What content strategy and technology will leading brands use in 2024?

The state of digital content 2024

Marketing technology

3 important things to include in your RFP for a digital asset management system

by Casey Schmidt  |  January 20, 2020

4 min. read
A grouping of different phrases and words.

Digital asset management (DAM) systems are not created equally and that sentiment is never more apparent than when looking at different vendors. You’re bound to run into all types of systems that offer varying levels of functionality, all while promising to be perfect for your company’s many needs. However, this just isn’t possible. While they may all work for you in a basic sense, there’s always going to be one that works best. The way to make sure you get the best one for you is by creating an efficient RFP for a DAM.

Here’s a quick clarification of what RFP is, followed by three important things to include in yours.

What is an RFP?

An RFP is a request for proposal. It is an enterprise document that attempts to obtain approval from a business. From there, the requestor can begin to use the services and other goods from the vendor. An RFP typically outlines specific details that pertain to what the company expects from any agreement going forward. This often includes things such as costs, schedule and other basic plans and expectations.

The RFP icon being touched by a digital hand.
A digital asset management RFP requires in-depth explanations.

With that in mind, let’s dive into the three most valuable things to put into your RFP for a digital asset management tool:

1. A personalized expectation of efficiency concerning potential integrations

A prerequisite of any DAM-seeker should absolutely be some type of assurance that the system integrates with your current in-place programs and tools. This is because teams from all departments are likely to use the DAM and if their current programs are functional within it, they’re likely to struggle completing tasks. Make sure to meet all reasonable integration expectations when deciding on a vendor.

One thing to point out that is often a bit confusing is whether the DAM needs to integrate with cloud storage systems, since the DAM itself has cloud storage capabilities. Some digital asset management tools do in fact integrate with other cloud systems, something that might be beneficial to someone unwilling to completely give up the use of their current program.

Integrated digital chains.
Integrations should be a partial focal point of an RFP.

2. A detailed description of scalability needs

This one is really important, as you don’t want to select a DAM vendor that works well for you in the current moment but fails your company in the future. Your RFP should provide concrete details concerning your specific scalability and request concrete answers concerning the vendor’s ability to meet these needs. Vendors may be inclined to make a blanket statement or response about their ability to cover your needs if you don’t specify them in detail. Avoid this mistake by forcing them to give you specifics.

It may help the process along if you’re able to provide vendors with data concerning your downloads, sharing and other digital traffic. This protects your company from vendors that don’t have clear, demonstrable capability to handle your potential scalability needs.

A group of blocks scaling upward.
Include your scalability requirements.

3. A foundation of your basic necessities

One of the easiest ways to simplify your DAM search is to provide some basic needs right away in the process. The most efficient way to do this is by focusing on your most important concerns and relay that, in detail, to vendors. By keeping this part of the process minimal (including your most important requirements rather than every single one), you ensure your most important needs are understood and met.

Something that helps immensely is a detailed description of different problems you’ll want solved with your DAM. This helps all parties visualize what is needed for a company in terms of a DAM system. This step usually requires collaboration and cooperation with numerous team members to make sure different viewpoints are represented.

Pawns moving on a winding track.
Include potential basic needs in your RFP.

One simple way to inform a vendor of your needs is sharing with them your assets. Of course, this isn’t to suggest you need to send them the entirety of your file collections. Instead, you should take note of what type of assets you have and what format they’re in. Do you have a lot of video files? Audio? Are they mostly MP4? MP3? Once this is established, you can provide the vendor with the information so they can confirm whether or not their system will handle your assets properly. This type of preparation sometimes goes overlooked in the bustle of finding a DAM.

The way to truly ensure a strong DAM is through first the preparation and delivery of a well-thought out and strongly-constructed RFP. Review everything necessary in order to make sure all is included.