DAM champ: Steve Bevilacqua
DAM champ Steve Bevilacqua is an enterprise software and digital marketing professional with over 20 years experience working for some of the most iconic brands, including The Gap, Boy Scouts of America, Interface, Bayer, and Coca-Cola. In 2014, he began his own consultancy to help companies navigate through choosing, implementing, and adopting enterprise digital marketing solutions. Recently he has partnered with Atlanta-based eHire to form the marketing technologies consultation company Aservio.
DAM champ: Someone who supports finding, setting up, or maintaining a DAM system. There are a wide variety in DAM champions who come from positions in production, creative, management, IT, and marketing.
What is your role in supporting or organizing a digital asset management (DAM) project?
As a consultant, I take on a variety of roles. I am mostly asked for assistance with projects that fall into evaluation of systems, implementation, change management, and recovery.
How long have you been doing DAM or been responsible for the DAM system?
I have been working in DAM since 2009.
Is your background in library science or is it more on the creative side?
Actually, neither. My background is in technical project management.
How did you find out about DAM systems as a way to deal with digital assets?
My introduction to DAM was as the project lead for a global corporation that decided to build its own DAM from scratch.
How do you interact with DAM and digital assets in your day-to-day?
Although I am consulting on various marketing technologies, at their heart they all have DAM. A day doesn’t go by that I am not working with a DAM system.
What would you say are the top one or two areas of responsibility and ownership that make you proud to be a DAM champ?
As a trusted voice, I influence companies to see the importance of DAM as the foundation of a solid marketing stack. It’s also one of the easier tools when dealing with change management. It makes me proud to see teams become more productive and increase their speed to market through something I recommended.
Why is DAM so important?
It’s worth restating that the DAM system is the center of a successful enterprise marketing solution. However, the technology you choose is only one consideration, and in my opinion the least important. A company must also invest in and realize the greater importance of both people and processes. Without a solid plan on roles, governance, metadata, training, ingestion, etc., you will not have a successful DAM.
What’s the best thing about DAM — your DAM or any DAM? What’s the thing you think of when you talk with somebody who doesn’t know DAM?
I use a variety of DAMs. From a technology perspective, I am excited that enterprise solutions are becoming more streamlined and integrated into other technologies. When fully realized, this will lead to more than just a library of findable assets, but a robust ecosystem that will integrate and update other channels, such as email, print, social, and web, while at the same time providing usage and detailed analytics. Artificial intelligence also looks promising. I am not yet at the point of being able to endorse it, as it is still in its early days, but the prospect of automating some of the tedious work of tagging is amazing.
What’s your biggest challenge as a DAM champ?
Getting people to understand that DAM is not just software. Technology alone will not solve your issues or magically return a high ROI.
What advice would you give to people who are trying to get a DAM system in their organization, or if they have one, increase adoption?
Get a trusted consultant. Yes, you could find your way out of the DAM forest on your own, but having a guide who lives in the forest is going to get you out a lot quicker with fewer mistakes. The small investment in hiring an expert is going to save you more time and money than it will ever cost. There are some great vendors and implementers, but they all have agendas to advance their own product or service. Success goes beyond just getting a good product and having it installed and customized; there are other aspects you may not have considered. I have too often seen smart companies invest heavily in enterprise software, only for it never to be adopted because a holistic plan, including people, process, and technologies, was never fully implemented.