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Creative Ops

What is a digital asset manager? (And do you need one?)

October 07, 2021 · 7 min read

The more digital marketing assets your team creates, the more creative files your team has to manage. If you want your digital media to be easy to locate, consider hiring a digital asset manager to organize and manage digital files and marketing materials.

Not sure if you need a digital asset manager on your team? Keep reading to discover what a digital asset manager is and how they play a role in protecting your digital files throughout the asset lifecycle. 

What is a digital asset manager?

A digital asset manager is responsible for curating, organizing, documenting, cataloging, managing, and protecting all of a company's digital assets. (This is not to be confused with digital asset management, the centralized system where you store, organize, and share files.)

People in this role are responsible for uploading, organizing, and creating tags and metadata for media assets. They also need to understand digital rights as it pertains to different assets. They're in charge of digital rights management, which includes educating others in your organization about digital rights and enforcing compliance measures.

Use cases for this role will vary across industries. For example, digital asset managers for e-commerce and DTC brands may perform different tasks, use a different taxonomy to categorize different file types, and deal with different file formats than marketing agencies. That's why it's important for a digital asset manager to be familiar with the roles and responsibilities pertaining to the industry.

an image of a hand asking fro help
an image of a hand asking fro help

A day in the life of the digital asset manager

A digital asset manager is responsible for all digital assets. But the tasks they complete can look different depending on their role and the organization's needs.

Here are just a few of the things the digital asset manager will be responsible for on a given day:

  • Creating and maintaining efficient and effective naming and storage practices for digital files

  • Ensuring real-time version control so that no one in your organization is using outdated media files or templates 

  • Creating metadata and tags for media files so that they can be easily located later on

  • Educating employees on how to find, access, and use the digital assets within the library, including education on usage rights and file permissions

  • Using digital asset management software to their advantage to streamline the process of organizing, managing, and maintaining the digital asset library

  • Making sure employees have a quality user experience when it comes to accessing and using the library or platform


Do you need a digital asset manager?

Every organization that has a library of digital assets needs someone who can help manage these assets. Depending on the size of your organization (and the size of your library) this may not be an individual or full-time role inside your company. Larger companies may hire one person (or a team of people) to tackle this important process. However, smaller organizations may not have the need or resources to hire a digital asset manager.

In fact, many smaller organizations may want to give this duty to someone on their design or content creation team as they will already be familiar with the creative assets they will need to manage. For example, the role of digital asset manager may fall on the same person who manages content management systems across the organization.

10 important skills to look for in a digital asset manager

Not everyone has what it takes to be an excellent digital asset manager. It requires more than just knowing how to use digital asset management software. There are some other technical skills that are valuable to efficiently and effectively managing digital assets.

This person also interacts with marketers, creative teams, customer experience associates, and other stakeholders. That means it's also important that they have the soft skills to communicate and collaborate with others effectively. 

Here are the top 10 skills you'll want to look for in a digital asset manager:

1. Technical skills

A digital asset manager is responsible for managing a company's important library of digital assets. (And sometimes that library is large!) Since they'll most likely use a DAM platform, they'll need to have some technical skills to navigate this type of software. Depending on the responsibilities of their job role, they may also benefit from programming and data mining skills.

2. Organizational skills

Being organized is one of the essential qualities of an excellent digital asset manager. Their whole job is to manage digital assets so that they are functional and ready to be accessed. This requires a great deal of organization on their part as well as time management skills.

3. Project management skills

When it comes to digital asset management, project management skills are essential. Digital asset managers will constantly be managing new projects and collaborating with other departments on their projects. Knowing how to manage time and keep things moving along will undoubtedly come in handy.

4. Analytical mind

This person is responsible for tens of thousands of digital files. They need to figure out the most effective, efficient, and logical way to organize, tag, store, and access all of these files. To get the most out of the digital asset management system they use, they'll need to prioritize and implement the most effective, efficient strategy.

5. Detail-oriented

Digital asset managers need to be detail-oriented because making just one mistake can cause a big issue for organizations. For example, if they misname a file, it may take hours to find that file when someone needs to access it. They need to be highly organized and pay attention to every step to avoid these issues.

6. Communication skills

Those who manage digital assets will most likely interact with several departments in an organization. For this reason, they must be able to effectively communicate with others, especially when it comes to explaining how to use complex digital asset management platforms to access the media files they need.


7. Data entry

Digital asset managers spend a lot of time entering data as they tag media assets and enter metadata. This person needs to be a quick typist and someone who can quickly and easily move around the DAM solution to enter this data as they need to. They should also be able to develop and adapt their data entry workflows for your organization’s needs.

8. Patience

While this one may seem out of left field, it isn't! The digital asset manager will often need to explain how to use the DAM system to locate files. Technology doesn't come easy to everyone, so this person will need patience and empathy as they teach their less tech-savvy co-workers how to access the brand assets they need.

9. Leadership

Depending on the size of your organization, the digital asset manager may be the only one who manages the DAM technology and organization of digital content. For this reason, they'll need to have leadership skills when it comes to leading projects and initiatives that impact the organization's digital asset library. They will also need to be able to enforce compliance measures, which requires a knack for leadership.


10. Flexibility

The person in this role needs to be flexible and can adapt to the needs of your organization. They should also be flexible in their approach to teaching others within your organization how to use the DAM software. (Remember, not everyone is tech-savvy! And not everyone learns how to use tech solutions the same way.)

Social media image sizes
Social media image sizes

Air + your digital asset manager = match made in DAM heaven

No matter how great your digital asset manager is, they're going to need the right tools to do their job effectively. That's where Air comes in.

Air offers a centralized location for all of your digital assets where your digital asset manager can organize, manage, and maintain your library of cataloged files. A digital asset management solution like Air helps ensure productivity and makes it easy for your manager to publish up-to-date and transparent usage information. 

If your organization is small and you're not ready to hire a digital asset manager just yet, your team can still make use of Air to organize and manage your digital asset library. Features like Smart tags and visual workspace make it easy for anyone on your team to manage assets effectively without navigating any complex functionality.

Air is more than just a cloud storage solution. It streamlines the asset management process by offering various features that make it easy to organize your content. Features like Smart tags and visual workspace allow your digital asset manager or anyone managing content for your team to do their work efficiently and effectively.

One thing that sets Air apart from the standard DAM solution is its seamless collaboration features. Air isn't just for storing and organizing digital marketing and social media graphics. It also offers your design and marketing teams a way to collaborate on graphics for all your marketing campaigns. Leave feedback and approve graphics right, all in one place.

Want to see the magic of Air for yourself? Sign up for free, and get 5GB on us!

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