Digital Asset Management Definition

Digital assets are any digitally created and stored item that has value and ownership. It must be discoverable, meaning it can be isolated, identified, and shared. Companies have hundreds, if not thousands, of digital assets. Yet, their value is diluted because they are poorly managed.

digital asset management (DAM) system helps companies collect, store, organize, and retrieve their digital assets. It protects their value by placing them in a secure centralized location with controlled access. With a DAM, manufacturers can ensure the integrity of digital assets such as.

  • Photos

  • Videos

  • Audio/Music

  • Animations

  • Illustrations

  • Logos

The types of digital assets continue to grow as organizations develop innovative ways to engage their customers.

As customer interactions expand to include more digital components, organizations need digital asset management tools to realize their full potential. As indicated in another digital asset management definition, DAM software capitalizes on a company's digital assets to deliver improved customer experiences.

Digital asset management software plans and manages the creation, approval, organization, and distribution of all types of digital content from a single system. It ensures that each piece of content is the best and most appropriate for every interaction and that internal and external stakeholders properly use digital assets to increase customer engagement, retention, acquisition, and satisfaction.

As the definition of digital assets evolves, what is meant by digital asset management may change, but its value to manufacturers will only increase.

Why Use Digital Asset Management Software?

Digital asset management solutions provide marketing with the tools needed to deliver engaging customer experiences. They also provide operational efficiencies, brand consistency, and asset accuracy. The best digital asset management platforms deliver the following benefits:

  • Lower Production Costs. Centralizing assets enables manufacturers to find and reuse them across an enterprise. Instead of producing multiple versions of similar content, companies create one asset accessible to everyone.

  • Better Resource Allocation. Eliminating duplicate assets frees employees to work on other projects and increases productivity.

  • Efficient Operations. Reallocating resources to other operational areas can improve workflow efficiency. Campaigns, website updates, and product catalogs can reach markets faster when processes are streamlined.

  • Improved Customer Experiences. Having digital assets organized to address different stages in a customer's journey means delivering the right information at the right time. Customizing customer experiences helps attract, engage, and retain customers.

  • Consistent Customer Interactions. DAMs ensure brand consistency since all assets come from a single location with carefully curated items. Manufacturers no longer have to worry that customers may encounter inaccurate or inconsistent information.

  • Compliance. Manufacturing often has industry and governmental regulations that must be met. Some products may require licenses or inspections. The use of digital assets may require copyright or usage disclaimers. Placing this information along with warranty or return policies in a DAM ensures compliance across all channels.

As organizations and DAM vendors find innovative ways to deploy digital assets, their value will increase as they have more impact on customer interactions and business efficiencies.

Who is Responsible for a DAM?

Marketing usually retains ownership of a DAM. This team is tasked with organizing assets and providing curated media. A DAM can be configured to allow access to employees, external agencies, and channel partners. This process ensures that only approved content is used to create such product information as sales presentations, datasheets, and installation guides. A DAM provides consistent information for internal and external consumption.

While marketing may be responsible for the DAM, a digital asset manager is often responsible for maintaining control of digital assets. These managers handle all aspects of digital asset management, from acquiring to protecting them. 

Who Are Digital Asset Managers?

digital asset manager job description requires someone skilled in more than technology. The position needs an individual who is also proficient in developing processes and interacting with people. Digital asset managers should have the following skills:

  • Technical. Managers often need programming skills to bridge the gap between a DAM and a digital experience platform (DXP). Lumavate offers a no-code solution that reduces the level of technical expertise required to use the solution.

  • Analytical. DAMs organize assets according to an established taxonomy. Managers need analytical skills to create a framework that returns the results users expect.

  • Project Management. Managing digital assets is a never-ending process. Existing assets become obsolete. New products and assets are generated. Digital managers need management skills to keep a DAM functioning to meet business needs.

  • Detail Oriented. Details matter. Typos can change an asset's location in a DAM framework drastically. Incorrect tagging can make a file unreachable. Managers must focus on how assets are identified, tagged, and retrieved to ensure enterprise-wide accessibility.

  • Data Focused. Detail-oriented means focusing on data. Managers must make sure assets meet corporate standards and the right assets are tagged for use. The appropriate asset format must be used for each step in the customer's journey.

  • Communication. Digital asset managers do more than interact with technology. They must communicate how to use the DAM, help users create assets, and sustain seamless workflows. With strong communication skills, implementation slows.

Digital asset managers also need three personality traits. They need patience, flexibility, and empathy. While managers should be tech-savvy, end users should not have to be. Managers need patience when dealing with users to avoid adding to their frustration. They need to listen to what users are saying to find ways to improve the experience.

Work doesn't always go as planned, making flexibility a critical trait for managers. They need to pivot no matter how frustrating it is to ensure business objectives are met. Finally, digital asset managers need empathy. Acknowledging the user experience helps reduce stress. Managers who can put themselves in the end user's position can provide authentic empathy that helps others accept change.

How Many Digital Asset Management Companies Are There?

The digital asset management market is expected to reach $8.2 billion by 2030, making it impossible to know exactly how many companies offer a DAM solution. As the market continues to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18 percent, the number of digital asset management companies will continue to grow.

Here is a list of top digital asset management companies.

  • Adobe

  • Canto

  • Bynder

  • Brandfolder

  • Lumavate

Each DAM vendor delivers core functionality such as collecting, storing, and organizing digital assets; however, how they deliver the digital asset management features varies. For example, only Lumavate offers an integrated solution that allows users to create digital experiences using their DAM solution.

Without an integrated solution, manufacturers must find a third-party solution to build digital experiences. These solutions may require hiring developers or agencies to create experiences or purchasing third-party software for designing customer experiences. Third-party software may require added development to construct a seamless interchange of assets and experiences.

Adobe digital asset management, for example, is a stand-alone solution that requires integration with a digital experience platform. Unless the integration API already exists, companies must wait (and pay) for the interface to be coded. If manufacturers have existing digital asset management capabilities, they will need to convert their existing design into an Adobe-acceptable format. All these processes take time and money, making Adobe digital asset management pricing highly variable.

Lumavate not only offers a DAM but also includes a PIM and DXP in its platform to provide seamless built-in integration. Lumavate's DAM associates assets with product records with a few clicks rather than lines of code, enabling manufacturers to build digital experiences without technical skills.

How to Choose a Digital Asset Management Solution

With multiple vendors claiming to be one of the top digital asset management companies, how are manufacturers to determine which of the DAM vendors is right for them? They begin by answering the following six questions to ensure the solution includes the best digital asset management tools.

What Are the Business Objectives?

Manufacturers should identify what their objectives are when looking at digital asset management software. For example, is discoverability a problem? Are assets spread across the enterprise, making it difficult to retrieve pertinent information? What other digital asset management use cases should be considered?

Suppose marketing wants to launch a new campaign to invigorate sales of an existing product. To meet the deadline, they created multiple groups to address different sales channels. When marketing looks at the final results, they find inconsistencies in language, photography, and illustrations. Not only do they struggle with discoverability, but they also lack a version control system that ensures a single source of truth. The marketing campaign must be shelved because corrections cannot be completed by the deadline.

Another issue with user access is security. Because existing systems lack access control, anyone can upload, update, or delete information. Even in systems that have centralized repositories and version control, restricting access ensures that only appropriate people are accessing the data. For example, some users may be restricted to view only, while others may be allowed to copy assets. Creative users need broader access to upload information. By establishing a permissions-based DAM, businesses can ensure that what is stored has been approved.

Perhaps manufacturers are looking to streamline operations because they are spending time and money on creating redundant information. Using a DAM can help optimize workflows through data transparency, asset accuracy, and shared repositories. Everyone in the organization knows what data is available and is confident that what is in the repository is accurate. Employees spend less time looking for assets and verifying their accuracy and more time producing digital experiences that attract and retain customers.

What is the Volume of Digital Assets?

Companies collect a lot of data daily, some of which turn into digital assets. That means most manufacturers underestimate the diversity and volume of their assets. So, what are examples of digital assets growing at such a rate?

Digital assets may be templates, videos, music, audio recordings, and sales decks. They may be diagrams, illustrations, or assembly guides. The number of product images can be endless. Many assets may be buried in email attachments or meeting notes. Understanding the types and volume of digital assets helps identify what digital asset management features are needed to address integration and implementation requirements.

Who Will Use the DAM?

DAMs are not only used in customer-facing scenarios. They also have internal uses, such as onboarding new hires and new product training. They can even provide critical information for customer service agents. Knowing the needs of each user group ensures that organizations select one of the best DAM systems for the entire ecosystem.

For example, customer service departments can draw from a DAM to create accurate scripts for responding to caller questions. They can ensure the potential buyer that the dimensions are correct or help them address color options and availability. By centralizing all digital assets, brands can create a consistent customer experience that builds trust.

Digital management systems such as Lumavate can even update product information across the digital landscape when it is modified in the DAM repository. This feature makes it easier to ensure data accuracy, as a digital asset manager doesn't have to remember where each asset was used.

What Integrations Are Needed?

Stand-alone systems require integration with digital experience platforms. DAMs that include product information management (PIM) and digital experience platforms, such as Lumavate, have both integrations built in. However, DAMs may need to interface with other systems, such as customer relationship management systems or enterprise-wide solutions.

Each integration extends the implementation timeline, as each interface must be tested before it is placed into production. With an integrated solution, the time to deployment is reduced as fewer interfaces need testing. In some instances, API interfaces may already exist, minimizing the needed test times with third-party solutions.

How Will the Taxonomy be Structured?

As manufacturers look at the type and volume of digital assets, they should also consider how the assets will be organized. What are the different file types? How granular do the tags need to be? Do you require multiple tags per asset?

A detailed taxonomy isn't necessary, but the capabilities should be identified to ensure they can be accommodated. Because every company is different, how they organize their digital assets also varies. Make sure the DAM has the flexibility to work in your environment.

How Are Solutions Priced?

Stand-alone, on-premise solutions can be expensive. Companies pay an initial fee for customizing and installing the software. They usually pay an annual license fee that includes updates and support. Interfaces and integrations are billed separately, increasing the price to over $250,000. The price does not include equipment costs and in-house labor to operate the solution.

An alternative model operates as a cloud-based subscription service. Manufacturers pay a monthly fee to use the vendor's platform. Subscribers do not incur equipment costs for large servers to handle the volumes of digital assets a company has. They do not require full-time employees to operate and maintain the software. 

As a cloud-based solution, Lumavate offers a Product Experience Management (PXM) solution that includes a built-in Digital Asset Management solution, Product Information Management (PIM) functionality, and a Digital Experience Platform (DXP). The solution includes form builders and text messaging. Most importantly, Lumavate publicly shares its pricing on its website.

How to Choose a Digital Asset Management Partner

Finding the right solution means locating a digital asset management partner. There are many digital asset management examples of solutions that provide core DAM functionality. However, there are fewer examples of DAM vendors that operate as a partner.

  • Partners deliver more than core functionality. They understand that centralized storage is only the beginning of building a digital experience and provide solutions that make creating them seamless.

  • Partners help develop a digital strategy that incorporates digital asset management into a comprehensive roadmap and timeline.

  • Partners reduce the technical burden of delivering customer experiences, making it possible for non-technical staff to build digital experiences.

  • Partners answer questions and explain best practices to ensure a positive digital experience.

Partners such as Lumavate have changed the landscape of digital asset management meaning they have built a platform that lets manufacturers deliver a comprehensive product experience without relying on technical staff for installation and support. It gives marketing the ability to deliver customized experiences quickly without fear of inconsistent or inaccurate information being released. Lumavate provides complete functionality using a cost-effective subscription model.

See Lumavate in Action

Meet with one of our experts to see how easy it is to centralize your product data, manage digital assets, and create digital product experiences. Trust us…you’re going to be wowed.