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.