How to Calculate Digital Asset Management ROI

Let’s face it, in this digital age, modern industries need visual content. But without intelligent organisation, it quickly turns into an admin nightmare. Digital asset management provides an invaluable solution to the madness.  

ROI is crucial for any successful DAM initiative, it’s the key to justifying the cost and implementation of the platform. But it can be complicated to explain, let alone figure out.  

But it all starts with understanding what ROI is, how it increases digital asset value and how to calculate it. So, here’s everything you need to know about how to calculate DAM ROI.


How Does DAM Increase Digital Asset Value?


Digital assets are anything that is within a digital format and owned by the company with the right to use, share and distribute. This means marketing campaigns, videos, images, licences and documents, contracts and any raw files. They are the lifeblood of any functioning company. 

A DAM system intelligently stores digital assets, making them more searchable and accessible for users. This is all possible with the help of metadata. Which is basically keywords and information that help identify your files when you search for them. It’s where the value of a DAM comes into play. It’s not just a storage platform, it’s intelligent, advanced and secure.  

When digital assets are more searchable and accessible, it makes it easier to edit, collaborate and share. Not to mention it allows you to stay up-to-date with brand compliance. It creates intrinsic value by allowing the asset to be re-used, repurposed and easier to find. You’ll have correct and up-to-date assets ready for distribution to where they’re needed, when they’re needed. It solves lifecycle retention issues, extends the lifespan and usage potential. Now that’s value. 


How To Calculate DAM ROI


Explaining DAM ROI can be complicated. The benefits are often intangible, subjective and hard to accurately explain. You’re not only looking at cost savings, but time savings too as well as potential to strengthen brand agility and reduce legal risks – but it’s necessary. ROI is calculated through search, content creation and distribution.  

ROI is usually measured through the following:  

  • Hourly rates 
  • Average digital asset cost  
  • Time spent on digital assets  

How Much Time Is Spent on Search

Time spent on asset search can be calculated using the hourly rates of employees. This gives you an insight into what the company is spending on the employee overall, including base rates, benefits and training. If you don’t have the resources to complete this, the average Australian wage is $45.00.  

Once you have your average rates, you can work out how much company money (and time) is spent being spent in searching for assets using the following:  

  • Number of users using digital assets (think marketers, sales, IT, creatives etc.)  
  • Hours per week spent on asset searches 

Consider the following equation:  

Number of users: 15 

Average wage per hour: $45.00 

Hours per week search for assets: 2 hours 

(15 users x $45.00 p/hour) x (2x 52 weeks) = $70,200.00 over a 12 month period

How Much is Spent on Content Creation and Digital Asset Value? 

Determining your average digital asset value is relatively straightforward. First, you need to determine how much you have paid for the asset. Think in terms of licence fees, cost of commissions, photoshoots, contracted work and any paid design work. Once you have the average asset value, you can calculate the following:  

  • Number of assets added each month 
  • Percentage of asset that need to be re-created 

Determine Your Distribution Costs 

Distribution costs take into account storage costs, file transfers and maintenance. Basically any costs involved in allowing assets to be used, shared and stored. Consider the following equation:  

Number of users per month: 20  

Annual storage cost per user: $500  

File transfer cost per month: $100 

Number of people to maintain current system: 2  

Average hours per/week to maintain: 5 

(20 users x $500 storage cost p/user) + (20 users x $100 file transfer cost) + [(2 maintenance employees x $45.00 p/hour] x [5 x 52 weeks]) = $35,400.00 

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Determine the Risks Without Implementing a DAM system

Risk is one of the hardest things to measure. It’s subjective and unique to each company. Consider what the company will look like in 12 months without a DAM system in place. This will include compliance, legal and regulations; duplicated and lost content; and wasted time looking for assets. This will create the urgency you need. Here are some potential risks that may arise:  

Risk Example: The Cost of Asset Recreation 

Say you lose a video that needs to be used again. This means more money from the marketing budget to re-edit, re-make or re-shoot the video. Raw production costs, outsourcing costs, internal head hour costs, reputational/career costs and shareholder/member wastage are all additional expenses that are easily avoidable. 

Risk Example: Copyright, Talent and Usage Risk  

Say you run an ad in-market where the talent usage and photographic copyright is out of contract. What costs will put the company out of pocket to rectify the breach of contract?  

When it comes to ongoing content and organisation challenges, it can only get worse with time unless something is done about it. DAM systems are customised to solve the company’s existing challenges, safeguard against risks and provide support when it comes to content organisation.  

Who Uses DAM? 


DAM systems are invaluable to many industries. When everyone has access to the same centralised system, everything remains easily collaborative, consistent and up-to-date. Here are some examples:  

Real Estate 

Real estate agencies need visual appeal and their business depends on it to draw in potential buyers. The demand for larger or raw file types, video advertising and a tonne of imagery, requires a platform to house larger file types within a secure, yet collaborative network. Scalable storage, compatibility with almost any file type and a centralised hub designed for easy distribution can turn content storage from a chaotic nightmare to a streamlined workflow.  


eCommerce workplaces need to keep up with the demands, seasonal trends and constant influx of products to keep with the market. As a result, tagging, uploading, managing and organising assets without it creates major disruption in company time. DAM systems help users maintain content and keep everything on-brand and relevant.  


With the amount of event imagery and mass video footage, sports organisations need a secure, flexible space to store and manage their digital assets. Content needs to be accessible, searchable and ready to collaborate, edit and distribute among stakeholders. DAM systems not only offer rich metadata but also can easily integrate with internal programs, CRMs and Martech stacks. It simplifies the process and streamlines tasks.


Government bodies require high-level security and top-tier organisation to remove the risk of unauthorised sharing and keep sensitive material safe. Permission level access and secure hosting (such as Microsoft Azure) keep everything secure and compliant. DAM systems are also perfect for mass amounts of files across different departments. Users are able to easily find and link any asset relating to local projects, whether it be forms, licences, imagery or documents.  

Marketing Creatives

Marketing creatives and content agencies simultaneously deal with on-brand materials and multiple ongoing campaigns. With a constant need for access, collaboration and distribution between departments, teams and agencies, the creative process needs to be seamless. The ROI will most likely reflect in providing a better line of communication within a single source of truth for content-ready and up-to-date files.  


Working in the tech industry requires working across a variety of digital channels and platforms to meet varying client demands. IT teams need on-brand, up-to-date and market ready files to be aligned. If not, departments could face missed deadlines, time delays or organisational silo issues. DAM systems ensure that all teams have access to content and on-brand material from one place, when they need it. So teams can maintain competitiveness in their industry.  


Education and tertiary facilities have stacks of curriculums, marketing collateral and resources on file. With different file formats to access every day, users must be able to manage them effectively without it being difficult, tedious and time-consuming. DAM systems provide administration teams, faculties and cohorts access to secure and share cloud space to access up-to-date files and media.

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How Can DAM Benefit Your Business? 


On top of the intrinsic value DAM systems can add to your digital assets, there are other direct areas in which a DAM system can benefit your company. These include:  

  • Speeds up the execution of deliverables and marketing campaigns. This can help to increase overall revenue.  
  •  Reduce expenditure costs of replacing or purchasing new content. Digital assets can be repurposed and reused when you need it.  
  • Saves time while increasing workplace and efficiency by streaming and simplifying workflows  
  • Increases the company’s ability to meet the high demands of clients  
  • Meet compliance measures with assets held within a secure storage platform, ensuring only on-brand, up-to-date and approved assets are being shared  
  • Unifies and synchronises all departments to use assets stored in a single source of truth 
  • Increases on-brand agility  
  • Removes organisational silos


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. 

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