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Building a Business Case for DAM: The 6 Step Guide

Carlie Hill avatar

Carlie Hill

Director of Growth Marketing

6 min read

Building a Business Case for DAM: The 6 Step Guide

It's time to build a business case for DAM. Follow these six steps and watch your digital asset management solution become a priority.

Getting new technology prioritized within your organization can be a challenge in itself - especially when it affects each department differently. A priority for the marketing team could be closer to the bottom of the list for say, operations or accounting. When there are competing priorities between departments, it can be difficult to get initiatives pushed through. Especially on a timeline that works best for your team and, ultimately, your organization as a whole.

Like many marketing and creative department leaders, you’ve identified the need for a digital asset management solution (DAM). Now, how do you ensure the initiative is prioritized? You need to demonstrate to stakeholders and decision-makers—who likely don’t know much about DAM—why it’s worth the time and investment to implement the system. To do this, you need to build a solid business case for the investment.

Here, we offer a six-step guide to building your business case for DAM and proving that the ROI will be more than worth it...for everyone. The six steps are:

  1. Gather Details on your Current State
  2. Get Buy-in from Others
  3. Showcase the Benefits
  4. Highlight Success Stories
  5. Have an Implementation Plan
  6. Be Clear with Your Ask

Step 1: Gather Details on Your Current State

Identifying and highlighting current challenges that you’re hoping to solve is a good starting point for making a strong business case. Not only does benchmarking quantify the need for a DAM, it also enables you to measure success down the line. Use real, quantifiable examples, when possible. For example, you could record the average time your team spends trying to track down digital assets in a given week or how many days that projects are typically delayed due to response times for content.

The University of Windsor proved the value of a DAM by recording how much time their design team spent per week responding to asset requests (read their full story here).

If the challenges trickle down into other departments, be sure to point that out too. Your business case is only strengthened when the issues affect multiple areas of your organization. Additionally, it is important to benchmark what you’re currently spending on digital asset storage and transfer software, in order to fully understand the true cost of switching to a DAM, balanced with the savings on time that it can provide for your team.

Step 2: Get Buy-In from Others

In many cases, the more people that want to implement a DAM, the more likely it is to get approved. It’s important, then, to know how others on the team will be impacted during your DAM implementation so you can get them on board from the start. What functionalities do they need and how can you help them be successful? Make sure you’re communicating with them over the course of your DAM journey to ensure they understand how the system will benefit them. Here we outline three categories of users to consider when implementing a DAM, along with their priorities.

As a DAM can be beneficial for multiple departments within an organization, you should spend some time outlining how a DAM would benefit other departments, too. Aligning with other teams enable you to share costs and better showcase the value of a DAM - if the other departments are interested, your business case will gain more traction. It's important to put some thought into who can use it and how, in order to align with their goals and increase your chances of getting them on board.

Step 3: Showcase the Benefits

Although you know the advantages of implementing a DAM, others may not have the full picture. Showcase it by highlighting immediate benefits to your department, as well as key benefits to the overall organization. If you can effectively illustrate benefits on both a micro and macro level, you’ll build a stronger DAM business case. This can increase your likelihood of implementing a DAM.

When relevant, your business case for DAM can also include the potential ROI - more on how to calculate that here.

Step 4: Highlight Success Stories

A key way to strengthen your business case is by showing how similar organizations are improving their productivity with a DAM solution. With many examples out there to choose from, it’s important to understand what you’re trying to achieve, as well as what’s important to your decision makers. Depending on your use case, you can use stories that align with:

  1. Your industry,
  2. Your use case,
  3. Your company size and/or,
  4. Specific features & integration requirements.

Sharing the success of others that faced similar issues to those of your own can increase the likelihood of your decision makers understanding the importance of a DAM and the expected outcomes of the implementation.

Need some help finding something that your organization can relate to? Here are a number of DAM success stories.

Step 5: Have an Implementation Plan

Stakeholders and decision-makers of your organization may (understandably) be concerned about time-to-value on large projects and investments. With a number of possible integrations and add-ons, it’s easy to see the potential scope of the DAM grow. It's important to come prepared with both short- and long-term vision for the DAM, in order to set proper expectations. Breaking down the DAM implementation into meaningful milestones and manageable steps, including dates and timelines, can better show stakeholders quick time-to-value, and build confidence in the long-term vision.

Many DAM leaders recommend taking a crawl, walk, run approach to get value from the DAM as soon as possible (and keep your project scope reasonable). Here at MediaValet, we’ve developed the DAM Maturity Model as a blueprint to get you there.

Step 6: Be Clear with Your Ask

It’s important to be up-front about the budget needed to invest in the right DAM for your organization. There are multiple factors to consider when talking about budget, such as upfront costs, ongoing expenses and what it will cost to scale. Here, we cover all of the major points about digital asset management pricing.

Be clear about when you want to purchase the DAM and how much time you need to choose a vendor. Is there a compelling event that the project could be tied to, such as an acquisition or a rebranding? Linking the implementation of your DAM with another initiative can help kickstart the project.

Additionally, it’s important to understand and identify competing priorities that could stall your DAM project. Here are the five most common DAM project stallers and how to address them to keep your implementation on track.

Know Your Audience

While these six steps can help you build your business case, it’s important to align the proposal with each individual decision maker’s goals and priorities. For many organizations, executive buy-in was critical to getting their DAM initiative prioritized. Make sure you’re prepared with our post, Getting Executive Buy-In for DAM.

Ready to get started with digital asset management? Book a demo today.

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