What Is Digital Asset Management?

Digital Asset Management (DAM) is the repository for your digital assets such as images, videos, and other files. With a DAM, you can upload, search, and distribute your digital assets from a single solution.

Central Asset Repository

As a repository, or digital library, a DAM provides your team with a single, secure system where they know they can always find the most up-to-date, approved assets for their projects. You can route workflows so that assets must go through an upload process to be properly tagged and have the right metadata attached. These steps make sure the assets can be found easily using simple, yet powerful, search tools.

Business Process Management

As a work-in-progress (WIP) solution, your marketing and creative teams can easily assign, review, and approve tasks and campaigns with the assets by using a Business Process Management (BPM) integration. Integrations with Adobe® products allow your team to work with assets directly in the creative suite without needing to login to the DAM in a separate web browser, saving tons of time.

Digital Asset Distribution

As an asset distribution tool, you can distribute your digital assets to individuals and teams with external links, internally sharing a saved search, or distributing directly to digital channels like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Get your what is digital asset management guide

Get Your Guide

Download the ultimate guide to Digital Asset Management now!

What is a Digital Asset?

A digital asset is a file that can be stored digitally. Typically, they are assets that can provide some sort of value to a company through marketing campaigns, sales materials, packaging, or other promotional activities.

MediaBeacon characters for digital asset management

Common Digital Assets

The most common digital assets are images and video, but DAM solutions support most types of files, including images, video, audio, 3D, documents, photographs, editable graphics, and more.

By using DAM, you can extend the lifecycle of your digital assets by reusing them to create new materials for all your marketing channels.

What Are Digital Assets Used For?

Share icon

Social media advertisements

Website icon

Website banners

Brochure icon

Brochures

Cart icon

Ecommerce materials

Plus icon

And much more

Signage icon

Signage

Packaging icon

Packaging

Collateral icon

Collateral

Video icon

Promotional Videos

Who Uses DAM?

DAM software helps break organizational silos and brings departments together. It is a tool that connects your cross-functional teams so there are many departments who will use it, but they often have their own specific user stories. These user stories should be simplified by using a

 

DAM and you can control the type of access that users have to content based on how they will interact with the DAM. Some of your users may need full editing access, while others may simply need the ability to download approved assets for specific products or brands.

Typical User Types

Internal Users
These are users and teams within your company that will access and use the DAM on a regular basis with a range of access levels and capabilities.

  • Creative
    Photographers and graphics designers will use the DAM to access digital assets and upload new assets and versions of assets into the DAM. They are most likely to use the integration with creative tools like Adobe® InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, or Premiere Pro.
  • Marketing Marketing teams, omnichannel professionals, and product management will typically need to access the DAM on a regular basis for the creation and storage of marketing materials.
  • Sales Sales teams will need access to approved assets that they can use for sales presentations, pitches, and information for their prospects.
  • Packaging Packaging teams will use the DAM as a repository to store their packaging assets so they can easily access and make updates to packaging with speed and agility. See MediaBeacon’s 3D capabilities.
  • IT IT professionals usually help make sure the right data is involved in the integration of the DAM with other systems. They can also have teams of asset owners, DAM managers, metadata managers, and archivists that configure the DAM and make sure assets are ingested with the right information.
  • Legal Legal teams can attach expiration dates to digital assets so that assets aren’t used without the proper rights, and identify which users may have downloaded content that shouldn’t be used.

 

External Users
These are users outside of your internal team that need access to your digital assets, usually in a more controlled environment.

 

  • Agencies
    Agencies need access to your logos, brand guidelines, and lifestyle images to use as part of their campaigns. They can also upload newly created campaign assets to the DAM for approval.
  • Distributors
    Distributors often need images to help promote and sell your products and services.
  • Partners
    Other partners that work with you on creative, marketing, packaging, and other projects will need access to images.

What Are The Advantages Of Using DAM?

The biggest areas where a DAM can provide return on investment (ROI) for a company is through saving time and money to ultimately increase the bottom line. There are many benefits of DAM that contribute to saving time and money across the marketing and creative departments.

Some of the major advantages of digital asset management solutions are:

  • Access to digital assets right when you need them.
  • The ability to use and reuse assets to extend the lifecycle of your asset and get more value for the investment in photography, design, etc.
  • Control access to your assets so only approved versions are being used by the right people. This saves resources spent on the misuse of assets.
  • The ability to collaborate more effectively with teams on WIP and finished projects.
  • Maintain brand consistency by using consistent assets across channels.
  • Understand how, where, when, and who uses your digital assets through graphs and charts directly in the user interface (UI).
  • Quickly access and create artwork in Adobe® applications.
  • Easily provide specific content to stakeholders and external partners.
  • Integrate asset information from other technologies.
  • Control licensing and usage rights for digital assets.
  • Increase execution speed for marketing campaigns.
  • Easily download assets in the file format you need through on-the-fly converting as you download the asset.
  • Easily distribute and manage videos with DAM and integrations.
  • Review project dashboards to understand where in process projects are.
  • Annotate directly on graphics to easily provide feedback and review on digital assets.
  • Post directly to distribution channels and content platforms.

What Makes A Good DAM?

Easy To Use
You should be able to navigate the system without trouble. In the best implementations of DAM, users hardly even know they are using the system because it is so easy.

Connection and Partnership
Your DAM system should help connect your marketing technologies so your solution provider should offer ways to integrate systems and partner with you to align on product roadmaps.

Provides Control
A DAM should provide you with control of your digital assets so there should be options for user access control, permissions within assets and groups, and options for securely sharing digital assets.

How Does DAM Fit In With Marketing?

Since images, videos, and other digital assets are a major part of marketing campaigns, they are an important element for your marketing objectives and need to be accessible. An intelligent marketing technology stack should include a DAM that helps connect your digital assets to your other systems.

Who Needs DAM?

There are a few key signs that your organization needs DAM. If you experience any of the following, it is probably time for you to start looking into a DAM solution for your company:

  • Have trouble finding assets.
  • Use assets one time and then never use them again.
  • Have trouble tracking marketing projects.
  • Not sure if you have the legal rights to use assets.
  • Creative for campaigns is constantly over-budget.
  • Have trouble converting assets into the formats needed for different campaigns.
  • Not sure if you are using the most recent, approved version of the asset.
  • Campaigns are not consistent across channels.
  • Not sure how your external partners are using digital assets.

On Premise DAM & SaaS DAM

The best DAM solutions are flexible to provide the most capable options for the specific needs of your company. That’s why MediaBeacon offers a flexible platform that lets you choose the path that’s best for your business, whether it’s on-premise, SaaS, cloud, or a hybrid combination. On-premise SaaS, cloud, and hybrid digital asset management all provide secure access to all of your digital assets.

SaaS DAM icon
SaaS Digital Asset Management
A SaaS DAM is hosted by the vendor so it reduces the workload on your IT department. This typically means that you don’t have to manage licenses, you have 24/7 global infrastructure support, and up-to-date software. Secure DAM companies will typically have an ISO 27001 certification. With SaaS, you can host your assets in the cloud so that they don’t take up any file storage space.

On premise DAM icon
On Premise Digital Asset Management
An On-Premise DAM is hosted internally and is usually managed by your IT department. This means that you take care of the updates internally. Because this option allows running the DAM solution from your own hardware, you also have the option to host it in a cloud service to help reduce storage space requirements.

Best Practices

Learn more about Digital Asset Management best practices on these pages: