Implementing a DAM in your company will certainly save you time and money but only if you evaluate your project properly. We interviewed Stéphane Rougon, Wedia's Director of Operations for France on how to make your DAM project a successful Digital Asset Management project. As the leader of the sales and project teams, Stéphane is at the heart of DAM solution implementation for large French companies with an international scope. What criteria should I use to choose a solution? How can I deploy a project like this? What team should I work with?
Our customers' challenges are multiple but are often the same: reduce the time spent, and therefore lost, searching for media scattered throughout their organization; eliminate the costs of reshooting visuals that already exist but cannot be found; replace heterogeneous and sometimes obsolete tools with a unique company-wide solution; respect copyrights or image rights and ensure compliance with regulatory constraints to avoid the risk of financial penalties; ensure brand consistency and better promote the brand’s image to their various targets; maximize sales by offering customer experiences adapted to the geographical context, channel and audience...
Defining one's needs and expectations means first of all prioritizing the issues I have just mentioned. Prioritizing means quantifying the impact of the difficulties encountered and the consequences of not changing anything. How much time is spent looking for media? What is the financial risk in the event of non-compliance with regulatory constraints? What is the consequence for my image if my sales teams write proposals using obsolete or Google "product" visuals? What increase in sales can I expect if I can promote the same product on my multiple brand sites or eCommerce sites with different media that vary according to the audience?
Once the challenges have been prioritized with regard to their impact and financial consequences, the expectations can naturally proceed:
Let us be clear: aiming for a generalized consensus across fifty countries is not very realistic. On the other hand, a task force that does not know how to deploy a solution internationally is no better. We have to find the right balance.
In a DAM project today, we iterate, we prove, we deploy. The team must be composed for this purpose.. The team must be selected to achieve this and help the company roll out the solution in the first country quickly for example. It is important to remember that interaction with business lines is critical in DAM projects. There are also interactions with the consumers of the media. For example, a company that produces an image in France would like to know how it will be used in Japan.
In order to meet these needs and expectations, the "dream team" of a successful Digital Asset Management project should be made up of people capable of deploying a system and multidisciplinary people who represent both content producers and content users. Remember that DAM is used by human beings. Good ambassadors are needed locally.
Finally, the project team must be practical, credible with the business, and have the cultural openness to unite its project on an international level.
Choosing a supplier is not just about choosing a technology solution. It means choosing a partner with compatible DNA. Do I need a highly standardized DAM system, a DAM without customization, or, on the contrary, a Digital Asset Management allowing a wide range of customization with a strong capacity to integrate into the existing digital ecosystem? Each provider has its own DNA. The question is whether it is consistent with your own objectives.
Analysts show providers in the form of a very schematic graph that represents the reality of the industry fairly well: most of the time, the first axis illustrates a supplier's ability to support a project internationally, while the second axis concerns customization. These are certainly two important criteria for positioning a DAM provider.
Wedia is clearly in the second category: players able to support international projects with a very strong digital ecosystem. This enables very large organizations to put their trust in us. We provide a strong DAM integration, capable of connecting it to the multiple applications of our customers. This is an important point to understand: for every challenge, there is a suitable provider. At Wedia, for example, we are in the top 10 worldwide, but with a staff of just 120 people, we remain a company with a personal touch and one that listens to each of our customers.
The short and simple answer is: you have to be agile and iterative! Trying to work in any other way is simply not possible. An agile and iterative approach fits very well with the market. The main job of marketing and communication is to constantly adapt. It is not possible to present a project that will go on for 18 months. Look at the situation in March 2020, before the first lockdown, and compare it with today's situation. All marketing and communication plans had to be completely redone. This requires fairly short project cycles that aim to achieve a clear objective - an ROI.