Managing Change: Tips for Driving Buy-In and Adoption of Your DAM

What’s your ultimate goal for digital asset management?

Maybe it’s creating a clear approval process for the hundreds of image files you receive every day. Or maybe you need a better way to deliver the right content to your sales and marketing teams. Before you reach any of these success milestones, first you need to focus on DAM user adoption. 

Enterprise digital asset management means nothing without the right people, a process they can follow, and the right systems to help everyone thrive.

In this article we’ll examine some of the ways you can improve digital asset management user adoption and get the most value out of your images, videos, and digital files.

DAM User Adoption Starts with Change Management 

You have great people on your team, and you’re always looking to make them stronger in their roles. Whether you’re aiming for more efficiency, creativity, or innovation, it’s important to focus on your team members first. Any new enterprise digital asset management system should accelerate your team’s goals. The technology alone cannot do all the work.

When you decide to invest in a new DAM system, you can improve DAM user adoption by embracing the following change management principles.

  1. Announce the New DAM System and Explain Why It Matters. People will be more inclined to change their behavior if they understand why the change is happening. It is also important to provide ongoing communication and training programs for your new enterprise digital asset management system. Be sure to share timelines and expectations, and make time for questions and open discussion. Be prepared to reinforce key messages multiple times.
  2. Identify and Encourage Influencers. Even before you announce the new system to your team at large, find influencers whose work will be impacted the most by this change. Once you make the announcement, give these influencers early access and show them how the new DAM will improve their workflow. If they can quickly see how the new DAM solution will solve their own challenges, they will be more likely to use it. These people can act as sponsors when you introduce the product to the rest of your team, and they can model the behavior you want to see.
  3. Measure DAM User Adoption. Once you announce the project, train influencers, and install your new DAM system for everyone on your team, it’s time to track DAM user adoption.

This is a critical moment, and the choices you make here will determine the success of the project. But even if you schedule ongoing trainings for the new system and monitor success milestones, your project will never get off the ground unless you take a stand. 

The Most Important Decision You Can Make

Just as you need to transform influencers into product champions, you will need buy-in from your leadership team before you go all in.

The secret to high DAM user adoption is to make the new system mandatory.

This goes hand-in-hand with all the steps we’ve already mentioned. You must be as open as possible about why you’re making this change. Be prepared to speak with your team members one-on-one. Some might believe their access to certain digital assets gives them power over the organization as a whole. Remind them that one of your goals for this project is to level the playing field so that everyone can produce better work. You need to address concerns like these in order to move forward. 

At the same time, keep your eyes on the prize. An enterprise digital asset management system can make organizing, finding, sharing, and searching for content much easier than ever before.

When you make the new system mandatory, don’t do it overnight. The flipside of this step is to gradually shut down peripheral systems as you migrate their digital assets to the new platform. Every time you phase out one of these other systems, follow this plan:

  • Notify affected team members of the date on which you plan to migrate these digital assets.
  • Tell them what folder structure they can expect in the new DAM system.
  • Follow through with your plan and tell them the changes you’ve made. 

And most important of all, train them on the new system. All of these changes are for their benefit, and if you want your project to succeed, you must overcommunicate your intentions every step of the way.

Key Performance Indicators to Improve DAM User Adoption 

There are many ways to measure DAM user adoption, but not all of these metrics are created equally. Measuring user engagement is a great start, but it’s not enough. You also need to track activities by your co-admins and deliver ongoing, positive reinforcement to users.

Begin by grouping your digital assets into meaningful folders. Train your users on how to use metadata to find exactly what they need. At the same time, train your co-admins on how to manage and assign the right metadata to the appropriate files. 

Here are a few of the most popular KPIs for DAM user adoption:

  • How many of your team members have logged in? Measure the ratio of registered to active users and watch how this number changes after launch.
  • How often are your team members using the new DAM?
  • How many assets have users uploaded to the DAM? For example, if one of your goals is to increase the use of images or photography, then you should report file downloads and shares.

Set clear goals and success milestones based around your KPIs, and give your team members every opportunity to provide feedback. The last thing you want to do with your new DAM system is set it and forget it. You need to be vigilant. You and your co-admins need to continuously monitor usage of the platform to track adoption and engagement: 

  • Which terms show up most often in search? Which show up the least? Why?
  • Which metadata terms are most prevalent, and which are the least common? Research both cases and determine whether you need to add, remove, or edit your metadata tags. For example, you might have metadata keywords that are duplicates, typos, or irrelevant. The more relevant your metadata, the more valuable your enterprise digital asset management system will be. 
  • Which assets are downloaded and shared the most often? Which ones the least? Why?

How do you deliver ongoing, positive reinforcement to your team members? The best DAM systems allow you to create automated workflows that notify users when you make specific changes. For example:

  • Automatically email certain users when you upload specific digital assets
  • Notify them when you add metadata to images, videos, or other digital assets
  • Automate resizing and formatting of items for specific purposes, such as publishing on your website or sharing to social media
  • Automatically archive documents that are nearing their expiration dates


The best results from enterprise digital asset management solutions depend upon DAM user adoption. And the benefits are clear:

  • When you can automate common tasks to drive user engagement, that’s one less thing you have to worry about. 
  • When everyone sees the benefits of using one centralized system, then approvals and version control become much easier. 
  • And finally, when you can confidently search for — and find — anything you need, then you’ll have more time to focus on what really matters. 

This is the ultimate goal for any new digital asset management system: that it becomes far more than another piece of software, but a critical part of your business, something you and your team can rely upon.

That’s when digital asset management goes from a job to a joy. 

Resistance to change is normal, and it must be addressed point by point as you launch the new system. If you’ve decided to implement a DAM system for your company, then you’re already a hero. You are helping your company save time and money by improving DAM user adoption and leveraging the true value of your digital assets. And that's when the magic happens.

As we mentioned earlier, launching a new DAM solution means nothing without the right people, a process they can follow, and the right systems that help everyone thrive. Learn more about our intuitive DAM system Portfolio, and get the most value from your digital assets.