In the digital environment, companies face the daily challenge of managing all image and video content in such a way that it is not only available quickly, but can also be used by all areas of the company. This not only applies to e-commerce needs, but to all companies that want to display and market their brand digitally. This hurdle can be taken professionally with efficient digital asset management (DAM).
What is digital asset management?
Digital assets such as photos, videos, presentations, graphics and other important documents are media files that need efficient management. This process is called digital asset management, or DAM for short. A DAM system is software that ensures this management. But their range of services goes far beyond that. The digital assets are organized from a central content location or a content hub and distributed to the respective users.
A DAM system should support companies from the creation and editing to the distribution of their own media content. The organization of the digital assets happens within the system by assigning metadata to each asset. It therefore receives an exact description of its content, which makes it much easier to filter and find it in the pool of often gigantic amounts of data.
While a classic DAM system is primarily intended to manage important documents in the company, multimedia content is often referred to as MAM, i.e. media asset management. Modern systems often combine both functionalities and thus offer an attractive overall package. Therefore, in this article we are talking more about DAM software, but we are also covering the MAM aspect equally.
How a DAM system works
- A DAM system acts as a centralized media library for your digital assets. All employees in the company can access them and process them for various purposes.
- It organizes, orchestrates and manages all your media files, broken down by metadata.
- It supports you in cross-departmental creation and cooperation processes across the entire life cycle.
- It always makes the current file version available to all users, which primarily benefits brand management.
Who is DAM suitable for?
What is special about a DAM system is that it is not only suitable and usable for the creative department or only for the sales department of a company. Almost all areas of a company benefit from professional digital asset management. Marketing, sales and creation access the same content, which ensures that the CI can always be adhered to. The sales rep uses this content to create new presentations, offers and portfolios, while the content manager can assign it to the respective product. All users always access the latest file version, which means that there is no offset in terms of the data records being up-to-date.
A mature DAM system is particularly suitable for those companies that have to deal with at least as many data sets due to their own product variety. At a certain point it is almost impossible for the company and for the individual employees to overview the amount of data, let alone find or use the right file in a deeply buried storage location. Marketing your own products and services in complex campaigns requires that the different types of digital assets can be brought together quickly, easily and as needed without any loss of information.
In marketing alone, numerous digital assets are required for flyers, white papers, case studies, search engine optimization, newsletters, web content and the combination of various measures. The marketing of services or products usually takes place simultaneously via several channels, which is why compliance with the CI via the channel-specific content must be explicitly observed. Professional DAM not only makes work easier here.
DAM only for large and complex company structures?
A DAM system is an elementary building block in a platform for digital marketing and digital sales. The system scales with the requirements of the company. The question therefore not only arises as to whether data management in the company is so complex that it needs a DAM system. The question of a DAM system should also be considered independently of the complexity of the requirements: Digital distribution makes it necessary for multimedia content to be played out quickly and flexibly in a wide variety of channels (websites, e-retailers, social media, etc.). will. The potential of content creation and enrichment processes will be fully exploited by a DAM system. It improves the customer experience and thus generates a competitive advantage. A company with a simple product structure and few target markets benefits from a (just as simple) DAM solution to the same extent as a multinational corporation with a highly complex product structure.
Advantages of a DAM system
Creating digital assets from the Digital Asset Library
Even during the production of new assets, for example in Adobe CC and with the appropriate configuration, you can make them available to other users with a professional DAM system and incorporate the feedback into the creation process.
Central storage of digital assets Filing files in multiple locations at the same time is a thing of the past. There is a single location that can be accessed by all users in the company. In addition, approved access can be created for outsiders, for example for external service providers or agencies.
Efficient management of digital assets By adding tags and metadata to your digital assets, they can be found and accessed through different hubs. The simple filter option and search function within the library create lossless and efficient storage of your assets. In addition, individual user groups can be assigned separate authorizations to protect the integrity and information content of the digital assets. How to prevent incorrect or outdated assets from being used.
Productive deployment of digital assets
A professional DAM system promotes the versatile use of your assets across all marketing and sales channels. In connection with your content management system (CMS), product information management system (PIM) and your shop system as well as other platforms, you can quickly play out all files channel-specifically and without loss of information. Publishing via the channels takes place much faster and also maintains compliance with your CI.
In addition to the ease of use and efficient usability of your digital assets, a DAM system also ensures that only users authorized by you can access the stored files.
Fast and cross-team findability of the digital assets
All teams that need to work with the created assets can find them even faster and process them for further use. This frees up more productive working time and promotes collaboration between teams by eliminating tedious workflows.
Lightened IT infrastructure
Because your digital assets are only stored in a single location, you noticeably relieve your IT infrastructure, which in turn saves storage space and thus effectively also hosting costs.
DAM and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
If you manually maintain your digital assets, such as images, with SEO data, you make the files prone to errors and devote yourself to a time-consuming task. With good DAM software, certain metadata can also be entered automatically, which not only saves working time, but also significantly simplifies data maintenance and formatting for the search engines.
Isn't a CMS enough to manage my digital assets?
If a company operates daily with a large number of products and services from its own portfolio, a content management system for managing the portfolio is usually already in place. And the question of whether a CMS does not already have the required range of functions is understandable. Because a media database is usually already included in a CMS. But this management functionality often only refers to images and videos, for example to play them out on your own website. In addition, it reaches its technical limits above a certain amount and variety of data. A DAM system captures a wide variety of file formats and documents and orchestrates them at a central point so that they are available company-wide and up-to-the-minute for distribution via all marketing channels.
Which is the best MAM/DAM software for me?
In order to offer a company real added value, a modern DAM system should be able to be efficiently integrated into the existing processes so that as many authorized users as possible have the necessary access to the digital assets. The range of functions of the software should be scalable according to the company's requirements in order to offer the greatest possible business value for company-specific challenges. Basically, it can be said that there are currently some very good providers of MAM/DAM software whose products can be used reliably. What is important here is the best user experience for the user and the ability to adapt to existing business processes.
From our experience, it is therefore extremely important to closely involve the future users of this solution right from the start. This increases acceptance and thus increases the business value of the solution. For more than 17 years we have been supporting companies in establishing and optimizing digital sales processes. Therefore, we have a great deal of experience and a high level of expertise in how such changes can be optimally implemented in a company. We accompany our customers during this change process. To do this, in the conception phase of a project, we use our agile DAM methodology to develop exactly the roadmap that the company needs to inspire the users of this system.
communicode and CELUM: An innovative ensemble
We have been a successful CELUM partner for more than ten years and have extensive experience in the field of DAM. In this way, we can always combine the appropriate CELUM modules/functions, even in projects with complex structures, in such a way that the greatest possible added value is created for our customers. In addition, as SAP Commerce (formerly Hybris) specialists, we are often in demand when it comes to integrating CELUM DAM in connection with a SAP Commerce or SAP Commerce PCM solution. Here, our CELUM and SAP Commerce experts work hand in hand to achieve seamless integration of these two systems in the project. But we can also work with you to orchestrate CELUM with other systems.
A professional DAM system is practically a must for success in dynamic competition. Does your company want to maintain its uniform brand identity, optimize its file management and efficiently manage its numerous digital assets? We would be happy to talk to you about a solution.