“Could you send us your brand guidelines?”

How many of these “small” requests do you and your team receive per day? There is always some digital asset that third-party vendors, employees from other departments or customers need. Unfortunately, too often, the only way to share these assets is by attaching them to a series of emails or uploading them to a file sharing site.

Annoying? By all means. Secure? Not so much.

Digital asset management (DAM) is the solution to this and many other common issues around storing, finding and sharing digital assets. In this article, we’ll help you decide whether or not you can benefit from DAM, but first, let’s clarify the terminology.

What are digital assets?

A digital asset is any digital file that is valuable to your company. Common examples of digital assets include videos, images, logos, artwork files, ebooks and white papers.

What is digital asset management?

Digital Asset Management (DAM) is the process of storing, organizing and sharing digital assets efficiently and securely. DAM systems facilitate this process and enable you to manage user rights.

So, when do you know you need a digital asset management system?

10 sure signs that you need digital asset management

1. You don’t even know where to look for a digital asset

You have hundreds of assets scattered around individual computers, on online file sharing sites and in random folders on various internal servers. There is no single way for anyone in the company to quickly find an asset and download it – let alone overseas colleagues, contractors, your marketing partners.

A digital asset management system helps you store and catalog all of your important files in one centralized, searchable location. Say goodbye to the myriads of file sharing apps and the endless email threads.

2. Even when you know where to look, finding a file takes too much time

Imagine you’re hunting for an image of a blue sky you uploaded two weeks ago to your cloud storage. It would be great if you could do a search for “all images created after January 2019 that are mainly blue and were uploaded by me”, except that… most cloud document management systems can’t do that.

A DAM system can be a lifeline in such cases because it allows you to organize and sort through thousands of files in seconds. When uploading assets, you can place them in collections and include metadata to make them easier to find. When searching for assets, you can filter by category, type, date added, author, and more.

3. Secure file sharing is a pain to manage

Too often, only select individuals have access to specific files. So, they spend a good portion of their time manually sharing these files with others who need them.

There is a more sophisticated way to control who can get hold of an asset. It’s called digital asset management governance — the ability to control who has access to what. Unlike cloud document management systems, DAM systems come with governance built in. A DAM system allows you to create user groups with specific rights and gives you granular control over file permissions. You can share assets with customers, teams from other departments and outside vendors without worrying that you’ll expose sensitive company information.

4. Your team struggles with remote access

It could be that:

  • your team members travel quite often;
  • you’re an international company with employees and offices around the globe;
  • you work extensively with third-party companies and remote contractors;
  • or there is some other reason why employees outside of your main office often need a digital asset

Whatever the case, sharing a digital asset remotely can easily turn into an arduous task. Employees often have to send a number of emails and wait for a response which takes a toll on their productivity, especially when there is a time zone difference.

A DAM system puts an end to this back and forth. It enables anyone who is working remotely to retrieve the asset they need instantly, anywhere, on any device. 

5. Your old logo and colors crop up on new marketing materials

Very often, different versions of the same asset continue to exist out in the wild. This means that, for example, one of your external contractors might develop some work based on your old logo because they simply don’t know there is a new one.

A digital asset management system eliminates the chance of outdated brand material being used. There is one centralized repository where all teams can get the most up-to-date digital assets – as long as they have permissions. Plus, you can set expiration dates to ensure no one ends up using obsolete files.

6. You don’t know how your marketing assets are performing

What if you could quickly see how many people downloaded the latest white paper? Better yet, what if you could compare the performance of this white paper to other marketing materials?

Tracking Return On Investment (ROI) for your digital assets is one of the biggest reasons to use a DAM system. For example, in AssetSpot you can track access by region, see the most popular searches, find out which assets are the most shared and much more. Such data will be invaluable when it comes to planning your next marketing campaign.

7. You’re not repurposing digital assets

One product marketing team has created an asset, but the other marketing groups don’t know about it. So, another team goes on to create an asset from scratch instead of repurposing the existing one.

A digital asset management system can help you stop duplicating work and identify assets to reuse. For example, in AssetSpot, each item has metadata attached to it which enables you to search by topic. You can quickly generate a list of, say, “all white papers on B2B content marketing” and pick assets to build upon.

8. Designers waste time reformatting and recreating artwork

In most companies, designers often handle “small one-off requests” like converting a logo to a different format or resizing an image. Sometimes, they even have to recreate digital assets from scratch because the original editable file is nowhere to be found. Such urgent tasks cut into valuable time for designing and hamper productivity.

This problem disappears when you have a DAM system. It can automatically convert files into different formats and resize them, saving the design team precious hours. Plus, the latest source files are always at your fingertips.

9. You’re drowning in “final-final” versions

Iteration is part of the creative process and it’s natural to want to make edits at the very last minute. It becomes a problem, however, when the rest of the team isn’t aware that there is a newer version.

DAM systems come with sophisticated version control which makes creative asset management easier for everyone. Even if someone decides to make changes at the last moment, there will only be one final version.

10. There is no way to process new assets

The photoshoot for a new commercial has just been wrapped up. What happens with the images afterwards? They probably have to be forwarded to the Art Director, then to the creative team, then to the printing company, and so on.

Imagine how much time each team can save if the asset management system could just show them the assets they need at the moment. Some DAM systems like AssetSpot can actually do this. AssetSpot can be tailored to suit your unique workflow and to showcase the most relevant assets on a dynamic home page.

Save Time, Save Money. Get A DAM System.

AssetSpot helps you find the assets you need and share them with the right people, securely and efficiently. Request for a demo and experience the variety of benefits AssetSpot can provide to your organization.