DAM: What is digital asset management and why you need it?
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What is digital asset management (DAM) and why you need it?

Published datePublished: Sep 19, 2019 ViewsViews: 1427
Jitin Narang

Jitin Narang

CMO
As CMO, Jitin takes care of global partnerships and alliances for mobile solutions. He leads by example and is often quoted by colleagues and friends as the epitome of team spirit. With an ideal blend of entrepreneurial ability, humility, a hunger for knowledge and unending enthusiasm, he believes that nothing is impossible and is credited for the ‘Ahead’ dimension of TechAhead.
What is digital asset management (DAM) and why you need it?

Intangible assets like data, brand value, employee knowledge, and cloud storage are as valuable as tangible assets for any company. In some cases, these assets are far more valuable than hard assets like buildings, equipment, etcetera. Any of these assets that exist in digital form and are accessible digitally are known as digital assets. They are precious for an enterprise, even if they seem like simple, saved files.

Storing, organizing, accessing, and maintaining these files is known as digital asset management. DAM (digital asset management) also includes taking care of digital rights and permissions for these files. These files can be anything from simple photos to music files, videos, animations, podcasts, or multimedia content. An organization with a robust DAM solution has brand consistency and higher efficiency. With a sound DAM system in place, it is easier for organizations to find assets quickly. It reduces the time wastage making them more efficient.

Why use a digital asset management system?

The overabundance of digital content is a common problem most companies face. Storing this content in a way that is searchable, accessible, usable, and secure is of utmost importance for businesses. Here’s how DAM provides all of it and more to make user’s work more accessible and more efficient:

1. Easy & quick search

Files are present everywhere. They are distributed among computer systems and network drives within and outside (clients, partners, or agencies) the enterprise. However, it goes missing when you need a particular file at a specific time. Employees continuously crib about time wastage when it comes to filing searches. DAM takes all the media files and content and stores it centrally. Anyone with the right to access it can locate the required file here. This also eliminates the need to transfer files from one employee’s system to another because all the data are centrally available.

2. Requests and approvals

A branding team must manage many content requirements and demands throughout the day. These requirements come from various departments within the organization, press, agencies, partners, and clients. The files need to be approved by an authorized person before being sent. A good DAM in place reduces this workload by making relevant data accessible to appropriate teams or departments.

3. Appropriate inventory system

Many institutes, like libraries and museums, use dedicated database applications customized to the type of information they want to store or record. This can be size, location, dates, and so on. Likewise, retailers and manufacturers record the information in product- or sector-specific tailored systems. Unfortunately, most systems cannot handle rich-media files like images and videos. Nowadays, most of the content is present in this format only. Marketing and public-relation staff needs such files securely and readily available. Almost all DAM software can handle and manage rich media files with ease.

4. Storing required details

Different organizations have different ways of associating information with files. It can be a celebrity’s name in the image, event, product, client, date, location, color, or project. The list of ways to name the file or save it in a particular manner is limitless. To find the file quickly, it’s essential to store it by utilizing tags and then find them using the same tags or description. It is one of the core functionalities of any DAM software.

5. Consistent branding and production values

It is a well-known fact that branding needs to be consistent across all channels. This is the only way audience or clients can recognize or connect with a brand. However, sometimes due to the unavailability of the required files, employees do whatever they can with whatever they get. This can result in inconsistencies in marketing communication. Any good Marcom expert values brand consistency and the importance of employees being able to access the correct file at the right time. The solution to this problem is to have a commonly existing, organized, and maintained media collection that all employees can use appropriately. DAM solution also offers more accessible and streamlined ways to work with these files. For example, basic editing, changing the file type, publishing them directly on a company’s social media channels, etc. Having such a solution can improve brand consistency and productivity.

6. Legal liabilities

Every team member might be unable to understand the legal consequences of using a random file. Many companies had to pay hefty fines for using files that were not supposed to be used. Most of these weren’t deliberate; they happened due to the ignorance of the designer or some other staff member. Therefore, the legal rights associated with the media files that your employees are using must be mentioned and understood. In such cases, media library systems, and the DAM, can help businesses avoid such costly errors.

7. Support for media files

Enterprises use content management systems (CMSs) to maintain websites. Most CMS come with limited search abilities for images. Another common issue with CMS is that most automatically resize the images while uploading as per the page template requirement. This sometimes leads to the destruction of the master file. Some CMS delete metadata files, which might include copyright or other such information.

Digital asset management software types

There are multiple types of DAM software systems. A company must choose the software as per its requirement. Here are more details about these DAM solutions to help you understand better:

1. Brand asset management systems

This DAM solution is chiefly focused on helping marketing teams. The essential purpose of this type of software is to securely manage all the branding assets, like videos, logos, images, animations, etc., reliably.

2. Library asset management systems

This DAM solution focuses on organizing and maintaining many infrequently changing digital assets. This includes searching, storing, and retrieving these assets wherever and whenever required.

3. Production asset management systems

This DAM solution emphasizes storing, organizing, and reviewing control of frequently changing digital assets.

4. Digital supply chain services

This DAM solution is used for the distribution of content to digital retailers.

Selecting the Right DAM System

Now that you have gained all the information about digital asset management systems, it’s time to choose the right one for your organization. A good DAM solution can be tailored as per the company’s requirements. Still, here are some basic features that you must check before getting a DAM solution:

1. Flexibility and Adaptability

Any digital asset management system must support flexible metadata schemes. Users should be able to modify labels and fields as per their needs and suitability. This will enable intuitive search and retrieval of assets.

It must allow an administrator to configure the system so that a user sees only the features they need to use and assets they are supposed to access to do their job. This will enhance productivity, lower stress, and a clutter-free work environment.

2. Collaboration

Collaboration is one of the critical characteristics of any successful team. DAM software also needs tools and features that can help your team work together even more efficiently. This feature could be as simple as chatting among the team members, having the ability to approve or disapprove someone’s work, schedule tasks, or leave notes for your teammates.

3. Distribution

The ability to distribute the assets quickly and efficiently to various platforms like email, social media channels, etc., is beneficial in certain situations. This feature is essential for your business if you need digital assets to be shared across channels.

4. Analytics

Keeping track of assets being uploaded, downloaded, used, accessed, and shared is essential. You might need the answers to questions like What is being published? What needs modification? What has been used chiefly? A good DAM solution should provide a wide range of measurements and reports.

Integrating digital asset management (DAM) system into your business is a decision that will substantially impact marketing strategies. It will improve collaboration among different teams, simplify asset searching for everyone and automate manual tasks.

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