Marketing content. Proprietary documents. Audio and video files. Whatever form they take, the digital assets belonging to your building materials brand likely number in the hundreds, if not thousands.
The question is, what’s the best way to store, organize, and distribute them for daily use?
One solution used by many companies is Google Drive. It’s an extremely common cloud storage tool, having crossed the 1 billion user mark in 2018. It can come in handy for document creation, editing, and simple collaborative tasks.
A modern building product company, however, will likely need a more robust, scalable solution. Enter digital asset management (DAM) platforms, which are far more capable for storing, disseminating, and ultimately using your assets and documents efficiently.
Don’t underestimate the value of managing your assets better. Doing so can save your company lots of time, encourage stronger collaboration, and get more sales and marketing collateral in the hands of staff members who need it. The result is more leads, closed deals, huge cost savings, and a building materials brand that can grow with fewer hindrances.
Here, we’ll compare Google Drive to what a premium DAM solution can do for you. Read on to understand why the latter is hands-down the better solution for your brand and bottom line.
Key Differences Between Google Drive and a Top DAM Platform
At first glance, Google Drive can be a tempting option for all your file management needs. It has the household name working for it, and nearly everyone knows how to use its basic file storage and retrieval functions.
However, after seeing a breakdown of what a DAM platform can do for a growing enterprise business — especially a building product company that has to manage a complex interplay of sales staff, end customers, and local dealers and installers — you’ll see the clear advantages.
Here are some key DAM software benefits you won’t want to go without:
Collaboration is key to getting business done. Stats collected by Zippia show that up to 75% of employees rate teamwork and collaboration as being very important.
When your team has to work with multiple assets such as consumer-facing articles, catalogs, and videos, all of which are slated for several feedback and editing rounds, you’ll want to ensure easy access and sharing while avoiding file duplication.
If those things are lacking, collaboration suffers. Proper attribution of changes, selecting the right edition of a file, and other tasks can quickly get messy.
Google Drive lets you accomplish a very basic version of this. With a DAM, however, you can manage highly complex, collaborative projects that can involve hundreds of files and many stakeholders across locations, without errors and confusion.
An essential part of streamlining collaboration? Maintaining control over file versions.
According to an eMarketer insight quoted by Neil Patel, 60% of marketers create at least one piece of content every day. With all that content being generated constantly, it can be a headache to keep up with the latest versions of documents.
For a building materials manufacturer, promotions and channel partner communications depend on up-to-date sales and marketing collateral. That’s in addition to compliance documentation, technical spec sheets, and more that must be generated and kept current every time you develop new products.
Google Drive shows simple file histories, but tracking and responding to multiple team members’ changes can quickly get out of hand.
A good DAM tool, however, will have file version control as a core function. It becomes crystal-clear who made what changes to your assets, and it’s possible to recall earlier versions of files when different directions in editing are called for.
Across a large building materials company, a DAM will help ensure every single team member involved in a project uses the most recently-approved file versions.
Creation and Management of Metadata
Tagging files with bits of informative “metadata,” such as helpful descriptions and keywords, makes locating assets far easier to find later.
It’s also essential to be able to “preview” files when going through tons of digital assets — determining and selecting the right file the first time saves hours from being wasted. Google Drive’s capabilities in this area are extremely limited, with only basic tagging abilities and previews that often don’t offer enough info for quick file selection.
A DAM tool, on the other end, will have metadata management features that make it a snap to find and choose the right asset from among hundreds of similarly-named or categorized files.
Centralization of Assets
For any given asset, be it an article spec sheet, BIM file, or project walkthrough video, does your staff instantly know where to look it up? If you try to “centralize” by dumping everything into Google Drive, with its limited search and categorization features, you’re likely setting up huge headaches for your team.
For one, it might not make sense to put some sensitive types of data next to others, and different teams within your company might have their own file storage preferences. Managing user access can become unwieldy. You won’t have much visibility into which files are being used, by whom.
DAM platforms, however, are built around the very idea of centralizing a large company’s assets. They are reliable hubs that anyone in your company, depending on the access rights they’re granted, can approach to find essential audio, video, image and text assets, no matter the purpose.
Plus, with greater visibility and sophisticated categorization and search features, you’ll be far better served by a DAM than by Google Drive for centralizing assets.
In Camunda’s 2020 State of Process Automation report, quoted by Imaginovation, 97% of IT decision-makers agreed that process automation is crucial to innovation and business outcomes in the digital age. In short, smooth workflows are essential to getting things done.
Want your building materials brand to grow? Across your sales, R&D, marketing, supply chain, and other teams, every process that involves digital files needs to run like a well-oiled machine.
Google Drive simply doesn’t offer workflow management. Its notifications are very limited, and you’ll have to add lots of third-party plugins to get close to actually improving processes. This is resource-intensive and slow.
Turn to a good DAM instead for real workflow management power. With the right DAM, you’ll have automatic notifications of file changes, approvals, and downloads, routing of asset requests to the right person, and more.
This is what will actually help your teams meet goals, work more intelligently with key assets, and keep your brand identity consistent.
Integration with Third-Party Tools
Modern building material manufacturers work with lots of cloud software tools: a content management system (CMS), email marketing tool, customer relationship management (CRM) tool, project management software, social media management platform, and more.
Google Drive operates outside of these applications. Getting the right assets to the right person — be it a customer, contractor, dealer, or sales rep — is often a matter of manually searching for and retrieving the file in Google Drive, looking up the right person, and then sending it to them.
While there are third-party apps and plugins that can connect to Google Drive and add some automation to the process, it quickly becomes inefficient for a building product company looking to conduct efficient business.
A high-quality DAM is built with integration in mind. The best solutions recognize and connect seamlessly to any of today’s top SaaS platforms for marketing, sales, and communications, to enable smart asset distribution with just a few clicks of a button.
Ultimately, you can use Google Drive to store and share files with limited functionality. For modern building materials manufacturers, it does little else of value, especially when thousands of important digital assets are involved.
You’ll want the advanced features of a DAM tool for streamlined asset management, better efficiency, and improved collaboration…all of which can boost your profits and save you money.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Google Drive and DAM
A DAM system is clearly the way to go when you need to organize, share, collaborate on, download, and distribute large volumes of assets.
Some building material manufacturers, however, might have simpler needs. There are a few factors to consider when deciding between working with Google Drive, or turning to a DAM platform’s powerful capabilities:
- Your company’s size and complexity. Smaller manufacturers that have just one or two product lines, serve a niche market, or work with only a couple of dealers might be served with the basic asset storage Google Drive offers. A large company looking to scale will benefit from advanced DAM features.
- The nature of your assets. If your company typically works with a small volume of articles, images, and videos day-to-day, Google Drive might meet your needs. However, if you have a mix of multimedia files, technical documents, and highly-specialized sales and marketing collateral, a DAM solution is your best bet for staying organized.
- Your existing systems and tools. If your business runs on a few simple tools or homegrown systems, and you don’t necessarily need an upgrade for file retrieval or distribution, Google Drive may be all you need. If you’re using several industry-standard SaaS platforms, integration with a DAM tool can make communicating and sharing assets much easier.
- Your needs for collaboration and sharing. Google Drive’s sharing abilities are powerful enough for small teams, simple files, and uncomplicated projects. You’ll want a DAM for sharing with large teams, streamlining workflows, and maintaining control over file versions.
- Security and compliance. Some smaller companies only have simple compliance and security needs, and Google Drive may be sufficient for handling the relevant files. Larger enterprises often have complex data privacy concerns and lots of compliance-related documentation to account for, all of which make a modern DAM a better fit.
All in all, Google Drive can be a useful tool for building product companies with the simplest needs and the smallest volume of files. However, when your assets grow in number and complexity and you’re ready to scale up, a modern, high-quality DAM is what will give you the best results.
DAM Software: The Winner for Efficient, Large-Scale Asset Sharing and Organization
A building materials manufacturer today will typically have a plethora of files, numerous collaboration needs, and the urgent nature of sales and channel partner relationships to contend with. It all calls for an efficient, reliable, and scalable way to work with digital assets.
Google Drive is a basic, easy solution for storing and sharing files. However, it simply can’t help you keep pace with the complex, fast-moving building materials market as you seek to boost revenues, reduce costs, and scale up operations.
That’s why you’ll want to consider RevBase. It’s the #1 digital asset management platform for building product companies, and its power goes far beyond storing and sharing files. Use it to organize, manage access to, collaborate on, distribute, and analyze the usage of all the digital assets your business depends on.
In the end, you’ll create stronger teams, better customer and channel partner relationships, and even a smoother route to sales — all while saving time and money.
If you’re ready to see the advanced possibilities of RevBase for your building materials brand, request a quote today.