In this series, we’re highlighting some of the common stakeholders we see involved in a DAM project, discussing their unique challenges and priorities, and showing how a digital asset management initiative aligns with their goals.
With the primary goal of making creative production as efficient, productive and compliant as possible, Creative Operations is responsible for formally defining and streamlining the creative process. They work to optimize workflows for producing, revising and approving creative assets to meet deadlines and stay on budget.
Creative Operations is responsible for optimizing people, technology and processes to deliver the maximum output of creative production. With an increasing need for personalization at scale, they identify tools to minimize gaps in asset production and work with technology vendors to implement new initiatives.
Goals and Challenges of Creative Operations
Creative Operations typically focuses on these three primary goals to achieve success:
1. Getting creative projects completed on time and on budget
One of the most important factors in Creative Operations is project deadlines. The organization relies on the Operations team to effectively set timelines, implement processes and set milestones that enable the creative team to complete a high volume of projects on time and on budget.
In order to achieve that, Creative Operations need to anticipate and recognize bottlenecks or inefficiencies and eliminate them before they jeopardize project milestones. They also need to identify and implement technologies and workflows that would allow the team to work at maximum efficiency.
2. Tracking relevant KPIs and metrics
Tracking the impact of the creative team on the company’s bottom line can be critical for securing budgets for technology platforms, additional headcount or structural changes. Creative Operations is often responsible for setting these trackable metrics for the creative team, like Lead Time Per Project, Estimated vs. Actual Project Time and Budget, and Satisfaction Ratings. This assigns accountability, analyzes process efficacy and proves successes. while allowing Creative Operations to present the impact of new technologies, processes and team members on the organization’s bottom line.
Creative operations tracking is about finding growth opportunities, improving productivity at both the team and personal level, maintaining the minimum standards of quality delivery, and elevating customer (and leadership) satisfaction across the board.
3. Enabling creative teams with effective tools and resources
To improve the creative team’s metrics, Creative Operations needs to provide creatives with everything they need to focus on production. This may include access to image libraries, the latest brand or product assets, creative platforms and workflow tools. The Creative Operations team is responsible for ensuring the continuity of projects, so when someone is sick or away on vacation, the rest of the team can deliver projects on time. If the company is running a 24/7 creative production schedule, then Creative Operations need to ensure that projects can be easily transitioned from one region to another, while maintaining visibility into the project’s status and latest versions.
Creative Operations Impact on a DAM Project
While a digital asset management initiative is usually initiated by the marketing department, the creative team is often impacted by the DAM platform and should be included when analyzing use cases.
As the advocate for content creators, Creative Operations looks to evaluate technologies that have the ability to improve production, without making drastic changes or disruptions to the team’s existing process for building content.
Here are questions for Creative Operations to consider when making decisions about a DAM initiative:
1. Can the marketing team easily find and leverage the assets produced by the creative team? Are they easy to download and share?
2. Is the creative team enabled to meet the demand for a growing volume of creative content? Are project timelines jeopardized because of delays in creative production?
3. Can the creative team easily access and share relevant visuals for projects? Are they able to collaborate effectively?
4. Can you ensure all assets being created are upholding brand visual standards?
5. Is there a risk of high-value asset loss (photography originals, investor content, etc.) with the current asset management practices?
Benefits of a DAM for Creative Operations
When the Creative Operations team is involved in a digital asset management initiative, it’s important to understand how the creative team will be impacted. Here are some benefits to consider highlighting:
Accelerated Creative Processes: A DAM provides workflow and collaboration features that allow the creative team and marketing to work more efficiently together. It removes bottlenecks and eliminates administrative tasks, like responding to image requests. Most DAMs also provide integrations into Adobe Creative Suite, enabling designers to access their asset library from inside their creative tools.
Improved Collaboration: Teams in different divisions and locations can work together on projects, eliminating challenges faced when sharing large media files. Previous and current projects can be easily accessed, created and shared with teams.
Brand Consistency: A DAM allows users to quickly find assets that are on-brand and pre-approved by marketing. All teams are able to search for the assets they need within a single library and transform them into a variety of file types and sizes (such as from a JPG to a PNG). Creatives can quickly find the assets they need for projects, instead of relying on team members to share them.
Increased Scale: With a DAM, content creation becomes more scalable, as the latest versions of assets are instantly available to all users. This scalability increases as asset updates get connected to existing systems, like the company’s CMS, via integrations. Content updates or large projects are massively accelerated by a DAM and can quickly be rolled out to multiple regions, teams and users.
Easier Accessibility: A DAM aggregates every media asset into an easily accessible location and makes them easily discoverable by users. Assets purchased or created across different locations can be easily browsed or searched. Remote creative teams can easily access work-in-progress projects and marketing can quickly access completed projects.
DAM platforms can be incredibly versatile and provide benefits to a number of teams and divisions within an organization. Don’t forget to also look at the priorities of the CMO and the VP of IT.
Here’s some other helpful content, to help you build the business case for DAM project across your organization: