Digital assets consist of any media formatted in a digital manner. They can contain textual content, images or multimedia. Digital Asset Management (DAM) is therefore the centralization, cataloging and control of the digital assets. DAM can then be divided into four broad categories: brand asset management, library asset management, production asset management and digital supply chain services.
Now that we have the definition of DAM clear in our heads, think about what components of DAM take place in your business. Likely there is an IT department responsible for managing digital storage systems, and expanding them when the need arises. Graphic design and advertising may be carried out in a creative or marketing department. What are the annual technology and marketing budgets combined, including labor? What capital investments relating to technological upgrades are up for review this year? Now compare that number to the estimated annual cost of a DAM provider.
Traditional media is going the way of the Dodo Bird. Slowly but surely, businesses are realizing traditional media methods of communication with consumers is not as efficient as it once was. Print media is still used for marketing, but now being mirrored in digital forms available on the web. Television advertisements are still useful, but with the growing number of North Americans downloading their entertainment, cable television subscriber numbers are dropping.
Thankfully we still read, on the other hand digital books and magazines are emerging as eco-friendly ways to get our book fix. Paper flyers are outdated and unpopular. Radio ads can still be useful, but usually on with a dynamic website to consumers to follow up with. In reality any business that has not realized the changing world of marketing is likely not viable at the moment.
Those businesses who have pulled through and attempted their own digital marketing products will know the process of achieving the ideal brand is long, tedious and expensive. The expense is not just in equipment and software, it’s also in time. It takes time for staff to search for the right content, gain permission for access from coworkers, create the finished product, usually through a process of trial and error.
The dreaded bottleneck of output occurs and company-wide frustration ensues. Valuable hours are spent and overtime is paid just to get the product finished and out. The rush to finish by a deadline can sometimes result in a sub-par end product. Consider having a DAM system in place. digital asset management A DAM system is a central place where all digital assets are kept for everyone to access when needed. Completed projects are also centralized for global use. No searching, no permissions, no time wasted.
One of the most important aspects of branding is consistency. Consumers recognize your brand by its colors and esthetics, relating it to the quality of your product or service. If your brand is inconsistent your product will be viewed as inconsistent, or worse – unrecognizable. Having a DAM in place means total brand consistency. One central repository containing all digital forms of your brand in all variety of sizes and formats, negates the need for individual employees to keep possibly outdated copies of branded materials such as letterheads and logos.
DAM supply chain services can replace entire departments in a business, or make them more efficient. Supply chain services provide assistance in areas like digital photography, color retouching, graphic design, wide format printing and catalog production. Value in the talent currently in your company is ideal, but very few businesses can claim they possess the means to carry out every aspect of media output in house. The use of a good DAM service will provide those infrequently used, but equally important components of digital media production.
Is DAM worth the investment? The ability to tap a whole new creative set of minds and utilize cutting edge tools and ideas is worth the investment. In the short term, your team will appreciate the injection of inspiration. In the long term time and money will be saved through more efficient practices.