A Beginner’s Guide to DAM

Digital asset management (DAM) is a company’s content sharing and storage system. It stores, shares, and organizes digital assets in a central location to ensure all departments, stakeholders and channels have constant access. Put simply, a DAM is a widely accessibly hub of company resources. These systems give users the ability to manage their brands, asset rights, metadata, and versions, and are a powerful source of analytics and insights.  

Still confused? Think about it like this: 

Implementing a DAM system is like organizing one big filing cabinet, but for digital assets. By implementing an organized structure, everybody on the team can easily find the exact file they’re searching for, rather than frantically flipping through piles of manila folders.  

Digital assets include files like documents, photos, graphic design elements, logos and videos. As companies grow, maintaining a cohesive brand presence across all channels requires the use and governance of up-to-date assets. 

As a team expands, so do the number of digital assets floating around. It’s often hard locating a single personal file, let alone a file shared amongst 50 individuals. Losing digital assets costs money, time and energy. DAM prevents this frustration. It’s secure, organized and searchable.  

Why do DAM systems matter? 

A successful DAM consists of five key functions that enable a team to collaborate effectively. This includes the ability to: 

  • Create new assets 

Streamlining asset creation and collaboration will minimalize time spent on design and development, meaning assets will reach audiences faster. Built-in creative suite integrations (for example, having Adobe Photoshop integrate with Adobe Digital Asset Management) will make workflow more efficient. Effective DAM systems also allow for seamless internal and external collaboration. 

  • Organize existing assets 

Strategic organization is essential when handling digital assets. Cataloging and indexing assets within a DAM minimizes the time spent search through outdated versions. For example, DAM systems can help establish a taxonomy. Using a hierarchical structure, it’s easy to categorize assets, as well as identify relationships between assets. This allows users to intuitively find what they’re searching for. 

  • Find and distribute assets 

DAM software allows users to find assets with automated, intuitive search and filter options. Think of it as a personalized Google – easy-to-use and effective, making it easier to find assets through search functions that your employees are already accustomed to increases user adoption and ROI. 

  • Manage and optimize people, processes and technology 

Digital asset management doesn’t end when the assets are uploaded. DAM accounts for the lifecycle of an asset. Processes like archiving outdated assets can prevent misuse or incorrect branding. Other areas of digital asset management rely on effective process management to be successful. This means making use of tagging, version management and metadata management. It’s critical to outline expectations and naming conventions so team can be trained to adhere to these standards. 

  • Govern data and processes  

Governance is the key to creating sustainable DAM success. It’s the framework that ensures DAM goals are met. System data governance will translate to improved data intelligence, which is the most important capability businesses can develop. Shifting from blind data capturing to driving optimized customer interactions leads to greater marketing ROI and long-term process optimization. It must be a priority to continuously evaluate practices and processes as outdates become apparent. 

Interested in learning more? Take a look at Avionos’s Enterprise Guide to Digital Asset Management 

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