What DAM managers wish C-suite knew about digital asset management

digital asset management
September 7, 2022
What DAM managers wish C-suite knew about digital asset management

Digital asset management is an unsung hero. It doesn’t just organize — it connects a whole company together in a way that can save money, boost productivity, and minimize risk. 

Because digital asset management often flies under the radar, DAM managers have the unofficial role of DAM evangelist, convincing higher-ups to invest in a service they may not understand. 

Find out what seven DAM managers had to say when they were asked what they’d tell C-Suite executives, if given the chance.

Your DAM isn’t living up to its potential

A common theme in our interviews was that Digital Asset Management Systems aren’t always used to their fullest. For instance, a couple DAM managers said their DAM just stores stock images. Other in-progress content or final assets might be stored on desktops or scattered across multiple third-party storage sites, like Box or Google Drive.

Mark was a DAM manager at a major e-commerce marketplace. When it came to digital asset management, “It was the last thing on the list in terms of priority. It was, oh, the DAM works, it’s fine. It was never, how can we optimize it, integrate it with all our systems to make all of our workflows more efficient.”

Like Mark, many managers said their DAM was used for storage, but not to optimize workflows. The DAM might not have connections to tools that would encourage users to adopt the system and use it more often. Letting a digital asset management system manage more things lets users avoid wasting time flipping between tons of different systems or losing track of vital assets — both of which should matter to anyone looking at the bottom line.

Your DAM can provide new insights to guide sales and boost productivity

Even if they’re not using every bell and whistle a DAM system offers, DAM managers are still seeing results. Many DAM managers said they’d tell the C-Suite that their system was already helping the organization in ways they might not realize. 

Marla is Principal Digital Asset Manager at a travel site and has worked for a popular app in the past. She shared, “They don’t know how much rights management info that the DAM tracks and maintains for the business. In order to use content in the DAM, we have to know how it can be used and who has access, DAM keeps much of this info in one place.”

DAM Manager Lisa wished executives knew how DAM gave her organization insight into what users needed and might expect from search. “DAM made auditing our metadata best practices so much more meaningful.  We could evaluate not only what information we were applying, but understand how users were searching, allowing us to iterate our taxonomy and continuously align with sales and marketing.” 

Zach, who handled the DAM system at another e-commerce company, said, “Today’s DAM is not like the old DAM. We’re able to connect that to the internal tools, the management system that we have, your rights, and your everything else. It’s very integratable. The ability to adapt a DAM to your specific needs has gotten a lot more customizable.”

Across the board, DAM managers felt their DAM provided value that flew under the radar. 

Not investing in your digital asset management system can cost you

Sometimes the trouble is explaining that creating a quality digital asset management system isn’t an overnight affair. It takes time to move things over to the DAM and get assets ready for everyone to see. 

Mark said, “I feel like DAM is one of those things that people don’t realize that a little bit of investment goes a long way. Putting forth the effort to organize all content makes everything run more smoothly.”

It’s worth spending the time and effort to choose the right system and set it up for success.

Emily, who was a DAM manager at a major telecommunications company, said one of her biggest complaints was that decision-makers did not understand “the initial investment and how important it is to find something that’s right for you. This is something that is so big but doesn’t seem that big in the beginning and that you can’t really undo it once it’s going.”

C-Suite doesn’t always realize that finding the right digital asset management system with all the features you need is worth the investment — and may cost you less in the long run.

Digital asset management systems save you time and money

Though decision makers may not realize it, DAM offers significant savings. 

One DAM manager said, “We saved a half a million dollars by turning on Cortex.” That savings came by streamlining workflows and eliminating unnecessary systems.

Mark’s organization took on a project where they worked to automate adding images to a CMS based on pre-filled metadata. “It was hugely successful,” he told us. “It reduced the amount of headcount on that workflow by 50%. And that was just one little thing that could have been maximized and replicated on other workflows. It was like, oh, that team’s being more efficient! No, it’s because of DAM.”

For Lisa’s company, there was a significant time savings because the DAM enabled self-service. “Users could discover, access and use curated content without having to hunt or email.”

Other DAM managers mentioned the security the DAM offered against lawsuits or loss of sensitive materials. Executives may not know that a good DAM can ensure expired, sensitive, or embargoed content wouldn't be accidentally used, avoiding potential legal costs. That combined with time savings and elimination of extra systems can result in huge savings.

“The term ‘game changer’ gets used a lot”, Zach said. He added, “The thing about digital asset management, once you have it you cannot imagine your work prior to it. There’s the headshaking of, how did this organization run with this makeshift group of tools before the DAM? It’s like building out of popsicle sticks.” 

Final thoughts: Making a case for DAM

DAM managers know how vital digital asset management is to keeping an organization agile, connected, and safe. But making your case takes finesse. 

If you want more ideas for convincing C-Suite or IT personnel to invest in digital asset management software, take a look at our case study page. You’ll find other companies making a difference in their organization with DAM — and maybe you’ll find a fresh way to pitch your own system, too.