Your colleague, Joe, reaches out via email. “Do you have a copy of our logo?” he asks.
“Sure, one moment!” you reply, but since you’re about to join a meeting, you ask a new coworker, Anne, to forward the logo to Joe via Slack.
Joe emails you again a few minutes later. “Thanks, but I think this is the old logo. Our new logo has blue text. Can you resend the new one?”
Twenty minutes after Joe’s first request, you’re back where you started.
If you’re like most marketing teams without a Digital Asset Management (DAM) system, these pain points are all too common. And if you’ve found your way to this article, you’re probably ready to ditch the disorganization (and frustration) for a better way to store and share your most important assets.
Here’s a look at how DAM can help your team—and how to settle on a system that best meets your unique needs.
Bottlenecks, Wasted Time, and Missed Chances
The first step in choosing a DAM is understanding exactly what problems you’re trying to solve.
So let’s start with one of the problems we see most: bottlenecks. You probably hear about bottlenecks most often from that colleague who loves to use marketing speak (Yes Joe, we’ll circle back on bandwidth🙄).
Sadly, bottlenecks are very real—and very annoying—for marketing teams without a dedicated DAM system. When there isn’t a source of truth for your brand, there may be just one or two people on the team who know where to find important assets.
Team members who know where everything is can get overloaded with requests for logos, photos, and other assets, wasting hours of their own time while halting other important projects that can’t be pursued without the files (alas, the bottleneck).
Not to mention that these assets often live in a million different places, from email and desktops to cloud storage and chats. And when these people eventually exit the company, their coveted knowledge is lost, too. The result? More bottlenecks, and more wasted time.
Another common scenario: Let’s say your company receives an award, and a few media outlets reach out requesting logos, headshots and quotes from the CEO. This sets your marketing team into a scramble, attaching a mish-mash of different assets to each individual email request. The next day, three news articles appear: one with your CEO’s name spelled wrong, one with an outdated headshot, and another with a misquote attributed to the wrong person.
Many risks arise when you don’t have a dedicated method for sharing assets promptly and easily, including brand inconsistencies, damaged media relationships, and missed chances to represent your brand accurately and professionally.
Perks of Digital Asset Management for Marketing Teams
The pain points of sharing digital assets without a DAM are clear. Now, let’s take a look at how digital asset management can positively transform your marketing team.
A Single Source of Truth for Digital Assets
One of the greatest benefits of a DAM is that it provides a single source of truth. Unlike ordinary content management systems, a digital asset management tool serves as a foundation for your marketing team to create, collaborate, share, and revise your most important work.
Think about it: With a DAM, everyone in your organization can locate the assets they need, quickly and efficiently. You can simply link to the file and carry on with your day, because it’ll always be in the same place whenever you need it.
Stronger Cross-Department Teamwork
There’s nothing worse than when the sales team compiles an entire pitch deck only to have a designer point out that they used the wrong brand colors and fonts on all fifty pages. Collaboration is infinitely better when everyone is on the same page from the beginning, and DAM gets you there.
DAM ensures that marketing managers, designers, and other creative team members are all working with the same assets, meaning they’re all facing the same problems—and devising solutions—together. Yay, team!
Time Savings and Team Efficiency
With a single source of truth and better teamwork comes major time savings. Requests can be answered faster, if not eliminated, since people will know exactly where to find what they need.
This enables all teams to produce better content, at a much faster rate, resulting in a team that runs more efficiently. With fewer frustrations and more time back in their day, employees will be freed up to work better than ever before.
A DAM keeps your brand in check by making sure there’s only one place to find the latest creative assets. This is key internally, when designing and creating, but it’s also essential when working with partners, the media, and so much more.
It also supports version control, so you can keep tabs on revisions and make sure you’re always looking at the most up-to-date documents. A DAM protects the brand you’ve worked so hard to hone, so you can worry less about flagging ages-old logos on Google, and more about creating the next killer marketing campaign.
What to Look for in a DAM Solution
So, you’ve decided that your team could really benefit from digital asset management software. Now it’s time to understand which features are most important for helping your company meet its goals, and which capabilities are best for your team’s size. When vetting DAM vendors, consider these features:
- Ease of Use: Team members should be able to get up and running with your DAM in a matter of days. For smaller teams, speed to adoption should be even shorter so that you can make the most of your investment as soon as possible. How do you know a DAM will be easy to use? Invite your team members to join in on the demo and see the features for themselves. This will be a good clue as to whether the UI is user-friendly.
- Onboarding Support: A DAM should provide a window of (or ongoing) support to help you get started. These services should be baked into the package, so that you know you’ll have a go-to representative to ensure a smooth onboarding process.
- Customer Support Models: Different digital asset management solutions have different customer support models, so be sure to assess the options available.
- Feature Alignment: This is an important one. While many DAM tools have the same features, there are also many specializations that set them apart. The features a DAM offers should align with your company’s growing needs now—regardless of future features a company may offer down the line.
- Budgeting: DAM is surely a worthwhile investment, but as vendors vary greatly in scale and price, it’s important to know exactly what you're trying to spend. And, if you know which features you’re paying for and how you’ll use them *before* you make a purchase, you can make a decision much more confidently.
The Best 6 Digital Asset Management Solutions
Sparkfive is a digital asset management software designed to empower leaner marketing teams. This tool helps marketing, creative, and sales teams improve their efficiency while staying nimble. This tool is also extremely easy to set up and use, with intuitive features designed specifically to meet the needs of modern marketing teams.
- Sparkfive has a smart filter system that allows you to sort through assets by tags, custom fields, file types and more, so you can always find what you need.
- Branded portals allow you to organize asset collections for external partners, creating a cohesive company image.
- Permissions controls allow you to set user roles, including providing and restricting asset access so certain people can only complete certain actions.
- Embed URLs to your files on websites and other channels, then change information on the backend to see it automatically update wherever the embed appears.
- Sparkfive is designed for small-to-medium marketing teams, so if you’re looking for an enterprise solution, you may be better off with more complex functionality.
This enterprise-focused DAM for marketing teams has a robust features set that caters to the many needs of large organizations. Marketing, sales, and ecommerce teams can benefit from this tool that helps coordinate workflows and publish content.
- The multitude of features allow for deeper customization, so you can flex features to meet your needs in a more specific way.
- Widen offers a DAM package that includes PIM capabilities
- Analytics that help you track content effectiveness
- More complex features means that this tool takes longer to set up
- This tool requires more extensive training in order to leverage its best capabilities
Bynder is a digital asset management solution that helps improve digital experiences for internal and external teams. Bynder offers tailored solutions that cater to your specific needs, making it a highly customizable solution for enterprises.
- Features like content workflow allow you to create, review, and approve assets all in one place
- Integrations work alongside the rest of your tech stack so that you can operate seamlessly across tools
- Has dedicated initiatives that it helps your team solve, such as organizational scale and creative automation
- This enterprise solution requires significant setup
- With more advanced features comes greater training and much longer onboarding time
Brandfolder is an enterprise-focused digital asset management tool with a robust feature set and smart organization tagging, pinning, and other features that make it easy for you to find and share exactly what you're looking for in a pinch.
- Features like content workflow allow you to create, review, and approve assets all in one place
- Brand intelligence features leverge AI and ML to understand exactly how your assets are performing
- Privacy controls and user permissions help you provide, restrict, and revoke access to assets according to your terms
- Brandfolder needs more hand-holding in order to get started
- The enterprise-focused tool is best for larger organization with larger budgets
Canto is a digital asset management tool designed for large enterprises. This tool helps you automate workflows so that you can free up time and make your entire organization more efficient.
- Find files quickly with a top-ranked search tool
- Easily collaborate with team members no matter their location or time zone
- User permissions make it easy to manage who accesses your website, and when
- Canto is more difficult to adopt
- Canto is enterprise-focused and requires a larger budget
Aprimo is a content operations platform with a suite of products and integrations across DAM, productivity, and planning, so you can foster a more collaborative workflow for all of your team members.
- Designed to increase productivity and launch marketing campaigns faster
- Fosters content reuse, which helps save teams time and money
- Reduces content duplication and supports campaign management
- Aprimo has many different features and capabilities and may have too many options for a team that requires more simplicity
- Aprimo will require more setup and is more expensive, like other enterprise solutions
Digital Asset Management Solutions for Marketing Teams
The bottom line: DAM provides your marketing team with a strong foundation from which to work, innovate, and collaborate each day. To learn more about how Sparkfive can empower your marketing teams with greater organization and efficiency, contact us for a free demo today.