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DAM Management

Responsibilities of a DAM Manager

Ben Owen

By Ben Owen | Sep 16, 2021

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Think back to the springtime of your senior year of college. Besides skipping class on a beautiful day, the majority of your free time went towards the job hunt. When you found one that interested you, how did you decide whether or not you were qualified for it? What did you look at to know if you would enjoy the job or if it lined up with your interests?

Now, think of a time when you were on the other side of that search. Perhaps you’ve been a hiring manager selecting applicants to interview for an important position. How did you decide whether or not a candidate would be a good fit for the role? What were you looking at to help you weed out applicants without the right qualifications?

The answer in both cases is the same: you looked at the job description for the position. To ensure a particular role is a good fit for both the applicant and the organization, both parties need to know what responsibilities come with it. A comprehensive job description allows applicants to focus their resumes and hiring managers to filter out applicants who are not a good match. It is important to have a clear set of responsibilities assigned to every role in an organization. Not only does it help with hiring, but also with training, onboarding, and analyzing performance. Overall, having a detailed job description helps ensure employees will be successful in their position.

What is DAM Management?

In the world of digital asset management (DAM), there are several roles of great importance. Chief among them is the role of DAM manager. The manager is responsible for the planning, organization, operation, and maintenance of a DAM system. Whether a team or an individual holds these responsibilities, they are critical to the system’s ongoing usefulness and growth. To learn more about the overall premise of DAM management, read this blog.

In order to be effective in their position, DAM managers need a job description listing their core responsibilities. As stated above, defining these tasks assists not just in the search for the right person or group of people to fill the role, but also helps others hold that person or group accountable for their work. Given this, what are the core responsibilities of aDAM manager, regardless of the industry, complexity, or size of the organization?

Core Responsibilities of DAM Managers

1. Acquisition

DAM managers are involved in the DAM system from before its creation through its expansion across an organization. A core component of the initial implementation of a DAM system, as well as of its ongoing relevance and growth, is the acquisition of digital assets to place in it. DAM managers work with business units to identify new and old assets to add to the library. This task begins with the gathering of assets from their original sources and continues regularly with the addition of new users and archives to the DAM system.

2. Ingestion

One benefit of a healthy DAM program is the time it frees up for employees to create new content. Instead of spending considerable time searching for assets, they can generate more of them. DAM managers are responsible for uploading and importing these newly created assets to the right place in the library. They should regularly ingest assets to ensure that none get lost along the way.

3. Metadata

Once the DAM manager has acquired both old and new assets and they’re ready for ingestion to the DAM system, they must make sure that the appropriate metadata is applied to them. They can do this by adding file names and metadata tags to the assets themselves or by quality controlling the data applied by the creative team. Either way, this step allows users to quickly search for and locate files they need in a matter of seconds.

4. Archiving

The DAM system should always be a place of clarity and relevance. To achieve this, archive and separate outdated, overused, and expired assets from current assets. Otherwise, search results become muddy, and finding the perfect assets for a particular use-case is more difficult. The DAM manager is responsible for maintaining a useful and up-to-date library by archiving assets with expired copyright permissions or outdated branding.

5. Retrieval

Effective DAM systems empower end-users to find the perfect asset quickly. There will be cases, however, where users need help. Maybe they get confused, don't follow search standards, or an asset is misplaced. In these situations, the DAM manager is responsible for stepping in and assisting the user. As the person with the most knowledge of the library, they are the best equipped to help. DAM is their job, so these requests don’t keep them from another task they would otherwise be doing, as would be true for anyone else.

6. Distribution

Assets often need to be shared throughout an organization, and sometimes outside it. The DAM manager should be the person most capable and available of leveraging the tools at their disposal to ensure assets get where they need to go quickly. This means that the DAM manager is responsible for curating collections, shareable links, and unique user portals for people inside and outside of the organization to easily access assets.

7. Security

Digital files are called “assets” for a reason. They hold immense value to an organization. With that in mind, security is at the heart of many DAM initiatives. Assets need to be handled with care and deployed in specific ways to avoid legal trouble. To this end, DAM managers are responsible for the management of user permission structures and the overall security of the library. They are the ultimate editor and administrator of the library. When people need access to another part of the library or want to make a change to their permissions, it’s the DAM manager who processes and approves those requests.

8. Governance

Along with healthy day-to-day management, an effective and growing DAM needs governance. Governance comprises the rules which ensure the proper creation, implementation, maintenance, and management of a DAM system and its workflows. Proper governance usually takes the form of a governing group which includes representatives of major stakeholder groups, leadership, and the DAM manager. As a member of the governance team, the DAM manager assists in the creation of DAM standards, tracks key performance indicators, and identifies risks and areas for improvement.


If you or your organization are searching for a DAM manager or need help with your DAM system, Stacks is here to help. We offer ongoing, fractional DAM management services for both you and your team. Contact us today, no matter where you are in your DAM journey!

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