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What is a digital asset manager? A complete guide

by Casey Schmidt  |  November 4, 2019

3 min. read
A businesswoman using a mobile device.

Digital asset managers are people who work within a company to handle certain digital files. Their roles and responsibilities are wide-ranging and varying. For this reason, it’s important to understand the basics of their job.

Digital asset managers have a very important job that benefits companies greatly. Because of how many tasks are involved, they often supplement the position with software. Digital asset management software is a tool managers use to cover the entirety of company assets and automate some of their tasks.

Before we dive into what a digital asset manager does, including their roles in a company, let’s make sure you have a firm understanding of digital assets.

What is a digital asset?

Digital assets are any digitally-owned piece of media, such as videos, images, presentations and documents. An example of a digital asset is an image file of a company logo. This is their intellectual property and thus a digital asset.

A group of digital icons.
A digital asset is an owned digital file.

Now that you have a grasp of what a digital asset is, it’s time to learn how a digital asset manager handles these assets and other roles they assist with.

What is a digital asset manager?

Digital asset managers review and analyze a company’s entire digital catalog of files. They’re also responsible for organizing the files in a manner conducive to efficiency and success. Furthermore, they are in charge of the overall management of each asset stored and shared by team members.

A digital asset manager may, for example, be heavily involved in marketing ops. Their job entails a company-wide management of digital assets. If a team member creates a logo image file for the company, the digital asset manager ensures it’s stored in the correct location for all members to access. They also make sure it’s tagged correctly.

A woman using a laptop.
Digital asset managers handle various team tasks.

Responsibilities and duties

Digital asset managers have many different roles but their overarching duty is to handle all processes involved with a company’s digital assets. Typically, the first thing a digital asset manager must do when working with assets is ensure they’re named correctly. A solid understanding of metadata and tagging is crucial in the position as it helps users locate valuable files quickly. Furthermore, they’re required to understand how to store digital files in convenient locations. They’re also responsible for creating a folder-storage system that benefits all team members who use it.

Another important aspect of the job is the administrative issues. The manager controls file access, letting certain team members use a file or not. This maintains quality projects as the right people are editing assets each time. This duty requires extensive communication with multiple departments to make sure the manager understands who needs access and who doesn’t.

A wooden figure surrounded by five different figures.
A manager handles implementation processes.

What to look for in a manager

A digital asset manager needs to be qualified to handle a wide variety of things, extending much further than technical know-how of digital assets. One of the most appealing characteristics is someone who handles situations with people well. Installing a new digital asset management system requires a massive change in routines of team members. If the manager isn’t capable of encouraging people, chances are the project will fall flat on its face.

On top of an extensive understanding of a digital asset management system, the manager must be well-versed in technology. There is bound to be a large set of technical problems throughout the digital asset management journey. The manager should be first to tackle them. Furthermore, their ability to analyze current and future enterprise situations is key.

Remember when selecting a digital asset manager that they need to be capable of handling dynamic tasks, including communicating with different departments and understanding company structures and values. It’s important to pick a good digital asset management system first, then follow up with a digital asset manager.