Jessica Banham is the Group Marketing and Brand Manager for Aarsleff's ground engineering segment, a leading specialist contractor and has been instrumental in not only developing their brand but also driving internal employee engagement. Jessica chose Bright’s flagship product, Asset Bank and we were keen to find out what had prompted Jessica to search for a DAM solution. Read on to learn more about Jessica’s role and find out how assets are managed within an organisation as large as Aarsleff.
Jessica, hi! We’d love to know a little more about you. How do you begin your day?
Most mornings the same, I’m woken up by Dolly Parton and Mariah Carey - my adopted cats. They may be senior in age but trust me, they’ve still got some lungs on them! Unlike Dolly P I work from 8-5pm, I’ll drive the 20 minute commute to work - dropping my partner off on the way.
Dolly Parton the cat
Although I’m normally based in the Aarsleff office in Nottinghamshire my role includes plenty of travel around Northern Europe, including regular visits to Germany, Sweden, Poland and Denmark. During these trips I’ll hold internal marketing meetings, deliver training sessions or deliver presentations to management.
Jessica and Team at the Aarsleff offices in Copenhagen
What does your role involve at Aarsleff?
Aside from managing the UK marketing team, I also look after the overarching marketing strategy of fifteen other companies within the segment - of which several have different logos and brands. I ensure each company has the right marketing tools to promote their brands, as well as deciding on what we can share across the company. External communications is also key to my role, touching on PR and liaising with journalists on a weekly basis.
In 2017 I was thrilled to win an award as the 'Digital Ambassador of the Year' in Nottinghamshire and since then I’ve been speaking to various publications about promoting a 'Thought Leadership' strategy (amongst other subjects). At Aarsleff, we specialise in showcasing our construction techniques using virtual reality technology which gives people an alternative avenue to visualise projects - this is really exciting as a ground engineering company where most of our products and services are buried in the ground. I’m also a Go Construct Ambassador which means I am often found at careers fairs and the like, chatting to school children about how marketing skills are transferable. I like to encourage the students to keep their minds open to opportunities - for example I always imagined having a marketing role within the film industry and I’ve ended up working in ground engineering which I love!
In Hamburg, Germany
How important are assets and images within your company?
Every single day we are dealing with countless assets. We’re constantly striving to communicate our value to customers and part of how we do this is via high quality images and videos. Visuals and illustrations communicate our engineering services extremely well and it’s important that we can find and share these assets quickly and securely.
There are so many ways in which we need assets, for example if we have a project reference this will be in the form of a case study with photos and will be saved as a PDF. If a client hasn’t yet approved the project, then we will add a note in our Asset Bank explaining to colleagues who need to approve before use. This is a really helpful functionality within Asset Bank and saves a lot of time on clunky internal communication via email etc. As a multinational company the flag icons also help to quickly distinguish which country owns an image.
What made you choose Bright as your DAM solution provider and how did you come to the decision to use Asset Bank? And what were you using previously?
Like many other companies we were previously just saving files on servers and sending to each other via email. This would cause huge delays as often we’d be waiting on other colleagues to send the correct file and/or approve things. I wanted to find a solution which would save time and cut down unnecessary communication.
As a Marketing Manager it’s hugely important to me that employees are using the correct assets and up to date logos etc. I realised we needed a DAM system and did a quick Google. Bright was on page one and I emailed you alongside a few of your competitors explaining what we needed. Bright came back to me quickly and my Account Manager was friendly and responsive. I feel that the relationship I have with Bright is great and the software saves us so much time in house.
What is the normal workflow of adding a new asset to Asset Bank? Do you process them in any way beforehand and what type of information do you add?
As a large organisation it was crucial to introduce the desired workflow correctly to the people using the Asset Bank software. I identified ‘Champion Users’ within the group of companies, most of whom were Marketing Coordinators. These people would have the admin rights to upload assets and then they were entrusted to train their chosen colleagues. The flow would include filling in as many meta tags as possible - e.g. ticking the organisation the asset was from, the country it refers to, the equipment used, the type of asset e.g. presentation, the market sector, the technology or technique used and the agreement type (e.g. unrestricted use). This may seem like plenty of tags but now if someone wishes to search for a specific asset we are able to quickly find exactly what we needed.
How did your team react when you started using the program? Did they get used to it quickly?
I think the key to successful implementation was the Champion Users. By starting with a small group of people I was able to explain the importance of using the software correctly and control the onboarding experience. I trained each Champion User for an hour one to one, usually over skype. They then were able to train their colleagues who had slightly more reduced admin rights. There are only two people in the organisation with top admin rights, myself and another of my colleagues. By rolling out the training to a small number of people at first it allowed us to control the flow of assets being uploaded and ensure everyone was on the same page with the tagging.
Our colleagues find it really useful to be able to search for assets quickly and they also enjoy the ability to be able to download images for their social media e.g LinkedIn as they can request Asset Bank to crop a certain image to fit the dimensions of their LinkedIn cover profile - saving time.
Jessica presenting at a workshop
Are there any pain points or challenges to using Asset Bank within Aarsleff?
We have already been in touch with Bright about a couple of areas we’d love to see added. One of these is a multi-language functionality - this would be really helpful as a multinational organisation. Bright has been really good at talking about the possibility of using translators and working together to create a solution. A while back one of our users flagged to your Customer Service team that it would be useful to distinguish between portrait and landscape images - Bright jumped on this quickly and created a solution within the day!
Jessica and her partner, Isabelle
Bright is on a mission to make your work day more enjoyable - speeding up the time spent on organising your valuable assets and allowing you to crack on with the tasks you enjoy! If you’d like to find out more about how a Digital Asset Management system could work for your business then please get in touch.