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Beginner's Guide to DAM

The Beginner's Guide to DAM Part 1: What is DAM?

Ben Owen

By Ben Owen | Sep 30, 2021

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The Problem

After countless conversations with creative, marketing, and digital professionals, Stacks noticed a startling trend. Often, the burden of managing digital assets fell to someone in the organization with little to no experience with the subject. In some cases, the most experienced team member had become the de facto gatekeeper. In others, the task of “finding a DAM” fell to a team member as a random, low-priority assignment.

No matter the scenario, the problem remained the same. Creative, marketing and digital teams lacked the expertise to manage digital assets effectively and the time to gain it.

A DAM Solution

To reduce the headache and time required to educate yourself and your team about DAM, Stacks has created the Beginner’s Guide to DAM. In several parts, we cover the basics of the digital asset management space from what it is to best practices. Check out Part 1: What is DAM? below and get started on the path towards an organized, easy-to-use, and valuable library.

You keep hearing people mention digital asset management – or DAM – around the office (or on Zoom calls!) but you’re not 100% sure what it is. Not a problem! Let’s dive in!

Digital Asset Management is all of the tools, standards, and processes involved in the effective utilization of digital and creative assets.

The Core Values of DAM


Implementing clearly-understood organizational standards and processes is the key to creating easily maintained digital libraries, regardless of the size and complexity of the platform.


Establishing standards and processes for managing how assets are tagged, named, organized, uploaded, and shared allows team members across departments to have an equal understanding of your library.


The end goal for every business or organization, year-after-year, is to grow. DAM provides a place for future assets to live and standards that will outlive the tenure of staff and organizational pivots.

Benefits of Digital Asset Management


“Each department had a different way of organizing, searching for, and naming assets, making it nearly impossible to process requests from other parts of the business. When we implemented DAM, all of our assets were in the same place, and we had agreed on how we would all search for and organize things. Now, our organization has no more silos!”


“It took our marketing team hours to find the asset they are looking for if they find it at all. John spent all his time helping people look for assets rather than doing what he was hired for: Marketing. Now that we have a DAM system up and running, the right assets are available with the stroke of a key.”

Risk Mitigation

“We had assets with outdated branding, expired rights agreements, and sensitive information that we needed to keep track of. With our DAM workflows, I no longer need to worry about someone using something they shouldn’t and landing us in legal trouble.”

What is Digital Asset Management?


Assets are created by your talented team or a freelancer, who then gets started adding them to the DAM system for use.

Tag & Name

Those assets are renamed and enriched with metadata to make them searchable.


Assets are organized according to file name, allowing the creator to easily upload to the right place.


Valuable assets find their way into their new home, a scalable, straightforward folder structure that fits your workflow.


As your team works, they search the DAM using keywords pulled straight from the words your organization uses.


Users are given clear and specific permissions to see only what they need, and assets are retired as their copyright permissions expire.


Your team securely shares content with each other, clients, partners, and, most importantly, consumers.


Assets with outdated branding, historical significance, or resale value are placed in an organized archive to reduce the clutter of the DAM system.

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