Digital Asset Management Solutions
These days, businesses rely on digital assets more than ever before to sell products and inform customers about their products. In addition to the inherent challenges that come with creating digital assets, businesses must also face difficulties with managing and distributing these assets accurately and reliably.
Enter digital asset management tools, which can help businesses streamline their processes while optimizing their digital assets.
What Are Digital Assets and Digital Asset Management?
Before diving deeper into an analysis of digital asset management tools and how they work, it's equally important to understand what constitutes a digital asset and why this matters.
What Is a Digital Asset?
Specifically, digital assets refer to just about any file, document, image, or video that a business uses to inform customers (and/or employees) about a particular product. Some common examples of digital assets used by many companies include:
Product documents (such as owner's manuals)
Digital assets have become an increasingly important resource for many companies, especially because more consumers are now researching products online before making a purchase. Digital assets are an effective way to provide the information customers need to make informed buying decisions in a way that is engaging, accessible, and memorable.
Consider, for example, that customers who follow directions with text and images perform 323 percent better than customers who follow the same directions without images.
What Is a Digital Asset Management Platform?
The prevalence and importance of digital assets to most businesses is clear, but what exactly is a digital asset management platform and what does digital asset management do?
Essentially, a Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution is designed to allow companies to centrally store, manage, and share digital files in one centralized location. A DAM is typically shared across multiple departments within a business, as well as externally with partners (such as agencies and channel partners).
What is a digital asset management system used for? Businesses can use these platforms as repositories for all product-related digital assets, including product demonstration videos, product images, PDFs of owner's manuals, and the like. By keeping these files stored within a DAM tool, they are readily accessible to employees when they need them most.
Likewise, the latest version of the file is always available, ensuring that everybody is getting the most up-to-date information. All of this allows businesses to eliminate challenges associated with disparate files while creating a single source of truth that everybody within the business can rely upon.
Digital Asset Management System Examples
So, what is an example of a digital asset management system? Adobe Digital Asset Management (or Adobe Digital Asset Manager) is one well-known example that many businesses use to better organize, store, and retrieve their digital assets and similar content. Adobe Experience Manager is a cloud-based DAM tool that enables collaboration through the use of direct feedback in the cloud while providing more efficient storage and retrieval of digital assets for designers, developers, and other creative teams.
Of course, Adobe Digital Asset Manager isn't the only platform available. Some other popular digital asset management examples on the market include:
Each platform has its own unique offerings to bring to the table—but we'll dive deeper into how to choose the best DAM systems for your business later in this article.
Why Does Your Business Need a DAM?
One common question that many business owners have is whether or not they really need a DAM solution. After all, if your business has made it this far without a DAM system in place, why change things now?
Even if your business has been "getting by" with your current way of managing your digital assets, you have a lot to potentially gain by making the switch to a great digital asset management platform. Because a DAM solution allows your company to effectively manage all of its digital assets in one location, this helps to ensure that only brand-approved digital assets are being used by other departments and external partners.
Likewise, the right DAM tool for your business can significantly reduce the amount of time that employees spend searching for specific assets. With this in mind, many companies report a significant increase in team productivity after implementing a DAM solution.
Benefits of DAM Solutions For Businesses
Businesses of all sizes can benefit from implementing a DAM tool, especially when it comes to maximizing the results of their marketing efforts.
Manage Digital Assets in a Centralized Location
DAM tools serve as a single source of truth for businesses, allowing them to store and manage all of their digital assets in a single location. This ensures that employees (including marketing teams) are using only the most accurate and up-to-date digital assets within your brand's digital experiences. This, in turn, can help to improve brand consistency while boosting brand recognition.
Tag Digital Assets For Easier Searching
One useful feature that you can find in most digital asset management platforms is that of tagging, which allows employees to tag individual assets with specific keywords. From there, other employees can use the DAM platform's search feature to find digital assets faster, thus cutting down on the amount of time spent searching for files and helping teams work more productively.
Save Time on Updating Web Pages and Catalogs
Some digital asset management tools also make it possible to sync digital assets with websites, product catalogs, and other avenues. This way, when a single asset or file is changed, these updates are automatically made to the information within the website or catalog. This saves valuable time that would otherwise be spent updating this information manually. It also cuts down on the likelihood of updates being overlooked, ensuring that customers and employees always have access to the most current product information.
Share Curated Assets With Other Users
Finally, most DAMs also allow businesses to create brand portals that enable the sharing of a curated selection of digital assets with other users. This can include team members, agencies, or even channel partners. This ability to personalize and share curated assets makes it easier for marketing teams to custom-tailor content to specific audiences while encouraging better collaboration.
Who Owns a DAM?
Ownership of a DAM tool can vary from one company to the next and will ultimately depend on how the business is structured. In most cases, however, a DAM is owned by a company's marketing department. This is the team that is usually responsible for creating the taxonomy used for categorizing content and ensuring that only brand-approved content is made available in the DAM itself.
In most organizations, however, many other departments have access to the DAM to pull approved branded content. Likewise, a DAM tool can be shared with external partners, such as agencies or channel partners, in order to make collaboration easier and more productive.
Understanding the DAM Competitive Landscape
With so many digital asset management companies on the market, there's a fair amount of competition among digital asset management companies. Some of today's most prominent DAMs include not just Adobe, but Canto, Bynder, and Brandfolder as well. These standalone DAMs, however, still require businesses to use a third-party solution or agencies/developers to create digital experiences. This can result in added costs and more hassle.
Likewise, many DAM platforms are quite expensive and may not be within the budget of a small-to-medium-sized business. Adobe DAM, for instance, is one of the most expensive on the market and still has a relatively long implementation time that may not be practical for many companies. Many DAM platforms are also vague in terms of their exact pricing and require companies to fill out lengthy contact forms to even request a quote.
At Lumavate, we strive to set ourselves apart from the "typical" DAM experience by offering not only a DAM, but full Product Information Management (PIM) solution and Digital Experience Platform (DXP) as well. This provides a seamless, built-in integration that can help businesses get the most out of their investment. With Lumavate, it's also easy for companies to associate assets with product records with just a few clicks while building seamless digital experiences without the need for technical expertise.
Is Google Drive a DAM?
Another common question business owners may have about DAM platforms is whether or not Google Drive is considered a DAM. While this platform does provide digital asset storage, Google Drive simply does not have the other common functionalities expected by DAM tools, such as:
integration with PIM and DXP tools
If your company is using Google Drive for its digital asset management needs, it may be time to make the switch to a full-blown DAM platform with added features and functionality.
Is Dropbox a DAM?
Like Google Drive, Dropbox offers similar functionalities as a platform to store and even share digital assets. Beyond these capabilities, however, Dropbox also falls short in offering the comprehensive features that would be available through a true DAM tool. Not only does Dropbox lack user permissions needed to control access, but it also lacks asset management tools and sophisticated metadata management.
How to Choose a DAM
If your business is looking to make the switch to a true DAM tool, then of course you want to find nothing but the best digital asset management software to rely on for your company's needs. As you explore top digital asset management systems, there are a few things you can keep in mind to make an informed and confident choice.
Consider the Problem(s) You Need to Solve
Start by thinking about the kinds of problems you need a DAM tool to solve within your company. This means taking the time to pinpoint the unique challenges that your team currently faces with your digital asset management processes (or lack thereof). Once you have a better understanding of your pain points, you can better determine what kinds of features and tools you'll be prioritizing in a DAM system.
Take Inventory of Your Digital Assets
As you explore options for best digital asset management solutions, it's also a good idea to take a detailed inventory of your current digital assets. What kinds of digital assets does your business currently rely on and how are they used? Some examples may include:
product videos (including demonstration/how-to videos)
By having a better understanding of the types of files and digital assets you're currently using, you may be able to narrow down your DAM platform options to those that are more tailored to your needs. It is important, however, to take into account any types of digital assets that you may want to add to your offerings down the road so you can choose a DAM tool that will grow and scale with your business.
Decide How and Where Digital Assets Will Be Used
As you explore options for digital asset management tools, you'll also need to think about how and where your company's digital assets are most utilized. Are most of your digital assets accessed by customers (and prospective customers) on your business website? Do employees also use digital assets for training and education purposes? Knowing how your company's digital assets are being used will help you make better informed decisions about the DAM tool that may be right for its needs and budget.
Decide on Taxonomy Structure
Businesses of all sizes (but especially larger businesses that deal with large amounts of digital assets) should also have a specific taxonomy structure in place for categorizing and organizing its digital assets. From there, choosing a DAM tool that will allow for proper organization and classification of assets based on that taxonomy structure is a must.
List Out Must-Have Features
Specific features offered through DAM platforms can vary from one solution to the next, so it's a good idea to make a list of the must-have features you'd like to see in your ideal DAM. Some examples of useful features to consider here may include:
user access control/permissions
tagging and comprehensive search
automatic updating/syncing with websites, catalogs, and other destinations
integrated PXM and/or PIM solutions
Explore Integrations With Other Systems
Another important consideration to keep in mind when exploring digital asset management tools is how well they will integrate with other tools and systems that your business may already rely upon. The integration capabilities of DAM tools can vary greatly from one platform to the next. It's also important to understand that just because a DAM tool can integrate with another platform, this doesn't necessarily mean that integration will be easy or seamless.
Ideally, you'll want to choose a DAM solution that will work seamlessly with all of your other tools and software.
How Much Does a DAM System Cost?
For many businesses, digital asset management pricing is another consideration for selecting a DAM tool. Pricing for DAM solutions can vary a great deal based on the solution selected and its functionality. Likewise, pricing can vary based on whether or not you want an on-premise solution versus a cloud-based solution.
Overall, you can generally expect pricing for a DAM solution to range anywhere from about $1,000 to $250,000 annually. That's a huge range, of course, but factors like the size of your company and its digital assets can play a major role here.
At Lumavate, we understand that many companies have strict budgets for their DAM solutions and strive to offer the best value without sacrificing quality or ease of use. This is why we offer a full Product Experience Management (PXM) solution integrated into our DAM platform, as well as PIM functionality, text messaging, and a form builder solution to help you make the most out of your investment.
Unlike many other DAM solutions, Lumavate is also proud to share our transparent pricing directly on our website—so there's no guesswork involved in figuring out your price and no need to fill out extensive forms to receive a quote. And when you take a look at our pricing, you'll see why Lumavate is typically 75 percent more cost-effective for businesses than other competitive solutions.
The Bottom Line on DAM Solutions
If your business is struggling with disorganized or unreliable digital asset management, it's time to upgrade to a true DAM solution that will foster greater collaboration, productivity, and efficiency from your teams. By having a better understanding of what to look for in the right DAM platform and how to assess your company's specific digital asset management needs, you can ultimately choose the solution that best suits your business now and in the future.
For businesses of all sizes and across a wide range of industries, Lumavate's DAM has everything a company needs to take control of its digital assets with bonus PIM and PXM integrations. Plus, our transparent pricing means you'll never run into unexpected surprises. Get in touch with our team today to learn more about Lumavate's DAM solution. You can also request a demo to see Lumavate in action for yourself!
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