Approved! How to use Workflow with your image library

While on the surface, the production and marketing process seems straight forward – but people in the industry know the truth…Managing the magnitude of digital assets – from audio, video, image, infographics, illustrations and web pages is like drinking from a fire hydrant.

Not only do marketers need to handle increasing volumes of digital assets, they, too, must manage more stakeholders than ever before and, more often than not, different groups need their own customised messages, formats and sizes of the same creative. And of course, they need it yesterday.

Relying on email to approve creative becomes chaotic and there is definitely no audit trail to easily track approvals for people who invariably end up saying “but I never signed off on the creative brief!”

So basically – modern Marketers need Workflow

Having a workflow system that is fully integrated with your DAM enables marketers to end machine gun emails and actually build processes around the production, access, management and distribution of their digital assets. This ultimately provides control, consistency and quality.

Here are some of the ways your Marketing Workflow will help you streamline your marketing efforts – and make your life a whole lot less complex:

1. Download approvals for images with talent rights

This is one of the easiest and most useful ways to use workflow in your DAM platform is with download approvals. Download Approvals let you control who can download your assets easily and flexibly. This is perfect if you have a file with talent rights associated, and you need to track exactly where the file is being used, in which media and for how long.   

A CMO at a major fortune 500 company relates, “We used a famous Spanish actress in one of our European campaigns - and there were very specific restrictions on how we could use her image. Before we had download approvals in place – someone in our Singapore office searched our DAM for ‘beautiful, brunette, young, lady’ and actually used the image – illegally – all across Asia. To say the least – we paid heavily on this – and now with download approval workflow – we won’t end up in this situation again.”

2. Publish approvals – sign off creative before it is made available

Publish Approvals are a great way to get all your internal stakeholders to sign off on work before it’s made available to the broader team.  For example, think of sales collateral that changes quite often. Before it can be upload for your sales team to access – the work can be circulated for some or all approvers to sign off on before it is released. Publish approvals are tied to versions of each file – so when you upload new version of the creative – you simply run the publish approval process again and the latest version is available. 

3. Feedback Approvals Tie Comments to the File During the Creative Production Process

Yet another means for eliminating approval process chaos – is to use a simple Feedback Approval from within your Digital Asset Management software. 
In addition to being able to annotate images to mark up your comments, Feedback Approvals enable your team to provide comments and feedback on these assets at any stage of the ingestion, management, review and publishing cycle, and any version of that assess. The best part is that the feedback isn’t limited to a single user. Multiple users can leave feedback on the same file creating a chain of relevant feedback that follows the file wherever it goes since these comments can be seen by whomever accesses the asset.

4. Brand inbox approvals

For many brand managers, one of the most frustrating this is that you take the time and effort to create detailed brand guideline documentation. However your stakeholders, agencies and even people in your marketing team tend to get – well – “creative” with your logo and artwork.

Therefore, including a brand in box within your Digital Asset Management platform, so everyone in your company can submit artwork they may manage with their own agencies – into a central place, where the brand team can run artwork from both a brand and legal perspective.

DAM platforms are a staple of Marketing Departments in this digital age, but not all DAM platforms are created equal, certainly not when it comes to being able to mirror your processes.

By focusing on your core needs as marketer when choosing a DAM, you’ll easily be able to weed out DAM platforms that are not able to provide the functionality you need to monitor and manage your brand. 

Pick the right one and you’ll not only boost your efficiency and productivity, you’ll be able to maintain a firm grasp over how your brand is displayed and perceived online and off!