Selecting the right digital asset management software is a complex decision whether you are choosing your first DAM solution or replacing a solution that no longer meets your needs. One key step in the selection process is to develop a use case that describes how you will need to use the new DAM solution.
The use case concept originated in the fields of software development and information system engineering, and use cases provide the basis for defining the functional requirements for a software application or information system. Therefore, they play a vital role in the technology selection process.
A well-prepared use case for a DAM solution will contain a significant amount of detail, but at the most basic level, it will answer three questions:
- What kinds of content assets will the DAM solution be used to manage?
- Who will need to access and use the DAM solution?
- What activities or tasks will the DAM solution be used to perform?
Your answers to these questions will provide many of the essential criteria for evaluating prospective DAM solutions.
Every enterprise that is considering a new DAM solution should develop detailed use case scenarios based on its particular business needs and operations. However, Forrester Research has provided a good starting point. In Market Overview: Digital Asset Management, 2014, Forrester contends that most commercial DAM solutions are designed to support one or more of six major use cases:
- Creative group production—In this use case scenario, the DAM solution primarily supports creative professionals who are engaged in the creation of digital content assets. DAM solutions for this use case will focus mainly on creative development and print production processes.
- High-end production—In the Forrester model, this use case refers to the development and production of high-quality video content. Therefore, until recently, this use case was primarily found in rich media industries such as media/entertainment and broadcast media. As online video content becomes a more important part of the marketing mix, we will likely see a variation of this use case in other types of enterprises.
- Publishing—This is one of the original use cases for digital asset management and is primarily found in industries like news, magazine, and book publishing. Forrester says that because of the specific needs of these industries, many suppliers of DAM solutions have focused heavily or exclusively on this use case.
- Departmental marketing groups—This use case encompasses the management of “marketing assets” by small or mid-size marketing departments, groups, or teams.
- Enterprise marketing and customer experience—In Forrester’s taxonomy, this use case refers to organizations that have more than $1 billion in revenues and need a global DAM solution to manage all customer-facing rich content. The requirements for this use case will be significantly greater that those involved in the “departmental marketing groups” use case. Therefore, the DAM solutions that support this use case will typically provide robust capabilities for the management of rich media content in complex environments. These capabilities normally include advanced workflow/business process automation, content localization, and support for multilingual marketing.
- General purpose, line-of-business support—This use case applies to organizations that want to use a DAM solution to store both customer-facing content resources and resources that are intended for internal audiences, such as sales enablement or support materials.
Creating detailed use cases requires some time and effort, but they can help you make better decisions regarding which DAM solution is right for your business.