10 signs you need a DAM system

Digital media, rich media, digital content. Whatever you call it, it’s an undeniable part of doing business these days. With the rise of social media and continuing emphasis on visual content, you probably deal with logos, illustrations, video, animations, web banners, and more.

It can be a headache to manage so many files, and that’s not taking into consideration multiple versions, different file formats, and various sizes. Digital asset management (DAM) can quickly become a nightmare.

Is it time for a DAM system? Here are ten signs that point to YES:

  1. People have a hard time finding the files they need. Finding a file should not include keyword searches, emails, and conversations over the span of days. A DAM system can organize assets with tags or categories, creating easy to search collections.
  2. There is not one central location for digital assets. Is your rich media spread across shared drives, desktops, email threads, and online galleries? Having to comb multiple locations is a productivity killer.
  3. It takes too long to respond to digital media requests. You probably know how long “too long” is. Responding to an image request should not take days, but it might if people are requesting files that aren’t easy to find, and aren’t readily available in the right format or size.
  4. Your main asset distribution method is via email. It’s slow and it takes up bandwidth. Large files can’t be emailed, and as resolution keeps getting bigger, emailing is going to get harder. With DAM, users can log in and download things instantly.
  5. Media can’t easily be shared or viewed by people from different teams, departments, or divisions. Consider this scenario: Creative produces a draft, marketing reviews it, and management approves. How is this happening in your organization? DAM streamlines the process so that all of those conversations happen in one place.
  6. Creative has to recreate artwork from scratch. Keep morale high by letting creatives create new things, instead of recreating logos and graphics because no one can find the original files.
  7. The company brand is inconsistently used. Is someone using an old version of a logo or outdated marketing materials? Avoid those issues with a good DAM system, where versions can be stored in the same place, with the most recent one at everyone’s fingertips.
  8. You don’t know how assets are performing. This is particularly an issue in marketing, where a central office supplies affiliates with digital media. For example, if you are sending out a package of materials featuring one product in multiple shots, knowing which shots are most popular helps inform future campaigns. A system with analytics provides that information.
  9. There have been issues with copyright violations. Or credits, or licensing. They’re called digital assets for a reason; they are worth something. If your assets are being used incorrectly, it might be because copyright information is not provided alongside the files.
  10. You have copied rich media files onto a CD or DVD and mailed them anytime in the last five years. Digital files and snail mail shouldn’t mix.

In conclusion, watch this interview with Lisa Gauvin, the Associate Channel Marketing Manager for Yankee Candle. She talks about how their marketing department handled image requests before DAM:

How does your current digital asset management system or process stack up? Let us know in the comments or reach out on Twitter.

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