Digital Asset Management Tools

As a brand, you have to face many different challenges. The smooth operations of your business, the unity of your workforce, the reputation of your products, and the service quality of your solutions. One of the most challenging things is centralizing all digital files into one place.

Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution allow companies to organize and unify digital files throughout the enterprise. In this guide, you will learn about the best digital asset management tools, including examples of digital asset management systems.

Join us as we define digital asset management and how this comprehensive solution can work wonders for your business.

What Is Meant by Digital Asset Management?

Perhaps you have heard of this classic scenario. Your business is growing, and you've rebranded. Some of your team members use the old logo, theme, and schematic, while the rest have adopted the new guidelines much quicker. Still, other divisions within the organization are using outdated creations, such as logos, pictures, and sales sheets - and worse - they may be delivering these ancient materials to clients.

Digital asset management is a solution, methodology, system, and innovative approach that simplifies sharing digital files within your organization so that everyone is crystal clear on what repository to use to find approved and up-to-date assets. The most up-to-date version can be uploaded into the network and ensures that it is used optimally - with enough bandwidth to provide an audit trail for compliance and record-keeping purposes.

While a DAM solution aids in storing digital assets, it goes above and beyond the scope of a file-keeping service. DAM systems are collaborative software that can be shared among all lines of business, whether internal, supplier, or external so that they can be fully integrated within the workflow. Not only will your staff be on the same page, but you can also streamline your vendor-management approach.

What is an Example of a Digital Asset?

Digital assets have a broad definition, particularly as they often need to be combined with tangible assets. A great example is in the manufacturing industry, where product specifications and illustrations are regularly utilized by customers, partners, dealers, and employees.

Digital assets include video files, images, documents, user manuals, and other multimedia components that can provide more transparency on the product. In short, just about everything that contains a creative within the context of your brand can be labeled a digital asset. The definition is much more pronounced when considering how it relates to a digital asset management system.

These assets underscore the need for a robust management system so that they can be effectively categorized and stored for easy access. This is done via a digital asset management platform, which we will detail below.

What Is a Digital Asset Management Platform?

Now that we have defined and explored the importance of a digital asset, these files hold intrinsic value for you, your brand, your workforce, and the customer journey. A digital asset management platform is a robust and comprehensive solution that stores these assets in a centralized place, so that no one is ever confused about where to find them.

This dramatically reduces data silos and fragmented storage systems.

What Is a Digital Asset Management System?

A digital asset management system helps the entire organization, but its chief benefit is the marketing department. Marketing teams are tasked with creating appealing outreach and inbound campaigns to make your company's sales efforts easier. One of the marketing department's struggles is cataloging all of the creative assets it creates and confidently disseminating creative assets that are approved.

There are multiple benefits of DAM, which include:

1. Centralized Digital Asset Management

One of the standout advantages of DAM, especially from a marketing perspective, is its ability to serve as a centralized location for managing digital assets across the entire business. Unifying how you do things improves the creative process, giving the marketing department timely and accurate access to everything they need.

Whether it's images, videos, audio files, or everything in between, having a single source of truth as a repository enhances how your teams collaborate - while minimizing the redundant work that departments must do.

2. Tagging for Precision

DAM solutions come equipped with best-in-class functionalities, which include the ability to tag digital assets and experiences. The marketing team can work with the rest of the company to categorize all digital assets systematically, combining them with tangible assets, experiences, website links, app developments, and the overall design process.

The tagging feature is pivotal when launching campaigns or projects, which can save massive amounts of time by guaranteeing that the right visuals are being used and in the proper context.

3. Searchable by Your Team

A DAM system enables searchability by employing metadata tagging, keyword search, advanced filtering options, AI-driven content recognition, and full-text search functionalities. These mechanisms help users quickly locate specific assets within the DAM's extensive library, streamlining asset retrieval and utilization.

4. Automatic Updates for Digital Experiences

For many industries, maintaining up-to-date content is a regulatory requirement. 

DAM platforms enable automatic updates for creative assets and even digital experiences, such as posting the correct file, photo, or video on the website or an accurate online digital asset, such as a product catalog, whenever a modification is made in real-time.

5. Brand Portals

A unique feature that DAMs possess is the ability to share assets with the right team members, agencies, partners, stakeholders, and users. Brand portals are a curated digital asset selection that promotes collaborative, interdepartmental communication efforts. These brand portals will ensure each group has the tools they need for success.

An example of a brand portal is Coca-Cola's "Coca-Cola Brand Portal." It's a digital platform providing authorized users access to brand assets, guidelines, marketing materials, and resources for maintaining brand consistency across various campaigns and communications.

Digital Asset Management Examples

Four leading Digital Asset Management (DAM) include:

  • Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) Assets: AEM Assets is a DAM solution catering to content creation, management, and distribution. It enables teams to organize, search, and share digital assets seamlessly within Adobe's marketing ecosystem.

  • Bynder: Bynder is a cloud-based DAM platform focusing on brand management, facilitating collaboration, storage, and distribution of brand assets across marketing teams. It centralizes files, streamlines workflows, and ensures brand consistency.

  • Lumavate: The Lumavate DAM enables you to store images, audio files, documents, videos and easily use these assets in digital product experiences or share them with team members, agencies, or channel partners. It is part of the Lumavate product experience management (PXM) platform, which includes a digital experience platform. This means assets stored in the Lumavate DAM can be easily used in any digital experience.

  • Canto: Canto's DAM solution provides a user-friendly interface for organizing and accessing digital assets. It enables metadata tagging, version control, and customization while catering to diverse industries like retail, healthcare, and media.

What Does Digital Asset Management Software Do?

Digital asset management is a methodology and a solution that enables comprehensive action throughout the organization. Digital asset management is made much easier using digital asset management software. Digital asset management software is a third-party solution offering many different capabilities to solve distinct problems.

At its core, digital asset management software will allow you to store and update all creative assets seamlessly and connect them with channels such as social media profiles and branded websites to update according to the DAM system simultaneously.

The software is helpful for the entire organization. Still, it is primarily the role of the marketing department to oversee its use and deployment and to answer any questions that teams may have within the workplace.

What Helps Manage Digital Assets?

The marketing department is deemed the custodians of creativity, so much of the ownership lies with them. The marketing team, or a section of it, is responsible for creating the taxonomy used to categorize the content available within the DAM and ensuring everything is structured and up to date.

The marketing department will bring on subject matter experts as needed to verify the validity of the asset or the information related to it.

Of course, it is natural to assign the responsibility of ownership to a clear division head. Still, like all solutions, it must be championed throughout the entire business to be successfully integrated. Using the same approach, portions of the DAM solution can be assigned to different teams and delegated to them with the responsibility of timely updates.

To coordinate efforts, the DAM can also integrate with external partners, such as third-party agencies, vendors, or parts of your supply chain, to further increase collaboration and ensure everyone is onside with using the most up-to-date branded content.

What Does a Digital Asset Manager Do?

When adopting a new solution, the best way to handle this change is with someone responsible for onboarding, training, and maintaining the system and the content within. The ultimate responsibility for the overall management of the DAM system is awarded to the Digital Asset Manager, who is involved with all aspects of the process.

The Digital Asset Manager should have strong project management skills, be familiar with the technical aspects of the system, be a subject-matter expert on the digital asset creation and delivery process, and have strong organizational skills.

In short, the Digital Asset Manager should be a vital information custodian and be the primary liaison by spearheading the communication between multiple groups and aligning their interests.

Digital Asset Manager Job Description

The role of a Digital Asset Manager is multi-faceted and encompasses many different things. Using all the skills mentioned above, here are some typical responsibilities that may be included in the Digital Asset Manager job description:

  1. System Oversight: They oversee the day-to-day functioning of the DAM, making sure that it remains a well-oiled machine for maintenance and a go-to place for all digital assets.

  2. Taxonomy Design: They should be instrumental in crafting the taxonomy used to categorize the specific content within the DAM. This makes it easier to search and retrieve what is always needed.

  3. User Management: A key responsibility is managing user access, determining who within the organization, from all available departments and external partners, can contribute to and extract assets from the DAM.

  4. Compliance and Brand Integrity: Upholding brand consistency, the Digital Asset Manager will work closely with all relevant teams to ensure and continuously monitor that only approved brand products and content represent the brand's identity.

With these core competencies, a Digital Asset Manager will be poised to succeed.

What Are the Digital Asset Management Companies?

Digital asset management companies are the providers of digital asset management platforms that offer myriad solutions to their customers and users. The competitive landscape contains many different types of solutions that come equipped with various bells and whistles, but here are the top five key players that you can consider:

Digital Asset Management System Examples - The Best DAM Systems

  1. Adobe DAM: Adobe Digital Asset Management, a titan in the creative industry, offers a potent DAM solution. The features and help it provides come with a significant price tag and require a considerable time investment dedicated to implementation, slowing down the onboarding and transitioning process. Adobe caters to large organizations with complex requirements, meaning that most other companies cannot take full advantage of its offers.

  2. Canto DAM: Canto provides a standalone DAM solution for precise asset storage and retrieval. While it offers a user-friendly interface, companies might still need to integrate with third-party solutions or enlist the help of agencies and developers to create profound digital experiences.

  3. Bynder DAM: Bynder, another standalone DAM, focuses on digital asset lifecycle management. Its strengths lie in collaborative workflows and brand content consistency. However, like Canto, it may require outside help in comprehensive digital experience creation tools.

  4. Brandfolder DAM: Brandfolder is lauded for its simplicity and intuitive interface. It is an easy-to-use solution but does not offer much beyond its core capabilities without paying for the pleasure of its use.

  5. Lumavate PXM: Lumavate provides built-in integration to the DAM for users. Assets in the DAM can be effortlessly associated with product records, facilitating a cohesive link between product information and digital assets. Unlike standalone DAMs, Lumavate's Product Experience Management (PXM) platform combines DAM with Product Information Management (PIM) and Digital Experience Platform (DXP), offering a holistic solution for managing products.

Is Google Drive a DAM?

Google Drive can seem like a DAM on the outside, but it does not qualify for this definition. While it does offer a storage solution for digital assets, this is where the similarities end with a DAM solution. Google Drive has limited tagging capabilities, lacks synchronization, and has no structured taxonomy for making digital assets searchable.

How Do I Choose a Digital Asset Management Solution?

Selecting the correct solution can be difficult, as many different options exist. When conducting your due diligence, here are some questions to keep in mind:

What Are My Primary Objectives?

The first thing to establish is the brand's primary objectives, which can include fundamental capabilities such as asset storage and retrieval or if there are more comprehensive goals such as digital experience creation, increased collaboration, and increased transparency.

Can the Solution Handle the Volume?

Assess the scalability of a DAM solution – it should effortlessly accommodate your existing assets while providing room for expansion. Your DAM system should always be agile and responsive, regardless of the amount and size of digital assets you store.

Can I Quickly Search for What My Team Needs?

Your team's efficiency hinges on the ease with which they can access required digital assets. Prioritize solutions with powerful search capabilities, such as advanced metadata tagging, keyword search, and intuitive categorization. The topology and taxonomy of your structure are also based on your culture, so make sure it can make customized keywords to search by use, function, project, and other relevant tags.

What Are My Use Cases?

Define specific use cases for your DAM solution, such as creating a captivating product catalog, executing a targeted marketing campaign, or collaborating with external partners. Tailor your choice based on how the DAM will incorporate into your organization's workflows.

What Are Myy Budget Considerations?

The cost of DAM solutions is broad, with some companies charging as much as $250K annually. The price is often not evident or transparent in the marketing and depends on many factors - such as cloud storage, vendor-specific pricing structures, and even tiered pricing options.

Lumavate publicly lists its pricing options and is considered 75 percent more cost-effective by offering a complete PXM solution with comparable and enhanced functionality.

When considering your budget, don't just look at the cheapest or most expensive. Search for a solution that will give you more bang for your buck.

Lumavate: PXM Excellence, Without Breaking the Bank!

Digital files require a modern solution, especially with an evolving need for a competitive solution to set yourself apart. While some brands try to make the traditional approach work, it is not always the best way to use resources to their full potential and may increase the amount of work (and rework) necessary to accomplish the same task.

The best digital asset management software not only contains the functionalities of a DAM but also becomes a centralized source of truth for product information, customer management, and product experiences.

Lumavate is your cost-effective solution to a holistic and comprehensive solution, ensuring that nothing falls through the cracks. With Lumavate, you not only streamline your digital asset management but also extend the ability of your team to transform the entire product experience lifecycle and customer journey.

Schedule your Lumavate Demo today to fully understand the benefits that you have at your disposal. Get ready to onboard your more potent digital ally to let your brand focus on what it does best: provide an excellent customer experience.

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.