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DAM ROI: Approaches and models

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DAM Software ROI Approaches & Models

In the first part of this series, we covered DAM ROI: the business case for DAM, which focused on building the business case, top functional areas driving ROI, and customer ROI stories.

Today, we’re shifting our attention to the DAM ROI approaches and models we’ve collected and built over the years. These will help you along on your DAM journey — and help you build a strong case for DAM.

We did want to mention that there is some math involved with this … but don’t worry, we’ll keep it easy!

Search and Share Time Savings

Our first model asks you to consider the staff time disruption your graphic designers and marketers experience from constantly taking the time hunting, gathering and sending visual content (digital assets).

This is a simple calculation that you can plug in.

For example, let’s say you have 2 designers who each spend an hour a day searching and sharing content. At the average hourly rate of $25, that adds up to $13,000 per year wasted because your teams (and external partners) don’t have a central portal to go to and help themselves.

Explore the "Search and Share" Time Savings calculator here.

Asset Fulfillment Savings

This next model builds on the previous concept by looking at what you would have spent had you NOT had a self-serve content hub.

We’ve found that the average mid-size enterprise customer has about 60,000 asset downloads per year.

Our customers have told us it took an average of four minutes (at best) to fulfill one asset request “the old way,” prior to having a DAM system in place. Crunching the numbers, that equates to 4,000 hours spent fulfilling requests at the “pre-DAM” rate. And this doesn’t count those hard-to-find assets that take hours to locate on somebody’s local hard drive or Dropbox account.

In this case, using digital asset management software provides an average salary savings of over $100,000.

You could look at this a different way to show that, with DAM, the number of downloads and uses far exceeds what could be accomplished before.

Explore the Asset Fulfillment Savings calculator here.

Asset Creation and Repurposing Savings

This is the third model we’d like to share with you today.

We’ve worked with a lot of organizations, and nobody has ever told us they like to recreate or redo work because of lost or misplaced visual content.

So, think about the average cost of a photo or video shoot, models, retouching, production, travel — and all the things that add up to total the estimated value of individual assets (based solely on creation cost). Say $300.

If you take a conservative estimate of losing 1 file a week, that’s $15,000 that could be saved if you had a safe, secure access point to your existing work and creative investments.

In addition, we’re actively investigating how our customers are valuing their visual content based on revenue contributions. For instance, a mix of 1,000 campaign assets in a collection can easily contribute to campaign-driven sales of $300,000. Those are digital assets you don’t want to lose!

Explore the Asset Creation and Repurposing Savings calculator here.

Here’s an additional look at an ROI calculation based solely on centralized, self-serve access and a habit for content repurposing.

Visual Content Repurposing & Fulfillment Savings

Let’s say that all we know is our library size is 2TB, and we estimate the average individual file size to be about 30MB. That’s 69,000 digital assets.

  • Divide by 3 to represent the average active library size
  • Multiply by 3 given the average “repurposing” (or download) rate across all Widen customers
  • Multiply by 4 minutes on average to fulfill asset requests ‘the old way
  • Designer wages total over $100,000 in salary savings
  • And, you’re looking at 3.5 months to ROI based on average annual subscription of $30,000

We’ve actually been told that this is too conservative!

Digital Asset Management ROI Savings Timeline

  • 2TB (2,097,152MB) / 30MB (estimated average asset size) = 69,905 assets
  • Divide by 3 (average active assets) = 23,301 active assets
  • Multiply by 3 (average repurposing rate) = 69,903 downloads
  • Multiply by 4 (average minutes to fulfill) = 4,660 hours spent on fulfillment
  • Multiply by $22 per hour (average designer wage) = $102,520 in annual salary savings
  • Divide by 12 months = $8,543 savings per month in manual fulfillment cost

Next, we wanted to look at some additional averages for customers in each of our top 5 industries, including:

(1) Higher Ed, (2) Healthcare, (3) Consumer Packaged Goods, (4) Agencies -and- (5) Tourism.

DAM System ROI by Industry

This may offer you some benchmarks for average library size, downloads and repurposing ratios.

The average repurposing ratio for Consumer Packaged Goods companies is exceptionally high, which is understandable given the distribution model!

Higher education

Using the self-serve access and repurposing formula, if you plug in the downloads average for higher education institutions, we see an ROI for DAM in 9 months.

Digital Asset Managment Software ROI for Higher Ed

  • ROI = (25,491 - 20,000) / 20,000 x 100 = 27%
  • 20,000 / 2124 = 9.4 months


With a slightly higher download quantity and average subscription fee, the average time to ROI for healthcare companies is 8.6 months.

DAM Software ROI for Healthcare

  • ROI = (34,701 - 25,000) / 25,000 x 100 = 38.8%
  • 25,000 / 2892 = 8.6 months

Consumer packaged goods (CPG)

CPG demonstrates the strongest performance, producing an ROI in just 3.5 months.

DAM ROI for Consumer Packaged Goods

  • ROI = (103,009 - 30,000) / 30,000 x 100 = 243%
  • 30,000 / 8584 = 3.5 months


Agencies are similar to higher education, with a 9-month ROI.

Digital Asset Management ROI for Agencies

  • ROI = (26,335 - 20,000) / 20,000 x 100 =%
  • 20,000 / 2194 = 9.1 months

Tourism and travel

These types of companies will see an ROI in 7 months using this calculation.

DAM System ROI for Tourism Industry

  • ROI = (41877 - 25,000) / 25,000 x 100 = 67%
  • 25,000 / 3,490 = 7.1 months to ROI


As you can see, digital asset management offers a strong ROI. Working with each of the DAM ROI calculators in this article can give you a solid, tangible case for investing in DAM. This holds true whether you are looking to implement a DAM system, or are proposing more time spent using your existing system.

In the third part of this series, we’ll be talking about DAM admin ROI.

Can’t wait for the next post?

Feel free to contact us anytime to discuss your DAM needs further.


Topics: DAM, Marketing Insights, Content Analytics

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