Digital Asset Management Software Overview
What is a Digital Asset Management Software?
Digital Asset Management (DAM) Software is, at a minimum, a repository for marketing assets. Typically this includes brand media, images and video, or any digital object that relates to the enterprise's brand and image.
Alternately this type of software might be described as brand management software. Its nearest cousin is enterprise asset management (EAM) software. However with DAM systems, the emphasis is not only upon storing assets but on aggregating, arranging, updating, editing, and deploying them. The overall purpose is to strengthen the image of the company and its products via creative marketing and media.
Digital Asset Management Software Features & Capabilities
Most DAM platforms have features around the following areas of functionality:
Single Source of Truth
The DAM presents an up-to-date, synchronized and highly searchable repository for marketing assets. This is core to the design of all DAM platforms. As enterprise assets proliferate the DAM should help keep the corporate librarian in control.
Intuitive and Navigable Portals and Catalogs with Access Control
Access to the repository is intuitive so that assets are discoverable. Access is controlled so that assets are safe. This is important because often creative is outsourced to third parties. Thus a DAM should be easy to navigate but difficult to violate with restrictions like one-time download, limited-access windows, and more.
Tagging, Metadata, and Categorization
DAMs should intelligently support categorization of digital assets with various tools (e.g. facial recognition, tagging) that support rapid sorting and discovery of these visual assets. This speeds content retrieval, combination, and deployment workflow.
Search & Filter
A key part of the DAM platform’s organizational scheme is an intelligent search feature. Search filters take advantage of all that metadata.
Guidelines, Monitoring, and Governance
The DAM should present controls to govern how brand assets are used, ensuring compliance with corporate and brand standards.
Digital Asset Management platforms should support the collaboration, editing, and approval process with workflow controls and dashboard interfaces. This is very similar to project management suites but for the kinds of assets (e.g. video, images) typically edited and approved by a DAM.
Integrations vs. Suites: The DAM/WCM Connection
Digital Asset Management Platforms are also creative and deployment/distribution platforms, preparing media to go live. For this reason, they must integrate with the web content management systems (WCMS) used by the enterprise. Or sometimes vendors offer suite products with integrated DAM and WCMS.
DAM pricing is complex because of the number of factors to be taken into consideration. As with all business software, it’s extremely important to have a good sense of the organization’s needs as a starting point. It’s also important to understand the quantity and type of digital assets to be managed, the media workflows, and the people who will be administering and using the system. An enterprise-level SaaS DAM can cost upwards of $30,000 per year. SMB versions are significantly cheaper.