It is rare to see when all the employees in an organization know where their brand and digital assets are stored. Most marketing teams use drives like Google, Dropbox, etc., to store digital assets. While there is nothing wrong with using these cloud storage services, things get tricky if files are not well organized and if individual employees miss updating all files in a central location. Unfortunately, this is common in most organizations. Once created and stored in one of these drives, locating a file would become extremely difficult.
Nearly 51% of marketers waste resources recreating these assets when they need help locating the previous files. Instead, the organization should use these resources for better purposes like creating new assets or refining existing assets. Further, as these creative teams start to scale, they'll meet bottlenecks in their handling of digital content.
A Digital Asset Manager is a professional who can avoid such bottlenecks. They can help you get out of the castle of unorganized data and pave the path to organized and categorized digital asset data.
This article will discuss Digital Asset Managers, their responsibilities, and what you should look for when hiring one.
Who is a Digital Asset Manager?
A Digital Asset Manager is a person who takes care of digital asset creation, storage, utilization, permission to access, and security. The digital assets are not just photos or videos created by the creative team but include any content that is stored digitally (Graphics, PDFs, Presentations, and many more).
The best way to manage the above is to use digital asset management software (DAM) to run the above processes smoothly.
The primary responsibilities of a Digital Asset Manager include,
- Assist with data migration from manual storage to DAM software
- Metadata entry for all the uploaded digital assets to improve searchability
- Manage, upload and organize digital assets for different teams as per DAM workflow
- Set up DAM workflows and systems to identify assets for repurposing
- Provide training to users to support the tools internally when required
- Publish, manage and align content across channels for brand alignment and consistency
- Assign and control access to different team members
- Suggest solutions to improve digital asset management
The market research firm Markets and Markets estimates that the global demand for digital asset management will grow by USD 8 billion by 2027.
The demand for a Digital Asset Manager with only skyrocket with the growth of the digital asset management industry.
The need for a Digital Asset Manager
Generally, designers and marketers rely more on digital asset management tools to simplify creative workflow management. But with the boom in digital content, every team in the organization looks forward to DAM.
Companies with different teams producing and managing digital assets at volume need help to coordinate with each other. A digital asset manager can fill this gap with efficient workflow systems to work with every team member in the organization.
7 Key traits of a Digital Asset Manager
Successful digital asset managers are the silent heroes who do everything that makes life easier for stakeholders who frequently access various digital assets.
They interact and work with multiple stakeholders like designers, marketers, and developers. Large enterprises with a vast digital asset library will have to hire digital asset managers at some point in time. If your organization is looking to hire one, here are some traits to look for.
1. Planning and organization
With so much data scattered around in different forms (image, video, text, etc.), they should be good at planning and organizing to manage them.
Studies suggest that more than 78% of digital assets are unused, so organized storage is the need of the hour to bring life to those assets.
Instead of feeling overwhelmed with all the data, a digital asset manager should start by implementing a workflow for basic processes like ingestion, approval, and archiving. Then, they can move on to more automated processes once the users start adopting the DAM system and as the scale as the organization matures to implement automation.
Another example of organizing data without further chaos is using a list of predefined metadata lists when uploading new assets. It ensures the quick discoverability of assets. In addition, most modern DAM systems come with AI tagging, which lightens the load for the Digital Asset Manager.
2. Asset management skills
While management skills are universally applicable to all managers, digital asset management skills are a specific trait that a digital manager must possess.
These skills include data migration, setting up workflows, providing assets to publish and repurpose, managing user access permissions, etc.
A digital asset manager should have practical experience of
- Ingesting assets into the DAM system
- Dealing with types of file formats and understanding their compatibility
- Defining taxonomy to categorize assets better
- Ensuring version control of assets
Being at ease with technology is a must-have for digital asset managers. While having a good grasp of existing DAM technologies is mandatory, they should also understand other tools like CMS, ERP, PIM, etc. More about this in the next section.
Further, they should also be able to spot areas where integrating with other tools will improve productivity — for example, integrations with PIM.
4. People skills
In the above, we have discussed how training new hires is a responsibility of a digital asset manager. People skills are a must-have to train new hires and engage the current team's morale.
It just doesn't stop there. Digital asset managers collaborate with people from different teams (marketing, design, operations, and sales) with diverse backgrounds. If they find it difficult to interact, it can be hard to build a DAM workflow per the user's needs.
A digital asset manager should be able to
- Relate to others
- Trust others
- Listen actively
- Keep an open mind
5. Project management
This role is highly collaborative; they interact daily with multiple teams and team members to get things done. Therefore, project management skills like prioritizing factors, tracking progress, and setting milestones are a must-have to juggle between different projects at the same time.
6. Analytical thinking
Data. Data. Data. A digital asset manager needs data to make insight-driven decisions and formulate long-term strategies.
Further, analytical thinking will help the digital asset manager to understand
- DAM bandwidth consumption
- Asset usage analytics
- Asset performance reports
These analytics can help in acting proactively before a crisis occurs. For example, the digital asset manager can maximize asset utilization to reduce the unnecessary creation of duplicate assets.
7. Written and verbal communication
In his book "How to Make Friends and Influence People," Dale Carnegie wrote that "90 percent of all management problems are caused by miscommunication." Therefore, communication, whether written or verbal, is a skill that a digital asset manager must be adept at. This skill is crucial if the organization follows a remote-first or hybrid working model. Information could be misunderstood or left without proper communication, leading to chaos.
What kind of technology do digital asset managers use?
The best digital asset managers have practical knowledge of MarTech and analytical tools. Here is a glance at a digital asset manager's toolkit.
Cloud servers for storage
The data produced by different teams are stored in a cloud server to be accessed anytime and anywhere. The most common cloud servers include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Cloudways, etc.
A content management system (CMS) is used to create and manage the data on a website. A digital asset manager uses CMS to publish different types of content on the website, like images and videos with relevant metadata.
Digital asset managers spend most of their time with the marketing team as they are the ones that produce a lot of digital assets. It is essential to have a good grasp of the MarTech tools to store and manage digital assets better. Although they may not have to use it first-hand, having a good understanding of the tools makes everyday collaboration easier.
Communication and collaboration tools
As a digital asset manager needs to talk and collaborate on multiple projects with different teams, a good tool/ software can make their life easier.
Slack is the most used tool for effective communication with anyone in the organization. While multiple project management tools exist in the market for collaboration, Asana and Trello are at the top.
Tracking the usage of a digital asset is a primary responsibility of a digital asset manager. In addition to the built-in analytics provided by the DAM system, it is necessary to use analytical tools like Excel, Tableau, PowerBI, etc., to analyze data from multiple perspectives.
DAM: The essential tool in the toolkit of a Digitial Asset Manager
A cloud-based Digital Asset Management system is essential in a Digital Asset Manager's toolkit. More than 80% of the above tools can be integrated into DAM so that the digital asset manager does not need to juggle between different tools throughout the day.
A Digital Asset Management System (DAM) is a central repository for all the organization's digital assets. It supports the users in managing data in different formats, advanced searchability, and is easy to upload and distribute on the internet by integrating with other tools.
Here are a few features to look for in a Digital Asset Management System (DAM):
- A cloud platform to centrally store the assets
- Options and workflows to organize assets
- Advanced search
- Social link sharing
- Custom user permissions
A cloud-based DAM with the above features can help digital asset manager perform their duties better.
Based on the statistics we discussed throughout this article, it is evident that digital asset management will be the biggest challenge in the future. Therefore, now is the best time to get a digital asset manager onboard to start setting up workflows and managing your data better.
While you have decided to hire a digital asset manager, why not give them everything required to help them do a good job?
Yes! We are talking about ImageKit's Digital Asset Management System (DAM).
ImageKit offers a digital asset management system that stores, manages, and collaborates on assets in a central repository. You can elevate your business's digital asset storage and unlock your creative teams' potential with a feature-rich, easy-to-use media library with ImageKit.
You can get started for free here.