DAM Champ: Jennifer Neer
DAM champ Jennifer Neer is a Data Integration Specialist and wears a lot of hats – she manages a team of people who make sure that their product images are available everywhere from their internal database to third-party sales sites. She is relatively new to digital asset management systems but has great advice on creating a great user experience.
Connect with Neer on LinkedIn.
DAM champ: Someone who supports finding, setting up, or maintaining a digital asset management system (DAM). There is a wide variety of DAM champions, who come from positions in production, creative, management, IT, and marketing.
Can you talk about your background and how you got into digital asset management?
I got into digital asset management by default. My job involves communicating, or sharing, images to dealers and I helped organize our file structure when we were storing our images on our servers.
While in college I ended up changing my major several times so I had a few years as a Web Design major, then changed over to a Computer Science major, before changing to a Business Major. All of these allowed me to learn to have a diverse enough background that helping to administer a system like this just came naturally.
As a Data Integration Specialist, what are some of your responsibilities?
My role is very diverse. I manage our whole data team, which is responsible for maintaining the information in our master product database (product dimensions, marketing copy, pricing, etc.), maintaining pricing in our business system, setting up our products on third-party websites (Amazon, Target, Kohls, Home Depot, etc), uploading and maintaining the images on the third-party websites as well as our own, maintaining the website for our dealers to place orders, creating price books, maintaining the EDI systems, as well as administering the project management, CRM, and help desk software. We also help run sales reports and analyze different reports. There are additional duties that come here and there, but these are the main ones at this time.
What kinds of digital assets does the system manage?
The main assets our DAM manages is our product photos, we have recently begun adding in videos and documents (marketing flyers, brochures, business forms, etc).
What the system users like? What kind of roles or titles to they have in the company?
All of our users are internal at this moment. The main users are people within the data department, marketing, sales, and customer support. The users from our marketing department are the main uploaders, while the data and sales/customer support users are the main downloaders since they send the images to the customers as requested.
How does being a user help you manage the system?
Being a user allows me to see areas where others may have difficulty searching or utilizing the system, as well as discovering tip and tricks that I can share to make sure everyone is using the system efficiently and effectively.
Do you have any tips for people to evaluate their systems?
I’m still somewhat new to managing the DAM system, but I would definitely suggest ensuring that the system is user friendly, especially to any user who may not be as technically inclined as others. This means assets should be easy to find and that it is somewhat obvious how to download and send assets. The system should be easy to customize so it fits your company’s processes and goals.
Why is digital asset management is important?
Without an effective DAM system, a company can waste quite a bit of money developing assets just for the assets to go unused or end up duplicated. It also provides an easy way of communicating the assets so that we get a high ROI.
What is the best thing about DAM?
It makes it far more easy for users to search and find the assets they are needing.
What was your biggest challenge as a DAM champ?
Making sure all of our internal users know about the capabilities and are utilizing the system as they should be. Also, getting the end-users for the assets (our dealers) to use the system as well.
Do you recommend any resources, conferences, forums, or new sources for people looking to learn more about digital asset management?
I went to Henry Stewart DAM in Chicago for the first time this year. I thought the conference was a good way to see how other DAM systems besides what we use work, and a good way to get use cases from a very diverse group. I attended two tutorials and learned quite a bit more about metadata and some strategies to use to help get people on my team thinking about how to categorize it. It did seem to be more steered toward people who are still looking for a DAM, which is not where my company is at the moment, but since I wasn’t a part of the team when they were searching, it was good information regarding what else is out there.
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