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Digital Asset Management

5 Features That Are DAM Overkill


digital asset management features

According to the 2014 Gleansight Benchmark Report, the most challenging aspect of Digital Asset Management (DAM) is adopting the new DAM system.

You know why? There are too many features that are DAM overkill!

Digital asset management is supposed to be simple and it’s supposed to make your job easier. So before you invest in a DAM solution, make sure you aren’t wasting your resources on these unnecessary features.

1. Too Many Metadata Fields

digital asset management features

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Metadata is essential to managing brand assets more efficiently. However, there is a limit to how many metadata fields your assets need.

Basic metadata fields should include the name of the asset, the last time it was modified, the size of the image and the name. High-level metadata can also include type of asset (JPEG, video, audio, PDF, etc), the owner of the asset, description and tags.

Beyond that, it actually becomes increasingly difficult to manage and find digital assets. If someone tries to sell you on a DAM solution with 80-something metadata fields, walk (or run) away.

Fix: As with most things in life, there needs to be balance. Use metadata to make sure your assets are organized and searchable in a meaningful way, and resist the urge to use superfluous tags “just in case.”

2. Deep Folder Structures

digital asset management features

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A DAM system with a folder-on-folder model gets messy – fast. Everyone has a different way of organizing and finding files and when these files get stacked on top of each other, it becomes nearly impossible to find important assets.

Not only that, but constantly clicking through the hierarchy of folders does not make for a good user experience – it’s too hard to even see what you are looking at.

Fix: Brand assets should be treated very differently than files. Instead of using a folder system, your DAM solution should also automatically group assets and provide a flatter, visually appealing view of what is inside each group.

No more clicking down an endless ladder of folders or blindly searching assets hoping you happen to land on the right one. A good UX will make all the difference.

3. Complex Permissions

digital asset management features

Many old DAM systems require users to go through IT if they want to share assets outside their organization. This puts strain on resources, makes time-sensitive requests difficult to facilitate, and can cause conflict between teams.

Fix: New DAM systems offer more streamlined user permissions. Ideally, the DAM admin should define who can add, edit and download brand assets, as well as set additional privacy options such as a password or the ability to hide from search engines.

This relieves pressure on the IT department, allows teams to work in a more efficient and collaborative manner, and gives more control to the marketing team.

4. Too Much DAM Data

digital asset management features

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According to a study by Teradata Applications, 78% of marketers feel pressure to become more data-driven. And for good reason: data turns marketing into a quantifiable function.

The problems is, DAM customers get lured into packages that offer much more data than they actually need (or can even digest). This leads to underutilization of their DAM solution and poor investment of marketing dollars.

Fix: Instead of pursuing a DAM solution with tons of raw data that needs to be processed and analyzed, find one that offers integration with user-friendly data platforms.

For example, some DAM solutions integrate with Google Analytics for easier reporting. Some also offer a simple overview of your account activity in an easy-to-read dashboard. Data mining is important, but it needs to be scalable to be effective.

5. Ratings Systems

digital asset management features

Just because you can add a feature doesn’t mean you should. DAM solutions that offer ratings on assets are a good example of this. DAM solutions don’t need star ratings because there isn’t much value to the users. Plus, why would you have a one-star asset in your DAM? Your DAM solution should only have your best and most valuable assets. Period.

This kind of feature makes more sense for a product like Adobe Lightroom, where photographers use star ratings on different photos to quickly filter the ones that look better than others.

Fix: Instead of rating images, a more valuable DAM feature is the ability for users to search tags. Tags are customizable and offer better search options.

For example, your most downloaded assets could be tagged #favorites, which would help users easily access your brand’s popular digital assets.

Interested in discovering New DAM? Get your customized Brandfolder quote today.

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Morgan Quinn is a recovering lifestyle blogger and the Digital Content Manager for Brandfolder, a simple and easy tool for managing digital brand assets. She has created content for brands like Mint.com, Quicken, Ugg Australia, and Martha Stewart. She threw in the towel on Twitter, so follow her on LinkedIn instead.


Jenay Sellers runs Digital Marketing at Brandfolder. As a Marketer and wannabe website designer, she understands the importance of digital asset management tools and solutions. When she's not encouraging others to check out Brandfolder, she enjoys cooking Blue Apron meals, playing golf, and curating Spotify's best new music.

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