Speeding Content Delivery with DAM: Top Insights from the 2019 DAM Forum

The 3rd Annual Digital Asset Management (DAM) for Life Sciences Forum brought together over 100 experts across commercial operations, marketing, and brand for a day packed with learning, networking, and exploring the latest DAM innovations.

With presentations ranging from modular content best practices to tips for managing rights, each speaker shed light on how DAM fuels faster, higher quality content creation. They also touched on the importance of keeping internal and external teams informed throughout the entire DAM journey; communication and transparency ensures everyone understands the importance of the DAM initiative and supports the team’s vision.

Modular Content Scales Asset Creation
For Novo Nordisk, speeding the distribution of approved materials evolved from the company’s modular content initiative. Morten Sorensen, global director, multichannel excellence and operations, shared how the company scaled this program quickly by creating an internal agency dedicated to content creation. Having complete control and ownership over all assets and their references means Novo Nordisk’s teams always know where to go for approved materials.

The modular content strategy also simplified Novo Nordisk’s medical, legal, and regulatory (MLR) review process. MLR review is a major roadblock to efficient content creation. Approving content in modules (components) means that new assets formed from these pieces don’t need to go through the traditional review process, saving time and money. Novo Nordisk now creates content 50% faster, and it costs 60% less.

Getting Teams on Board with DAM
Evolving DAM processes to reduce bottlenecks is a key component of efficient content creation. But team buy-in is also critical for DAM success.

During the content factory panel, experts from AbbVie, Genentech, GSK, and Merck shared their experiences scaling asset planning, review, and distribution at their companies. For them, launching a content factory initiative is as much about behavior as it is about DAM system implementation. If teams don’t see the benefits of a content factory, they won’t adopt the operating model necessary to keep the factory running. It’s crucial that everyone has a voice to “invent the future” – from IT to commercial operations to marketers – when outlining and launching a content factory.

Biogen’s Stephanie Taubin and Optimity Advisor’s Steve Bevilacqua also dove into the importance of getting the right people on board. For Biogen, a dedicated focus on team training ensured a successful DAM launch even after they set up the system.

Calling upon a DAM subject matter expert helped guide Biogen towards the right training model. They created a clear and thorough roles document for all teams operating and using the DAM – including DAM librarians, marketers, and even external agencies. This ensured everyone was on the same page and made training new members easy and seamless. They also emphasized the importance of having a careful strategy for migrating existing content into the new DAM, mainly, to only migrate content that’s likely to be used going forward.

Treat Agencies as if They’re Employees
Agencies serve an important role in Genentech’s content creation, too. Charlene Lewis, senior manager, strategic operations at Genentech, homed in on how the company engages with and trains their agency partners. She pointed out that often times, companies don’t prepare these teams in the same way as their internal employees. If agencies aren’t familiar with a company’s ways of working, however, content production can lag, delaying time to market and increasing agency costs.

Charlene emphasized that companies need to properly train agencies on the new DAM system; they should treat agencies like any new employee – by providing the same level of onboarding and holding them to the same standard of excellence.

She also talked about the need to develop a flexible metadata model that will scale with future technology. Defining metadata to fit the current DAM requirements will make it difficult to mold these rules to future systems. And, forcing teams to relearn a new metadata scheme slows productivity. Developing a model that’s detailed but adaptable will make integrating new technology much easier.

The Right Way to Manage Rights
The same philosophy applies to rights management. If teams aren’t familiar with the rules governing copyrights, they’ll spend more time looking for images than they will creating materials.

Mary Birman, global rights manager at GSK, gave an inside look at how the company organizes rights information so teams can access the images they need. For GSK, accurate, consistent, and up-to-date copyright information ensures the company’s marketers use the right image for the right use case – and teams should prioritize using images where possible. Visuals improve learning by 400% and can elevate the quality of promotional materials.

But without proper copyright information, teams can’t know whether images in the DAM system are ready to use. This puts content at risk for noncompliance. For these cases, Mary highlighted the importance of defining an escalation path. Identifying and documenting this process up front enables teams to quickly resolve any copyright issues that do arise. That said, not all component assets require the same amount of rights information, so it’s important to include metadata and rights as appropriate.

Improving Compliance through DAM Innovation
Balancing compliance and innovation has always been a top concern for life sciences companies – but while some worry new technology will increase risk, often times, these advancements improve compliance.

To get a sense for how life sciences companies can leverage technology to evolve DAM systems and processes, Christopher Grakal, CEO at ICP Americas, explored DAM practices in other industries like financial services and consumer goods. His advice to life sciences companies boiled down to one key takeaway: don’t be afraid to bring new DAM innovations–like automation and AI–into your workflows. For instance, automation reduces the potential for human error in repetitive yet meticulous tasks like content tagging. Accelerating this process frees up time for teams to spend on creating and delivering great materials.

He also advised life sciences organizations to consider the DAM user experience for marketers. Companies should look to mirror the consumer browsing experience of websites like Amazon and Netflix when structuring their DAM system. This will make it easier for marketing teams to find and reuse materials, ultimately increasing the ROI of content.

The Future of DAM for Life Sciences
As the life sciences industry continues to uncover how DAM can streamline the end-to-end content journey, companies are discovering new tactics that go beyond the traditional creation, review, and approval model.

Modular content is picking up steam as a way to produce more assets, faster, with the same resources and timelines. Companies like Merck have increased time to market by 22% while still creating highly personalized and relevant content.

Pushing the boundaries and thinking outside of conventional DAM processes will continue to help the industry power a more relevant customer journey through content. We’re excited to partner with you as we explore the possibilities together.

Thank you again to our presenters and attendees at the 3rd annual DAM forum! If you’d like to learn more about the key takeaways from the event, check out the presentations here. You can also pre-register for the 2020 Commercial and Medical Summit, North America, where we’ll continue the conversation on how to evolve you DAM system and processes to speed content time to market.