What is digital asset management?
Digital asset management (DAM) is the effective organisation, retrieval and distribution of digitised files such as images, videos and documents. Digital asset management software is a key tool in brand management, as making sure team members have immediate access to the correct branded materials helps to facilitate brand consistency across an organization.
Keeping files in a cloud based DAM system helps to keep your files safe, organized and available from anywhere at a moment’s notice.
- The benefits of digital asset management software
- Case studies: the benefits of digital asset management in reality
- Identifying your digital asset management requirements
- Implementing digital asset management software
- Digital asset management ROI
- The future of digital asset management
- The digital asset management glossary
1. The benefits of digital asset management software
Quality digital asset management software will enable users to access the digital assets they need as fast as possible. This could be by downloading the asset, viewing the asset or embedding the asset on an external site. Having an active content delivery network (CDN) will ensure that the asset is loaded to the external source as quickly as possible.
To access an asset, you first need to be able to find it. DAM solutions provide a number of quick and easy ways to navigate through your digital assets. The traditional way to organize assets is through a system of folders. Each asset is placed into the folder that suits its type or purpose. An alternative, but common, approach to digital asset organization is through a filter system—where digital assets are assigned a series of meta-properties during the upload process. The user can apply filters to the digital asset library and filter out the assets that they do not want.
Using filters is a more efficient form of organization, especially when compared to a folder structure—which is dependent upon the asset uploader depositing the file where they think it should be stored. Future users searching for the same asset may then become frustrated when they can't find it in the folder they believe the asset is best suited, which raises concerns regarding asset assignment. With a filter structure, the user can assign several different properties to one asset, meaning that if the asset satisfies different criteria, the asset can then be filtered and found.
It could be argued that users of a folder-based system can create multiple versions of the same asset and place these copies into every folder that it is suited. However, this causes a number of problems. When this asset needs to be updated, it's important that all copies of the asset are updated. This in itself could take some time, and copies may be forgotten. Making numerous copies of the same asset purely for navigational purposes would also be an inefficient use of file storage space.
A digital asset management solution also enables an organization to grant, and police the rights of all users. Permissions to access the portal and different assets can be restricted, as well as the ability to edit and replace assets within the DAM system.
Additionally, DAM software facilitates the use of the correct versions of assets. This means that people do not use different versions of the same asset, such as out of date logos or sales presentations. This ensures that an organization's brand is presented in a consistent way—which is crucial for recognition and strength.
Allowing access to digital assets from anywhere in the world is another benefit of DAM. Using cloud based digital asset management software ensures that all users have access to the digital assets that they need from wherever they are in the world. In organizations that have offices and employees across the world, this capability is immensely valuable.
Digital asset management systems also offer a secure place to store your digital assets. Secure login ensures that only the people you want to have access to your digital assets will have access to them. Additionally, you may be able to change the permissions of user accounts which provide the ability to upload new assets or edit existing assets. This makes sure that everyone has the type of access to the digital asset library that they require.
2. Case studies: the benefits of digital asset management in reality
- Learn how innocent drinks reached 2,500 downloads in the first 30 days.
- Find out how Icelandair enjoyed a 50% reduction in search time after they moved to the Bynder.
- Read about how Battersea Dogs & Cats Home have 12,000 stored media assets.
- DPDgroup have 163 marketers successfully using Bynder. Click to read more.
- Bynder digital asset management has helped AkzoNobel to reduce internal emails by 90%.
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3. Identifying your digital asset management requirements
Every organization has different digital assets and different creative processes. Therefore, every organization has different digital asset management requirements. It's important to think about how your current processes are inefficient and where you are experiencing challenges. Have a chat with various departments and see what they think. You could even pass around an online form and ask people to fill it in.
For example; do colleagues keep using the old version of a logo even though a new one has been created? A common pain point is that after a new logo has been created in a company, people still use the old logo in presentations or on the website. So, a requirement that you may identify would be that you need a DAM that has version control. Therefore, once a new version of an existing asset has been created, it can overwrite the the old version. This means that the old version is no longer available and so cannot be used.
Do you have so many files that it takes an age to find anything? As an example, an email marketer who works in an e-Commerce company will need quick access to hundreds of different product images so that they can be used in marketing emails. If your files are poorly organized, it will take considerably longer to find the images that you need, and therefore will take longer to create your marketing emails. So, in this scenario, you might require a DAM that helps you to organize your product images in a more sensible way.
Is an ability to access assets while on the move important to you and your team? With mobile DAM access, this is possible. This is particularly important for organizations who have fast-moving sales teams who require access to key assets when a computer cannot be used.
Or do you already have a DAM, but there is no usage information available, and so you cannot see the ROI it is generating for the company? So then you may decide that a requirement for a new DAM would be that you want to have user analytics so that you can see who is using the DAM and which assets are being used—and which are not.
After you have identified your unique pain points, then you can start to understand what you require from your digital asset management system.
4. Implementing digital asset management software
Deciding how to organize your assets is a big step in the implementation of your digital asset management software. So it is important to spend time developing a consistent taxonomy for your assets.
Digital asset management software can be complex, and so educating users on how to use your system is of utmost importance. The level of education required will depend on your users—how familiar are your users with DAM software and online technology in general? It is important to give detailed information on how the digital asset management system works, and all of the different features that are available to users. It is also important to create a bank of this information where users can search and find previous lessons where necessary.
Finally, one of the most effective ways to encourage take-up of your digital asset management system is to brand the portal according to your brand guidelines. In this way, users feel more comfortable in working with something that has the same look and feel as their own intranet or website. Therefore, it is important to take this into account when implementing your DAM solution.
5. Digital asset management ROI
Making sure that you see an investment from any software package that you implement in your company is crucial, and digital asset management software is no different. Unsurprisingly, achieving a return on investment in digital asset management depends on the usage of the digital assets.
Two main things can be done to increase the usage of your DAM software. Primarily, properly educate users on how DAM software works—this will help the user to understand how the DAM software can benefit them. Secondly, admin users should analyze usage statistics to identify any users who are slow to adopt the system and may subsequently require more training or support. If you would like an expert to talk you through the ROI of DAM, sign up for a digital asset management demo.
6. The future of digital asset management
Mobile DAM apps are a major source of innovation within the DAM space. So much of how organizations function is now tied to mobile technology and on-the-move functionality. Mobile app digital asset management has become a key tool in the ability of marketing teams to utilize the assets they need, right when they need them.
Additionally, AI for DAM is arriving and can be used in everyday business. Bynder’s latest AI capabilities are empowering marketers with the ability to automate the uploading of visual assets. Bynder’s AI capabilities empower marketers with the ability to automate and streamline daily processes.
With automated tags generated with 80% accuracy upon upload, marketers can find what they need faster, saving hours of administrative duties including organization of all marketing graphics, files and videos. This sits right at the heart of what we believe is important for marketers today; freeing up the time to get back to their creative roots. To read more about Bynder’s latest AI capabilities, click here. Or to see Bynder AI in action, sign up for a demo.
Intelligent asset suggestion will be another forward step in the future of digital asset management. DAM software will integrate with digital analytics platforms to identify the digital assets that lead to the highest number of conversions when they are included in online marketing materials. As a result, your digital asset management software will be able to suggest the asset that you should use in your marketing materials to secure the highest conversion rate.
7. The digital asset management glossary
The following section will provide definitions for key digital asset management terms.
Cloud digital asset management solution (Cloud DAM): Cloud digital asset management is not directly installed on the machines in your organization, but rather based in the cloud. Users are given access to the software through the internet. This means that users can access the software from whichever device they want, from any location, rather than just the device that the software has been installed on. Additionally, SaaS product updates can be made directly to the software on the cloud and so is instantly available to everyone.
Collections: Collections is a term used in the Bynder DAM solution and defines a group of assets that can be shared with others.
Creative content platform: The term "creative content platform" is a synonym of digital asset management. Other synonyms of digital asset management include: DAM software, DAM system, digital content management, digital media management, enterprise content management, media management software, media asset management and marketing resource management.
DAM taxonomy: Digital asset management taxonomy is the system of names and properties that are assigned to digital assets so that they can be found at a later date.
Digital asset: A digital asset is a file in a digital form.
Digital asset search: Digital asset search is the main method of navigation within many digital asset libraries. Many search bars now have auto complete to help the user ensure that they type the correct keyword into the search bar.
Digital rights management: Digital rights management is the way in which an organization will control the legal right to distribute certain images and/or files as part of their marketing efforts or otherwise.
Derivative: A derivative is an altered version of a file. For example, your DAM portal may allow you to create derivatives of an image based on dimensions.
EFSS: Click for info on EFSS.
Filter: Filtering is the method by which Bynder's digital asset management organizes assets. Users add meta-properties to digital assets on upload. When users want to filter the digital asset library, filters can be applied which will filter irrelevant assets out of your view, leaving you with a collection of assets that fit your criteria.
Metadata: Metadata is information that is assigned to each asset to aid the organization and searchability of the digital asset. Click for tips on how to apply metadata to digital assets.
On-site DAM solution: An on-site digital asset solution involves the use of on-site servers to store the digital assets of the organization. This method of digital asset management requires a much longer period of installation as physical components must be stored in the premises of the organization. Additionally, work must be carried out to ensure the security of the physical location of the storage servers to ensure that the digital assets are safe from theft. Software updates must also be made on each individual device. This process can take a great deal of time, and if the software needs to be regularly updated, this can cause a disruption to productivity within an organization.
System integration: Digital asset management systems often have integration options with third-party tools.
Watermarking: Watermarking your digital assets is a way of ensuring that people do not use digital assets without the correct digital copyright permissions.
This guide has provided an overview of what digital asset management is; its benefits, and detailed the factors that must be considered when implementing a digital asset management solution. It explained the costs associated and the implementation of DAM, how to maximize DAM return on investment, and finally, how it may develop in the future.