Just as the martech stack is evolving and expanding, so too are the marketing skills for which organizations need to hire. With a growing focus on visual media and its relationship to improved customer engagement, a digital asset manager is poised to become the next all-star marketing hire.
Digital asset managers can be thought of as asset librarians, responsible for acquiring, cataloging, managing, and protecting an organization’s digital files. They are the best advocate for managing content in context – ensuring videos, images, motion graphics and other media files are displayed perfectly when a user sees them, so that they make the biggest impact.
Since the role of the digital asset manager is vital to a successful digital strategy, securing the right talent is critical. Like with any position you seek to fill, there is a checklist of skills and competencies to go through when evaluating applicants. However, before you start checking the boxes, it’s important to really understand the responsibilities they’ll take on.
Responsibilities: Managing DAM software to improve branding and productivity
The day-to-day responsibilities of a digital asset manager are best bolstered by the structure and automation of a digital asset management (DAM) solution. Any candidate you consider extending an offer to should have plenty of know-how managing one. This central piece of the tech stack serves as a repository of assets, and as such, the digital asset manager you hire will maintain the library with accurately cataloged files.
A digital asset manager ensures consistent branding by making assets easily searchable on the DAM, with accompanying details on usage rights, where the asset is currently leveraged, and the context in which it should be used. Beyond those details, the digital asset manager guarantees file names are descriptive and accurate to avoid version confusion – it should be clear, at a glance, how the assets relate to other files in the system.
Digital asset managers act as gatekeepers too, granting permissions to teams that need access. They uphold uniform content usage by applying timestamps, automating content expiration dates, and enforcing enterprise-wide compliance with policies around content creation and distribution. And with any team in the company, you’ll expect a digital asset manager to provide reporting based on DAM usage – metrics that highlight access demographics within the company, the lifecycle of key assets, and statistics on audience engagement with those pieces of visual media.
Skills: Hire someone who is tech-savvy, analytical and a patient team leader
Being the champion for an organization’s effective use of a DAM tool requires someone who can operate as both a teammate and a leader, building relationships with colleagues and clients in order to thoughtfully explain possible blind spots for those without technical backgrounds. Empathy and patience are key traits for enforcing compliance with established asset usage guidelines. The candidate should be able to articulate procedures – and changes to them – with confidence.
Digital asset managers must be capable of prioritizing tasks, thinking of ways to boost efficiency and productivity through new procedures, and applying a consistent methodology to the metadata for organization of the company’s assets.
Lastly, on the technical side of the equation, your next marketing all-star should have familiarity with content management systems (CMS), project management tools or ticketing systems, product information management (PIM), and enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms. They should also have working knowledge of markup and programming languages – CSS, HTML, and resources on the Windows, Linux and macOS-based operating systems.
Challenges: Without a dynamic DAM tool, your new hire may be at a disadvantage
On a new hire’s first day, they dive head-first into learning the company culture and finding their place. A manager can work to make that introduction as seamless and roadblock-free as possible, but for a digital asset manager, challenges may come in the form of a DAM system that isn’t outfitted to help them do their jobs well. For this reason, it’s important to work collaboratively with the digital asset manager to determine if existing tools are worth reevaluating, and then lean on their expertise for improvement recommendations.
Traditional DAM systems present a few up-hill battles. Operationally, assets may be kept separate in silos, saved across numerous devices, channels and locations. Adjacent teams may rely on different storage-sharing processes, and in a time-crunch, existing assets may be repurposed instead of exploring all available options. Creative teams can get bogged down in the creation and uploading of multiple versions for every asset, creating dependencies on creative and technical personnel that could otherwise be automated in a more modern DAM. From a development perspective, manual tasks create bottlenecks, and bloated legacy systems don’t scale well. The new generation of dynamic DAM solutions employ AI and machine learning to automate tasks that had to be done manually before, further minimizing the heavy lifting of asset organization and manipulation. The digital asset manager you hire should always have their sights set on the best new technologies that your DAM should incorporate.
As a director of HR, the CIO, or someone in leadership over creative and marketing teams, you want to be sure you hire the right person for the role of digital asset manager. At the same time, you also must also ensure that they have the right tools for that job. A dynamic, cloud-based DAM, often with integrated AI automation, will make your digital asset manager much more efficient and productive as they manage the entire asset lifecycle.