Digital Asset Management

As a discipline and a technology, DAM is all about the control, flexibility, portability, access, and reporting of digital assets between organizations, customers, partners, and suppliers. (Digital assets are files that have an intrinsic or acquired value over their lifetime.)

DAM is concerned with delivering the right content to the right people, on all devices, mostly in real time, with the ability to track and measure digital asset engagement across an enterprise and its potential global reach.

Technically speaking, a digital asset is more than just the media file. To realize the value of a file (or collection of files), you need to have additional information about that asset. In short, you need metadata.

How does DAM fit the bigger picture?

It’s not always obvious. Choosing the right tools for holistic and effective digital marketing is not unlike crafting a complex cocktail: You have to find the right mix of ingredients in the right balance that works for you. What works for one organization might not work for yours, much like one person prefers a martini and someone else prefers a Negroni. Both drinks contain vermouth – just like two organizations might both have DAM systems – but it’s the mixing with other ingredients that means the results can be quite different.

Best Practices for Choosing a DAM Solution

Once you’ve identified your DAM needs, it’s time to look for a system to match. And, while there’s no one-size-fits-all DAM solution, the best systems all demonstrate a few core principles:

  • Flexibility: DAM has no value if you can’t find and retrieve your assets. Therefore, your digital asset management system must support flexible metadata schemes, so you can modify fields and labels to suit your specific needs and enable intuitive search and retrieval.
  • System Adaptability: In the words of MerlinOne’s own Andrew Forber, “A good DAM system allows an administrator to configure the system so that a person in a given role sees only and exactly the features and assets they need to do their job.” This results in higher productivity, lower stress, and a less cluttered work environment.
  • Collaboration: Today’s workplace is collaborative, so your DAM must be so, too. Look for a system that provides varied tools to assist in your collaboration. Example: Instead of email, use your DAM to enable more efficient, native, and well-organized discussion around a specific digital asset, including the creation or modification of that asset.
  • Distribution: Some digital assets are created for distribution, and a good DAM system will reflect that by allowing you to quickly and easily distribute files to various platforms (including social media), email, your desktop, and other destinations.
  • Analytics: Chances are, you have questions about your digital capital: Who has been accessing your assets? Where are they published? Who’s uploading/adding new assets? What assets are currently being modified or in production? How has a specific asset been used? A good DAM system can deliver a wide range of custom reports.

Companies that leverage the right DAM solution gain efficiency by streamlining workflows, ensuring brand compliance, and getting more traction from their digital assets. Taking the time to develop a clear and consistent digital asset management strategy amplifies these benefits.

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