What is a digital asset and what is its significance in marketing?
First, let's clarify what a digital asset is in the first place. An asset is a type of digital information. It refers to digital content that can be stored on hard disks or servers in the form of a file. These media can be of different types and serve different functions. The most common asset types include: Text documents, video files, images, graphics, audio files, presentations, spreadsheets and other media. Digital assets are used in organizations across many departments. An image of a product, for example, is just as relevant to the work of sales as it is to the product management team. However, assets are most important for the work of marketing. The employees there need and provide the most assets. Without digital assets, there is no marketing. Catalogs, websites, ads, online ads, flyers, social media posts - all of these media would not exist today if there were no digital assets. So digital assets and content are immensely important in shaping your company's brand and engaging customers.
What is Digital Asset Management?
"What a mess! You can never find what you need!" It's a saying that may sound familiar from your living room at home, but it's just as apt when it comes to digital assets. Digital assets, such as photos, logos, graphics, videos, text files, PDFs (e.g., white papers), are stored en masse in all sorts of places in organizations today. If you need an image in a desired format, for example, you may have to search for it for a long time or even not find it at all. Quite annoying. It would be better if there were only one storage location for the content. This is where digital asset management comes in. Software solutions, so-called DAM systems - more often referred to as MAM for "Media Asset Management" - allow all media formats for all types of use to be stored and managed centrally in one place. Since the media files are indexed and given a unique description (metadata), it is easy to find the desired file using a search mask. In addition, DAM systems allow rights management if not every user is to have access to every file.
What is the goal of digital asset management?
The goal and function of digital asset management is to enable employees in companies to find what they are looking for more quickly. This is especially important for marketing managers. In the stressful daily routine, it's often hectic anyway, and then you have to invest a lot of time in searching for the right file? Fortunately, with the right tool, this is no longer necessary. The time you spend searching for media can be better invested in your projects, focusing on your customers or your company's brand strategy. Digital asset management with the appropriate DAM software is a great relief for the work of marketing departments.
What are the benefits of digital asset management?
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Digital asset management offers many benefits. We have summarized our top 11 advantages:
No more searching around
Thanks to the keywording and the stored metadata, you can find what you are looking for quickly and easily. You work more efficiently and can concentrate more on the other topics. Finding is thus very simple.
You can find all files in one place
Central management of your assets in just one system, i.e. in one place, the corresponding DAM software, makes it easier to find the files because you only have to search in one place. Individual search filters also help you find the content you want.
All data are current and verified (validated)
A DAM system should always offer the possibility of having data enriched with information and validated by the responsible departments. This way, you ensure that only up-to-date data is in the system. Central storage means that the file only has to be kept up to date in one place. This avoids different versions of an image or text circulating in the company. Everyone uses one "source" and therefore there is no need to fall back on outdated data. The DAM system thus forms a so-called single source of truth.
Reduction of silos or improved cooperation between departments
Hoarding data in individual departments is a thing of the past with a DAM. All stakeholders and all departments can access assets, no matter from which location and which end device, as long as they have been assigned the appropriate access rights. Department-specific silos are thus dissolved.
Compliance with CI guidelines
Centralized file management and sharing ensures that only assets that meet your brand's CI specifications are shared and made available.
Time saving through automation
With a DAM system you save a lot of time, not only in searching. With a DAM, you no longer need to perform some processes manually. The import, enrichment of assets (e.g. automatic metadata generation), their linking, updates and export are automated in the DAM.
Edit within the tool
In most DAM software, you can edit and save your assets directly. This saves you from annoying down- and upload processes.
Role Rights Management
A role rights management allows you to define which users are allowed to access which file.
Media-neutral data storage
Your assets are stored so that you can use them for different output channels.
Connection to other MarTech forms
For example, product information management systems can be integrated to enrich data with product information. This is the basis for interfaces, workflows, and automated processes with which marketing activities can be optimized and marketing or sales channels can be played (e.g., e-commerce websites, online marketplaces, social media platforms).
Improved data quality
Organizations often have large amounts of digital assets that are created and uploaded by different people and departments. This can lead to a myriad of duplicate, outdated or incorrect assets. DAM systems help improve data quality by providing features such as duplicate checking, pixel matching, version control, data history or asset master, and asset updating.
What types of DAM software are there?
Essentially, there are two different types of DAM systems. Which one you choose depends primarily on the requirements of your company.
On-premise DAM systems are installed and operated locally on your own servers or in your company's data centers. Maintenance is the responsibility of your company itself, including updates, backups and security measures. But this solution offers many more advantages. You have full control over your data and security requirements. You can make individual adjustments and are flexible in the integration of internal systems and workflows. The on-premise solution can be adapted to your company's MarTech landscape with all its requirements.
Cloud-based DAM systems
A cloud-based solution usually offers you more ease of use, scalability, and maintenance benefits. Since these systems are software-as-a-service (SaaS), you don't have to worry about updates or data backup/hosting yourself. Your assets are stored in a cloud. The downside to these tools is that there are limitations to customization.
What is the best way to implement a DAM system?
We've helped a number of companies implement a DAM system and know what to look for. We recommend you to proceed in 4 steps:
First of all, you should be clear about which assets you want to manage in the DAM system and for what purpose. It would also be important to determine what the system should be able to do. For example, if you want to have interfaces to other existing systems in your company, you need this information for the selection of the tool.
People not forgotten
Before you decide on a system, you should discuss it extensively with the people in your company who will be working with the systems. Nothing is worse than spending a lot of money on a system that doesn't meet the needs of your employees or is difficult to use because it doesn't fit your processes.
Depending on what your DAM system should be able to do, you now have to decide on one. It's not just a matter of deciding whether it should be a cloud-based system or an on-premise system. Choosing a vendor with different features is not easy. There are countless providers. Independent DAM experts can advise you on which system best suits your company's circumstances.
Implementation and maintenance of the system
After the selection follows the implementation. For this, you can get a service provider to help you. After consolidating and checking your data, they will create an implementation roadmap and fill the system. Even after the implementation, he can continue to support you if, for example, you do not have the resources or know-how in the company regarding data security, interfaces, etc.