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What is this DAM thing?

Digital Asset Management (DAM) is the management, organization, and distribution of digital assets from a central repository.1 In layman’s terms, DAM is a solution to easily manage all of your digital assets in one place.

Did you know? According to Gleanster’s 2013 report on DAM, 67% of survey respondents are planning to increase budget for content management tools and initiatives.8

So, what are digital assets?

Digital assets are not merely digital files. They are pieces of content that are valuable to your organization and have high replacement costs if lost.4

Digital assets include:

  • Product images
  • Stock photos
  • Audio files
  • Video files
  • Design files
  • Logos
  • Presentations
  • Documents

Losing or misplacing digital assets costs you money, time, and energy.

A good digital asset management system can store all the asset formats listed above in a secure and organized environment, which has mechanisms in place to control your content at all phases of its lifecycle.

Did you know? Of the businesses who use Widen’s service, approximately 54% managed their digital assets with desktop folders before implementing DAM.3

Automatic file conversion

DAM can automatically convert10 images, audio, video, and documents to other file formats on-the-fly. This saves from a human working with PhotoShop, Illustrator, Final Cut or other image and video editing programs.

We sent out 75,000+ assets from the DAM system in the last 4 years. If each one took me one minute to process in the old way, then Widen saved me on the order of 31 weeks worth of time.”

– Graphic Designer at 5.11 Tactical Series

Why my business needs DAM?

Without a DAM solution in place, companies are losing time, security, efficiency and assets.

84% of businesses report that finding assets is the biggest challenge they have when working with digital assets.3

Why DAM should be a priority for Marketing, Creative, & IT Departments

  • The average person looks for a media file 83 times a week and fails to find it 35% of the time.2
  • 83 times a week x 35% = 29.05 times a week
  • Research shows that digital asset management solutions will drop that figure to 5%.2
  • 83 times a week x 5% = 4.15 times a week
  • Professionals spend 1 out of every 10 days on file management.7
  • 71% of organizations have problems providing other staff members with access to assets within the organization, which reduces collaboration between departments.3

ROI Example:

How much productivity is your team losing during the day because they can’t find a file?

Widen customer, Motorola, uses DAM to manage their digital assets. Before they implemented DAM, the headcount cost of finding, converting, and delivering 80,000 files per year (averaging 20 minutes per image) was astronomical. With Widen, Motorola avoided $600,000 in headcount cost.

Headcount Cost Avoidance = Total headcount required x cost per head

12 total headcount required x $50,000 average cost per head = $600,000

If you’re talking about smaller organizations where these are duties handled by one person, the time saved on file management can be reallocated to more creative and productive tasks.

Successful companies are investing in DAM

According to Gleanster’s study, Top Performers are 7 times more likely to streamline their content management process with DAM to increase collaboration and digital asset access. When respondents were asked about the top three benefits of DAM, they responded with:8

  • 73% Re-use of digital content
  • 70% Workflow (automatic actions based on a trigger)
  • 67% Improved search results

Workflow capabilities are important in DAM solutions, with Top Performers 3-4 times more likely to use pre-configured workflows.8

  • 89% of Top Performers are using DAM in order to create standardized workflows for the digital asset upload process and for capturing metadata.8
  • 65% of Top Performers are using DAM to improve approval processes within workflows.8
  • 60% of Top Performers are incorporating DAM into the “bigger picture” by using it as a tool in the overall multi-system business workflow.8 which is also a top 3 way to maximize the return on investment for DAM.

The top 3 considerations for investing in DAM are:6

  • 66% To increase operational efficiency.
  • 46% To manage brand consistency more effectively.
  • 46% To improve returns on marketing investments.

Bottom Line?

Digital Asset Management (DAM) is the key to managing your content lifecycle. The content lifecycle: Create, Manage, Distribute, Optimize

“Digital Asset Management is not only mission-critical, it's business critical. DAM empowers creative teams to focus on creative work, marketing teams to execute campaigns faster, sales channels to better connect with revenue opportunities and IT to harness the value of all its data. Effectively managing your digital assets supports effectively managing your brand.

Jake Athey, VP of Marketing, Widen

Request a DAM demo today.


  4. DAM Survival Guide by David Diamond: