Digital asset management (DAM) is increasingly becoming an essential part of the technology ecosystem for leading enterprise organizations. Once viewed as a supporting technology for industries that depended on large quantities of rich content assets, today, DAM has become central to enterprises due to the increased use of rich assets across all industries.

In fact, according to Forrester Research, the DAM market is growing because more application development and delivery professionals see content organization and delivery as a way to address their top challenges.

What Exactly Is DAM?

DAM traditionally has been defined as a solution to enable the organization, storage and retrieval of rich media assets like photos, videos, audio files, creative files and emerging forms of multimedia content.

With its ability to store images and videos, on the surface, the technology has many similar content management features as solutions like web content management (WCM), cross-channel campaign management, and ecommerce platforms.

Although DAM can work with these types of solutions, a DAM’s approach to content is different. While other solutions focus on managing content specific to a channel, DAM is optimized to manage omnichannel content creation, management and sharing. DAMs have also greatly improved over the years, adding many more robust asset management capabilities, including AI auto tagging, content recommendation and even digital rights management.

Related Article: DAM Expands Its Reach Into the Enterprise

How to Tell if You Need a DAM

Marketers faced with the question of where to manage their content may be asking themselves if they can get by with these other solutions, or if DAM is an organizational imperative. Here are five questions marketers can ask themselves to help with this decision:

1. Is content siloed in multiple solutions?

DAM solutions provide a single repository to access and manage all different types of files. Instead of having different content versions for websites, email marketing, and product information management, DAM provides marketers with a single source of truth. Marketers also can use it to create a library of all content. This offers benefits like the ability to more easily structure and organize it — via metadata and taxonomy — to make it easier to find, connect it to other related pieces of content, and better prepare it for distribution.

2. Do you have sophisticated content enrichment needs?

Most DAMs have more robust content enrichment capabilities than other content delivery-focused solutions can offer. DAM is a better fit if marketers need to manage a lot of different content versions; digital rights by dates, regions or channels; global and local content variations; or download different content resolutions on demand, for instance.

Learning Opportunities

Related Article: Why Digital Asset Management Is Now Officially Martech

3. Do you need to do more than park assets?

DAM solutions today support the entire content lifecycle, from ideation and planning, creation and management, to analysis and archival. DAM supports these work-in-progress assets, so that creatives have a place to create and review assets while still using their creative tools of choice. DAM solutions also enable marketers and ecommerce teams to work with assets throughout the content lifecycle, and review/approve, enrich, analyze and archive them.

4. Do you need to support multiple asset types?

DAM is optimized for rich media content, like images, videos and creative files. For organizations that are engaging in richer storytelling, DAM is critical for supporting these types of assets. Plus, DAM is no longer just a media library. It also supports additional types of content, such as text or 3-D images, and can understand which content is being used most often and by which user or groups of users, so it can be utilized as a smarter single source of truth for both content assets and the performance of those assets.

Related Article: Climbing to DAM Success, One Step at a Time

5. Are you managing assets across groups?

Enterprise DAM solutions are built to scale rather than just managing a couple thousand web-ready images. Instead, they manage hundreds of thousands of assets across regions. Additionally, it’s not just for a select few in a web group or a social media group. DAM solutions manage assets so that departments across the organization — from marketing to creative to ecommerce to sales — can easily search and find the right asset.

As DAMs continue to evolve, they are becoming a solution for organizations to use to improve content ideation and planning processes, as well as determine a more accurate ROI for all content. With the addition of AI, they can also allow for improved resource management, workflows and more accurate content performance metrics. Finally, DAMs also continues to offer more robust functionality to enrich assets, including video clipping, speech-to-text and optical character recognition. All of these types of innovations continue to spur the DAM industry forward.

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