‘Digital asset manager’ as a title is somewhat misleading.

From 30,000ft, a digital asset manager acts as the glue that keeps the creative team together while preventing creative workflows from getting sticky. 

Managing creative assets is certainly part of the M.O, but it doesn’t stop there. Among all that admin, digital asset managers have to make time to optimize creative workflows and help creatives get better. It’s a role tasked with squeezing the most out of creative assets, creative skills, and creative collaboration between stakeholders.

Why do you need a digital asset manager?

Mike Carley brilliantly outlines how unorganized and difficult-to-locate creative assets affect creative productivity on the Adobe Experience Cloud Blog. Like having to walk 20 feet to get the next ball at the driving range after you landed the perfect, gliding shot.  

Being pulled out of the creative zone can pull the plug on creative momentum. No matter how perfect your output was one moment, once your head is out of the game, it’s difficult to get back in. That’s why you need your balls with you, ready to hit the next hole in one. 

A DAM manager keeps creatives in the game by connecting them to a DAM system that is integrated with their creative space. 

A personalized DAM workspace is a cornerstone of creative ecosystems. It serves as the central hub that connects creatives and stakeholders alike, streamlining the journey towards final distribution (and beyond). 

The person sitting in the middle of it all, making sure the ecosystem functions as it should, is the digital asset manager. 

Unpacking a digital asset manager’s role

A digital asset manager’s job description is simple: optimize the way digital assets connect brands to the world. 

It’s a job that requires the asset manager to keep their fingers in every creative production pie. 

The ruckus in the library

DAM managers are the curators and librarians of DAM systems. But instead of the “Shhh” that usually meets library chit-chat, they are the ones who enable the conversation. 

DAM managers are responsible for assigning the necessary rights and privileges to stakeholders and creatives. With a permission-based platform, such as globaledit, this is a vital task in ensuring optimal workflow efficiency. It’s their responsibility to promote the collaborative possibilities that a DAM platform offers. 

Everything in its right place

Adhering to naming conventions and folder structures allows DAM managers to easily upload and manage new assets and fit them into an ever-growing puzzle. 

A clean house (and asset library) makes storage management quick and simple. It’s a DAM manager’s responsibility to ensure that these conventions are followed, by themselves and those with access to the DAM library. 

Sending the right message

Creative teams work on numerous brands at one time, and brand consistency can easily become watered down when creatives hop around between projects. DAM managers keep a watchful eye over assets that need to convey a brand’s specific message and tone. 

Loading brand assets and metadata to the library is the starting point, but DAM managers need to be well versed in the nuances that make up various brands. The eye for detail is a key attribute of a worthy digital asset manager. 

Digital asset managers are quite similar to regular librarians in the manner that they acquire, catalog, and manage digital assets. But where have you ever seen a librarian darting through the shelves and hitting up a book club? 

The required skills needed to succeed

Digital asset managers’ skill sets are three-fold: technical, analytical, and personal. 

They are torchbearers for teams who need to bring their A-game each day. And they stand in as the familiar figurehead of the business for clients. And then they need to actually make those assets work as hard as they can. 

Here are the skills a DAM manager needs to make it all happen. 

Technical

  • Be familiar with CMS, PIM, and often ERP tools 
  • Have a basic understanding of markup and programming languages 
  • Be well-versed in marketing stacks and integrations
  • Understand digital rights and publishing processes
  • Know how to manage and optimize metadata

Analytical

  • Have an in-depth understanding of creative workflows
  • Implement efficiency boosters at different workflow stages
  • Know how to prioritize tasks and assets 
  • Connect the right creatives to the right projects

Personal

  • Connect and engage with both clients and colleagues
  • Manage individuals and teams efficiently 
  • Be able to identify and develop key skills in individuals and teams

A rather intricate collection of skills that converges into pure magic if done right. 

The key responsibilities of a digital asset manager

Digital asset managers do more than oversee the fun of creative asset creation, though. 

They are also responsible for: 

  • Consistent productivity – they need to identify and rectify any holdups in the creative workflow. This task is supported by a DAM’s comprehensive view of an asset’s lifecycle, where version history and previous comments are always visible on the asset itself. Any hitch in the workflow should be identified and addressed by the DAM manager. 
  • Team building – Through the insights obtained in the previous point, DAM managers also need to be able to identify and develop key skills that will address any workflow issues. Where no issues exist, they should find ways to build their team and open the doors to new opportunities. 
  • Compliance – Assets are connected to copyrights and licenses that must always be attached to each asset’s metadata. Beyond asset compliance, managers must also enforce internal compliance with procedures and guidelines. 

While the main thing is creating a digital environment that is conducive to optimal creative output, the bureaucratic end of things cannot be overlooked. 

Common Problems that Digital Asset Managers Solve

At the end of the day, digital asset managers are problem-solvers. Here are a few common problems that their insight and guidance solve. 

Lackluster creative workflows

DAM managers are constantly looking for shortfalls in workflows and connecting the creatives to the projects that suit their strengths. 

Tailored integrations and automated workflows help everyone to work effectively without having to break out of their stride to stay in the loop. 

Wasted expenses on new creative assets

An unnecessary expense that many creative organizations fall prey to is investing in the creation of new assets when suitable assets already exist. 

With the optimized searchability offered by DAM systems, asset managers can easily locate existing assets that can be reused or shared with other departments. 

The disconnect between creatives and clients

When creative teams’ efforts are spread across various brands, it’s common for creatives to miss the beat on certain brands. 

DAM managers can communicate directly with creatives in real-time during asset production. Comments and markups made on the DAM library are visible to creatives directly in their digital tools. This allows for collaborative brand consistency throughout production. 

Delayed asset distribution 

Optimized workflows are the foundation of DAM efficiency, but automated distribution to channels such as CMS systems is the cherry on the cake. 

With a host of tailored automation options available, managers can tailor their DAM distribution according to their needs to get assets in the market sooner. 

How to become a digital asset manager

The criteria for becoming a digital asset manager are subject to the specific company and environment they will be working in. 

A bachelor’s degree in business management, information technology, computer science, or even graphic design can all be advantageous. The key is an active experience in the field of digital asset and creative team management. 

Digital asset management is an art you learn on the job. And globaledit offers DAM managers the perfect platform on which to secure their workflow efficiency and asset management. Book a demo to see why.