Digital Asset Management is undoubtedly the “underdog” among MarTech tools. To put it simply, the job of a DAM is to store and manage digital content. In fact, the boundaries between IT and marketing are sometimes blurred here. Why is that? Undoubtedly because the range of DAMs is so wide and by that I mean the differences in the scope of features and areas of application. But I’ll come back to this later, first of all we should briefly explain the term asset.
What do we mean by assets here?
On the one hand, of course, very simple files, i.e. images, photos, text files, videos, PDF documents, etc. and this is where the differences begin. This is true for some DAMs, where assets are just simple files – albeit with properties. However, there are also some DAMs in which assets consist of very to extremely complex structures, such as products or campaigns. As an example, the asset “Product xy”, which consists of, for example, a large number of product images, a technical description in PDF format, a product video, as well as images in various formats for print, web shop, social media (Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIN, … ). And various marketing brochures. All of this combined can also be viewed as an asset.
This works just as well for campaigns that are to be played out at different times on different channels and with very different content.
This would have given us a more precise definition of the term assets.
Let’s keep in mind that an asset can be almost arbitrarily complex and combine several entities.
Now why are the boundaries between IT and marketing in terms of responsibility now blurring – as previously indicated – when it comes to the topic of DAM? Clearly, it is a simple asset management of simple files, which is more the responsibility of IT. If we use the DAM for complex entities, the control usually lies with marketing (together with IT).
So why do I need a DAM when I can also manage files on the file server?
That is certainly partly true, but (!) … a DAM naturally enriches the assets with so-called metadata. So here are a few features that make up the added value of a DAM:
- Search function: This makes it possible, for example, to find assets very easily and quickly using a faceted search. This can lead to immense effort and therefore cost savings through reduced search times, avoidance of duplicate production, etc.
- Duplicate detection: Duplicates can be detected automatically, reducing storage space and avoiding outdated versions in productive use.
- Version control: I played the “latest and greatest” version everywhere
- Digital Rights Management (DRM): I have full control over which assets are played where and by whom, which means I avoid penalties due to rights violations.
- Control: I always see where and by whom my assets are in use, through direct integration or via download
- Brand specifics: For companies with different brands or different company names and therefore different access rights, I can also map this via a DAM and only have the administrative effort in one central tool, the DAM.
- Display: Branding guidelines and other content can be made available to external companies and people and always in the current version through a web interface to access the data.
All in all, one has to say that in this day and age, when personalization is becoming an increasingly important aspect of marketing and being as omnichannel and 1:1 as possible, this makes a DAM almost essential, as the need for assets increases exponentially with this requirement. In order to manage this “flood” of assets and maintain control, a DAM is almost essential.
In my next blog post I will go into detail about an exemplary DAM.