Effective digital asset management programs provide a foundation for brands and companies of all sizes to deliver a consistent brand experience, but DAM programs do so much more than that. From automated workflows to streamline creative and marketing projects to version control, user access permissions, and other features to ensure that your team has access to the most up-to-date, approved assets for any purpose, an effective digital asset management system brings your teams together on the same page while simultaneously boosting productivity. No longer do creative and marketing teams need to waste precious hours searching for – or even recreating – assets; instead, a DAM solution makes it easy to discover the right digital assets in mere minutes (or less!).
To learn more about the often-overlooked, frequently underrated benefits of effective DAM programs, we reached out to a panel of content managers and marketers and asked them to answer this question:
“What’s the single most underrated benefit to an effective digital asset management program (and how can companies quantify it)?”
Read on to find out what our panel had to say about the benefits of an effective digital asset management program and why your company should consider implementing a DAM.
Steve Kurniawan, Content Marketing & Growth Strategy at Nine Peaks Media
“The most underrated benefit of a digital asset management program is…”
How it can dramatically save costs in the long run. Lost or misplaced digital assets from lost video files to lost digital documents can be time- and resource-consuming to manage.
Also, with how fast the digital world is moving, there will always be the need to change file formats, migrate your site to a bigger server, etc. With a proper digital asset management program, this process will be much easier, faster, and cheaper to execute.
In short, digital asset management can be a significant money- and time-saving solution.
Sean Si, CEO and Founder of SEO Hacker, Qeryz, Sigil & Workplays
“Digital asset management programs help companies have an easier and more efficient time organizing and storing their data…”
As time has gone by, it has only improved, and it has brought numerous benefits to companies that adapted its practice. However, there is one benefit that is completely disregarded by users: improved marketing intelligence. One of the most valuable tools associated with data asset management is tracking and reporting. However, it stops there. People that have access to these assets usually don’t know how to manipulate them and understand how these assets can help their decision-making prowess. Data asset management gives administrators graphical displays of system usage to allow decision-makers to analyze which digital assets produce the greatest ROI, which in turn can help these decision-makers produce more of these assets OR produce an even better version of this particular asset.
Atiqur Rahman Molla, CEO and founder of Clipping Path India
“In our experience, one of the most underrated benefits to an effective digital asset management program is…”
Its effect on customer service. For companies like marketing agencies or even freelance photographers and designers, this directly affects the end client. Having systems in place not only allows you to efficiently provide files on the fly, but it also makes you appear more professional and organized. You customers will see that you have processes, which will make them feel more confident in the processes you’ve established across the board. For companies that don’t have a client, their customer may be internal stakeholders. For example, your manager needs a file and you’re able to provide it in a timely manner. In this scenario, the stakeholders are the customer. This makes a good impression on them as well.
Kelly Wade, Freelance Writer & Scientist
“Businesses are starting to understand the value of an effective digital asset management program, but some of the best benefits are still under-appreciated…”
The most underrated benefit I see in my work is the ability to systematize the process of reevaluating and updating older digital assets like web pages and blog content.
Too many businesses have been taught that they need a constant stream of new content in order to appease the Google gods as well as their customers and prospects. While this is certainly helpful, it’s not the only way to go. Supplementing new digital assets by updating older content with links to newer content plus the latest data or coverage of emerging trends not only saves time and money, but it also enables businesses to leverage existing high search engine rankings.
Measuring the benefits of this approach can be a little complicated, but the required data is all easily attainable. If you go down this path, and I highly recommend you do, you’ll need to monitor the following stats for each of your web pages, blog posts, and other relevant digital assets:
- monthly unique visits
- bounce rate
- average time spent viewing the content
- contribution to sales or other targets (where relevant)
- resources (time and money) required to create the content initially
- resources required to update the content
When the monthly unique views start to slide, that’s an indication that the content’s search ranking is sliding due to age or competitor content. That’s the time to enact a plan to analyze the underlying reasons for the slide and then update the content to overcome those challenges. Comparing the above data for updated content with old content that’s allowed to stagnate plus the new content that replaces it will give a clear picture of the benefits associated with having a good plan for updating content. Go ahead and do a trial with your most popular content and see the results for yourself.
Mihai Corbuleac, Senior IT Consultant at ComputerSupport.com
“The most underrated benefit to an effective digital asset management program is…”
How it can help brand consistency and integrity as part of any marketing initiative. This is why few managers will decide which digital assets certain employees can use and when. Let’s say you have a certain marketing strategy in place for the holiday season, so the marketing and sales teams have to use customized digital assets as part of their day-to-day work instead of the regular ones. Eventually, a powerful digital asset management program is tracking, reporting, and it provides administrators relevant statistics including digital assets that generated the highest ROI.
Alex Membrillo, Founder and CEO of Cardinal Digital Marketing
“As a digital marketer, I maintain and manage digital assets for clients…”
We’re usually handling a variety of content types including design graphics, video, logo files, collateral marketing materials, content, and photography.
In addition to centralized organization and secure cloud storage, the single most underrated benefit of a digital asset management (DAM) program for our team are workflow management and approval features. Often multiple departments are collaborating, and a DAM system helps ensure assets are used and implemented successfully. This is also key to ensuring our clients’ brand standards are maintained.
Learn more about how a DAM can improve your project workflow by downloading our white paper, A Workflow Engine, below.
Jeff Bittner, Founder and President of Exit Technologies
“As companies continue to complete their digital transformation…”
They are realizing the value and wealth of the unstructured data that is siloed throughout the organization such as images, documents, emails, voice mails, etc. In an effort to provide visibility and organization to this plethora of files, many organizations use a Digital Asset Manager (DAM) to organize it all. Like so many facets of IT, probably the most underrated benefit of a DAM is the security that it brings. Security should be embodied in every facet of IT today. In the same way companies are turning to next generational NAC solutions to identify devices and enforce access control through policy enforcement, a DAM identifies digital assets, imposes controlled access, and secures them. Utilizing tools and methodologies such as access control lists, role defining users, and even multi-step authentication, a DAM ensures that only authorized users can access them.
Cybersecurity today is about multi-layer protection, and this should apply to a DAM as well. DAM security should incorporate the use of authentication, authorization, encryption for both data at rest and in transit as well as virus scanning. Qualifying the security benefits of a DAM or any IT solution today involves a risk assessment to analyze and evaluate the risk to your organization, in this case, concerning the digital assets of the organization. A well-conceived risk assessment will provide guidance that can then be incorporated into a cost/benefit analysis of a DAM.
Kyle Sloka-Frey, Partner of Aces Design
“One of the benefits that wasn’t immediately clear was…”
The ability to easily gather our assets for repurposing. Our main goal was to make sure that all assets were accounted for as we put together projects, and making sure everyone had access to what they needed. But through the use of tagging systems, it was easy to look back through a thousand pieces of content and pick out the 10 that could be combined easily to make something new.
Randolph Morris, CTO of Releventure
“The single most underrated benefit to an effective digital asset management program is…”
The ability to tag files. Even better if some level of automation or AI is used to help with this process. It’s hard to find files based on when you created the file or even the file name. The best way is to use tags, and perhaps where it is being used can also be helpful. The tagging feature even makes it worth it to store non-creative data such as source code and documentation.
Casey Houser, Content Specialist at VirtualPBX
“What we gain at VirtualPBX from our use of digital asset management, more than anything, is visibility into customer actions…”
This visibility helps us follow up with leads, and it sets the stage for conversations our sales team can have with customers.
Our situation is such that our files are hosted in a digital asset manager, but our whole remote team collaborates in (and spends most of its time in) a separate online chat platform.
The link between the asset manager and chat platform allows the whole remote office to see what’s happening inside the asset manager – without having to check the repository multiple times a day. If an individual downloads a file from our website, such as a white paper, we receive notifications in the chat that the file was touched. We’re delivered a timestamp and contact information for that person. This, of course, creates a lead for our sales team to reach.
We save a lot of time because of this link between programs. Moreover, it lets sales staff members focus on their work. Instead of constantly shifting between programs to look for leads, they can focus on current issues and let future leads come to them.
Clare Watson, Operations Director at Zolv
“Using digital asset management systems to distribute content through multiple marketing channels is…”
Extremely effective, both in terms of how much time and money you save. Practically all digital companies operate across various channels including websites, social media platforms, landing pages, and microsites; as a result, it actually makes more sense to use a DAM system across a variety of channels. Instead of complicating matters, the more channels you spread your content across, the more you’re getting out of the DAM system. Due to the various integrations with other systems like the Cloud or CMS, DAM systems can store all this information in one place, keeping it secure and cohesive. When distributed across relevant channels, it can be displayed simply and without any media interruption.
Laura Stringer, Founder of Ninth Fourth
“Cost effectiveness and employee efficiency are obvious benefits to a digital asset management program…”
One benefit companies may not consider is consistency in the customer experience. I am always preaching consistency to my clients, because it’s something that many leaders don’t always consider and plan for, and it has a big impact on how audiences perceive your company.
While many companies have a brand manager to ensure the brand is represented consistently, other aspects of the customer experience tend to be less controlled. The result can be a patchwork of copy and imagery that confuses customers and presents a less professional face for the company. For example, a product marketing team that uses one set of photos and icons for the website and completely different imagery at trade shows. This often happens because the website and the trade show are handled by two different departments that don’t work closely together.
A well-run digital asset management program will not only store content but also provide governance around that content so that employees know what to use when. The program can also enforce quality standards. It takes a little extra work to set up and drive governance rules, but the payoff is that the company is presenting one cohesive, attractive face to all audiences in all situations. It makes you look professional and reliable. It also helps customers and website visitors more easily understand what they’re looking at, what they’re reading, where they are in a buying process, and what to expect next.
One reason leaders don’t necessarily consider that consistency or notice its value is that it’s hard to quantify. Customer service and support departments may report fewer questions because customers were less confused. The brand’s overall value should rise in accordance with the higher quality presentation. And if you’ve made a large improvement in consistency and quality, you should see sales grow as well. Attribution is very tricky for this kind of work; however, the consistency value from a good DAM program may be ascribed to other initiatives or environmental factors.
If your creative and marketing teams are decentralized, uniting your teams for consistency can be challenging. Find out how a robust DAM solution like MerlinOne can help by downloading our white paper, How a DAM Can Help Marketing Leaders to Unite Their Teams, below.
David Gdaniec, CIO & Co-Founder of Brand Alignment
“There are a number of benefits to an effective digital asset management program…”
Proper storage and organization of assets, scalability, easy content distribution, and keyword tagging are just a few of the benefits that could be rattled off. Organization and scalability are great, and a simple and easy method for distributing your content is equally beneficial. Although these are great perks, the single most underrated benefit of an effective digital asset management program is the return on investment. ROI is top of mind whether you are the brand’s e-commerce manager or the organization’s chief operating officer. I once heard that running a business of any kind is all about dollars and sense. If it saves you dollars, it makes sense. With an effective digital asset management program in place, you are saving your organization time, money, and valuable resources, which is a trifecta of organizational benefit.
As CIO of an Amazon brand optimization and protection company, we work with plenty of brands looking to optimize and streamline their processes. Because many brands run into the same issues with outdated and disorganized content, our first suggestion is for them to invest in a solid digital asset management program. We find the time and money a brand will save from these programs far outweighs the initial investment. These brands are now able to effectively organize, standardize, and distribute their content across their entire reseller landscape providing a more consistent message and branding image to their customers.
Martin Olsson, Co-Founder & CEO of Brandox
“The old saying goes time is money…”
I have yet to meet a serious businessperson that wouldn’t agree with that. Effective digital asset management programs drastically reduce the time wasted searching for necessary files, which means more time spent on being efficient and productive. Saving time also reduces stress across the company because it relieves the stress caused by disorganization and time lost on unproductive tasks, like searching for digital assets.
Essentially, digital asset management is about streamlining the workflow of a company with the aim of making it, and its employees, more efficient. That is what every business wants especially those aiming for growth. That’s what makes a DAM program a must-have, not a nice-to-have.
Darren Lavender, Manager of CertaHosting
“The biggest benefit of a good DAM software is…”
The reduction of redundancies in the workflow. In other words, the seamless communication and sharing of information allow the users to seamlessly understand where they as a group stand. Because of that, the work is finished with much less work and any redundant actions due to miscommunication or slow updates is very clearly less likely to happen.
Jitesh Keswani, CEO of e-Intelligence
“Digital Asset Management gives your brand image consistency…”
When images, logos, and fonts on your promotional media match, it speak professionalism. A coordinated brand image will let your customers/ clients know how competent you are.
Sia Mohajer, Founder of Privacy Australia
“A DAM software doesn’t just keep track of files…”
It also stores enriched and embedded information about each one: origin, copyright, technical specifications, and usually associated keywords. Metadata is easily accessible, and you can customize the metadata fields and the permissions applied to read or modify them. A digital asset management solution ensures that all members and departments involved in a company have the same updated asset versions. Since it is possible to track the updates and history of each file in real time, there won’t be any mismatches between headquarters or countries that use outdated files. In a simple storage system you can only search for files by name, date, and little else. With a DAM the searching process is more specialized and saves you time: associated keywords, categories and subcategories, collections, and all the filters you can imagine. This interoperability of metadata allows for more insights, better security, and more customization.
Devin Beverage, Founder & Growth Strategist at DevBev Co
“The ability to stop wasting time and money on locating or creating new media…”
DAM programs make it super simple to locate and repurpose media you’ve used before. Not to mention, we’ve all been through that situation where you think you have exactly what you need, but after 30 minutes of searching through files, you’re coming up with nothing. On top of that, you must then decide whether you’re going to keep looking or start over. Not to mention, once you place a team member on a task, you don’t want to have to be interrupted because they can’t find the file you saved for them.
Michael Azzopardi, Co-Founder of Innform
“Having designed many digital assets and brand repositories…”
I can say that version tracking is the number one benefit of a good solution – people need to go back to older versions of a given file, rather than replace the old with the new. This benefit is followed closely by usage insights – how often are users accessing and using the file? With a clever AI model, you can archive and even remove files that are not sought after, thereby reducing your monthly server costs considerably.
Derek Bryant, Director of Content Marketing for EZMarketing
“One of the biggest advantages of an asset management program is…”
Maximizing ways digital assets can be promoted and utilized. For example, having a short video from a podcast is an incredible asset. Not only do you have a video to go on YouTube, but you have the transcript that goes onto your blog, snippets that become the social media push, the audio file that lives on your podcast service, and a content piece to share across your email list. So, it’s important to have your plan to know how one digital asset becomes five different opportunities of content to push, promote, and ultimately drive more conversions for your business.
Darren Cottingham, General Manager at DT Driver Training
“We sell thousands of heavy vehicles and trailers a year and…”
We manage, rent, and lease a fleet of over 7,500. All of this requires tens of thousands of photos and, increasingly, video. An underrated benefit of managing all these files and footage is reducing the training time it takes to get new team members up-to-speed with truck and trailer terminology, especially as they are often dealing with maintenance calls from clients and can’t see the truck or trailer in question. Digital assets can be repurposed for multiple uses – we even use our images in educational material we supply to clients, as well as promotional materials. Having stored and organized files reduces the time spent regenerating the materials, too.
Effective digital asset management programs offer many benefits, but first, you need to choose the right DAM solution. Download our white paper, Questions You Should Always Consider Before Choosing a DAM, to learn about the top considerations for selecting a DAM.
Ready to start reaping the benefits of a robust DAM solution? Schedule a demo today to learn how MerlinOne, the DAM trusted by the world’s most iconic brands, can transform your creative and marketing operations.