If you’re a marketer, you have to deal with (on average) 102,203 images and videos a year to keep on top of your game.
Okay - I made that up. But as a marketer myself, sometimes that figure doesn’t feel too far from the truth. To run effective marketing, you’ve got to create and deploy tons of visuals across different channels, both online and offline.
It can be tricky if you’re trying to use Google Drive, Dropbox or your shared network drive to keep on top of all that digital content. Sure, these systems are great for documents. But they’re not built for finding, sharing and using your marketing visuals.
You know what is? Marketing asset management tools. These save you time, eliminate repetitive tasks and requests, and help you stay organised. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
What are marketing assets?
Marketing assets are essentially any type of digital assets you’re using to promote and market your brand. They come in a whole host of different file formats, but here are some of the most common types:
- All your brand logo variations
- Website assets like homepage hero images
- Graphics and GIFs ready to go out on your social channels
- Product imagery and photography
- Stock photography you’ve bought a licence for
- Video files for ads, social and your site
- Social media and graphics for your advertising campaigns
- Audio files, like a podcast your team has made or creative for audio ads
A quick rule of thumb: if you’re using a digital file in your marketing campaigns to attract customers in some way, then it’s a marketing asset. Find out more in our guide to digital marketing assets.
How can I better manage my marketing assets?
Managing assets for your different marketing channels without a proper system in place can feel overwhelming. But whipping your marketing asset management into shape doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With a well-defined process in place, you can streamline your efforts and make sure you and your team can find the marketing assets they’re after.
1. Take an inventory and categorise your assets
Start by doing a full inventory of the marketing assets you know you or your team will want to use regularly. Gather logos, images, videos, and product photography together. Then categorise them based on type, the campaign they’re for, and any other relevant criteria that aligns with your business needs.
(Dash makes it simple to then search for marketing assets based on those categories - but we’ll get to that in a second, I promise! 😅)
2. Pick a central location to store your marketing assets in
Now you’re ready to decide on the single source of truth for your marketing assets! If you’re a brand who hasn’t yet heard of ⚡ the power of digital asset management (DAM) tools ⚡, you’ll probably settle on a cloud-based solution like Google Drive or Dropbox or a shared network drive.
If you’re an ambitious, growing brand like Passenger or Goodrays, you’ll opt for marketing asset management software like Dash instead. It’ll do away with tedious spreadsheet inventory audits and free you from mazes of folders kept on your Google Drive.
3. Settle on file naming conventions
Deciding on how you’re going to name your digital assets will make them much easier to find. This is going to be important for brands adamant about sticking with Google Drive or Dropbox, rather than digital asset management software. That’s because a DAM gives you other ways to search for an asset, like the object tags and custom fields you assign to it, meaning you don’t have to be so reliant on the actual file name.
4. Provide training for your team
Folders and spreadsheets aren’t known for their user-friendliness. So if you’re going to rely on a system of shared drives and tracking documents, you should provide training and step-by-step walkthroughs on your asset management processes. Make sure everyone understands how to use the system you’ve put in place, will follow naming conventions, and play their part.
(Or you could use Dash instead and do away with all that - it was voted the no. 1 most-usable digital asset management system on G2 for a reason! 😇)
5. Always try to improve your marketing asset management
Don’t think because you’ve set a process up, that your job is done. You should check in regularly and make sure it’s not coming unstuck. Seek feedback from your team to understand how you could improve. Maybe that feedback is “hey, why don’t we just use a marketing asset management tool like Dash for this?” And to be honest, dear reader, they have a point.
What's a marketing asset management tool?
A marketing asset management solution is another way of describing a set of digital asset management system (DAM) features used by marketing teams.
What’s a DAM? Think of it like the single source of truth for all your brand’s visual content. It’s the one place you and your entire team can go to for all your marketing assets.
But marketing asset management tools aren’t just a fancy way to store all your creative assets. They go way beyond that.
A good digital asset management solution with marketing asset management features, like Dash, will let you search for marketing assets the way you think with clever tagging and custom fields. It’ll give you a whole host of different sharing options to suit however you want to send you files. And it’ll have in-built features which let you get your graphics ready for your campaigns with the click of a button.
We’ll cover each in more detail below.
What's are the benefits of marketing asset management software?
Now we’re getting to the good stuff. I’ll use Dash, our very own digital asset management software, to explain the key benefits DAM for marketing brings to your team.
Save time searching for marketing content
How many hours have you wasted hunting through your drive folders for a campaign asset you knew you put somewhere?
It’d be more useful if you could search for the actual content of your content, right?
That’s what Dash lets you do. Say you’re looking for a picture of a beach. You pop in ‘beach’ into the search bar and our object-tagging AI pulls up all the pictures of a beach in your Dash.
What’s more, you can create custom fields specific to your business. With these you can filter assets by marketing campaigns, product line, content creator - and more. Custom fields eliminate the need for repetitive folder structures and make your content even more searchable.
To show you what I mean, I’ll use our own Dash.
We use our Dash to store (incoming brag) all the badge images from the awards we win on G2. These are used in paid ad campaigns, sales pitches and across our website, so having them findable by the rest of the team is super important.
Each G2 badge has different categories, like what the award is for and when it was given. My colleagues want to find the award images by when they were released and what the award is for.
If I was going to do this in a shared drive, I’d have to rely on folder structures. It’d look like this:
I’ve had to duplicate subfolders to keep everything organised. It’s a hot mess.
Thankfully, I can do this neatly in Dash. I’ve used a custom field to make it easy for the team to filter across different attributes to find the image they need.
Get your creative assets ready for your marketing campaigns
As any marketer knows, creative assets need to be repurposed to use in different channels.
This one’s a life-saver. Rather than hassle a designer to crop and adjust the sizing of your image, you can use a tool like Dash to do it for you.
As our long-suffering UX and design lead, Ben, will tell you - it won’t stop the need to badger your designer all together (sorry Ben). But it’ll at least cut out a few of those simpler resize requests you’ll have during the content creation process.
Share marketing files with your team and partners
Sharing files with your team or external partners can take time if you don’t have the right tools in place.
Good digital asset management software is designed to make life a little easier. That’s why they’ll often have different sharing features to match the different ways you might want to share creative files.
First off, let’s start with a simple example. Your colleague in the sales team has asked you to send over product shots they can use to pitch a new distributor. In Dash, all you’d need to do is multi-select the assets you want to send, then pick whether you want to email them over directly or share them with a unique link.
But sometimes marketers work with partners and external users who need regular access to a large set of creative files. Like many marketers in small teams, I work with a paid ad agency to manage our advertising. To do this effectively, they need different variations of ad graphics they can slot into their campaigns.
Instead of sending over assets, I’ve created a Dash portal for our paid ad agency. This works like a mini Dash and gives Holly (our account manager) access to all the ad graphics we’ve created without her having to log into our Dash. She’s able to search and filter the 100+ assets in the portal and download them to the spec she needs for the campaigns.
Updating these is easy, too. Whenever you drop new assets into the folder you’ve set to be made public, they’ll appear in your portal. If you upload a new version of an existing asset, Dash's version control features will automatically notify whoever downloaded the older version.
Working with an ad agency is just one example of when you could use portals. A lot of Dash customers are ecommerce brands, so they create a searchable view of all the product assets that their resellers can access. Check out streetwear brand Filling Pieces for a real-life example.
Integrate into your martech stack
Your marketing asset management tool shouldn't ever exist in isolation. It should integrate with the marketing tools you use every day.
- We integrate with content management and creation systems like WordPress and Canva, so you can drop assets from Dash straight into whatever you’re working on.
- You can connect Dash to your Shopify account, so when you’re updating product pages you can pick a product shot from Dash and drop it straight into your listing.
- You can also connect it to Adobe Creative Cloud, Google Workplace and Microsoft Office to drop assets from Dash into the documents you’re putting together.
- Then there’s our Hootsuite integration, which lets you pick an asset from your Dash to attach to your social post and get it out to your followers.
All these integrations will cut the amount of time you’ll be spending uploading an asset from one location, only to upload it somewhere else.
How to make the case for a marketing asset management tool
Okay, you’re sold on a DAM for marketing. How do you convince the rest of your team?
Never fear, I’m here to help. Here’s some steps you can follow to get yourself set up with a digital asset management platform.
Do your research
You don't have to do a deep investigation into each digital asset management tool. That’ll take you a while - there’s more than 250 DAMs listed on G2 the last time I checked! 😅
Instead, decide on a few vendors you like the look of and do some investigating.
Download our free, editable DAM comparison spreadsheet and look out for the following when browsing vendor websites:
- Do they have features that’ll match how your marketing team works?
- Who are some of their existing customers? Are they similar to your business?
- What are their reviews like on sites like G2 and Capterra? What are some of the regularly-occurring themes in their highest and lowest-scoring reviews?
- What’s the level of support you think your team might need, and do you think the vendor will do a good job of meeting it?
Try out the tools you like
Once you have that information, you’ll be able to start making a shortlist of the DAM tools you’re considering (the spreadsheet I linked to in the above section makes this a lot easier, by the way!).
Now it’s time to test them. Some DAMs, like Dash, offer a free trial so you can dive in straight away.
Or you can book a demo, too. If you go for this option, our team will have a branded Dash to suit your company ready to show you around during the demo.
Other more complicated tools don’t give you an option. Instead, they’ll only let you book a demo first so they can explain how their system works.
Make sure you’re clear on pricing
This can be a dealbreaker when taking a tool to your senior management.
Make sure you're clear on pricing, so you can be prepped for all the questions your manager might ask. That's much easier to do if you’re considering a DAM which doesn't hide it's costs and has an actual pricing page - like us 😇.
I'm not just saying that to be shady. Unless budget isn’t a concern, you should be wary of DAM systems focused on enterprise companies (like Bynder and Brandfolder) who don’t talk about their pricing on their website. That’s often a sign their costs will be eye-popping.
Get your key decision makers involved
Exactly when you do this is up to you. But having key decision makers involved in the process early on can help address concerns they might have before they snowball.
Take Dash user Kaitlyn. She's the VP of Brand for handbag-maker Kelly Wynne. She won her CEO around with this compelling argument:
“I always tell Kelly [company founder and Kaitlyn’s boss] that we could be paying Dash X amount, or she could be paying me X amount an hour to search for images in Google. The monthly Dash investment is much lower than my hourly photo hunting rate, and now I’m able to spend my time running campaigns and planning for the future.”
If you’re trying out Dash, you could download our editable pitch deck to present to your stakeholders.
Or if you’d rather we do the presenting to your team instead, we’d be happy to do so!
Plan your onboarding
How long this process takes is partly down to the tool you end up going with. If you pick us, we’ll move your assets into Dash from Drive, Dropbox or wherever they’re kept - for free. You’ll then have a call with someone from our onboarding team to set you up.
According to review site G2, Dash is the most usable DAM (we literally won an award for it) - so if you go with us, you won't need much training. If you settle on a more complex, enterprise-focused DAM you’ll need to factor in the time it takes to have training sessions.
Dash is a digital asset management software tool perfect for marketers. We’re used by marketing teams at growing brands like RJ Living, Goodrays and Taster. Start your no-strings free trial and see what all the fuss is about!