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5 Reasons to Build a DAM Program Using Your Creative Content Instead of Purchasing Stock Assets

Casey Templeton

By Casey Templeton | Feb 14, 2022

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Thousands of advertisements bombard the average consumer every day. This not only overwhelms them but also increasess their exposure to marketing visuals. While stock photos are super helpful for many small businesses with limited budgets, consumers can easily spot them. Unfortunately, this makes the brand seem less authentic. Potential customers may have the impression that the brand is misleading them or making false claims (“not a chance the people in that photo actually work there.”)

Why do Marketing Teams Use Stock Creative Assets?

Chances are, original images very similar to the stock ones your team is planning to purchase exist on another team’s hard drive, Dropbox, or server. Without an established digital asset management (DAM) program and the ability to easily search and find desired creative assets, buying stock images is the most expedient thing to do. There’s a downside, however, to using too many stock images. Rarely can a marketer maintain a consistent look and feel when using images from many different stock websites and photographers and designers. Thus, using them negatively impacts both your brand consistency efforts and your organization’s budget.

In the same argument as an earlier post, Save the Shoot, Build a Robust DAM Platform, you can also save your organization a lot of headaches by eliminating the need for stock assets.

5 Reasons to Build a DAM Program Using Your Creative Content Instead of Purchasing Stock Assets

1: Authenticity

The look and feel of your original marketing content are always authentic and 100% unique. When a customer, partner, or employee recognizes real employees/customers in your advertising and marketing, an immediate connection to your brand is established.

2: Improve Employee Morale

Having original photos/videos taken of employees at work goes a long way. Spending the money to hire a professional photographer/videographer shows an employee that you value both their work and them as an employee and person. Employees are (but not always!) excited to see themselves on their organization’s website, in marketing materials, or in advertisements.

The opposite is also true; if an employee sees an advertisement for their brand using a model or inauthentic stock image, they feel disregarded by their employer.

Also, check out How DAM Helps You Identify and Communicate Your Core Values

3: Reduce Legal Risk

Often stock images are downloaded, shared, saved, and used well past their usage rights expiration date. This can lead to massive legal repercussions and the need to pull down marketing material, advertisements, and website content that was used illegally.

Using original creative content allows a brand to establish ownership parameters early and add usage information to all assets in its DAM to avoid any legal headaches.

4: Ensure Brand Voice Consistency

Marketing departments often have to battle the individual creative efforts of their employees. If an employee or team is searching for a never-ending supply of stock images, they’ll find images they think work well for their needs. Eliminating stock and using only approved, original, already owned creative content from the DAM allows the brand to have full control over brand voice consistency.

Also check out Improving Brand Identity Through DAM and DAM & Branding: How DAM Can Strengthen the Effectiveness of Brand Guidelines

5: Save Money!

Stock images can be expensive to purchase and often the same stock images are downloaded by different teams in the same organization because they're not placed in a DAM. Tracking down original creative content that already exists might require an initial investment of time and money. However, as those assets are used for multiple purposes, the ROI of those resources continues to increase. The same goes for hiring a professional corporate photographer, videographer, or designer.

If another team in an organization or company pays to have original photos/videos/designs created for them, these images can often also be used by other divisions/teams and for future creative needs. This increases the ROI on any monies spent creating the original content.

Also, check out Five Ways a DAM System Will Save Your Company Time and Money


Eliminating the use of stock images can be a bigger challenge for smaller organizations than larger ones. It’s also harder for a small business to establish an effective DAMprogram because of the initial investment of time and money required. However, the benefits of building a DAM program from the ground up using original content will pay dividends in many forms for many years to come.

If you need help getting started, connect with someone from the Stacks team to find out how to begin your DAM journey. Our team of DAM experts is happy to help!

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