Ever return from a ‘vacation’ needing another vacation to recover from the stress of travel? Inspirato brings relaxation back into vacations with carefully curated luxury properties and experiences coordinated down to the last detail by dedicated service teams. Stunning imagery is the backbone of Inspirato’s marketing, and while it may be difficult to take a bad photo in such gorgeous locales, managing thousands of images is no small feat.
Joe Rahim, the digital asset manager at Inspirato, is in charge of wrangling the company’s ever-growing content beast for the brand marketing team, which includes writers, designers and creative project managers as well as the overall marketing department. With so many end users and tens of thousands of images, Joe knew that the team would need a digital asset management (DAM) solution to continue working smoothly together.
Inspirato’s growing media library of tens of thousands of visual assets made their on-premises solution cumbersome to work with.
As their library grew, Inspirato’ server began to hold the team back instead of supporting their rapid growth. When Inspirato expanded to a campus environment with multiple buildings, the marketing team had to use a VPN to access their own media library because the server was located in a different building.
“Trying to get images over the VPN connection basically slowed us down to a halt. It was the catalyst that made us realize we had a challenge that needed to be addressed immediately,” said Joe.
Inspirato began searching for a DAM solution that would empower the marketing team instead of holding them back. Ultimately, the team chose Canto for its comprehensive features and competitive price point.
“Canto’s feature set was comprehensive of what we were looking for: a contemporary interface and a robust organization system utilizing a tree structure, along with strong search functionality and the ability to easily share content with outside users,” said Joe.
Today, Inspirato’s Canto library houses 84,000 files, 99 percent of which are images. These images are accessed by a dozen users on a daily basis, who use the photos for marketing campaigns, promoting Inspirato’s unique member experiences, merchandising the company’s inventory of hotel nights and vacation homes, media relations, the company’s own magazine and more.
“Canto is critical to everything we roll out since all of our marketing is so image heavy. Having all of our content ingested into one system that everybody can go to – that’s made Canto a one stop shop for our team,” said Joe.
Getting started and organized
“With Canto, being able to search for something like ‘Los Cabos’ and instantly getting results was instrumental to its adoption here. Everyone is very familiar with searching for something on the internet, but that was completely missing with an on-premises server solution,” said Joe.
Joe set up the organization tree in Canto to mirror the natural structure of Inspirato’s content, with folders for each destination as well as experiences and events. To further customize the metadata, Joe created custom fields to organize digital rights information for the images. Compared to their server folder structure, which didn’t store this metadata and required the team to store images from different sources in different folders to manage their usage, this has simplified the team’s workflow and the library structure.
For Inspirato, the ability to easily share images for a variety of purposes and end users is an extremely powerful feature of Canto.
The experiences and events team often holds exclusive trips such as Inspirato’s recent members-only Alaskan cruise. Their photographers take thousands of images at these events, which must then be uploaded and disseminated quickly so that the marketing team can use the photos for promotions, and guests can receive the photos as mementos from their vacation. Using Canto, the team was able to very quickly post photos from the trip on social media and send the photos to their guests.
Inspirato has had a recent explosion of press coverage, and Canto has streamlined external sharing of images to partners and media. Team members can quickly find and select images and put together a collection link to send out. With a Canto portal, the team can share all of their brand assets with media and external collaborators.
In addition, Inspirato uses private portals to provide only a select group of users access to certain assets. For example, they have created a portal that house images of hotel inventory from brokers that they don’t want used publicly, and a portal to house images from a partner’s media library that are not authorized to be used in general marketing. This way, they can easily ensure compliance to any image restrictions.
As the company expands and adds team members, they have a DAM solution that can support their growth. Canto’s user-friendly interface means that new users don’t even require training to get started.
“We don’t even train new users – the interface is very intuitive, so we’ve found that just about anyone looking for something can find it on their own,” said Joe.
Now that the team is empowered to understand and access the visual assets that the brand has in their extensive media library, Joe and his team are able to think more deeply about how they are using their images, rather than spending time requesting and finding them.
For Joe, that means he has more conversations about how the team can use images rather than what images they have and where to find them.
“Working with images is more like collaboration than fulfillment now,” said Joe.
For the team as a whole, their content has transformed from a bottleneck to their key for success. Each person on the team is more empowered to fully understand the content they have, and to access it whenever they need it.
“Canto democratized all of our content: everybody can see it quickly, understand what we have, and download it in a variety of different sizes and formats according to what they need. It created a culture of self-service and meaningful collaboration,” said Joe.
Read more about Joe’s career journey here, as part of our Creative Spotlight series.