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Digital Asset Management Research – Where to Start

by Jake Athey, August 19, 2009

Digital Asset Management systems have been around for over a decade now, and before that it was your standard assortment of file folders, CDs and even floppy disks. As the DAM systems evolved many first-movers were able to take advantage of this new technology for the benefit of themselves and their organizations.

But if you don’t have a DAM system yet, are in the process of selecting a vendor or even if you have no idea what this DAM thing is and have been tasked to do some DAM research – don’t worry! Below you’ll find some great research and sources of information to help you make an informed decision.

As a digital asset management systems provider ourselves we are obviously a little bit biased, but we also realize that an enterprise DAM is not for everyone. Below are 3 top reasons, backed up with research and sources, of why people acquire a DAM system:


Reason #1:  It Supports your Marketing Initiatives

The top priorities of the Chief Marketing Officer for 2009, according to a survey from the Verse Group and Jupiter Research, are directly impacted by the deployment of a DAM System. In fact, 3 of the 5 of the top CMO goals translate into the top 3 reasons why companies invest in DAM, according to digital asset management research by the Aberdeen Group.

Top Priorities for CMOs and Senior Marketers in 2009:

  1. Achieving measurable ROI on marketing efforts. Why 46% invest in DAM – to Improve Return on Marketing Investments
  2. Developing marketing programs that integrate online and traditional media.
  3. Translating brand experience across different touchpoints. –  Why 46% invest in DAM – to manage brand consistency
  4. Cutting marketing budgets without cutting performance.  – Why 66% invest in DAM – to improve operational efficiency
  5. Optimizing portfolio of brands.


Reason #2:  You’re Wasting Too Much Time

Widen contracted with a third-party research firm this spring to conduct digital asset management research to examine a number of digital media management processes and practices among marketing and creative professionals.  According to the findings:

62% of respondents spend between 1 and 6 hours per week managing files:

  • 1 to 3 hours (29%)
  • 4 to 6 hours (33%)

That’s consistent with Mark’s Digital Asset Management ROI blog last week reporting on GISTICS digital asset management research that creative professionals spend an average of 1 out of every 10 hours of their time on file management, mainly searching.

10% of a 40 hour work week is spent searching for files!  That’s a huge drain on productivity. What else could you accomplish in a day, week or month with 10% more time?

Making the problem worse for most organizations is how they are currently storing their digital assets. According to Widen’s third-party research, 41% had an internally developed system and 26% used an internal network folder. This means that 67% of marketing and creative professionals are searching for digital media stored internally by manually clicking through folder after folder, hoping they can still find it!

According to GISTICS Research, a DAM system will help cut the amount of time searching for assets down by over 85%!


Reason #3:  Lower Your Cost Per Use and Increase Brand Impressions

According to Widen’s third-party research, frequency of use was the #1 driver to the value of a digital asset.
How do you place value on a digital asset?
According to GISTICS digital asset management research:

  • The average creative person looks for a media file 83 times a week and fails to find it 35% of the time
  • Research shows that digital asset management solutions will drop that figure to 5%

DAM systems make it easier to find what you’re looking for, thus increasing the ability to use it more frequently. The more frequently an asset is used, the lower your cost per use of the asset and the more brand impressions. (Plus, if you can find a digital asset, you have more opportunity to repurpose the asset. If you can find it, you don’t need to re-create the asset, thus lowering your cost to produce new assets.)

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