a piece of out at home and it gets adapted, another market to be reused as more out of home, that’s fine.

I think if we approach this stuff more … If we tag it and bag it, right, going into the DAM, we can reuse it more like a commodity. Footage, images, audio, it’s really just a commodity. We try to think of it like lumber, where you can remake anything out of it that you want. Here’s some footage of a Coke and meals, that’s interesting. You’re really just looking for some beach … A still image for a beach thing that you’re doing on a web-related platform. If you can … If that moving footage was captured and stored at a high enough resolution, and there is indeed a beach shot while you’re eating food in the Coke and meals spot on the beach, you can still it. You can grab it. You can reframe it, and then you can reuse that image however you want. You can even frame out the people, don’t get involved with rights issues.

It’s all that reuse for what I described initially, and then the last piece is really approaching it like a commodity. That commodity aspect has been mind-bending for a lot of associates around the world. Our agencies tend to understand it much better when we direct them to the DAM and say, “Go look for this. Go look for that. You can find the images you need to stand up whatever application, microsite, whatever social conversation you’re trying to put forward.” Just being able to approach it like a commodity has just provided a lot of freedom.

Henrik de Gyor: It sounds like reuse is the main way to get the maximum return on investment to your point.

Nick Felder: That’s the ROI. That’s the only ROI that I’m really judged on here and so far, so good. Fingers crossed.

Henrik de Gyor: Excellent. Nick, what are the biggest challenges and successes you’ve seen with Digital Asset Management?

Nick Felder: Wow. You know, it’s also a really good question. To be incredibly practical and non-BS about it, I think, at the end of the day, it really all boils down to the user experience. At no point, at least in my travels and really in everybody I’ve ever spoken to, at no point will you ever be in a position to get senior management or budget holders to dive into the details the way you need to dive into the details, and work out all the parameters that need to be worked out for the thing to work. Authentication, permissions, etc, etc, etc, all that stuff that makes it work the way it does, people are just going to look at it like “does search work?” If I put in some terms and I get some awesome results, excellent. It works.

If I put in terms and I get wildly results, or conflicting results or all the rest of it, it doesn’t work and thumbs down. As far as successes, I mean it’s one of those things where like all the homework that … It’s like good comedy. Actually that’s a better metaphor. Doesn’t matter how much research you do, doesn’t matter where you set the location, who you cast, all the rest of that, it’s did I laugh? If you laughed, then it’s funny. If you don’t laugh, it’s not funny and it’s really that way for digital asset management as well, at least in my experience.

The main challenge is always the return on investment. I described ours previously as reuse. That may not be, and I actually know in a lot of the markets, that’s not necessarily the ROI that people are after but that’s certainly ours. I think just being clear, it’s not complicated. Man, I’ve seen some cases studies where things get so involved and you can just tell there were like three, five different consultants brought in. The language is confused. The outcome is confused. The measurement and the metrics are confused. Keep it simple, keep it tight. Give yourself an easy to judge against premise to the point where even if the numbers don’t necessarily add up, everybody can feel it in their gut, right? That things are moving forward, that things are now happening reliably, consistently and that use is growing amongst whatever your user groups are.

Clear, simple, easy to understand ROI. I think a lot of times, budget holders and super senior management, I’m going to use a bad word here, but see a lot of ‘bullshitery’ around technology that goes this deep, because it’s not familiar to them. They feel like they might be being hoodwinked. If you can keep it in common, normal, or regular, plebeian language, English or whatever your native tongue is, just keep it simple. You can go a lot further towards winning people’s hearts. Avoid corporate speak, avoid tech speak. Just keep it real, and you can go a lot further. I broke my pencil trying to stand up a few versions of DAM before I got my first one off the ground, so I can speak to that pain firsthand.

Henrik de Gyor: What advice would you like to share with DAM professionals and people aspiring to become DAM professionals?

Nick Felder:  I’ll talk to the aspirationals first. I would say probably the easiest, again things that I learned the hard way, which is that, from my experience here, it’s not all about senior management sponsorship. That’s a piece of it, and it’s not all about massive consensus on the worker bee level. You need both. If I can give any advice to anybody trying to get into this space or struggling in this space, it’s to work both those angles at the same time.

Presentations, videos, messages, experientials, hands-on trial, whatever you need to do for senior management, and the same thing probably couched very, very differently, so strategic messaging for seniors and much more tactical, demonstrable, how this will make your day better kind of messaging for the worker bees. Working from the bottom up and the top down, so that there is a mix of strategic messaging and tactical messaging, strategic benefits and tactical benefits that are clearly being demonstrated in parallel, I think that’s the path. One will always point to the other and say, “Yeah. That’s all great. That’s awesome up at 30,000 feet but how does it really … Where does the rubber meet the road? How does it really work?”

If you figure out really how does it work, you’re going to get the exact opposite. That’s awesome, but what’s the strategic play here for bringing the country or the region, the territory, if not the planet, together onto a single platform. Approach both, and I think you probably have your, simultaneously, and you probably have your best chance for success, your best chance for winning.

Advice to existing DAM professionals, this with a smile, I’m not sure I can give much. I think most DAM professionals have probably struggled through a very, very, very long road. They already know where they are. Sometimes there’s not a lot of talking to them and, again I say that with a smile, I’m barely a DAM professional coming from the production side. I would simply say some of the developments in the last 18 months in the industry, going towards semantic graph databases and, yeah, neural networks and machine learning, all the buzz words that we’re hearing around the industry right now, but there’s real stuff in there that can toss out real, tangible benefits that were almost science-fiction four and five years ago.

It’s like, “Yeah, that’s nice. That’s just not happening in the real world in my lifetime.” Lo and behold, it’s happening and that’s great, at a consumer, or rather at a commercial grade level, and that’s great. Just stay on top of your tech.

Henrik de Gyor: Thanks, Nick.

Nick Felder: Yeah, thank you. Thank you very much.

Henrik de Gyor: For more on this, visit If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to email me at Thanks again.

Listen to Another DAM Podcast on Apple PodcastsAudioBoomCastBoxGoogle PodcastsRadioPublicSpotifyTuneIn, and wherever you find podcasts.

Need Digital Asset Management advice and assistance?

Another DAM Consultancy can help. Schedule a call today