Dennis KosterFriday, September 21, 2018

‘Quickly put these images on your C-drive, I’ll store them safely later. Is this the right version of the logo? EPS, JPEG, PNG, OMG?! Where are the images for the new winter campaign? We give you 5 tips for keeping your media neatly structured, so you can work more efficiently and establish your brand more clearly.

Making chaos of your media files is already simple on your own, let alone if you are working in the same Digital Asset Management system (more commonly know as media bank) with 10, 100 or maybe 1000 colleagues. A collection of thousands of media files is no exception anymore and it soon gets difficult to retrieve the right files.

But how to create order in the chaos? And equally important: how do you keep it structured, so not only you, but all your colleagues can find that logo or those images of the campaign? This need not be troublesome, as long as the basis is good. These 5 tips will help you keep your media base free of digital litter, preventing yourself and your colleagues from getting lost in the media labyrinth.

1. Archive: all neat and tidy

‘A clutter-free desk creates a clutter-free brain’, as the saying goes. This is also true for a clutter-free media base. So keep it clean and do a major clean-up periodically. Consider which images you want in your DAM and make accessible to users.

It doesn’t stop there, though, you also have to consider when images need to be archived. Is it really relevant to store all images in the DAM? Or is it better to archive those campaign-related photos because the product has been taken off the market?

Think of quit claims: you want to store them properly, so you won’t get a claim. If you store the quit claim immediately with the photo, you can retrieve it easily. A benefit that is just as important: you need not be bothered with the major clean-up every time and will get the opportunity to focus on more important and fun things.

2. Apply a clear and above all appropriate taxonomy

Taxono-what? A well-thought out and logical classification and grouping of assets, which is what taxonomy implies. The intended result is to make assets retrievable, for instance by using logical filters. But what is convenient for one group of users may be awkward for another one.

An example: a marketeer working on a new product would naturally look for relevant media on the basis of market segments. An HR professional looking for images for his vacancy will have little use for this arrangement of assets. He would benefit more from an arrangement based on the departments within the organisation. 

So map the stakeholders thoroughly when arranging or rearranging the media bank. Do you want to do it perfectly? Develop user personas per group of users and investigate their specific needs. This gives you a good basis for the application of a smart taxonomy. A good start is half the work.

3. Make it a co-effort, but keep control

An important benefit of a Digital Asset Management system is of course that you can access assets easily. Not only colleagues, but also external parties including firms and photographers will have access. Give them the option to upload your files to the DAM. This means it is not all your responsibility, and as a result ‘I will temporarily store this on the C-drive’ behaviour will no longer occur as much. 

How do you prevent a proliferation of resources? For instance, by having a photographer upload his images and enrich them with meta data immediately. Think of: relevant search terms, the campaign for which the images were created and when the user rights of the images expire.

By making a number of meta data fields mandatory, you will have more control over the quality of the meta data and thus of the retrievability of your media. You only need to review the uploaded files and maybe make corrections.

4. Have Artificial intelligence tag images for you

The future is here, so why not benefit from all the good technology has to offer. We noticed that some customers do not like the process we outlined at tip 3, adding appropriate search terms to media. Still, it is important to do this: you want to find assets within your media base easily.

But the process takes time and thinking power and we have so many other things to do, don’t we? Enough reason to deploy the power of artificial intelligence to simplify this task. Our thinking power hails from, how could it be different, Google (Cloud Vision). The help of IBM Watson, the computer who beat his human opponents at the American quiz Jeopardy in 2011, can also be invoked to tag your files.

We have noticed that Watson is a real team player. You can combine various AI services to achieve the best result. If your DAM has an integration of one or several of these services, you only need to upload your media and the system will present you with suggestions that match the image. Do you have a well-filled DAM system already? Then you can use it for an additional quality boost.

Tagging images smartly using artificial intelligence in the Capital ID DAM
Tagging images smartly using artificial intelligence in the Capital ID DAM

5. Show relevant media ONLY

Why would you bother your employees of the facilities management department, who predominantly use the DAM system for downloading pictogramme stickers, with materials of the marketing communication department. These materials are often intended for publication on social media and the other way round. This may sound obvious, but it tends to go wrong quite often.

By showing content only on the basis of relevance to internal or external users, you keep the DAM well-organised for them and prevent improper use of resources. In practice this means that the technical assistant logs in to the same media base, but is only shown a specific set of media files linked to his job and information needs.

Brand consistency and efficiency

The aforementioned tips are a good foundation for using your media base as efficiently as possible. Together you build a strong and consistent brand and make sure the system matches the needs of the people who have to work with them on a daily basis. The marketeers, communication professionals, firms, but even that external project manager. If you succeed in attuning the media base to the needs of its users, make the assets retrievable, you really add value in terms of brand consistency and efficiency.

The next step: creation

Now that you know how to structure your Digital Asset Management system and keep it well-organised, you can think of the next step. For managing the media is one thing, but of course you have to work with them as well. The next step is to create and publish materials straight from the system. With solutions such as Publishing on Demand every marketeer or communication professional can make fine materials that meet the visual identity guidelines of your organisation.

There will undoubtedly come a time when we can also use AI to develop personalised content based on user profiles. A personalised flyer containing images that are perfectly attuned to the recipient. An automatically adjusted tone-of-voice that perfectly matches the wishes of the individual members of a target group. How long will it take before Watson will be able to assist you with that?