Managing Change: Tips for Driving Buy-in and Adoption of Your DAM

Wendy Bloechle
September 26, 2018
1 min read

I had the pleasure of hosting a roundtable at the Henry Stewart DAM Conference in Chicago last week. The topic for the discussion was DAM Best Practices: Tips for Taking Your DAM to the Next Level (which we've written about before here). We first went around the table and said what topics we were hoping to get best practices for. The most common request – how to attain buy-in and drive adoption of your DAM.

We had a rich discussion, articulating numerous tactics to achieve buy-in and adoption. Here’s some of the tips and ideas our table came up with:

  • You need a high-level champion who is a strong advocate for promoting use of your digital asset management solution.
  • Create an internal ad/marketing campaign for using the software. Someone even described thinking about it as generating demand for your DAM.
  • Clearly delineate how the DAM solves specific pain points for your users.
  • Create a working group with members from each team that will be using the DAM and that will help them feel like they have a stake in it.
  • Develop a close relationship with your IT department. How it gets rolled out will be a partnership with marketing or creative and IT.
  • Use metrics to showcase how much assets are being used. For example, if the goal is to make sure you are maximizing the use of your images or photography, then you should report out on image downloads or shares.

When I came back to the office, I asked Amy Chan, our senior product marketing manager, if she had any additional ideas and here’s what she recommends:

  • Gamify engagement by running contests with simple, fun prizes rewarding team members who accomplish a task using your DAM. For example, offer a Starbucks gift card to the first person who can find an image and save it as a different size and file format.
  • Assign individual team members a specific task or process they must learn and demo at your next team meeting. This will spread out the responsibility of learning how to use your DAM and help you create a team of specialized, in-house experts.
  • Host a 1/2-day or multiple mini hands-on training sessions, which can be even better when you incorporate this with the two ideas above.

Reflecting on this challenge, it’s clear that introducing a DAM solution requires change management. As Charles Darwin said, "It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change."

Being in charge of your DAM is hard enough, but to succeed you also have to be a change agent. To assist, here are some suggestions for using change management principles to drive buy-in and adoption of your DAM:

  1. Find influencers. Find the people (preferably leaders) that will be most impacted by the change and have them be the first ones to use the DAM. Teach them how to use the DAM to solve their own challenges, so they are invested in learning and using it. These people can act as sponsors and help model the behavior you want everyone to use.
  2. Communicate and communicate again. People will be more inclined to change behavior if they understand why the change is happening. It is also important to provide ongoing communication and training programs. Be sure to share timelines, expectations, as well as allow for questions and open discussion. You should fully expect to have to reinforce key messages multiple times.
  3. Measure progress. Unfortunately, change is not a linear process so find ways to share progress. For example, share how many people are using the DAM, how many assets are being stored, and how many assets have been used or shared. Having clear goals and milestones with opportunities for employees to provide feedback will help you make adjustments as needed. Find out what is working and what could be improved on a regular basis.

The important thing to remember is resistance to change is not uncommon or a reflection on you. If you’ve decided to implement a DAM system for your company, then you are a hero. You are helping your company save time and money by increasing the ROI of your digital assets.

To learn more about how Extensis Portfolio fuels our customers’ success at increasing the ROI of their digital assets, check out our Customer Stories page!