Digital Asset Management (DAM): An Ultimate Buyer’s Guide 2021
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By: Sagar Sharma

Digital Asset Management (DAM): An Ultimate Buyer’s Guide 2021

Every organization produces a lot of content every day to sell or market its products or services. The proliferation of content creates some serious issues if you don’t have the right system in place to manage the related media assets like images, audios, videos, etc.

Without the right Digital Asset Management solution, it becomes difficult for you to share the assets with internal and external users of the company. Also, you cannot help users to locate and access the exact assets whenever they need them.

By considering a Digital Asset Management platform, you can start managing the media assets from the moment they are created, and throughout the asset lifecycle. Ensuring the secured and structured management of your critical digital assets, DAM allows businesses to save time, effort, and resources to recreate, search, distribute, and retrieve the assets.

Before making your mind about any DAM solution, it is very important to get clarity on your business requirements. Every company has different customer demands, content needs, and feature set requirements. So, to pick the right DAM, you require a proper evaluation, planning, and guidance.

This post is a must-read for you if you want to know about how to select the right DAM for your company and what aspects you should take care of during the platform selection process.

Table of content

  • 7 signs that prove your organization needs a Digital Asset Management solution
  • What is Digital Asset Management (DAM)?
  • Know your objectives for Digital Asset Management implementation
  • What are the capabilities of Digital Asset Management?
  • How does an ideal Digital Asset Management platform work?
  • What can you do with the Digital Asset Management solution?
  • What are the major benefits of Digital Asset Management? In-depth breakdown
  • Key business consideration while selecting a Digital Asset Management solution for your company
  • What are the Digital Asset Management essentials?
  • Questions to ask while selecting a Digital Asset Management solution

Let’s first focus on whether you require a DAM solution or not. Here’re the top challenges that you might have been facing in your day-to-day operations without a DAM system.

7 Signs that proves your organization needs a Digital Asset Management solution

Signs that Proves Your Organization Needs a Digital Asset Management Solution

1. You have no idea where to look for digital assets

How do you manage your media assets presently? There are three most common ways to manage digital assets. Here you go.

  • On online file sharing sites
  • In individual computers
  • In random folders on the intranet

If you are managing your assets through any of these methods, then it becomes a time-consuming task to find a single asset from such a huge data. There is no single way for your internal and external users to find the asset quickly, download them, and use them as per their specific requirements.

How DAM makes a difference?

DAM allows you to store, manage, and catalog all the data in a single place. So, it becomes easier for your teams and partners to find, download, share, and use the assets they want in a matter of seconds.

Say sayonara to myriads of long email threads and file-sharing apps.

2. Anyone can access your digital assets

If everyone across your organization can access your digital assets, then it’s not the right way to manage indispensable assets. This causes you some serious issues like damaged and missing files.

To address this inefficiency, you need to define the access rights for your internal and external users to ensure only limited users can access your digital assets.

How DAM makes a difference?

Digital Asset Management solution enables you with features like user role and permission that allows you to define access rights for each user for digital assets.

3. Finding the right assets takes too long

For example; you have uploaded an image of a red background in your cloud storage. How could you search for that image? You probably save the image with the file name “21st January 2021 red background for a marketing campaign”.

Are you able to remember this file name after a couple of months? Or in your absence, will any other user be able to find it?

Of course, not.

Storage of digital assets in the cloud server, intranet, internet, and individual computer makes asset finding difficult and time-consuming.

How DAM makes a difference?

A renowned DAM platform allows you to manage, organize, and sort needed assets through thousands of files in seconds. It allows you to create a good metadata structure for your digital assets to find the assets even when you don’t know what exactly you’re looking for. Additionally, to simplify the asset searching, you can apply filters by author, category, date, type, and more.

4. You cannot share the assets with internal and external stakeholders

Most of the time, only selective individuals have access to specific files. So, those individuals need to invest considerable time in sharing the asset files with others who need the assets but don’t have access to them.

How DAM makes a difference?

Why pass-through this pain when you have a more sophisticated way to share the asset quickly. Yes. I am talking about Digital Asset Management governance that allows you to define who can access what. DAM solution comes with built-in governance systems that allow you to define specific user groups with specific rights and provide granular control over file permissions.

You can share the digital assets with anyone regardless of your customers, external vendors, or internal teams with greater security.

5. You never know who supposed to do what with the assets

The content creation process involves many steps including briefing, creation, storage, validation, enrichment, conversion, and distribution. During this process, you never know who needs to do what to which asset file.

How DAM makes a difference?

Implementation of Digital Asset Management enables you with the history feature that allows you to access the history of all your assets. This feature also helps you keep workflows under control and manage media files with precision.

6. Your teams cannot access the digital assets remotely

Your team needs to work remotely in four scenarios.

1 – You are a multinational organization that has offices and employees across the world
2 – Your team members travel often
3 – You work with remote contractors and third party companies
4 – You might have other reasons for your employees work outside of your office

In all the above-listed cases, when it comes to sharing digital assets, it becomes an arduous task. To share digital assets, employees need to send several emails and wait until they receive a response from another party. This impacts negatively on their productivity, especially when your team needs to work in a different time zone.

How DAM makes a difference?

DAM eliminates this back and forth. It allows every authentic user of the solution who is working remotely to retrieve the assets quickly whenever and wherever needed, on any device.

7. Many people are involved in the digital asset creation process

Usually, graphic designers, photographers, marketing and sales teams, copywriters, content creators, etc. participate in the asset creation process. This list can be longer for you as per your content creation process. To manage digital assets effectively, you need a good process for collaboration.

How DAM makes a difference?

DAM solution allows you to annotate, tag a specific group or user, and store comments on what is required to be changed. This makes you sure that you are always using and working on the latest version of the digital asset as well as you can collaborate with the different stockholders in real-time remotely.

There are many more signs that you might be experiencing when it comes to digital asset management. Above I have covered the most common ones.

What is Digital Asset Management (DAM)?

Digital Asset Management is a process for storing, managing, organizing, and sharing digital assets securely and efficiently. Using a reliable DAM platform, you can perform this process seamlessly along with managing the user rights to ensure only users with permission can access the assets.

To get detailed insights about Digital Asset Management, read An Ultimate Guide to Digital Asset Management (DAM)

Know your objectives for Digital Asset Management implementation

Rather than selecting a Digital Asset Management platform randomly, I would suggest to make a well-planned decision by

  • Defining your objectives
  • Prioritizing the objectives
  • Determining who are the DAM users and stakeholders
  • Understanding how their participation in the DAM selection process will help you in achieving these goals

In turn, the users and stakeholders help you in deciding the capabilities and components that are required to streamline and simplify your asset management processes.

Here’re some goals related to Digital Asset Management that you want or achieve for your organizations knowingly or unknowingly.

  • Attain brand consistency
  • To have a “system for master record” of all your digital assets to help your teams not to worry about where to find the assets, what is the most current, and what is approved.
  • Reduce the asset integration time in digital marketing campaigns by improving customer experience
  • Streamline the digital asset production process
  • Make it easier for your marketing team to work and coordinate with external design agencies
  • Improve the consistency and quality of assets being created in the company with distributed marketing teams
  • Eliminate the manual process of requesting certain assets to groups and people specific files (headshots, logos, collateral, product images, camping assets, etc.) for your marketing team

What are the capabilities of Digital Asset Management?

Digital Asset Management (DAM) Capabilities

Most common capabilities of DAM

Asset repository

Digital assets, managed in a scattered way in different systems, won’t help companies to achieve efficiency. Implementation of a system where every individual has their own stash of images and/or documents will result in inefficiency, chaos, and waste.

Thus, every organization must have a centralized repository where they can manage and control all the digital assets with next-level security. This is what Digital Asset Management helps you with.

Asset creation

Using the built-in workflow management tools, Digital Asset Management helps organizations in the asset creation process. You might be thinking not to consider these tools as according to you they might be nice-to-have solutions.
If you have multiple agencies and/or departments working together, workflow management tools make the review, approval, and revision process faster and easier. It also simplifies the asset creation process by

  • Predefining roles and stages
  • Allowing you to know the status of every asset
  • Tracking the status of assets
  • Determining what required to be done with assets immediately based on the asset status

Consideration of the workflow management tools enables you with more efficient and faster asset creation that eventually saves a significant amount of money.

Asset consumption

The main objective of any organization for DAM implementation is to provide a way for its users to search and download the required digital assets on their own. Rather than wasting the time in responding to the asset-related requirements of marketers and creatives separately, DAM allows everyone to get the required assets on their own.

DAM saves time for the individuals who spend half of their time distributing and sharing digital assets with different departments, agencies, and partners. They focus more on productive tasks. This ultimately contributes to your ROI.

Along with managing the brand consistency, DAM allows employees to work independently by finding what they want, ensuring what they are using is the latest version, and promising that they are using the approved assets only.

Functional capabilities of DAM

Mobile-first

An advanced DAM supports all the latest technologies. It not only allows you to store and manage the assets but also distributes and displays them attractively on any device regardless of screen size. To achieve this, the DAM contains the capabilities like intelligent resizing, adjusting, and cropping of assets on the fly.

Cloud deployment

Cloud-based DAM is trending due to its capabilities like sharing of assets and effective global collaboration.

Digital asset delivery

DAM optimizes the digital assets and creates URLs for them. It utilizes Content Delivery Network for asset delivery to allow users to use the digital assets directly in mobile apps, websites, or other platforms. It allows users to access high-quality assets that also enables customers with fast loading.

Rich media management

Leverage the DAM capabilities of transforming the traditional file formats into the next-gen 3D models, image formats, 360-degree images, videos, and more. The built-in tools of the platform automatically resize, crop, transform, and transcode the version and creates multiple versions for different use cases.

Dynamic asset transformation

DAM allows you to create different variations and layouts for the assets to meet the changing needs of websites, mobile apps, and marketing processes. The platform generates variants by providing resizing, cropping, and image effects automatically.

It also allows generating new assets from the existing ones. For example; using the AI capabilities of DAM, you can create a short preview of a video. All these happen within the DAM so you do not need external tools for asset editing or downloading.

Non-functional capabilities of DAM

Integration

This is one of the most important capabilities of the DAM that you must consider during the DAM section process. Make sure that the platform comes with built-in connectors that allow the solution to connect with different types of systems including

  • Product Information Management (PIM) systems
  • Content Management System (CMS)
  • eCommerce platforms
  • Social Media
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems
  • Digital Experience Management (DXP) Systems
  • Business Process Management (BPM) systems
  • Marketing tools, and more…

Performance

Do not miss to check the performance of the DAM before making a buying decision. The platform must be able to handle the heavy loads.

To check this, you can upload demanding files such as M4V video files with an H265 codec, TIFF files with 100+ megapixel, multilayer PDF files. Check if you could upload small JPEGs and a heavy video simultaneously and if the DAM platform contains multiple renders. Also, make sure the system handles concurrent downloads with five different users.

I would like to suggest you go for a Cloud/SaaS-based platform that allows you to build and implement dynamically scalable Digital Asset Management systems to ensure the excellent performance of the system.

User experience

Choose a DAM platform that has a web-based, user friendly, and seamlessly working user interface. There are many Digital Asset Management platforms available in the market that contain high-tech features and functionality but they have a steep learning curve that ultimately reduces productivity.

How does an ideal Digital Asset Management platform work?

How an ideal Digital Asset Management (DAM) platform works

Import the assets

DAM allows you to import assets either one by one or in bulk using convenient applications of images and metadata.
Asset security

After importing the digital assets, you should utilize DAM security privilege. The platforms ensure asset security with Access Control Lists (ACLs) and permissions that define which users can access or modify the digital asset based on their roles and responsibilities.

Asset storage

It allows brands to store and manage a large volume of creative assets and their metadata. Also, it facilities the users with fast retrieval of the asset.

Asset transformation

Advanced DAM converts the image formats automatically as per the requirements and creates the native thumbnails, without smart cropping or resizing.

Well, you won’t find this ability in all the DAM. There are a few platforms that allow users for manual editing of documents and images in the interface.

Asset enrichment

Once you have assets in place, you can enrich them easily using the metadata and generating analytics on asset usage.

Asset aggregation

You can track relationships between assets and versions or variants of the original assets using the DAM. Asset finding, bundling, and management become easier for you and your users.

Asset management

Each DAM system has its own structured process for working with assets that starts from asset creation, approvals, versions, to publishing.

Asset search

Implementation of DAM enables you with easy ways to search the required assets quickly. You can search for assets through metadata, workflow stages, collections, and image attributes.

Asset preview

DAM allows users to preview, videos, images, or other digital assets before downloading them.

Asset publishing

You can share the asset files with other creative users by using a link generated by the DAM.

What can you do with the Digital Asset Management solution?

What you can do with Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution

File management

  • Store, manage and catalog videos, images, audios, and other creative assets
  • Search assets by description, metadata, and title
  • Share the digital assets with every individual inside or outside the organization
  • Enable the end-users with dynamic URLs that support fast CDN delivery and on the fly image manipulation
  • Rather than sharing the file with another team who is responsible to upload the assets to a website or send the assets to the customers through emails, DAM allows you to add a dynamic URL link in the email or website
  • Leverage Artificial Intelligence to tag the video and images automatically in order to promote reuse and improve searchability

Marketing

Product marketing

  • Save all the creative files such as advertising materials, pack shots, 3D models, branding creatives, campaign material, SKUs, product data sheets, specifications, etc. related to products and their designing
  • Organize all these assets seamlessly and share them with distributors and retailers using DAM
  • To meet the specific needs of different marketing campaigns of retailers, DAM dynamically transforms advertising and branding material, product images, and packaging. For example; if you want to promote a badge your brand has earned, DAM allows you to add the badge to a product packing, poster, and advertisement without human intervention
  • Tagging to marketing assets happens automatically through AI. It allows to reuse assets for other marketing campaigns if required and improve searchability

Local marketing

  • If your brand is distributed in multiple locations, then DAM works as a storage of distributed brand assets to allow you to sell the product independently
  • Different teams can access the brand’s assets and use them in the local marketing content such as email marketing, store-front graphics, website creatives, and advertising
  • An advanced DAM extends and modifies all your generic brand’s assets and transforms them into the specific ones to help you serve the local marketing purpose
  • You can replace the text or graphics using DAM
  • Leverage automated transformation of brand images into a new format or size for local marketing creatives

Print and offline marketing

  • DAM allows creatives to search and access the assets to meet the printing requirements
  • Integrate the DAM that contains a web-to-print feature that allows you to send assets on an appropriate printer
  • Create different versions of assets with different images, different messaging or text, or different design rules and layout
  • DAM automatically generates the correct resolution for printing or image format

Brand management

  • Along with being a centralized repository of media assets of the organization, the DAM also serves the purpose of creating and managing the instructions and guidelines about using assets for the brand
  • Effectively manage a large number of brand assets/files for different campaigns, audiences, and channels
  • DAM allows you to extend brand assets with dynamic digital asset transformation. For example; the platform automatically removes the background, resizes or crops logos, and/or creates variants of an image to meet the specific requirements of multiple social media channels without the help of graphic designers

Media management

eCommerce

  • You can use a DAM for your online store where you can store, manage, and repurpose the product-related images, videos, and other media assets
  • You can easily address the quality-related needs of the eCommerce platform in terms of product images, sizes, colors, and other variants
  • DAM ensures to create and deliver high-quality images that are highly essential for the success of an eCommerce solution
  • Consideration of a highly advanced DAM platform facilitates the automatic transformation of product images into the correct format to make the display attractive. For example; high-resolution images for a product page or compelling thumbnails for a gallery
  • DAM creates a URL for each asset and allows you to add the required DAM asset URLs to the respective pages of your eCommerce solution

Website

  • You can easily generate, store and manage videos, images, and other creative assets for large scale websites
  • If you own a large-scale media, corporate, and news website that contains thousands of pages with millions of assets, then you can definitely consider the DAM. You can use these assets at different places in a website such as navigation, layout, and in between the page content
  • Distribute the assets across different devices having varied screen sizes using the DAM. It allows you to update the asset design across numerous pages automatically. For example; DAM automatically adjusts and crops the featured images for blogs.
  • Determine navigation icons and edit the icons directly from DAM without making any changes in website code

What are the major benefits of Digital Asset Management? In-depth breakdown

Benefits of Digital Asset Management (DAM)

Workflows automation

Define custom workflows

A feature-rich DAM allows you to design and configure custom workflow as per your specific operational requirements.

Asset approval workflows

Automate your asset approval workflow using the DAM. Once the digital assets are ready to get approved, respective authorities will receive a notification that the asset is ready for approval.

Reduced human error

The automated workflow of asset management, asset approval, and marketing processes allows you to eliminate the overhead cost caused due to human error as well as save time for your team too.

Project management workflows

Utilizing the product management workflow, you can easily consolidate the files and processes you required for successful project completion. DAM allows you to manage all the needed digital assets in a single location and access them on the fly.

Improved brand consistency

Complete control over the approvals

DAM facilitates you with approval and assigning capabilities to make sure that every piece of content that gets distributed physically and/or digitally is correct, accurate, and approved. It becomes easier for your marketing team to know how and where to track the campaigns they are working on.

Stronger brand presence

DAM allows your different teams to work together in multiple campaigns by managing the varied assets in a single repository. This helps you improve your brand consistency by spreading the same message across different output channels.

Consistency in creative assets and messaging helps you create a stronger impact of your brand on the customers. It also impacts your brand recall value as your brand stays top of the mind when a customer is determined to make a purchase.

Lower operating costs

Consolidate different platforms

A comprehensive DAM helps your team to complete a project by using all the required digital assets from a single source. Users from different departments know exactly which platform they need to use for the required assets. This saves them from performing an irritating process of finding the right information by logging in and out of multiple platforms.

Allowing you to manage all your projects from concept to customer effectively, DAM enables you with full control over each and every action. It saves time for your team for switching between various platforms. And, most importantly, it reduces the cost that you spend on platforms that you may not need any longer due to the ultramodern capabilities of DAM.

Advanced search capabilities

A user from your team with the access rights can use the DAM and search for the needed assets quickly and easily using the features like folder categorization, search-by color, keyword search (just like Google), and more.

Leveraging the search capabilities of a DAM, the users won’t spend extra time in finding the assets and being confused about where the required asset is stored in the solution.

Boost team productivity

DAM eliminates the assets search and usage-related issues for your associates as they know where they need to go to find the exact asset they are looking for.

Rather than interacting across different users and channels as well as searching through multiple platforms, they can use DAM to get the required assets. Enabling your teams with a streamlined process of asset management, DAM improves their productivity.

Simplify asset reuse

Instead of recreating or buying the images from scratch, DAM allows you to check if you have any images in your solution that you can re-use in your on-going project.

It again provides you benefits of time and money. You can save the time of your team that they spend on creating additional design and money spent on downloading the images from the stock photo sites when you already have an appropriate image that can be repurposed.

Prevention against legal problems

DAM provides you with features like digital right management that provide you protection against the issues like license abuse and asset misuse.

It provides you total control over your digital assets where you can define when and who can download the assets. Thus, the platform reduces the possibilities of license abuse and asset misuse. Eventually, it reduces the cost that you invest to deal with the legal issues.

Improved business processes

Single source of truth for all your assets

DAM is the single source of truth for all your digital asset-related requirements. It helps you overcome challenges with siloed departments. When all the digital assets are stored in a single location, it becomes easy for your teams to collaborate effectively and focus more on the success of the campaign.

Asset and project management integration

Improved and efficient processes are one of the major benefits of DAM implementation. Consolidate your assets and projects in a single location in order to improve the efficiency of your project and asset management process.

Key business consideration while selecting a Digital Asset Management solution for your company

Key business consideration of Digital Asset Management (DAM) platform

Plenty of Digital Asset Management platforms are available in the market that offers a wide variety of features. But, to select the best one, you should focus on the outcome that the platform delivers to your organization and not the features.

During the DAM selection process, make sure you are clear about the key purpose, primary users, internal user stories, metadata, file types, API requirements and integration, distribution channels, and budget.

Define the key purpose for DAM implementation

Before starting to search for a reliable DAM, it is very important to understand your key business objective for considering the DAM. And, during the selection of a DAM platform and vendor, keep this objective in your mind to ensure that you end up selecting the best fit for your digital asset management needs.

Who are the users of the DAM system?

Administrator

You need to elect a person as an administrator of the DAM solution. They will be responsible to keep updating digital assets, ensure everything is well organized, and make changes as and when required.

Identify this person during the DAM selection process only so they can participate in the training and decision-making process during the implementation.

Departments

Determine the users who are going to use the DAM on a regular basis in order to enable your organization with operational and business benefits. Define the departments in your company who will be using the DAM.

To gain maximum advantages out of a DAM solution, you need to conduct interviews of varied users from different departments to get a profound understanding of how DAM implementation helps them streamline asset management operations and improve productivity.

Number of users

Note that everyone that uses the assets is not considered as DAM users.

Yes, you heard it right.

Who are your users?

People who need to access the DAM to retrieve and search for the images as well as assign, approve, and complete the projects are your DAM users. You need to be clear about the number of users as it impacts the pricing of DAM.

Your authorized users can share digital assets with the people who are not using the Digital Asset Management system.

Provide the user information to your solution vendor when you view demos.

User stories

Define the ways that DAM is beneficial to your business. Also, determine how it will address your existing operational and business challenges. This information helps you to check the potential of the DAM solutions when you take the demos of different Digital Asset Management platforms.

Think about the relevant user stories by contemplating the below-listed elements:

  • What end result you want to achieve
  • Responsibilities and departments of the users involved in the story
  • All the roadblocks that users are facing contribute to complete the story
  • What actions the users need to perform

Ask the DAM vendor if they enable you with the Digital Asset Management solution that addresses the issues that you are facing in current processes as mentioned in your provided user stories.

Metadata

Metadata is an essential part of a DAM as it contains the information about each asset and makes the assets searchable and configurable to your existing workflows. Before creating metadata for your DAM solution, you need to check out

  • What kind of metadata are you currently using?
  • What types of metadata are you going to use while adding assets in the Digital Asset Management system?

Here’re the most common types of metadata

3 Most Common Types of Metadata

File types

You might be using varied digital assets such as images, videos, audio, and documents in different file types. While selecting a DAM, make sure your vendor provides you a solution that allows you to manage your asset seamlessly with your preferred file type.

Here’s the list of the most common file types that are usually supported by all the leading Digital Asset Management platforms.

Different Types of Files Supported by Digital Asset Management

API requirements and integration

DAM solutions should have proper APIs and integration in place to create a seamless working experience for your team and streamline the processes they are working with.

Thus, Digital Asset Management is usually used with some other systems as it is very rare that any organization needs a solution just to store and manage digital assets. Most of the time companies integrate it to manage product-related or business-related digital assets.

Implementations of DAM enables you with multiple possibilities listed below:

  • DAM holds some outstanding capabilities that replace the existing software you are using
  • DAM can easily be integrated with your existing software and third-party party applications
  • DAM will support the scalability and flexibility for the future

Here’re the few solutions with which DAM is widely integrated and used.

Product Information Management (PIM)

Product Information Management is used to manage a wide variety of products in a centralized location. PIM also allows them to market and sell the product through websites or eCommerce.

Integrating the DAM solution with your PIM system, you can manage the product-related videos, images, audios, documents, and many more digital assets in the DAM solution.

Content Management System (CMS)

CMS is considered the best marketing platform that allows you to promote the products or services related content to inform the customers about your offerings.

Integrating DAM solutions with CMS, you can create, assign, annotate, and compare the content versions as well as publish the content across multiple digital platforms. Thus, in some of the CMS solutions, DAM is the necessary requirement.

Digital Experience Platform (DXP)

Digital Experience Platform allows brands not only to manage the content but also the marketing related activities from a single platform.

DXP and DAM integration allows the companies to manage creative digital assets related to different marketing campaigns in a centralized location and use them as and when required.

Digital Commerce Platform

Yes, I am talking about your online store where you sell and promote your products or services.

Integrate DAM with your Digital Commerce Platform to manage all your offering related digital assets in a single location. DAM is highly used by almost all the B2B, B2C, and B2B2C organizations to ensure logical and structured asset management.

Master Data Management (MDM)

Master Data Management solutions allow organizations to manage all types of business data including products, services, marketing, sales, finance, accounts, human resource, employees, customers, and more.

Integrating DAM with MDM you can manage all digital assets like pictures, excel files, documents, videos, etc. in a single platform.

Project Management System

DAM contains project management capabilities too. It allows you to manage your marketing projects from scratch starting from concept to customer. So while selecting a DAM, don’t forget to discuss it with your vendor.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

Almost every organization uses Enterprise Resource Planning software to manage varied business data. Mostly, it allows to manage sales, procurement, and production-related information.

Integrating DAM with ERP, you can facilitate your sales team with the latest marketing collaterals, the procurement team with the quotation-related terms and conditions, and the production department with managing the documentation of guidelines and instructions to perform certain production processes.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Customer Relationship Management solution saves all the customer-related information for an organization. Usually, customers share the requirements documents, pictures, and videos to convey what problems they are facing and what solutions they are looking for.

DAM allows you to manage all these documents, images, videos, and other digital assets that you have received and sent to the customers in a centralized repository.

Others

If you want to integrate the DAM for other third-party software or applications, then there you have multiple options to choose from. You can integrate with any of your existing enterprise systems and third-party applications to automate and streamline the digital asset management process.

Digital asset distribution channels

Once the assets get approved, you can use them for printing, digital channels, sharing to internal and external dealers, marketing, and packaging. Define your preferred distribution channel on which you want to deploy your assets to gain maximum benefit of DAM. Digital Asset Management solution allows you to work for any, many, or all the channels listed below.

Print

Before sending an asset from the DAM for printing, check out if there are approval workflows that are aligned with the printed materials process and what file types are available with you in DAM for that particular asset.

Digital platforms

You can store and manage the digital assets that you want to distribute across all your customer touchpoints in DAM. The platform allows you to establish a workflow for asset approval, scheduling and reporting. Thus, it provides you an opportunity for consolidating the programs in a single location.

Sharing with external dealers

Are you working with the external dealers to distribute your approved assets? Then, you need to consider a DAM that contains advanced features like rights management and assets sharing to improve asset time-to-market.

Marketing channels

All the companies are using digital assets for marketing campaigns and promotions. If you want to implement a DAM to fulfill this purpose, then the platform enables you with Marketing Asset Management capabilities where you are allowed for creating, editing, approving, versioning, distributing, and analyzing the digital assets.

Packaging channels

DAM allows you to create, manage, and approve the assets for packaging related media assets. Check with your Digital Asset Management solution vendor how they help you to improve the packaging process through packaging asset management. Make sure they offer advanced packaging focused integrations.

Budget

The most important for any business is the budget. Isn’t it?

Make sure to discuss the pricing of the DAM to check whether it fits into your budget or not. Along with investment you need to get clarity on ROI aspects too. The platform must increase your income after a certain time either by improving productivity or by reducing overhead costs.

The detailed understanding and analysis of the Digital Asset Management system ensure that you gain maximum ROI with all your expected features that are suitable for your budgetary constraints as well.

What are the DAM essentials?

Digital Asset Management Essentials

Advanced Search

When you have plenty of assets in your DAM, searching for the right asset quickly is the biggest challenge. By managing your digital assets in the DAM, you can leverage simplified asset search, navigation, and organization.

Taxonomy

Taxonomy allows you to classify and organize your assets and related information. You can also define the structure of your asset information using the DAM. So, make sure your solution vendor provides you a Digital Asset Management that has sophisticated taxonomy capabilities.

Metadata

Metadata represents information attached to the assets. It is very essential as it makes your content searchable. You can determine metadata based on the understanding of how you are going to use your assets.

Categories

Define the categories for your assets based on how people used to search for assets in your organization. Usually, they search for the asset by entering the brand, SKUs, product identification number, color, and more.

Create a list of categories you want to consider in your DAM solution and ask the solution provider whether they can include this category in the system.

Deployment

The Digital Asset Management solution should be flexible and scalable to meet your frequently changing business needs and achieve your specific organizational objectives. Digital Asset Management solution can be deployed in three ways

  • SaaS/Cloud
  • On-premise
  • Hybrid

Examine your business goals and DAM requirements to make the right choice for your business.

SaaS/Cloud

SaaS/Cloud-based DAM platforms are highly in demand as it enables your organization with the benefits of convenience and security.

On-premises

On-premise DAM allows you to drive your own software updates on your internal network. But you need to be dependent on your solution vendor to have full control over the system as they take care of the network connection, hardware, and initial configuration of the platform in your network.

But, the major benefit is you have all rights to run software updates and make required modifications in the system as and when required.

Hybrid

Hybrid is the right choice for companies who do not want to utilize the capabilities of SaaS/Cloud or on-premise models fully but want to consider specific elements of both the platforms. As the word itself says, the Hybrid Digital Asset Management solution enables you with the benefits of both types of models.

Let’s have a quick comparison of SaaS/Cloud, on-premise, and hybrid Digital Asset Management platforms so you can make the right choice.

Difference between SaaS, On-premises & Hybrid

Difference between SaaS Cloud DAM On-premise DAM and Hybrid DAM

Workflow management

Workflow plays an important role in any DAM as it gives you an understanding of how you can create, manage, consolidate, and distribute digital assets in different systems and multiple customer touchpoints.

When it comes to workflow management, you need to check whether the Digital Asset Management solution vendor provides you the custom or standard workflow as well as discuss the workflow usability with them too.

Custom workflows vs. standard workflows

Most of the Digital Asset Management platforms come with standard workflows that are built-in. But there are a few platforms that allow you to create a custom workflow for your Digital Asset Management system. It is better to go with the platform that provides custom workflow and gathers information on any associated implementation differences.

Usability

Check the workflow of the DAM and analyze how it is easy to configure, implement, and edit. The usability of the workflow is defined on the basis of the scalability and adaptability of the platform.

Data storage and migration

Digital asset import and upload

Before starting to upload the digital assets in the Digital Asset Management solution, it is good to get complete clarity about the asset uploading and importing capabilities of the platforms. It should contain various capabilities such as automated metadata, drag-and-drop uploads, uploading multiple files, file size capabilities, and editable metadata.

Asset storage space

Get the idea of how many assets you have right now that you want to shift to the DAM. Also, analyze how frequently and what amount of assets you need to upload in the solution. Once you have this data, discuss with the solution provider whether the solution is capable to fulfill your asset uploading requirements.

Data migration

After the DAM implementation, you need to migrate all your assets that are stored in disparate systems and local systems in the DAM. So, you need to do some homework where you need to check

  • How many assets do you have?
  • Where are the assets currently located?
  • What types of asset files do you have?
  • What kind of metadata do you want to attach with your assets while you add them in DAM?

It is crucial for you to understand the asset migration capabilities and process of the DAM platform before selecting the DAM.

User access control and management

External file sharing

DAM contains file-sharing capabilities and allows you to send the asset files to the people who need them. These people could be external users as well who need the assets but they don’t have access to the DAM for direct downloading of needed assets.

Moreover, the Digital Asset Management solution allows you to create collections of digital assets and share them with external users. But, while selecting a DAM, you need to discuss how to define permission for sharing the assets files with external users with your solution vendor.

Single Sign-On (SSO) integration

Talk with your vendor about user authentication options available with the DAM platform they offer. There is a Single Sign-On functionality available in many Digital Asset Management systems that allow users to sign in into the system with their corporate login credentials instead of using separate login to keep track of only authenticated users access the solution.

User roles and permissions

To ensure the security of your digital assets, it is very essential the DAM allows you to control the access rights based on user roles and permissions attached with each role. Integration of user roles and permission feature, you can have complete control over your digital assets and you have the right to decide who can edit, view, and organize the assets.

Scalability

Once you select a DAM you are going to use that platform for years. So it is very important to get an understanding of the scalability of the solution. Make sure that the platform can evolve as your business grows.

Accessibility

Create a list of users who are going to operate the system locally or globally. While selecting a DAM, make sure it consists of flexible accessibility options to ensure all your local or global users can seamlessly operate the solution and perform their tasks.

Language

Implement a Digital Asset Management solution that enables you with multi-lingual interfaces. It should allow users to create, manage, and distribute the digital assets in the native languages of targeted regions. It plays a key role in attracting your target audience available in different countries.

Globalization

Define your business goals and requirements for global expansion. Discuss those goals with your solution provider and understand how the Digital Asset Management platform helps you meet your international/global requirements.

Security

Security is the most important aspect for any software system and so for Digital Asset Management platforms as well. Go with the DAM solution that ensures you the high-end security standards for the safety of your critical digital assets.

Digital licensing and rights

International

Leverage digital rights and licensing to set your digital assets to adhere to embargo dates and different specifications related to international permissions.

Expiration dates

DAM allows you to define the expiration date for each asset. This eliminates the process of removing the assets manually from the Digital Asset Management system when the asset is no longer in use. Also, it ensures the users are using those assets only which are eligible for use.

Terms of use

Create terms of use that all the users need to agree to before downloading any asset from the Digital Asset Management solution.

Image and video editing

By managing the digital assets in the DAM, you can allow your creative and functional teams to make the required edits in the assets that are going to be used for packaging and non-packaging purposes such as marketing collaterals for print or digital use.

An advanced Digital Asset Management platform allows organizations to sync the images with the desktop in order to edit and enrich the digital assets on the go. As your files are seamlessly synced in the background, your creative team needs to work on their desktop only.

Project management

Creative collaboration

In a Digital Asset Management solution, when a creative is assigned to a task, they will receive an email notification. They can open the assets and start working on the assigned task.

In some of the platforms, you can utilize the sharing and synchronization capabilities of the system that allows the creative team to open the assets directly in their preferred third party software like Adobe application and start working on it right away. They do not need to work in the Digital Asset Management system.

Analytics and audit logs

Using DAM, you can publish the assets on the different output channels. Not only that, you can track the performance of each asset and understand which asset performs the best. With the help of an audit log, you check which assets have been downloaded and check the rights associated with them.

Automated workflows

Enabling you with automated workflows, DAM allows you to set appropriate sequences of the actions for your different marketing projects. These actions could be attaching appropriate images, due date, and assigning the creator to the project.

Publishing platforms

After the completion of the asset approval process, you can schedule to publish them on different sales and marketing channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc.

Process control

Once you have assigned the project, you have a dashboard where you can have a full overview of the project completion status. You can check if the project is on track and meeting the deadline as well as see the bottleneck that slows the business processes.

Asset markup

Some Digital Asset Management platforms provide this feature to brands. It notifies them when the creative has completed the first draft of the design. You can review the assets and markup them with required revisions. Annotate the assets to describe the changes and edits you want to make and then provide them to the creatives for revisions.
Once you receive the new version of the asset, you can view both versions side by side and compare them in order to check the difference between the versions.

Notification

DAM allows you to set up email campaigns so that your teams are informed when you assign them a project or when an asset is ready for approval. Moreover, when any user downloads an image, you will be notified due to the copyright specific licensing limitations to control asset use.

Questions to ask while selecting a DAM solution

When you have multiple options, it is quite challenging to find the right one. There are multiple Digital Asset Management platforms available in the market and to select the best fit for your organization.

To check the potential of the Digital Asset Management solution, you need to ask a few essential questions to your solution vendors whom you have shortlisted. Compare the answers provided by the different solution vendors and select the best platform for you.

Here are the most common but most important questions that you must ask the vendors.

  • What is the data migration process in your DAM platform?
  • How does a creative team work within your DAM solution?
  • What are the integration capabilities of your DAM platform?
  • What is the strength of your DAM platform?
  • What kind of user roles, permissions, and rights management features does your DAM platform offer?
  • Does your DAM platform support 3D image rendering?
  • What kind of taxonomy, category, and metadata features does your DAM platform contain?
  • What kind of hosting option do you have?
  • How scalable is your DAM solution?
  • How easy are your DAM platform workflows to configure?

In the nutshell

Credencys has extensive experience working with Pimcore for developing a robust Digital Asset Management solution as per the specific business needs of every organization. It offers a wide range of feature sets that suit your basic and advanced requirements for digital asset management.

To learn about the hidden capabilities of Pimcore’s DAM, feel free to book a 30 minutes free consultation with our DAM experts.

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