A Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution can be used for preliminary research even before considering other external sources/vendors to acquire new assets or before creating new assets. You may already have what you need internally, so it may be worth looking inside your own organization first. A DAM should be able to provide users with “for placement only” (FPO) assets for consideration in a project. These FPO assets could be watermarked by the DAM to easily discern between a lower quality FPO asset (which can not be published as is) and the approved asset for use in a project with the proper rights cleared. Provided you have a fair number of assets for a project with enough metadata to find what you have on hand in a DAM, searching the DAM first may yield less research time for a project.
Realistically, once you acquire and/or create new assets, you may want to add them to the DAM in a timely manner so others may find them as well. This makes it easier to reference and use these assets again whenever they fits the need of a project.
DAM users can create a DAM lightbox (or special collection) of specific assets found in the DAM for a particular project which could be shared and collaborated over with other DAM users, regardless of geographic location. These digital light boxes could even be created and edited before meetings to discuss the project to streamline the process.
If you are worried you may be using the same assets too frequently across various projects, a report from the DAM can list of the number of downloads of assets or even a specific asset.
If you want to maintain brand consistency, you could store your organization’s logos in the DAM so the same, current set is easily searched, distributed and used from a single source (the DAM) rather than fragmenting distribution along with your brand.
How do you use DAM to assist with preliminary research?