Under Armour has integrated its Workfront project management system in a similar way, tagging assets automatically as they are added to projects in the DAM with information from creative briefs, such as campaign names and brand channels.
“Automatic tagging through Adobe Experience Manager Assets saves a lot of time for creative teams as they upload files,” Snyder says. “And it surfaces many assets that might have gotten lost previously.”
As Under Armour absorbs content into the DAM, there is a growing case for also using Smart Tags and Smart Crop, powered by Adobe Sensei, the artificial intelligence and machine learning technology. Smart Tags can help identify relevant metadata that goes beyond product attributes, such as big-name athlete sponsorships, while Smart Cropping can deliver social assets to the platform more efficiently.
Meanwhile, Under Armour’s transition to AEM as a Cloud Service creates even more opportunities for feature updates and dynamic media opportunities.
“Because we no longer have to worry about updating AEM,” explains Snyder, “we can start looking at how we can get features to let our asset share platform continue to expand its usage by integrating with some of these newer services.”
A one-stop shop for assets
When it comes to accessing Under Armour’s creative assets, most users enter the company’s secure portal, built using Asset Share Commons, for marketing teams, customer service representatives, retail stores, and wholesale partners. Providing a simple interface with a search box and filters, the portal dramatically changes the way people look for product photos and other content.
“In the past, it could take a week for marketing to gather all the imagery needed for a particular event, such as a pop-up store with a featured athlete,” explains Snyder. “Now, with Adobe Experience Manager Assets, they can find all the latest materials in a matter of minutes with a quick search in one spot.”
The solution is great for wholesale partners, who typically want to download large batches of product images. Instead of searching for each photo individually, these partners can perform a bulk search using material codes and download hundreds of photos at once. They can even adjust the image resolution and change the file type on the fly.
“By accessing Adobe Experience Manager Assets through the portal, our wholesale partners can find assets themselves—without having to ask an Under Armour employee to gather the files and deliver them through Dropbox,” says Snyder.
The future is Adobe Asset Link
As a user of Adobe Creative Cloud for enterprise, Under Armour has partnered with Adobe to help build the next-generation workflow across creative and marketing processes. Adobe Asset Link allows creative and marketing teams to share files and manage the full asset lifecycle without leaving the tools they use every day. For Under Armour’s photography teams, that means being able to upload and retouch images in Photoshop, while users on other teams can potentially start to tap into them from InDesign and Illustrator.
“Adobe Asset Link can help us manage images while they are still a work in progress, from uploading to reviewing and retouching,” Snyder says. “Our experience with the tool has been very good, and we look forward to exploring new use cases as we go along.”
He adds, “The checkout feature within Adobe Asset Link is a new concept for our design teams, and it could help us manage the whole lifecycle of an asset within the DAM. It will likely become a crucial capability as we continue our digital transformation in marketing.”
Conditioning a culture of collaboration
To make the most of their asset management, Under Armour needed to organize a winning strategy and synergized team. They looked to Adobe to provide insight and guidance through CX Organizational Growth.
“We’re trying to work in an agile methodology, where we were able to break up requirements into items to deliver on a regular basis,” says Snyder, “We worked with Adobe Customer Solutions to dial in our process and communication updates, and do any training that was necessary.”
Adobe insight on how to automate workflows ensure future implementations happen with less effort. It also means Under Armour avoids unnecessary customizations. Now they can reuse their development efforts from the last project to develop new assets and groups in the platform. What used to take Under Armour months to develop now gets done in just three weeks.
“We're introducing virtual development assets into the DAM and reusing a lot of the work that we had done last year in launching photography,” says Snyder, “Thinking about platform development in that way has been a huge benefit to us.”
Adobe expertise applies to more than just optimizing platform development. Adobe also helps Under Armour rethink the way the organization communicates. Previously siloed teams can now connect over multiple touchpoints through one centralized platform. A monthly call with regional partners keeps everyone informed on new enhancements coming to the DAM. This means mapping Workfront and creative metadata to assets so that the team can easily share using URLs. From there, personalizing asset search display makes finding and downloading assets even faster.
“It's been amazing to see the amount of work and reaching out that the regional team had to do before we implemented all this,” Snyder says, “Now it's a singular kind of discussion where we can point everybody to one solution, drastically reduce the amount of time it takes to search for an asset, and get it downloaded.”
A culture of collaboration keeps Under Armour growing. Active users now manage and download assets on every continent except Antarctica. Since centralizing their communication, Under Armour has seen monthly asset downloads from their Asset Sharing Portal more than double. The same is true for the number of daily active users.
“Because we're working with a consultant team inside of Adobe, they have access to the internal resources that no one else would really have access,” Snyder says, “So we've been able to move faster and dive into feature requests quickly because of that.”