6 best practices for maximizing DAM ROI
Demonstrating that a digital asset management (DAM) solution is a profitable business investment requires a strategic approach. We're offering insights into showcasing how your DAM can deliver tangible value — from cost savings to increased brand equity.
Marketers, designers, and creatives appreciate how a DAM platform simplifies daily tasks. To prove that your DAM positively impacts your business, however, you must build a strong case beyond operational convenience. You need to show you'll save costs, improve brand equity, prevent asset loss, increase team productivity — and tie those results back to their impact on the company's bottom line. These calculations may start before there even is a DAM, as companies consider the return on investment (ROI) when evaluating different vendors.
So, whether you're doing these calculations during the decision-making process or advocating for continued investment in your solution, these best practices can help you make the most of your DAM.
1. Choose a DAM that suits your business needs
To maximize your return on investment, you must choose the right DAM for your company. This means understanding how you’ll use it within the business. Will one department use your DAM to organize and store their digital assets? Or will it be part of an extensive brand management effort spanning the entire organization?
To future-proof your DAM, go with a solution that will grow with your company and its brand needs. For example, right now, you may manage only one brand, but in the future, you may need to manage assets for multiple sub-brands or different regions. Here’s what to look for when evaluating options:
- A customizable setup that is adaptable to your organization
- Integrations that you can build and implement with your tech ecosystem
- The ability to connect your DAM with brand guidelines and creative templates
- An easy-to-use solution with detailed training and support available
- The speed of implementation and onboarding
2. Define objectives and responsibilities for the DAM
Implementing a DAM isn’t a case of “if you build it, they will come.” Adopting a new solution requires careful change management, so it’s important to define the objectives for your DAM early on. These are some of the deciding factors:
- Access: Which teams will use it and how?
- Purpose: What will you use it for?
- Maintenance: Who will be responsible for maintaining the system and assets?
You should also align DAM adoption with key strategic objectives, such as growing brand awareness or improving share of mind. Connecting platform usage to these company-level objectives gives you trackable metrics and demonstrates clear ROI.
3. Organize assets and set up metadata to find files easily
How you set up and organize your DAM will affect how convenient it is to use. You want to ensure everyone in the business can find and work with the correct brand assets. The more complex your setup and workflows, the less likely people will use your DAM, which means it’s delivering less value to your organization.
First, consider the high-level setup of your DAM, and think about what you need to organize your assets:
- Areas for specific departments
- Libraries for each global region
- Folders or libraries for different campaigns
- Sections for external users
Then, look at your assets individually. When you add a new file to your DAM, you should always add metadata — such as the date, type, and campaign it’s associated with. This information will improve your search results and ensure people find what they need.
Additionally, in Frontify, you can add custom tags to your files: These user-defined and open-ended fields act as a second layer of “description” when people search for files in your DAM.
4. Increase DAM adoption throughout your teams
The more teams use the DAM in your organization, the higher your ROI will be because it will positively impact more people’s work. You can increase platform adoption company-wide by offering comprehensive onboarding, training, and support.
Your DAM vendor can provide some of these services. For example, Frontify has a section in its help portal focused on getting your system up and running. A dedicated customer success team offers ongoing support and helps with everything from specific challenges to guidance for new users.
But you’ll also want to provide internal training to help new team members and users understand how to use the DAM and get the most value from it in their work. Here’s what this support could include:
- When and how to add files to the platform
- How to search for files
- How to download, share, or customize assets
Your brand team can also be available to answer one-off questions about the DAM to help users build their confidence quickly.
5. Understand the importance of DAM reporting
Many DAM solutions have built-in analytics functionalities that enable brand teams to track and measure usage and tie it back to that all-important ROI.
By viewing historical data in your DAM, you can find out how often assets get used and by whom. This information gives brand managers a better understanding of file usage across teams and allows them to streamline workflows to improve efficiency. By looking at file use, brand teams can figure out which areas to spend resources on, including improving the metadata and tags of files that are rarely accessed.
Below are some key metrics to track:
- DAM users (by team or at an individual level)
- Asset usage (often tracked as the number of downloads or re-use)
- Time taken to retrieve assets from the DAM (to measure the efficacy of your search functionality)
You can also track user satisfaction through surveys and collecting feedback. All this data will enable you to enhance organization and metadata to simplify finding the correct files while allowing you to identify bottlenecks that prevent teams from using brand materials effectively.
6. Continuously monitor and optimize DAM performance
Track key usage metrics monthly to see how team adoption, asset use, and efficiency change over time. This will help you spot any performance drops so that you can look for opportunities for improvement.
Depending on your challenge, there are different ways to optimize DAM performance. If it’s a case of low adoption in the business, run refresher training sessions and check everyone has the correct access permissions. And if you notice that it’s taking users a long time to find the relevant files, review your metadata and tags. Making changes there may make finding assets easier, delivering valuable efficiency gains.