5 Questions to Consider before Investing in DAM?

“Why” and “how” are the words so important,
That they cannot be too often used”
Napoleon Bonaparte

Every time you think about opportunities for the growth of your team’s efficiency you come across various strange abbreviations CRM, SEO, PPC, etc. So many solutions to choose from and very challenging to explain why you need them. Digital asset management (DAM) is just one among many other solutions and the fact is, that not everyone and every company needs this software.

So let’s go together over some scenarios and situations you might find yourself in, and let’s explain when and why you might not need a digital asset management system and when you need one.

Ask yourself these 5 simple questions before investing in DAM:

  1. How many assets do you have?
  2. Do you have licensed assets?
  3. Do you need team collaboration on assets?
  4. Do you need to search for assets?
  5. Do you need to change your assets?

If you answered “yes” to at least several questions above, media asset management is likely to fit your needs. Use the checklist below to simplify your research on this issue.

DO need DAM if…

  • Have 1000+ assets
  • Collaborate with team on your assets
  • Have licensed assets
  • Monitor changes in assets and in the whole library
  • Search assets across the library

DO NOT need DAM if…

  • Have Less than 1000 assets
  • Work alone and do not collaborate with outside parties
  • Have short asset lifecycle
  • Do not reuse assets
  • Do not develop assets for your library

For example, if you are working alone or do not reuse media assets, it is a very good chance that you do not need any special tool for their organization. On the contrary, if you have a team using the same assets, the DAM tool is a must for effective workflow.

You Do Need a Digital Asset Management if…

Every company’s situation is going to be different and there is no one-fits-all solution or way to evaluate needs. Whenever you are considering to buy a new product or service you have to evaluate the costs and benefits of this project. The same is true for digital asset management tools as they are typically more expensive than simpler consumer-focused solutions like Dropbox or Google Drive.

You have many assets and a big team

Imagine you are preparing for the next marketing campaign and work on a marketing kit. You draft the copy, but once you start putting together the visual layout, you realize the photos and logos are outdated.

Panic sets in as you begin to scramble and fire off messages to your design team, asking them to pull together fresh assets last minute. With your request is far down in their queue, you have to decide whether to reschedule the launch of the campaign or use old logos and photos.

Research shows that 49% of workers have trouble finding documents and this little inefficiency can result in significant productivity loss. Having a central location where all visual assets are approved and up-to-date saves your time and helps to concentrate on high-priority projects rather than waste time on approval of the latest logo. That’s where digital asset management (DAM) comes into the game.

You have licensed assets

If you regularly use images in your work, you know that it is easy to find photos on Pixabay, Unsplash or Pexels. But do you know that it is also easy to get into tricky stock photo trap due to violation of usage rights in the process?

Imagine you are still preparing for the same marketing campaign and come across images with expired license agreement. Panic overwhelms you when you suddenly recall the recent lawsuit where one company paid great fines for the application of photos with expired licenses. You finally decide to postpone your campaign and lose a chance to outperform your competitors.

If you have seen yourself in this person, media asset management is a great solution to avoid legal problems around content usage rights.

You require specific search capabilities and permissions

Managing digital assets may be quite important for marketing or design business. If you are managing a lot of clients and handling their files, capabilities of digital asset management software will be of huge help. For example, you will be able to tag your files with proper keywords to find them easily in archive and reuse.

Choose the software with the features you require. Start with researching of types of data you are planning to store and organize. For example, if you have a team of designers you probably require an easy and fast visualization of the content. If you are an educational institution, probably the most important for you is the storage of all marketing assets in one place with the proper distribution of rights and access through your team.

The best way to see if a specific DAM service lives up to your expectations and fits your needs is to try it out.

You Do Not Need Digital Asset Management If…

You have a small amount of assets

At its heart digital asset management system allows easier organization of hundreds or even thousands of media assets (photos, videos, screenshots, animations, etc.). But, if you have only a small number of files, organization won’t be of much priority. Keeping the files organized on Google Drive and other similar platforms would be quite enough for your needs. This is the case for many small businesses and entrepreneurs who do not involve in plenty of marketing efforts and whose number of used assets is small (less than 1000).

You have no team and no collaboration with outside parties

Collaboration is one of the most important benefits of digital asset management software. It allows to control access and management of assets across departments and multiple people working on projects simultaneously. If a coordination is not a big part of your company’s efforts or you have no team, you may use a simpler solution to organize your files.

Your lifecycle of assets is short

If you do not require the usage of your assets in the long-term period, than digital asset management solution is not right for you. When lifecycle of asset is short like create today, use and forget tomorrow, than a specialized system does not make much sense. But, remember about usage restrictions for many online digital assets. Even if you used a photo once without proper permission, it might result in a million dollar lawsuit for your company.

You do not develop and change your assets

If your company rarely changes anything such as logos or websites, or rarely add new photos and other types of media to its library, you may not need digital asset management. For example, some companies have the same logos and brochures for ages. For many businesses it could cause trouble, but sometimes your customers know that they do not need any changes and you listen to them.

If you find yourself in such a situation, digital asset management software will not be of much help for your business. Instead, you should organize all files on your computer, then make a few backups, and then make an online backup.You can return to DAM solution when you start developing assets for your library.

Questions to Think About

Before you determine whether or not you need a digital asset management system, you should ask yourself who will benefit from it most and involve these parties in the decision-making process. If you are CMO or project manager you have to break things down for your CEO. Some benefits of DAM system are not seen at first sight. Look for a software with a free trial period to test its features and do not hesitate to discuss your individual requirements with a vendor.

The perfect solution that suits your organization can be determined by your team’s top priorities and the way you work, as well as any pain points.


If you are still not sure whether a Digital Asset Management solution is right for your business, register for 14-day FREE trial with Pics.io to test how simple and intuitive software can get your files organized.

If you enjoyed this story, please click the 👏 button and share this blog post with friends who have a team working on the same assets and do need a DAM to raise their efficiency. Feel free to leave a comment below.

Pics.io Team
Welcome to Pics.io blog, where you'll get useful tips, resources & best practices on how digital asset management can help your business to manage & distribute digital content on top of cloud storage.
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