The Inherent misconception about DAM ROI
Updated: Jul 22
I've been thinking a lot about the flaws of asking digital asset management systems to self-assess their ROI. The problem is that in order to show the value of the tool, you need to show asset ROI, and DAMs are not equipped to provide that information. DAMs do not capture the costs of creating assets, such as how much they cost to purchase or make. DAMs also often do not capture data about how and where assets are used and reused - ie, the returns that can be gained from their safe storage, findability and reuse. So what does it really take to show DAM ROI? In short, targeted integrations that have been part of the conversation from the beginning.
The practice of DAM has had a long road. DAM programs are often underfunded and under appreciated. Program owners struggle with the demand for evidence of ROI on threat of shut down. But how do you prove the ROI on a tool that does not inherently make money, and that handles assets that in and of themselves often do not directly make money either? The bottom line is that DAMs manage digital assets, that is what they do. So the assets it protects are what give it any chance of proving its value to the company. Savings in time and efficiencies gained are important factors in DAM's value proposition, but if anything has shown itself to be difficult to quantify, it is how to put dollars on hours spent searching for and sharing digital assets.
Knowing that we need to be able to show the ROI of the assets themselves gives us some insight into how to actually show the ROI of the DAM. But therein lies a real rub - the DAM itself doesn't hold all of the information needed to prove that return. You start with how much did the assets cost to make? There is a very real chance that this information is not being captured anywhere. If it is (fingers crossed) you will likely find it among campaign budget planning and cost information in a marketing resource management (MRM) system, a key tool in the MarTech stack. With this tool, you can find your asset costs.
Then what about the use of the asset? How many markets did it deploy into? How long did it stay deployed? What were its search impressions? Its click throughs? Much like knowing how much an asset costs, knowing its use and "return" information is not the work of the DAM. It is much more likely to be captured via analytics and business intelligence systems through the CMS and other content sharing applications - with social media being a hot spot for advertising these days.
So the DAM is only a piece of the puzzle in showing DAM ROI. And these two other tools, while they provide a lot of information, just having them all doesn't fix the need. What is really needed now, is thoughtful integrations between these tools as well as a robust dashboarding tool that has been set up to capture the right data about each asset as fed from the MRM, the DAM and the CMS, working together to paint a cohesive picture.
Please join me at Henry Stewart DAM New York 2022 on September 15-16, at the New York Hilton Midtown to hear more about this topic, and why these crucial integrations must be part of the DAM conversation from start in order to achieve the elusive goal of proving DAM ROI.