Digital Asset Management vs Content Management System

Digital Asset Management Definition

Digital Asset Management, or DAM, is a solution designed to centralize, manage, and share your company's digital assets. It acts as a digital library for all departments to access and use digital assets to streamline business operations.

In an era where digital content has become the primary way for consumers to engage with brands, having a DAM system in place is crucial for businesses to keep up with the ever-increasing demand for content and its swift distribution.

Assets have become a brand's currency in the digital marketplace, encompassing everything from product specifications to marketing materials. And, just like any currency, they need to be effectively managed to maximize their value.

The beauty of DAM lies in its versatility. It's not confined to one department; it permeates every facet of your organization. From marketing to sales and from design to customer service — every department can tap into the wealth of resources stored in your DAM system.

What Are Digital Assets?

Digital assets work as the building blocks of a brand's digital presence. They take the form of images, documents, video files, audio files, and more. Each asset, whether it's a product image for an ad or a tutorial video on assembly, carries a piece of your brand's story.

As the digital landscape evolves, so too have digital assets. They've grown from simple, static files into dynamic elements that drive digital experiences. The more complex these digital assets become, the more storage and organization are needed to manage the increasing output of digital assets.

More recently, consumers have been drawn to video content, and so video assets have taken center stage in the digital realm. With the rise of social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram, companies need to create and share videos regularly to stay relevant.

In addition to these more traditional forms of digital assets, newer technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality are also becoming increasingly important for businesses. These immersive experiences require a significant amount of digital assets to be created and managed effectively, making DAM systems even more essential.

Why Do You Need a DAM

The amount of digital assets being created in this digital age has created a need for companies to effectively manage, store, and access assets. A DAM creates a centralized database for all your assets for any department or team member to access.

But DAM goes beyond mere organization. It's also about control and consistency. With DAM, you ensure only brand-approved assets are used across your business. No more off-brand images in presentations or outdated product videos on your website. Everything is up-to-date and in line with your brand.

A DAM also saves teams time from scouring through various folders, drives, and emails for the right assets. With a DAM in place, they can quickly search and find the asset they need, streamlining workflows and increasing productivity.

Teams often report a dramatic increase in team productivity after implementing a DAM. The increased organization allows cross-collaboration and better asset distribution, freeing up time and resources for more creative projects.

The Benefits of Using a DAM

Companies that adopt a DAM solution stand to gain a number of benefits that create competitive digital experiences. Where the benefits

Centralized Location

Creating a centralized location for all your digital assets isn't just a convenience, it changes how your entire company operates. With all assets in one place, your marketing team can easily share, modify, and approve content, no matter their location. All silos within your organization are broken down, fostering a more collaborative work environment.

By providing a single source of truth for all digital assets, it guarantees that internal and external stakeholders are on the same page. Advertising agencies, distributors, and other third-party vendors can access the same digital assets as your internal team, improving communication and ensuring consistent brand messaging.

With everything neatly organized in one central location, your team can focus on what truly matters: crafting compelling, impactful marketing campaigns.

Tagging Digital Assets

The added functionality of tagging digital assets helps marketers organize and categorize assets for quick and easy retrieval. Tagging goes beyond the traditional file hierarchy, allowing multiple tags to be added to an asset based on a variety of characteristics such as product name, campaign, or target audience.

Tagging also helps with version control. When a new version is created, old versions can still be accessed by searching through tag history. This allows for easy comparisons and access to previous versions, promoting collaboration and preventing duplication of work.

Tagging is a simple yet powerful feature. Each digital asset in your DAM system, be it an image, video, or document, can be tagged with relevant keywords. Think of it as attaching a virtual sticky note to your asset that describes what it contains or represents.

Instead of sifting through countless files, you just enter the appropriate keyword in the search bar. The DAM system then pulls up all the assets tagged with that keyword. It's like having a personal assistant who knows exactly where everything is stored.

Search Functionality

A digital asset management tool offers expansive search functionality to locate assets swiftly and effortlessly. At the heart of this functionality is the search bar. Simply enter a keyword, and the DAM system surfaces all related assets.

However, it doesn't stop there. Advanced search filters allow you to drill down further, sorting by file type, creation date, author, and more. The highly targeted search feature ensures you can always find the exact asset you need, exactly when you need it.

The efficacy of this search functionality hinges on one crucial factor: naming protocols. Without descriptive keywords across all of your assets, your search results will not be as precise. Teams should establish naming conventions to ensure consistency and accuracy when searching for assets.

By utilizing effective naming protocols and leveraging the extensive search capabilities of DAM solutions, you can cut through the digital clutter and locate your required assets with precision.

Automatic Updating

When an asset in the DAM system is updated, whether it be a product image or description, the change is automatically reflected across all digital platforms where that asset is used. This could be your websiteproduct catalog, social media channels, and more. No manual intervention is required.

This automatic synchronization offers two major advantages. First, it ensures consistency across all platforms. Your audience sees the same information, whether they're browsing your website or flipping through your catalog. Second, it saves considerable time and effort. No need to manually update each platform whenever an asset is revised.

To create exceptional digital experiences, marketers need to ensure all assets are relevant, updated, and consistent across all channels. A DAM provides the infrastructure to facilitate this automatically, leaving your team to focus on creating engaging and meaningful content.

All the tedious manual updates required from your marketing team are removed, allowing your team to adapt and progress quickly, all while maintaining a unified brand voice.

Brand Portals

Another key benefit of implementing a DAM is the ability to create brand portals for digital assets. Essentially, this works as a secure, password-protected hub where external stakeholders can access and download approved assets.

Inside your DAM, you'll handpick a collection of assets and make them accessible through a brand portal. This portal could be accessed by various stakeholders, from team members and agencies to channel partners. They can view, download, or use these assets as per their requirements.

Brand portals allow marketers to create silos for various stakeholders, channels, or campaigns. Only a specific set of digital assets become available to create a consistent message to a specific audience. For example, you can separate digital assets that relate to an older demographic when creating marketing campaigns.

The functionality streamlines workflows and removes the back and forth communication that stalls productivity. A brand portal creates a space where external stakeholders can independently access the latest and approved assets.

Who Is Responsible for the DAM

Typically, a DAM is owned and managed by the marketing department. The team is responsible for organizing, tagging, and updating assets within the system. They also have control over who can access and download certain assets through brand portals.

However, to ensure the DAM is effectively utilized across all departments, it's essential to involve representatives from each team in the implementation process. This allows for a complete understanding of each team's needs and how they can best utilize the DAM.

Most organizations allow other departments and even external partners like agencies or channel partners to access the approved DAM content. While these individuals have access to the data, rarely are they able to make any changes or edits that would affect the asset.

This ensures that strict control and oversight remains with the marketing department, promoting brand consistency and minimizing the risk of unauthorized changes or misuse of assets.


While both a DAM and PIM store important company data, they specialize in the types of data that is stored and organized.

A digital management software is a solution that stores, manages, and shares digital assets from one centralized location. Whereas, a product information management system centralizes all product-related data in a single location.

For example, a DAM would store and organize images, videos, audio files, PDFs, and other digital assets. On the other hand, a PIM would store all product-related data such as SKU numbers, descriptions, pricing information, and more.

Both solutions have unique benefits that can help companies streamline their processes and achieve greater efficiency. However, it's important to understand the specific needs and goals of your organization to determine which solution is the best fit. In some cases, a combination of both a DAM and PIM may be necessary for optimal management and organization of all digital assets and product information.

Most PIMs will come with a built-in DAM system that allows product records to be tied directly to digital assets like product photos, owner's manuals, and more.


There are other platforms that help store and organize data and many marketers are curious to know what is CMS? A Content Management System (CMS) is your go-to tool for creating, editing, and publishing online content. It serves as the backbone of your website, enabling you to manage and update web content with ease.

So, is CMS the same as DAM? While the two share some commonalities, the definitive answer is: no. A CMS is fundamentally different from a digital asset management system.

While DAM is a robust repository for storing and organizing your digital assets, a CMS focuses on how content is presented and consumed online. The features of a content management system are tailored towards web content creation, offering tools to design, edit, and publish web pages seamlessly.

The key element separating the two is how digital experiences are built. A CMS is primarily about content management, not the holistic digital journey of your brand. With a DAM solution, all assets across all channels are stored, organized, and shared for a brand-wide experience.

Do I Need a CMS and a DAM?

Determining between a digital asset management vs content management system (CMS) will depend entirely on the goals of the business and the digital experience you are trying to create.

If your business uses a custom-built front-end for your website, connected to a CMS, then it's likely you need both a CMS and a DAM. This setup provides a foundation for managing website content and organizing digital assets like images and videos all from one location. The same principle applies if you're utilizing a Headless CMS vs DAM solution like Contentstack or Strapi.

However, not even the best content management system is as powerful as a solution like a Digital Experience Platform, or DXP. A DXP includes the best features of a content management system and adds even more functionality.

Digital Experience Platforms (DXPs) empower businesses to craft engaging digital experiences without the need for extensive technical resources. Most DXPs come equipped with built-in Digital Asset Management (DAM) functionality, seamlessly integrating asset management into the overall digital experience creation process.

A prime example is Lumavate, a DXP that doesn't just stop at offering built-in DAM. It goes further, incorporating a Product Information Management (PIM) systemmobile messaging, form builders, and more.

This comprehensive approach illustrates how the right DXP can improve efficiency, offering an integrated solution that addresses multiple needs in the digital marketing ecosystem.

The DAM Competitive Landscape

Prominent digital asset management companies like Sitecore, Adobe, Canto, Bynder, and Brandfolder stand out for their specific functionalities and strengths.

Adobe DAM, part of Adobe Experience Manager, is renowned for its comprehensive feature set and integration capabilities. However, it comes with a significant cost and often requires a lengthy implementation period, a factor to consider for businesses looking for quick deployment.

Canto, Bynder, and Brandfolder represent some of the best DAM systems and digital asset management examples in the market as they excel in organizing, storing, and retrieving digital content. But they also require additional third-party solutions or the involvement of agencies and developers to create complete digital experiences.

In contrast, Lumavate stands out as a multifaceted platform compared with other digital asset management system examples. It not only offers a robust DAM but also includes a full Product Information Management (PIM) and Digital Experience Platform (DXP) in its ecosystem. This integration provides seamless built-in connections to the DAM, enhancing user experience and efficiency so you don't have to pick between a CMS vs DAM vs PIM.

Lumavate's DAM also allows for quick association of assets with product records, a process achievable in just a few clicks. This feature is particularly advantageous for marketers who need to tie digital assets directly to their products without extensive technical know-how.

How to Choose a DAM

When it comes to selecting the right Digital Asset Management (DAM) system for your manufacturing business, it's crucial to approach the decision with a strategic mindset. Five key questions can guide you in determining the best DAM solution for your specific needs.

  1. What is the primary problem(s) we’re trying to solve with the DAM?

  2. How many digital assets do we have and what types?

  3. How will we structure the taxonomy of our digital assets?

  4. What other systems do you need to integrate with?

  5. Where and how will the digital assets be used?

These questions help provide a guideline for evaluating DAM systems, ensuring that the chosen solution meets your business's specific requirements and goals. Additionally, it's essential to consider the scalability and flexibility of a DAM system as well as its pricing structure.

Cost of DAM System

The cost of DAM solutions is influenced largely by the chosen solution's functionality and scope. This pricing variability also extends to the deployment model – whether you opt for an on-premise solution or a cloud-based platform. The annual cost for DAM solutions can range broadly from as low as $1,000 to over $250,000, depending on these factors.

In this landscape, Lumavate stands out as a comprehensive Product Experience Management (PXM) solution. It integrates several key functionalities: a built-in Digital Asset Management system, Product Information Management (PIM), and a Digital Experience Platform (DXP), along with additional features like text messaging and form builders. This integration offers a multifaceted tool that addresses various aspects of digital marketing in manufacturing.

Compared to other providers, Lumavate is 75 percent more cost-effective and delivers more functionality. Moreover, Lumavate's transparent approach to pricing, with details publicly available on its website, provides potential users with clear insights into their investment, ensuring informed decision-making.

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.