If there’s one thing that all creative and marketing teams need, it’s a robust digital asset management system. This is both when it comes to the technology stack, or platforms you’re using, as well as the way of working i.e. the workflow.
Whether your team is an agency or client-side, digital assets are essential for successful omnichannel campaigns across social, display, video, native and more. While most managers already understand the value of solid digital asset management (DAM) system, a large majority (53%) aren't using it well enough — and there are still a few (3%) not even using it all (Gartner).
With that in mind, here are 4 signs your team’s DAM workflow needs some attention.
The most common issue of creative asset management begins right at the start, with the manual processes.
When an asset first becomes a requirement, somebody will create the file, which will then be stored, most likely, on that person’s computer or cloud drive. From there, someone else might require a similar creative asset and if they can’t easily find an existing one, they’ll very likely create it again from scratch. It’s not hard to see how this can very quickly become extremely inefficient and difficult to manage.
The simplest way to avoid or negate this situation is to have a digital asset management system accessible to anyone who might need it. This acts as a single source of truth where any person — from content creators to sales — can find information and assets. Saving assets centrally also ensures nothing gets lost when people leave the organisation.
The workflow around a digital asset management system certainly requires attention, if assets are still being shared via email.
This is a real red flag. Relying on email to play host to digital assets opens up all of the issues we covered above plus creates a much greater risk of assets being lost forever if someone deletes an email or leaves the company.
If (or when) this issue arises in your organisation, a central asset repository is what’s required. Here, large files can be stored on the cloud, freeing up space in individual inboxes. Taking assets out of personal ownership and uploading them to a shared location improves collaboration, too. This way, not only can team members find the assets they need when they need them, but if amends and changes are needed these requests can be made directly — with full visibility and accountability team-wide.
While siloing is an issue across departments in many businesses, it can cause problems with your technology solutions too.
All too often, companies sign up for specific apps or services, then either not use them enough or fail to integrate them with other core digital infrastructures. With email or project management platforms, for example, you might already have a DAM platform in place, but either your team isn’t using it enough, it’s not accessible enough or it’s not integrated well enough to be worth using.
For a DAM system to work best, it needs to be as accessible and integratable as possible — working in tandem and harmony with your other workflows in one system, so they are all functioning together. With only one system, or as few systems as is viable, there is far less to manage.
Looking at the workflows, the effectiveness of how people work will also be severely affected. Unnecessary time can be lost and resources wasted, the more time users spend managing separate systems, logging in and out of systems and working between different solution providers, instead of actually benefitting from the automation.
As we’ve already seen, digital assets becoming orphaned in email inboxes is a real problem — but it’s just one symptom. Beyond this, there’s plenty of other “legacy” processes that your team might be in the habit of repeating.
Examples of doing things the old-fashioned way might include manual asset approval processes (via email or even telephone), approvals done via “who’s on this email chain”, and product input via spreadsheet. To update these old processes and move to more optimal ways of working, look for a good digital asset management platform that addresses these issues. You want a DAM platform that solves all of your organisation’s specific pain points and legacy problems with minimal disruption.
If you’ve recognised more than one or two of the signs we’ve covered above, it’s probably time to revisit the workflow of your DAM operations.
In our comprehensive guide to Digital Asset Management (DAM), we share the secrets of creating an optimised digital asset pipeline to keep both in-house and agency creative teams firing on all cylinders.
Look to digital asset management to remove the roadblocks, optimise the process and get better results.