If you chose a theme song for Digital Asset Management (DAM) technologies in the past year, it might be "Ball of Confusion."

As you'll see below, our Top 10 stories include headlines on why you need DAM software, why you may not need it and how to choose the right software if you do. However, the broad discussion of this topic by 10 CMSWire authors will help almost anyone find their own path more easily.

A Sample of Popular Posts

1) David Diamond, who has worked in the DAM arena area since 1998, led the list with a controversial suggestion: Why Images Don't Belong in Your DAM. Tweet to David Diamond.

Most organizations use digital asset management to manage images. It has always been this way and it will likely continue to be this way for some time. After all, images are the thing DAM does best.

But it’s time to stop using DAM to manage images because you could be doing so much more."

2) The final episode of Game of Thrones drew 7.1 million viewers, and that inspired Elliot Sedegah to offer 3 Brand Asset Secrets from HBO's Game of Thrones. When it comes to locking up the dragons, however, you're on your own. Tweet to Elliot Sedegah.

Managing your digital brand assets, such as images, videos and rich media, has much in common with the drama. You have to maintain brand consistency, learn from others and establish governance guidelines that protect and strengthen your brand and position. Each person within your organization must follow the same guidelines and framework for the strategy to be effective as your marketing strategy expands across channels." 

3) When it comes to DAM, it's chaotic out there and no wonder: just look at the fragmented marketplace! Elizabeth Keathley did just that in DAM Confusion in the Marketplace as she explained the complex world of DAM for those who live in it. Tweet to Elizabeth Keathley.

Most companies are sadly far from an ECM (enterprise content management) nirvana, with divisions in corporations each pursuing their own DAM agenda, independent of involvement or governance from top management. This results in a fractured DAM marketplace, with vendors often competing not only with each other for clients, but between different departments within the same companies."

4) We all understand the importance of storytelling in marketing. Content strategist Alex Struminger took that philosophy to heart as he explained the benefits of DAM in a story that should help managers gain support for DAM projects in their companies. His nicely told tale had a very appropriate title: What's the Value of DAM? Let Me Tell Your a Story. Tweet to Alex Struminger.

Digital storytelling's rise parallels the rapid rise in the digital world's complexity, as well as the raised level of noise and competition for attention. Pushed in part by the social media revolution and by increased opportunities to interact with customers, brands and campaign managers have been struggling with “engagement” for the last few years."

5) Remember when SaaS was new and limited in its capabilities? Those days are far behind us, as Jeff Lawrence points out in his story SaaS vs. In-House DAM -- Which is Right for You?  Today, it's harder to choose between in-house, SaaS or hybrid DAM solutions. We won't be spoilers. You have to read the story to see which meets your needs. Tweet to Jeff Lawrence.

Understanding your organization’s resources, TCO and business requirements will help steer you to either SaaS, in-house or hybrid model. Go make the right DAM decision for your project."

6) Before you find success, you first have to define success. Many people expect DAM to result in success. But, as John Horodyski reminded us, success means many things to many people. How do you measure success? Start by reading John's story, How to Succeed with DAM. Tweet to John Horodyski.

Success in DAM starts by defining what your customers and business want to do with digital assets and then creating the plan to achieve it. What DAM success is not is buying the software and hardware and then pushing the button; DAM is far more than that." 

7) Forrester Research Analyst Anjali Yakkundi spends a lot of her time answering the same questions for many different clients. As a CMSWire contributor, she shared her answers to the most important questions in her story 5 Questions to Consider Before Launching a DAM Initiative. Tweet to Anjali Yakkundi.

The market is fragmented, and relatively few big-name vendors offer DAM solutions. The Forrester clients I speak with are often new to DAM (or new to next-generation, customer experience-focused DAM), and are looking for advice on where to get started. What questions should you ask when considering a new DAM system?"

8) As the marketing manager for Widen Enterprises, Jake Athey knows what he's talking about when it comes to DAM. Maybe that's why so many of our readers paid attention when he wrote: DAM Helps Deliver Experiences Worth Talking About. Tweet to Jake Athey.

When people visit your website and read a blog post that bores them to death with buzzwords and product pitches, that’s a bad customer experience. When people read a blog post and feel entertained, inspired and grateful, that’s a great experience. We need more of the latter."

9) Let's face it: DAM can be damn confusing. That's easily said, but it's harder to take the mystery out of it. Ralph Windsor did just that in his story Introduction to CMIS4DAM: The Key to DAM Interoperability. Don't let the techy title fool you. Windsor has a way of making the muddy world of technospeak as clear as the desert sun. Here's a sample of that. Tweet to Ralph Windsor.

The DAM industry is guilty of self-obsessed and narcissistic behavior or (at best) an apathetic and fatalistic attitude that assumes interoperability is someone else's problem which might never get solved anyway. System developers are more interested in telling you how brilliant their products are; consultants and analysts highlight the issue, but do not offer any solutions."

10) Money makes the world go 'round, and it also has a way of turning DAM projects into realities. But getting approval from the C-suite can be a challenge. That's why Leslie Weller offers seven pieces of critical advice in Get Executive Buy-In for Digital Asset Management. Ignore it at your own risk. Tweet to Leslie Weller.

Top organizations must be willing and able to commit to managing their digital assets more intelligently. What may seem like a "nice-to-have" today will be essential to survive in the digital world of tomorrow."

More, Please!

There you have it, the Top 10 DAM stories for 2014 as selected by you and our editors. Want more? You'll find even more stories on DAM in our News & Analysis section. Be sure to add your comments, share your experiences or ask questions of our authors to help build the CMSWire community's knowledge of digital asset management.

Title image by Snowshill / Shutterstock