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.