How To Build a Compelling Case for a DAM

An organisation without organised assets is like a library without a librarian: simple tasks become time-consuming, tedious and a waste of valuable resources. When you deal with a continuous influx of digital files, evolving brand messaging and deadlines, sifting through a disarray of folders becomes frustrating. Very frustrating. When content is difficult to find, gets lost or is out-of-date, many organisations are now switching to a  digital asset management solution to solve the frustration and get back their lost resource time.   

 Achieving this, however, requires one thing: building a digital asset management business case to gain executive sponsors. There are hundreds of ways out there telling you how to build a business case for a DAM; the trick is, however, how to take your case that next step further and really drive it home.  

 When there is a problem in need of a solution, it’s time to bring in the organisation’s decision-makers to advocate and invest in a DAM system. Here, we’ll show you what you need to build and present for a DAM business case to ensure a successful executive buy-in.  

Seven Key Points To Prepare When Building a Digital Asset Management Business Case 

Securing the executive buy-in is more than seeking approval of funds, the decision-makers need to advocate and believe in the project and the difference it will make. You must be able to harness their interest to rely on their influence to sign off.  

While you may think the solution is right in front of you, it may not be the case for the decision-makers. Executives have their own schedule, tasks and concerns to worry about, so it’s your job to do the hard work for them.  

 The key to a compelling business case is to show the problem and highlight the solution.  

 You will need to understand the organisation’s obvious pain points, how the DAM will solve these problems and demonstrate the potential ROI. Tailor your business case to your organisation’s values, potential concerns and goals – consider your target audience and be smart about your approach. 

 Here is a step-by-step process to ensure your business case gets the tick of approval from executives.  

1. Build Your Team 

You need a team to lead the project, discuss strategies, expectations, opportunities and concerns. These might be colleagues, employees or department heads – anyone who shares the vision and is willing to commit to the project.  

 Have a broad skillset backing the project to ensure it is well-received throughout the departments. If possible, include members from different teams – whether it be from IT, marketing or sales.  

 When you build your team, think about ways to involve decision-makers at the beginning of the process. The more support there is behind the project, the more you can persuade the executives of the investment value.

2. Research, Gather, Repeat

You need data to build a compelling business case – lots of it. Once you have a team you will need to rely on their position and influence to source everything you can on workflows, operation costs and storage allowances. This may mean collecting:  

  • Personal stories  
  • Specific events  
  • Genuine struggles involving handling processes 
  • Existing procedure documents 

Ask yourself the following questions:  

  • Are the current processes currently working?  
  • How much time is spent searching for assets?  
  • What are the main concerns (or horror stories) about accessing content? 
  • What are the average operation costs? 
  • What are the DAM features you need to overcome these challenges?  

This stage aims to develop a clear picture of how users handle digital assets and what it’s like to be on the receiving end of the madness. You can use these pain points to research DAM vendors to ensure you choose the right DAM system for your organisation.  

Interview employees, shadow in on workflow processes, observe how different departments manage and use digital assets. Do your research – search shared drives and observe workflows and don’t be afraid to question procedures.  

Talk to your teams about their experiences with the current procedures. Data alone will not be enough to win over executives – and emotion sells.  

3. Identify Current Digital Asset Management Obstacles 

marketing team DAM

You have the data – it’s time to use this information to make your case. The trick is to translate everything so the executives understand why a DAM system is necessary, and there is need for change.  

Showcase how a DAM system not only solves problems but simplifies the overall workflow experience from upload to distribution. Remember, a DAM system isn’t just about filling in the gaps, it’s about evolving the organisation of digital assets, enhancing user experience and increasing productivity.  

So, start broad, then go into details. 

Discuss openly vocalised pain points and illustrate the bigger picture of asset management and distribution issues. Clearly show your understanding of the holistic struggles the departments are facing.  

You may want to detail the following:  

  • How long does it take to request, search, edit, manage and distribute files  
  • Arising complications when handling unorganised digital assets  
  • Raised concerns over out-of-date, off-brand or lost files in circulation  
  • The average time/cost it takes to manage an unorganised digital asset library  
  • Why these issues will increase as digital assets evolve and grow 

The devil is in the details, be smart with how you present your information. Don’t just drown them in graphs and numbers, get the decision-makers involved and ask hard-hitting questions. Share specific events and stories of the chaos that comes with unorganised content – show them the reality.  

Be informed, be prepared and deliver.  

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4. Translate How a DAM System Overcomes These Obstacles

The executives are aware of the challenges – now is your time to show them how implementing a DAM system will solve these problems. This is your chance to break it down in a way that will help the decision-makers understand the benefits of a DAM system. In other words, it’s time to show your findings and sell, sell, sell. 

You can break down the solution into areas of opportunity that DAM implementation can fulfil. These may include:  

Potential Cost Savings  

DAM implementation means less time searching and more time focussing on the collaboration, editing and distribution of quality, on-brand content. Highlight that DAM systems provide a holistic solution to expenditure – in more ways than one.  

Asset organisation plays a key role in workplace efficiency. So, when marketers, on average, spend about 30% of the day finding content and files, it’s not hard to distinguish how DAM can help.  

When presenting your findings, focus on major obstacles, such as:  

  • Removes the risk of asset duplication  
  • Improves the ability to reuse and repurpose assets  
  • Reduce legal fees  

Unique DAM features such as metadata tagging, customisation and integration with major MarTech solutions ensure each digital file is utilised efficiently and with purpose – every time. What more can you say about adding value?  

Similarly, you may also want to mention the importance of meeting compliance with digital rights and on-brand licenced digital assets. DAM systems provide advanced level organisation for organisations to stay agile, ensuring up-to-date brand compliance and usage rights. This eliminates the risk of pesky legal fees in an attempt to fix a problem.  

Enhance User Experience and Efficiency  

DAM simplifies user experience from storage to distribution. Some DAM systems cohesively integrate with your organisations existing CRM’s and MarTech solutions. This means optimal collaborative workflows for users without the need to switch between interfaces.  

This is the perfect opportunity to showcase how a DAM system could solve existing problems occurring throughout the organisation. Be sure to draw on any specific events that have caused delays, time/money lost or frustration among employees.  

5. Demonstrate The ROI of Successful DAM Solutions  

ROI is a simple measurement of determining how much time and money an organisation can tangibly save and is an essential step to justify investing in a DAM system. It’s also a great way to prove the value of DAM, as well as assess the initial investment against its ongoing success. ROI goes beyond cost savings, it’s a representation of time savings as well.  

Demonstrating the potential ROI is the core of your business case – it’s what your entire presentation will drive towards. You may want to research existing use cases (or ask your potential DAM vendor) to provide a clear picture of what your organisation may expect.  

This is the part when you can inspire your decision-makers to see the bigger picture of what implementing a DAM system can do for your organisation. DAM is an investment, decision-makers won’t approve funds without believing it will pay off. It will only be an estimate, but it’s a good starting point. 

How to Calculate Digital Asset Management ROI  

ROI usually reflects three main categories of savings:  

  • Search 
  • Content creation 
  • Storage/distribution costs 

Take into account the number of users, their average wage per hour, and the number of hours searching for assets per month.  

For example, an employee who earns $30.00 p/hour and spends 30min a day searching for assets, costs the organisation $600 per month in company time. When you multiply this across multiple departments and teams, the numbers can shock you. 

Do the same for content creation and distribution costs – look into the number of assets, the cost of each asset and the percentage of assets that have needed to be re-created, re-produced, or even re-shot. Then research the organisations’ average server costs and average storage costs per user. 

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6. Demonstrate The Risks of Not Implementing a DAM System

There’s no better way to create urgency than to show what a DAM-less future can look like. And for most companies with a growing bank of digital assets, it can look pretty grim. In other words, show them the risk of doing nothing to solve the problem.  

When users are uploading, editing and distributing mass amounts of digital files without intelligent organisation, it can cause problems. This will differ for every company and industry but the risk of unorganised content filters through into a plethora of risks from loss of reputation to legal action. You may want to investigate the following questions:  

  • What will the business look like without DAM implementation?  
  • What are operational cost and time implications without DAM?  
  • What will digital asset storage folders look like in a year without advanced-level organisation?  
  • What issues has the company already faced as a result of unorganised content?  

Draw on existing challenges that employees are facing and use this as the catalyst for the need of urgent change. It’s important to use these issues to appeal to the executives’ so they can imagine the risk of not acting now.  

Ask your chosen DAM vendor for an ROI calculator to help establish the possible risks for your company and use this to draw a close to your case. Present a scenario of what the company could look like without implementing a DAM solution. It’ll make a world of difference.  

7. Pitch Your Implementation Strategy 


You’re on the home stretch – your research, information gathering, calculations and presentation are now all focussed on one thing: the implementation strategy. It’s time to put your money where your mouth is and wrap up your case.

Firstly, successful implementation relies on choosing the right DAM solution for your company. This includes:   

  • Alignment with your organisation’s challenges, vision and goals 
  • Ensure customisation to the organisation to resolve specific pain points  
  • Ensure your DAM vendor is accessible in your time zone, with reliable support and validated experience in your sector. 

Once you have done this, you can outline the next steps on implementation:


Gather your team and plan out the “need to know” people to communicate to before planning a schedule to involve employees. The communication process is all about planning the basics and setting key dates for the implementation. This may include:  

  • Outlining a communication plan detailing who, what, when and how of the project messaging 
  • Reiterate what the DAM will achieve, how it will improve workflow processes, what actions to take (if any) and an upcoming schedule 
  • Allow any stakeholders to provide any feedback. Communication is a two-way process 

You will need to be in regular contact with your chosen vendor to help you to set and manage expectations regarding the roll-out. 

Training and onboarding 

This may vary between vendors – some DAM vendors provide training and onboarding for employees. Make sure you are aware of any additional services your DAM vendor may offer, as many vendors may only provide the product – leaving you with the heavy lifting.  

Training is a key player in the implementation process so it’s important to know what to expect. Consider the following: 

  • The type of training depends on the DAM and the organisation  
  • Liaise with your DAM vendor: maybe offer a demo or invite employees to explore the software themselves  
  • Speak with your DAM vendor to plan out your training and onboarding schedule  

You may also want to strategise engaging ways to ensure employees are actively using the system. Gamification is an incentivising way to promote use and encourage user adoption – monthly leaderboards and prizes are a great way to ensure users keep confidence levels up.  

Ongoing Support

Ongoing support from your DAM vendor is paramount. It’s essential to let decision-makers know what kind of support your DAM vendor will provide during and post-implementation. This will set the expectation and solve any queries regarding troubleshooting, induction, updates, etc.  

Quick Tip: Some DAM vendors provide a case manager to oversee DAM implementation and act as a point of contact throughout the software use. 

Other Tips to Secure the Executive Buy-in for Digital Asset Management 


While building a business case is essential for securing the buy-in, it’s also the bare minimum. Without emotion, strategy, drive and knowledge of your organisation’s vision, goals, needs and pain points, all your hard work may fall on deaf ears.  

 To make it easier, we’ve gathered a few extra considerations to have on hand when you’re trying to secure the executive buy-in.  

Emotional Intelligence

Your presentation will be the selling point of the entire endeavour. Strategise how you want to present your pitch using the art of persuasion. You can do this by:  

  • Present similar use cases to empirically prove DAM ROI in your industry  
  • Show any existing support from the organisation  
  • Bring in an expert to help better explain DAM features 

 It’s easy for egos to get in the way, especially when you’re presenting to executives who don’t understand why the change is necessary. Prepare to manage this with the facts, and deliver it intelligently.   

It’s is all about working smarter not harder. 

Be Strategic 

Despite your hard work and research, you can’t solely rely on logic and data to secure the buy-in. It’s never as simple as identifying a problem and offering a solution – you may be facing internal politics, tightened budgets or a lack of understanding from the executives in charge.  

Your team is your best resource. Utilise any rhetorical skills, upper management connections, business insights, financial whizzes and anyone who can drive action. Some insightful tips include:  

Tailor your pitch to who you are speaking with: Understand their values, knowledge and company goals  

Personalise your concerns where you can: Use specific events and pain points to tap into executive’s morals  

Regulate your emotions: The passion behind the project is good, but regulating emotion is key to staying focussed  

Timing is everything: If there is existing change occurring or a new leader, seize the moment 

Have a contributing team in your corner: The more support the better  

Go by the book: Understand how executives like to receive information and build from there  

Present a solution: Present your findings and accept feedback with a DAM vendor in mind at the time of your presentation 

Involve Executives (if/where you can)

It’s simple but very effective. Forming a reference group with key decision-makers or department heads to involve during every step of the process before and after presenting the case only makes the case stronger.  

Why choose Collaboro for your DAM system?

Collaboro is an Australian Cloud-based DAM solution that empowers your teams to do more. Our DAM platform will centralise all your digital assets, making it easier for your teams to organise, find and share all your digital media files, in one place, from anywhere.

But a successful DAM solution requires more. This is where Collaboro brings local Australian expertise and support services to provide a customised end-to-end solution.

Book a demo with a Collaboro Solutions Expert.

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