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Dam Implementation Lessons

10 Lessons Learnt from 500 DAM Software Implementations

Whether you are implementing a Basic DAM for a small team, building an Enterprise DAM platform for thousands of people, or are using DAM as an integrated part of Sales Enablement, Brand Portal or Marketing Operations System – we know the tricks of the trade!

Why? Because we have done over 500 Digital Asset Management implementations, so we know what works and what doesn’t.

So here are our Top 10 tips…

1 – Multitask during procurement

While you are waiting for procurement – you can still get things done.

  • Start getting your files in order. You probably have files and folders all over the place. That’s why you need a DAM in the first place – so start getting things together now, it will make the file transfer easier and faster later,
  • If you need help from your internal IT team, this is a good time to engage them to organize your custom URL and your Single Sign On, so once the DAM is procured these little details don’t slow you down.

These two things generally hold up most DAM deployments.
So if you can get them rolling sooner than later – you will be launched more quickly.


2 – Plan with a shortened time to value

Every technology project needs a plan. But if it draws out and sits around too long – just like anything that’s just ‘floating around’ it can start to sink.


  • Assign a project owner
    Who will actually use the system once it’s launched? If you don’t, you risk it being configured in a way that the users won’t necessarily want or like.
  • Meet with the vendor weekly
    (Yes weekly!) to keep things on track.  Otherwise, things get pushed out very easily and you will lose momentum.
  • Roll out something VERY SIMPLE
    Start ‘Phase 1’ as soon as possible – so at least a small group can start using it sooner than later.

3 – Get hands-on and be an early expert

Clients who engage and learn the system from ‘day one’ are the most successful.

At IntelligenceBank, we actually train Main Admins first so they can make better decisions about their system.

When YOU are involved earlier, the whole project moves about 50% faster.  

Start by creating a sandbox folder and drag and drop files and folders into that ‘play’ folder so you can start to get the hang of it. Email files to yourself and plays with some of the AI features such as transcriptions and keyword tagging. 

The first thing you should get your hands around should be permission settings as ultimately, this is what will govern your DAM. 

4 – Draw a line in the sand

We get it. You have creative assets everywhere and that’s why you need a DAM in the first place.

It’s totally overwhelming – what you could, should, and need to upload. When you are trying to figure this out – start with what you are actually using each day – so it’s probably just your current brand assets and the creative you are using right now.  

So assets over 2-3 years old probably don’t need to go into the DAM immediately, unless you need them for archiving.  

If archiving is on your agenda, you can do that in phase 2. What’s important is that you get what you are using in there first. So draw a line in the sand on what’s important and migrate the past in the DAM later.  We find if you delay the launch for archive material, this delays time to value.

5 – Don’t go more than 3 folders deep

Don’t drive your users crazy with complex folder structures

When you are building out your folder and filter structure (also known as taxonomy) – it is very tempting to ‘go deep’ and have a ton of subfolders and detailed permissions on those folders.

But beware…. the more complexity you add, the slower your system may get and the more empty folders your users may find when you end up uploading files.

Instead, think of folders as broad subjects such as Campaigns, Stock Images, Branding, and use customizable, navigation filters such as geography, business units or products to categorize the content within a folder.  You can even have permissions on a couple of these filters without slowing the system down.  This avoids having a zillion subfolders.  That way you can have minimum folders and maximum utility.

6 – Your DAM needs to be connected

Your DAM shouldn’t be an Island.

Take advantage of all the out-of-the-box connectors your DAM comes with…

  • Adobe CC
  • Figma and Sketch
  • Your Content Management System
  • Slack and Teams
  • API handshakes link in with other workflows

This keeps your DAM interconnected and active, you don’t want to end up with a file graveyard.

It takes maybe 20 minutes to set up each integration – and it will save you hours a day in wasted admin and double handing.

7 – No gimmicks

Use plain language.

When you name your platform, your URL, your navigation and folders quirky terms that no one but you knows about won’t work. People won’t be able to find what they are looking for.  

Don’t be clever. Be simple. Leave the creativity to the content. Naming conventions are key!

8 – One is the loneliest number

Two is better than one.

When you launch your DAM, make sure there is more than one person who knows how to upload files and set permissions.  If someone is out sick or leaves your department, you need a backup.

But more importantly, we know from a data perspective that the more you upload, the more your users will download files and self-serve, so the more people you have that contribute to the DAM, the more success you will have with your project 🙂

9 – Reporting and tracking

Determine the data points that will make it.

There’s a reason why you want to buy a DAM and there is probably a business case that got it over the line.  

With your account manager, establish the success criteria that will ‘make it great, and establish regular check-in points to ensure you are tracking against these metrics.

As new features are released, see how new capabilities can add more value to your use cases.

10 – The Launch is just the start

Your DAM Is a living platform

If you want your DAM project to be successful, it needs love ❤️. Nothing over the top, but it needs to be integrated as part of your ongoing business process.  

While it may be easier for a ‘split second’ to work from your laptop, in the end, you are winning the battle to lose the war. For a DAM to work well, everyone needs to use it well for the latest versions of their creative assets to be centralized in one place.

So always upload final assets into the DAM, approve assets with the proofing tool, email links to logos from the DAM, and make changes to repetitive creative using creative templates. 


Our favorite client saying is: If it’s not in the DAM, it doesn’t exist….

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