What is Digital Asset Management?

Organize, manage, distribute

Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems are software solutions that enable marketing teams to intelligently organize, manage, share and distribute digital content.

Manage digital assets

The term Digital Asset Management literally describes, well the management of digital assets. Assets are digital media files, such as images, photos, logos, design templates, videos, audio files, presentations, documents, and so on. By enriching these assets with additional information, so called metadata, assets become more valuable to the organization as they now provide additional features beyond just acting as a visual content container.

Managing (assets) in its simpliest form is all about cataloging assets in a way that makes sense in a specific organization’s context so that the right assets can be searched for and found faster and more reliably.

Assets are stored as “Single Source of Truth” and can be repurposed as an, sometimes automatically converted, adapted variant for a specific purpose. Copyright and use rights¬† are taken into account as well as an often granular user and group based access permission schema.

A central piece in the martech puzzle

As a central component of the modern marketing technology ecosystem, DAM systems allow content distribution not juts to real users, but also to machines, such as content management systems (CMS), product information management (PIM) and e-commerce platforms. 

Please take a look at a more comprehensive list of how marketing teams will benefits from using a Digital Asset Management solution

The life cycle of an asset can roughly be described in 5 steps, as illustrated in the diagram above.

  1. Create

    Simple files become assets when they are enriched with additional information such as content previews (e.g. thumbnails) or descriptive or functional metadata. This is when assets become valuable.

  2. Manage

    Collaboration in the context of centrally managed assets. DAM serves as a central platform to manage approval workflows, e.g. with image and design documents, allowing collaborative workflows and content-sharing among all stakeholders.

  3. Distribute

    Assets are stored as a “Single Source of Truth”. Converted versions or variants are automatically generated and can be pushed into a downstream output channel.

  4. Retrieve

    Ideally, assets are categorized in respect to the customers’ context tow allow users to filter, search and find the right assets as quickly as possible and repurpose them in a variety of different channels.

  5. Archive

    As soon as usage rights for image data expire or assets used in publications no longer have to be actively accessed, assets are automatically archived for later reuse.

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