Harry and Meghan. Beyonce and Jay-Z. Tom and Dustin*. It seems like we’re surrounded by power couples these days.
Sure, they win Grammys, Olympic medals and Oscars. But can they improve your creative project management? Didn’t think so.
If you want a real power pairing, stop scrolling celebs and start Googling ‘PM and DAM’. Because Digital Asset Management + creative project management = unbeatable dream team.
We’re talking higher productivity, faster projects and happier clients. And who knows, maybe that’ll unlock an award or two for your business too...?
What is Digital Asset Management?
Digital Asset Management is the methodical management of digital assets – your images, logos, artwork, video, audio – so you can access them quickly and easily.
It might not sound like the most urgent priority in a busy team. But it’s strategically very important, especially in the creative industries.
Why is DAM important in the creative industries?
Creative teams create a lot of digital assets, often in the thousands. And in a busy team, storing them logically is a twelvteenth of Nevervember kind of task.
You mean to do it but you’re already onto the next project.
So – like Horcruxes – assets splinter off and skulk in shady places. Hidden on desktops, concealed in client email trails, and lost in the bowels of your folder system.
This sort of storage is unproductive and unsustainable. Because any inefficiency accessing digital assets adds up to a whole heap of wasted time.
Let’s do the math
Say it takes your designer five minutes each time they need to track down an asset, identify the correct version, check permissions and import it into their artwork.
Multiply that by the number of assets they use each day - and by the number of designers in your business – and you’ll start to see the problem.
And that’s before you factor in having to recreate artwork or recommission photos to replace errant assets.
As your business grows, the chaos of poor asset management becomes an ever-bigger risk. So ambitious organisations beware – DAM isn’t just a nice-to-have.
How DAM increases efficiency in creative projects
A Digital Asset Management system is a must-have for any efficiency-focused creative team.
Poor digital asset management adds up to longer project times, slower time-to-market, and frustrated creatives who just want to do cool stuff with minimal fuss.
A DAM system provides a central place to store, search and surface your digital assets. That means your designers have lightning-fast access to the assets they need. Which means:
- Happy, engaged creatives, empowered to do their best work
- Faster time-to-market that delights your customers
- More efficient projects that protect your profit margins
Five more benefits of DAM to creative projects
The benefits of DAM aren’t just about shaving time off your designers’ day. DAM lets you create fit-for-purpose processes that are ready to scale when you are.
Repurpose your content – Demand for content is increasing and platforms are multiplying. So it’s essential that creatives can create, repurpose and repeat. A DAM system lets you easily access past work so you don’t always have to start from scratch. It’s a full lifecycle management system.
Increase your agility – Having all of your assets in one place means you have more flexibility and agility. Hit a peak and need to outsource? Staff have to work from home? Share assets easily and securely via your DAM, accessible 24/7 from anywhere in the world.
Reduce legal risk – Embargoed assets, IP, copyright. It’s essential your team only use assets they have permission to, or you could face legal consequences. Built-in permissions management helps protect your business against accidental asset misuse.
Turn clients into advocates – Impress clients with your slick systems. No more file transfer via email or FTP. Attachments get blocked, links expire, transfer isn’t secure. With a DAM, you can grant them immediate access to a shared folder – keeping assets safe and clients sane. Between that and your fast delivery of on-brand assets, they’ll quickly become your biggest fans.
Boost your bottom line – It’s a cliché but time is money. So faster processes save your business money. Whether you choose to bank that cash and protect your profits, or pass the savings on to clients and gain a competitive advantage, is entirely up to you.
I’ve already got Project Management software. Do I need DAM too?
If you’re already using Project Management software – like Wrike – you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve got the tech side of things sorted. But PM software is only part of the picture.
Yes, it helps you assign tasks and monitor progress. But unless you’ve invested in an expensive all-singing-and-dancing solution, it’s unlikely to offer DAM functionality. This means any productivity you’ve gained is already being eroded.
Good news though. DAM and PM software can be easily integrated to create a best-of-breed solution that does both. For example, marketers and creatives can collaborate on review and sign-off in your PM software - making the approval process faster and easier - while your DAM handles version control and keeps an audit trail.
The integrations don’t stop there either. A DAM system can also plug into creative tools – like Adobe Creative Suite – so your designers can open assets from your DAM directly in other applications, without all that fuss of finding and importing them. Happy days.
*No, not Cruise and Hoffman. Adorable over-achievers Tom Daly (Olympic gold medal-winning diver) and husband Dustin Lance Black (Oscar-winning screenwriter).