Many years ago I heard a saying that left a deep impression on me.

If you don’t have time to do it right, you don’t have time to do it again.

When time is short (as it generally seems to be), it can be tempting to complete a task in a manner that is expedient rather than optimal. Unfortunately, this often leads to the task or project needing further attention and the actual costs associated with the expedient solution can take many forms, such as time, money, loss of sales, loss of goodwill and damage to reputation, just to name a few.

Every business enterprise must carefully weigh its allocation of expenditures. But doing so considering the benefits of an expenditure gives a more relevant picture. In the case of a robust system, these include increased efficiencies, collaboration and productivity, among others.

However, with school-age children being able to send pictures over the Internet, isn’t it simply child’s play to manage image and videos? Do you really need a controlled vocabulary?  Do you really need an admin or team in charge of the DAM?

It is important to remember that posting pictures of family and friends does not equate to the complexity and sophistication of a large organization. That requires version control, security and protection of expensive digital assets, and creative energy from many people to provide conceptual and developmental skills in creating those assets. It is also clear that reputation management creates an intangible responsibility that can’t be ignored. For a business enterprise, reputation, marketing and sales are inextricably intertwined. Customers purchase from a business, which has earned their trust, which leads to repeat business and often times, advocacy. A flexible system can help to safeguard your corporate identity and since it’s built for marketing use, boost ROI.

If you are thinking of adopting a DAM system, review some use cases demonstrating the successful adoption of this kind of solution and the resulting advantages experienced by the customer. For now, let’s talk about corporate identity as well as the growing discipline of DAM as a lead-in to studying use cases.

Your Corporate Image

An excerpt from’s encyclopedia of business terms in part has this to say of corporate image:

A good corporate image is a genuine asset; it translates into dollars at the counter and higher stock valuation … A corporate image is, of course, the sum total of impressions left on the company’s many publics.

The point to be made here is simple. If the icon that represents your corporate image is of the right color, shape and visual appeal, your ROI increases for every positive impression you get. If your corporate icon is not the latest version and has flaws and characteristics not consistent with the real icon, people will notice and your brand loses image, money and audience exposure — bad news for any marketer. That logic extends to every other image, video or visual experience that your customer encounters. If they don’t reflect the true intent of your corporate image and brand, then you’ve put both brand and image at risk.

It is worth pausing to consider the phrase “the sum total of impressions” which goes far beyond your corporate logo and provides insight into the need for well-managed digital assets.

Viewable impressions is a maturing concept within the marketing and advertising industry. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has defined what constitutes a viewable display impression. Everything you need to know is included in the information behind the IAB link above. Industry definition and general acceptance then allows for the measurement of how your rich media, video, and other assets are performing. While standardized metrics are still on the drawing table, there are some interesting ones in development that are interesting. Susan Genelius, in Forbes Magazine, talks about a new metric titled “return on impression” that is intended to complement the current marketing metric of return on investment in providing both hard and soft data to determine the real value of a marketing campaign. My purpose here is not to debate the value and effectiveness of these new approaches. Rather, it is to leverage that discussion to point out that digital asset management must begin to include the means to score the value of the digital assets in your library and assign that piece of information to the metadata that describes the asset for the marketer as they seek the most effective content for their marketing campaigns.

How does your corporate image stack up as valuable asset to improve the overall return on investment on your most recent marketing campaign?

The Rise of the Discipline of DAM

While we may think of this capability as an emerging field, the The Journal of Digital Asset Management reveals “basic information organization and retrieval skills have been applied to media as far back as 300 BC in the Great Library of Alexandria. We’ve come a long way since reading from ancient scrolls, but human information access needs remain essentially the same: We want to either create or be informed based on input from available information sources, usually within a specific timeframe.”

That’s the thing — digital assets are needed within strict timeframes. You need it, your boss wants it, or customers are (happily) demanding it now, if not sooner. Moreover, the aforementioned article also notes that by 2020 “the amount of digital information created and replicated in the world will grow to an almost inconceivable 35 trillion gigabytes.”

In consideration of all these increasing challenges with digital assets, a long-term strategy is needed to ensure your investment will provide the robust, dependable, and flexible system you need to protect and grow your corporate image. Global reach demands an enterprise implementation in a cloud infrastructure in meeting those characteristics. If you’re a small-to-medium business and cost may be the driving factor, an on-site point solution implementation on a company owned server would suffice. There are many options to consider – but remember, “If you don’t have time to do it right, you don’t have time to do it again.”