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DAM Knowledge

How to Make DAM Work for Creative Teams

Jeffrey Bates avatar

Jeffrey Bates

Creative Director

5 min read

man smiling at computer screen

Professional creative teams today are producing way more content than ever before. In fact, the stats might surprise you - in the last two years alone, we created 90% of the world's total data. That kind of exponential growth is tough to wrap your head around. The need for content is coming hard and fast, and showing no signs of slowing down.

According to InSource, 60% of creative professionals serve more than 20 stakeholders or employees within their organization. Dealing with such a high number of stakeholders means even tighter deadlines - when all creatives really need is the proper time frame to do their jobs well. To create meaningful, insightful work, like anyone else. The unrealistic delivery times for creatives has hindered the quality of work they can produce when adhering to these kinds of deadlines.

The need for content is coming hard and fast, and showing no signs of slowing down. Modern creative teams are under immense pressure to create - and quickly. So much so that it’s negatively impacting their ability to "create" effectively.

Working as One Team, from Everywhere

Not only are creatives pumping out more content at a faster rate, they’re also trying to do so while working across various locations and time zones. 63% of companies already have someone on their team working remotely, and this is only going to increase with the movement towards a hybrid workforce. These demands have created two major challenges:

  1. Managing, organizing and tracking all files within the creative process.
    Creative teams are in a unique position where they need seamless, ongoing access to the increasing amount of WIP, source and final files being worked on across an entire team.
  2. Doing so in a way that improves productivity and continuity.
    Despite the distribution of teams, they still need to be able to collaborate on projects as though they’re physically in the same building.

Making DAM Work for Creatives

To try and address these challenges, both marketing and creative teams have looked at a wide range of solutions, from project management systems, to file sharing solutions - even some digital asset management systems. But even with these platforms in place, they still have no true visibility into work-in-progress (WIP) assets and typically only see the assets when they’re ready for approval. This causes a huge gap in the range of vision on active projects and can result in significant delays, a loss of critical information and difficulty tracking the most up-to-date versions of assets.

Digital asset management solutions, while able to address some of the creative team's asset woes, is often unable to completely replace its local solutions. For a DAM to truly work for creatives, the solution needs to address challenges that are unique to creative teams. Specifically, it needs to meet the following five requirements:

  1. Maintain Creative Speed
  2. Continuously Sync Creative Files
  3. Maintain Creative Workflow
  4. Improve Asset Discoverability
  5. Track and Manage WIP

1. Maintain Creative Speed

Speed is absolutely critical for creative teams. Working with cloud-based assets can be a challenge for high-volume creatives because it introduces a lag-time; relies on an internet connection; and causes frustration as the time delay adds up. A DAM solution needs to address these challenges and can’t slow down a creative’s production time or, ultimately, they’ll find a workaround.

2. Continuously Sync Creative Files

For a DAM to work for creatives, there needs to be a two-way, continual connection between their desktops and the DAM, without adding the extra load of uploading and re-uploading files all day. Project continuity can be a challenge for teams, especially when they cross time zones. Design files should continually be updating in the DAM—no matter where the creative working on it is in the world. The two-way, continual connection provides continuity needed for creative professionals to do their jobs and ensures that projects can continue easily, even when someone is out of the office.

3. Maintain Creative Workflow

A DAM needs to feel just as easy for creatives as working with their desktop—as they already have their set workflows in place. If a DAM adds extra steps and, even worse, requires someone to log into another tool to download, upload or access files, adoption will likely be low and creatives will turn to their own desktop files instead.

4. Improve Asset Discoverability

One of the key features of a DAM is the advanced search capabilities it provides. Permission-based categories, along with advanced search capabilities and filters, AI-generated tags, and detailed information on the asset, needs to be implemented thoughtfully - with the creative team in mind. The DAM needs to enable creatives to find their design assets—logos, stock photos, templates - easier than working from their desktop. This means that despite not logging into the DAM directly (such as from a desktop application), they still need access to the same search functionality of the DAM.

5. Track and Manage WIP

While work-in-progress files need to be trackable, creative teams often don't want to expose their work to end-users until it's ready for distribution. Within a DAM, creatives should be able to see the entire process from ideation to distribution - the assets considered, inspiration, alternative versions, comments, etc. - while keeping these creative categories private from other departments. When the creative space is kept separate from the rest of the DAM, it becomes a safe place for creatives to work together on projects, even when the teams are globally dispersed. Permission-based settings also enable creative leaders to see progress without having to request updates from each individual creative.


Our solution? CreativeSPACES™.

CreativeSPACES™ combines the benefits of working from a local server or remote computer with those of the Cloud, helping your creative teams secure and manage their creative files while accelerating their creative process. With CreativeSPACES, you can:

  • Automatically synchronize and back up your creative team’s local project files in the cloud – 24/7.
  • Track and view all source and work-in-progress files – no matter where your teams are located.
  • Accelerate and secure your creative process without adding extra steps or changing workflows.

CreativeSPACES ensures the continuity of your creative assets, projects, campaigns and processes. If these functionalities sound like something your creative team could benefit from, learn more about CreativeSPACES today.

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