Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems organize large volumes of digital media and files. As your company grows, a DAM system should become an essential part of your business plan for increasing productivity and growth.
What Is Digital Asset Management?
Digital Asset Management is both a practice and a product—it may refer to your business’s strategy for organizing digital media, or it might refer directly to the software designed to manage content. DAM software dates back as early as 1988, as online libraries began to pop up for managing files. The emergence of the cloud, a now-ubiquitous term for online storage, allows businesses to address their storage needs through the web.
DAM services today range in scale, but many companies are successfully storing and organizing almost unthinkable amounts of data and media. At Facebook’s last count in 2014, its users were already generating 4 petabytes (approximately 4 million gigabytes) of new media per day, all of which is digitally managed in a massive facility known as “Hive.”
Your business may not pull quite the same usership, but a good digital asset manager can make or break your long-term success. Simply put, if you can’t manage your digital assets, you’re not leveraging an invaluable aspect of your business.
What Businesses Need to Leverage Digital Asset Management?
Digital Asset Management tech isn’t just for companies like Facebook. Small businesses in a range of sectors are increasingly adding DAM to their business strategy, from media publishing to government and nonprofit organizations. Plus, factoring DAM software into your company’s business plan shows potential partners and investors that your business has the right systems to be reliable and productive.
Many companies that use high-resolution photos or video to engage with customers will often employ DAM software. And product catalogues, real estate listings, 3D engineering models, and social media graphics are some other common digital assets that DAM systems can streamline for projects across your teams.
Here’s how successful companies are using DAM to maximize their productivity, flexibility, and growth potential.
Advantage #1: Save Time
Digital asset management software automates a process that can quickly overwhelm a human operator. Your business may have a marketing expert on staff that spends hours a day organizing photos, videos, and web content for distribution. A DAM system can streamline this process so that your team has more time to devote to creative tasks that help your business flourish.
DAM software organizes your media files by their metadata, which can simplify search queries so you quickly find what you need. Today’s best DAM software integrates directly with your existing enterprise content management (ECM) to simplify organizing your brand’s image across your email campaigns and website.
Advantage #2: Increase Productivity
A library database can increase the productivity of your business. When you and your team have instant access to all of your digital assets, you’re better able to leverage them to accomplish tasks and maximize your creative output. Your employees may be limiting their productivity each time they sift through hundreds of files to find what they’re looking for—a searchable database for these files can completely eliminate that barrier.
Companies with digital asset management systems are also upwardly mobile. Once you have a database in place, you can expand it to suit your business’s growth and expansion. Think of DAM as a foundation for taking your business to the next level. It’s an essential piece of the world’s most successful companies, and it’s never too early to build your business intelligently from the start.
Advantage #3: Content Collaboration
With a centralized management system for all your company’s assets and files, collaboration is easy across your entire workforce. Companies like e-commerce sites may use a DAM system to optimize workflows between different teams.
For instance, a designer can use a DAM library to quickly find stock images for an email campaign, finalize their design using your brand’s font and logo galleries, and send it directly to the social media team to prepare the image for distribution. With DAM, these handoffs can happen instantly, even from mobile devices.
Advantage #4: Security
Your digital assets may be your business’s most valuable commodity, and you might not be protected from data loss. Digital asset management tools can increase your business’s security by helping you manage access and storage protections for your data.
DAM software can protect your business against internal errors by maintaining version backups of all your most important projects. When changes are made by your designer, a DAM program can offer version control, saving new versions and preserving past versions for future use. You can also limit access to your most important images, logos, videos, or files so that nothing is accidentally deleted or replaced.
Externally, a DAM system can also be used to protect data from loss in a cyberattack. The best DAM software on the market uses a number of sophisticated security protocols to protect data—systems may use behavioral analytics to find suspicious activity on your servers, and multifactor security can prevent external access by unauthorized parties, even when hackers compromise your internal accounts.
Advantage #5: Integration with Your CMS
Most CMS software includes storage for digital assets, but these systems aren’t designed to replace a central library database. They often lack key metadata search tools, and the storage space on different platforms may be limited. Since these systems are often linked directly to your webpage, you may also be at the mercy of your CMS’s load time and editing tools, which may not be ideal for your content.
Using a digital asset management tool, you can host your digital files locally without restrictions on size and quality. You and your team can access these assets instantly and load them directly into your CMS. Many DAM software tools also integrate directly with common web hosting standards like Drupal and WordPress for seamless management of your web content.
Advantage #6: Leverage the power of Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence tools take your DAM to the next level. Your digital asset management process should be smart, and AI tools are the best way to teach your system how to be more effective. Through deep learning algorithms and biometric identifiers, AI tools such as MerlinAI Facial Recognition add another level of meta tagging to your digital library.
DAM Software Can Help You Today
If your martech stack doesn’t include a digital asset management system, it’s time to take a second look at the power of this technology. Whether you have tens of thousands of digital assets and pieces of content scattered across hard drives and email chains, or your current digital library is just a mess, a DAM system is the solution for you. These software tools quickly offset their cost and prove ROI by making your entire content workflow more efficient and effective. DAM works to foster collaboration between teams and speed up not only your content workflow but your entire digital asset storage process.
If you’re interested in learning more about how a Digital Asset Management solution could help your business, download our eBook A Business Case for DAM below.
Written by Madison Crader for MerlinOne