MediaBeacon Blog

DAM or Media Repository: What’s the Difference and Why Should You Care?

Assets stored in a DAM

A digital asset management (DAM) system can be an integral part of the marketing technology stack for any growing business. But many companies start with a media repository and don’t realize as they start to outgrow it and need to migrate to a pure DAM.

So, what’s the difference between a DAM and Media Repository?

In a media repository, you can store your digital assets. But the major is difference is how you store them to make them findable for anyone who uses the system. This becomes especially important as companies grow and need to use and re-use more digital assets like images, videos, and other content in their creative workflow and marketing campaigns.

In a media repository, you can find the assets you need only if you know the exact way to search for them. For example, you might need to know the exact file name as it is titled in the media repository, or the exact date it was added. This might be fine if you have a few assets but can become a big problem as your asset library grows and multiple people need to find relevant content based on a number of keywords and criteria.

In a DAM, each asset includes dynamic metadata so it can be found through multiple relevant searches. You can attach specific keywords and information to each asset that stays with the asset throughout its lifetime. Because of this information, including taxonomy, hierarchy, links, keywords, and other criteria, the assets can be found by anyone searching in the DAM.

Additionally, a DAM is capable of feeding the assets into other systems like a CMS. With a media repository, you have to find the asset, download it, and upload it to the system you are using to distribute. This becomes a bigger problem as content needs to be updated regularly, both within the depository and on the channels where the content is being distributed. With a DAM, you can connect your systems to remove the searching, downloading, and uploading process.

What does this mean to me?

Simply put, a DAM gives users the content they are looking for every time. Because your teams can find the content they are looking for when they need it, they have more time to do the activities that are more specific to their roles, experience, and skills.

10 Signs it is time to Switch from a Media Repository to a DAM

Here are some signs that it’s time get a DAM to replace your media repository.

  1. You have to use weird characters like * and # and quotations to search and find the assets you are looking for in your current system.
  2. You constantly get requests for assets and where to find them.
  3. You have no idea what the final version of an asset is. You might be working with assets that are the version.
  4. There are only a few specific people in your company that have access to and know how to find assets.
  5. Your creatives often spend their time looking for assets or recreating them instead of using existing design elements to create new content.
  6. You have several different places that you look for your assets, including your inbox, desktop, shared drive, and more.
  7. You need to update content regularly and multiple channels and this process is very time-consuming for your team.
  8. Your assets live in other fit-for-purpose tools like a CMS instead of being accessible for everyone that needs them, including marketing, sales, and branding.
  9. You constantly need to remind people where and how to find the content they are looking for, even if it’s the same piece of content over and over again.
  10. You don’t even have a media repository to begin with.

To learn more about how a DAM can help you, contact us.