Five Questions to Ask Yourself to Measure the Success of your DAM Project: KPIs and ROI
How do you measure the success of a DAM project? What are your key performance indicators (KPIs)? And how do you evaluate your DAM solution’s ROI? These are key questions, especially when the project is being deployed internationally. To answer them, we interviewed Stéphane Rougon, Wedia’s Director of Operations for France. As the leader of the sales and project teams, Stéphane keeps a very detailed eye on the deployment and ramp-up of DAM within large French companies with an international scope.
1) First direct question: how much does a DAM project cost? How can I evaluate the investment required for a successful implementation of a DAM solution?
This question actually spans two subjects. First of all, what is the initial investment versus the expected return on investment (ROI)? And then, how can we support the development of usage?
To answer the first part, the cost depends on the issue at stake and the ROI we define. This brings us back to the question of need, i.e., what does it cost the company? This cost is defined according to economies of scale and expected profitability. The advantage of iterative deployment is that it is an ongoing demonstration of ROI. You don’t build a rocket and fly it straight to the moon for the first time. You go a part of the way first, which keeps the cost down. In a DAM project, there is a real association between cost and ROI. It is impossible to do it in any other way; otherwise the project would never get off the ground.
The second part concerns the development of the DAM usage. The more you use DAM, the more profitable it will be. Human investment, human support, is therefore key.
More generally, if we are not able to make the DAM profitable in the first year, we have missed something. We have probably not identified the objectives properly.
2) What Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) should I choose for my DAM project? Why and how would I create my own DAM KPIs?
A project should not be started without first determining five KPIs. Keep it simple: when you turn on your computer in the morning, what are the five numbers you want to see? I’m not talking about the “commonplace” indicators that you’re going to find everywhere and which are also standard in all DAMs on the market. I’m talking about KPIs specific to your business, your industry and the particular uses resulting from it.
These indicators need to be linked to ROI. If we’re talking about time-to-market, we are talking about publishing time. You might also talk about DAM usage and media density rates per product, media typology on product catalogs, or on campaigns. We know how to monitor, we know how to set alerts and therefore put the corrective processes in place behind these elements.
At what point can we say that the DAM project is a success? This is the real underlying issue behind these DAM KPIs.
3) Why is it more efficient to have a single corporate DAM linked to different departments?
Each DAM has its own management system. Beyond the pure risks on the management of the image itself, having multiple DAMs means additional production and shooting costs.
A single DAM has two main benefits. Firstly, it helps employees work together and increases internal knowledge transfer. For example, the Spanish marketing team sees what France has done and can be inspired by it. This would not happen with a multi-centric DAM. Secondly, it is important to know that the more DAMs there are, the less profitable it is.
Finally, what we are looking for with a single DAM is ease of information transmission, including for marketing media. If it takes three months to distribute a new visual identity, this lost time represents a real cost. And in today’s large companies, that situation is impossible, especially with regard to marketing and communication teams who are under a great deal of pressure.
Achieving smooth information dissemination requires a certain organizational and technological simplicity. With fifty different tools, this is obviously not possible.
4) How can I ensure the successful adoption of a Digital Asset Management solution?
This amounts to asking “How do we make DAM become a habit?” There are two aspects to the answer to that question. The first is that we need to be able to say “This is where we find” and not “This is where we look.” On Google we search without knowing what we are going to find. And that makes a big difference! In a company, the employee knows the image exists, so he wants to find it easily and quickly. This is why it is essential to pay close attention to the internal functioning of the DAM, which is the intrinsic quality that the company employee encounters. A beautiful shelf does not help you find the books you want easily if they have not been alphabetically arranged beforehand. It is the same with DAM. We need to be vigilant about content indexing and media organization, but also about the ease of use of the UX that employees are going to encounter. It has to be easy.
The second part of the answer is that it must be clear to everyone that DAM is where it’s at. “The place to be” for everything to do with media. Time needs to be spent promoting it to internal teams, with the help of facilitators and ambassadors. Many companies use gamification, for example by organizing contests when they launch the DAM. After launch, it is crucial to continue to upload content to it very regularly. Employees need to know that if they’re looking for something new, this is where it happens. Finally, the DAM must be part of the company’s digital workplace.
5) How can I improve the ROI of my DAM?
We have just mentioned one simple thing: making sure that adoption is massive. And that’s the point to build on, because deployment increases DAM profitability and ROI in two ways.
First of all, the more countries and entities you have connected on the same DAM, the easier it is to decommission other tools. The principle is to replace time-consuming methods or tools that are no longer fit for purpose. This process improvement actually improves the ROI of the DAM.
The other important aspect is the interconnectedness of the DAM. A modern DAM is a DAM that is connected to the organization’s applications. A DAM left in a corner by itself is clearly not going to increase ROI. On the contrary, the DAM must not only be deployed across multiple countries, but also be connected to other tools. Generally speaking, the more you share media use, the higher your ROI. The more applications that are consumers of your DAM’s media, in other words, the more your media products are used, the more you increase your ROI. This is why a modern DAM is above all a DAM with open connections and APIs.
In summary, to increase the ROI of the DAM, you need to ensure deployment and decommissioning, and check that the DAM is hyper-connected to other tools on an ongoing basis. This is the guarantee of a packaged service allowing you to have the required images easily and quickly. In addition to representing an enormous time saving for everyone, it allows the marketing and communication teams to create high quality campaigns.
The first part of this interview is still available: evaluating needs, choosing the deployment solution. Get all the answers from Stéphane Rougon.