Let's get straight to the point. Getting a good return on investment (ROI) on a new software product for your business should be a driving force behind your purchases. Digital asset management (DAM) is no exception.
For small and medium businesses especially, every penny counts. We know because we're one ourselves. Any tool you buy should pay its way, so why would you waste that hard-earned profit on a tool that gives you nothing back? Let's answer that one for you. ✨
Why should you buy a DAM solution?
A digital asset management solution is a software tool that provides a home to your brand's visual content (also known as digital assets). It's the single source of truth for product images, video files, brand guidelines, logos, infographics - the list goes on. It's a place where you and your teams can go to find and share the visuals you need to build your marketing campaigns.
At the moment, you're probably spending too much time searching for digital content in shared drives or in tools like Google Drive and Dropbox. With DAM, you can keep it all in one place and find your visuals in seconds using advanced search capabilities.
What ROI can you expect from a DAM?
Now you’re convinced you need a DAM and you’re ready to pull the trigger. But your manager is holding the purse strings and needs you to prove it's worth the investment.
Don't worry! Here are some points you can make to get them on your side:
You’ll get your time back
Sure, it sounds like a cliché, but it's true - time is money.
The hours you spend searching for your images and videos wastes so much time. If you pick a good one, DAM could save you hours.
Take one of our clients, Kelly Wynne. Before Dash, they were using Google Drive to store and manage product shots. As Kaitlyn, the VP of Brand, Demand and Community says:
“I was spending two hours at a time looking for one image. And I'm on a VP salary! I told Kelly, our CEO, that I was basically being paid to look for one image.”
Consider your own teams. Does your boss feel paying them to hunt around for assets is the best use of their time? That’s time (and money) they could spend on content creation and getting creative with new marketing campaigns. 💡
That’s exactly what they’re doing at Kelly Wynne:
“When we’re looking at the bottom line, I always tell Kelly that we could be paying Dash X amount, or she could be paying me X amount an hour to search for images in Google. Instead, I'm able to go do other things because of this investment.”
In other words, time savings = money savings. 🤑
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No credit card, no auto-renew.
You’ll spend less on content creation
Creating visual assets costs money. Perhaps you buy stock images, outsource to designers or use Canva to create graphics for social. Whatever it is, you'll want to make sure you're getting the most out of that investment.
If you don’t use a DAM to store these creative assets, it's really easy for them to get lost in your shared drives. If you can’t find them, you’ll likely end up creating them again.
This is what happened to one of our customers, Phonics Heros. They often reuse older assets to create new ones. Before Dash, however, they could never find those older assets. This meant they had to recreate them, which took up lots of time and cost them extra money. This is what Katherine told us on G2 (a software review site).
“[Before Dash] We were spending design time recreating assets that already existed. [With Dash] We got all our assets on Dash, and tagged them up. It means our design time when creating our games has dropped to about 20% of what it was. Lots of $$$ savings!”
Dash uses auto-tagging, as well as custom tags, to help search for images. It’s able to scan the contents of your images. So even if you don’t have a particular keyword like ‘person’ in your file name, you’ll still be able to search for any images containing that keyword. Here’s what an example looks like in Planto’s Dash (a brand we’ve created for demo purposes)
You'll make better use of your assets
In a similar vein, once you’ve got all your assets stored in a digital asset management system, you’ll be able to make much better use of them. Perhaps your marketing team creates assets that can be used in their advertising campaigns. These campaign assets can also be reused by the sales team who want to send content to their clients. Online dog food brand, Forthglade, does something similar.
As David Keefe, the brand’s Graphic Design Manager told us:
“There’s a lot more collaboration between the departments with what each is creating. The ecommerce team, for instance, can see assets that have been uploaded by the sales team in case they want to use them in their campaigns. Seeing what others are creating sparks ideas.”
Here’s a sneak peek of Forthglade's Dash. 👀
You’ll avoid costly mistakes
Making mistakes in your visual content can be costly, especially when a fair few can be avoided. Take these as an example:
- Using photos you don't have permission to use - using unauthorised assets can get you into hot water. A digital asset management tool like Dash will give you a way to manage image rights and ensure you have proper processes in place.
- Using the wrong logo or graphic in your marketing — this doesn't just damage your brand's reputation, it can be expensive to fix too. With Dash, people will have access to the most up-to-date assets, and they can be notified whenever anything goes out of date.
Here’s what Nathan, from RJ Living has to say about it:
“(In Dash) we tag by …usage rights. (This) is especially important for images that come from a photographer or an influencer. We also use things like setting a deadline on Christmas-themed logos for example - nobody wants to see those in January!”
To edit expiry dates and usage rights in Dash, an admin can go into a particular asset and add information to the designated fields. Just like we’ve done for this Black Friday campaign ad in Planto.
You’ll see a boost to the ROI of marketing campaigns
Visual content is paramount to your marketing campaigns. What's more, paid ads and promoted posts on social are increasingly expensive, so getting your visual content on point is important for conversion rates.
A DAM tool will ensure your teams can access those images all in one place. It means time to market is reduced and you can get your content out to your audience quickly. Take Gozney, one of our customers, as an example. They've found that working in Dash has significantly shortened their content pipeline. They now create and deliver content in three simple steps:
“It's just a matter of creating the content, uploading it to Dash, and either distributing it internally (and most of our teams have their own Dash accounts so they'd have access to it instantly) or adding it to the portals for our external partners. We've significantly shortened the time we spend uploading and preparing the content for use.”
This doesn't just mean campaigns launch quickly. Colleagues will also feel inspired by the content they see, meaning more creative campaigns.
How to calculate the money you could save with DAM
So, now you can see how you could make ROI with DAM, it's time to get some actual numbers. For this, you should take into account three things:
How long it takes your team to search for assets
For this you’ll need: Number of employees who look for assets x minutes searching for assets every day.
Calculate the average asset search time, then multiply it by the number of people in your business who look for assets every day.
For example, let’s say 5 employees search for assets for 15 minutes every day.
That’s 75 minutes every day being wasted across the business (5 x 15). And 6hr 25mins in a five-day working week - 25 hours for a 20-day working month!
Employee wage (per hour) searching for images
For this you’ll need: Employee wage per hour x number of employees who search for assets.
For those 5 key employees, calculate how much they're being paid to search for assets. To do this, work out their hourly wage. For example, they earn £15 per hour for an average 5-day working week (including tax).
That works out at £3.75 for 15 minutes of work. So, now we can calculate the cost of hunting for assets.
To do this, multiply £3.75 by your 5 employees and you get £18.75. That means hunting for assets costs your business £18.75 every day.
Which then works out to £375 wasted each month.
(And that doesn’t take into account the full cost of employee overheads!)
Working out your DAM cost savings
For this you’ll need: Your DAM costs per month
Now, to calculate the cost savings, pull up the pricing of the DAM you want to go with. We’ll use our own as an example. 😇
With Dash, you can start from £79 / $109 per month.
Next, consider how quickly your team members will be able to find the images with a DAM. Let’s say that the 15 minutes average search time is cut down to 5 minutes every day.
Now let’s do the maths again.
Time saved asset searching
What’s the impact of reducing the search average time by 10 minutes each day for 5 employees? What used to take your 5 employees a total of 6 hours and 25 minutes is reduced to 2 hours. That’s a saving of more than 4 hours a week and 16 hours a month!
Employee wage (per hour) searching for images
They’ll be earning £1.25 to search for assets for 5 minutes.
£1.25 x 5 employees = £6.25 searching for assets per day.
£125 per month searching for images.
So, no longer are you forking out £375 per month to search for assets. It’s costing you just £125. That’s £250 saved every month! And, considering the cost of £79 per month for Dash — well, it’s already paid for itself.
5 employees searching for assets
With a DAM
Without a DAM
Time searching for assets per month
Money spent searching for assets per month
Want to work out what that saves in a year? We’ll let you do the maths there 😉.
As we’ve already mentioned, this is just one of the ways DAM will save you money and bring value to your business. This doesn’t take into account the time saved sharing with agencies and partners, integrating with tools and the speed you can get your marketing campaigns off the ground. 🙌
How does Dash’s ROI stack up against its competitors?
You can see the return you’ll get on your DAM investment. But how does Dash stack up against other digital asset management vendors on the market?
A lot of the market is dominated by big, expensive enterprise DAM vendors. These players are outrageously expensive and not fit for smaller brands on a tight budget.
Dash, however, is built for small and growing businesses. We don’t believe in pricing small brands out of the market. So our cheapest tier starts at £79/$109 per month and you’ll get access to all of our features, and unlimited users. Pricing increases when you need extra storage or you expect to have loads of asset downloads. Here’s a screenshot of what our tiers look like in our app (you’ll be able to pick one of these after your free trial).
We’re very competitively priced. And that’s not us being biased. Here’s a quick peek at what our competitors are charging.
Bynder is one of the most popular enterprise DAMs on the market. It’s great if you’re a massive company with multinational teams around the world. But not so good for small brands. A basic tier starts at $450 per month and will get more expensive as you add users and features.
🤓Read our full Bynder comparison article.
This is another favourite amongst enterprise businesses. Brandfolder has a wide range of features and even allows you to send your assets to printing services around the world. These features don’t come without a price though. You can expect Brandfolder to set you back around an eye-watering $1600 a month.
🤓 Learn more in our post about Brandfolder alternatives.
Canto is a DAM aimed at middle-market and enterprise-level companies. They serve a wide range of industries and have some interesting features including a built-in branding templating tool. However, despite claiming to have the ‘simplest pricing model on the market’ it's actually unclear what that pricing is. Some sources suggest Canto will set you back around $600 per month.
🤓Read more about how Canto vs Dash.
Image Relay is pretty similar to Dash when it comes to the features it offers and the businesses it serves. Their pricing, on the other, is a lot more complicated. For their essential DAM tool, you’re looking at a minimum of $300 per month. This includes core DAM features like search, download and deploy. For advanced features, it’s around $700 per month.
🤓Check out our full article that explores Image Relay’s DAM offering.
Bear in mind, if you go looking for prices on most DAM vendor’s websites you won’t glean much information. From what we’ve seen, most digital asset management platforms hide their pricing—you’ll only find out how much it's going to cost after you book a demo.
You can also compare vendors using our free, downloadable DAM software comparison worksheet.
Which DAM tool is best for ROI?
The return on investment you get with DAM will depend on the product you choose. After all, not all DAMs are built the same. If you're in a smaller business, steer clear of expensive DAMs geared towards big enterprise companies. Signing up for a costly DAM will only make it harder for you to prove ROI further down the line. And you don't want to pay for features you don't need.
Finally, if you’re having a hard time convincing your boss, download our editable pitch deck which shows how Dash provides the best return on investment for your brand. 🤑