Top Digital Asset Management Systems

Customer data may be one of your most important assets, but it's by no means the only asset that you can leverage to your advantage. Your product information and digital assets also play a vital role in the long-term success of your business as they enable you to not only increase sales but also build brand loyalty.

What Are Digital Assets?

Digital assets are images, video files, audio files, and file attachments related to your company's products. These include:

  • Product photos

  • Product videos or walkthroughs

  • How-to videos

  • Explanatory podcasts that help customers understand the benefits of a product and/or learn how to use it properly

  • Assembly/how-to instructions

  • Care/maintenance instructions

  • Warranty information

What Is a Digital Asset Management System?

A digital asset management system, as the name implies, is a system that a company uses to store and manage its digital assets. Traditional digital asset management examples include:

  • A file cabinet to store product information such as warranty policies, owner's manuals, assembly instructions, etc.

  • Various folders on the company's IT system to store product images and videos

  • A cloud service such as Amazon Web Services, Dropbox, or Google Drive

  • A digital asset management platform

What is a digital asset management platform? A digital asset management (DAM) platform is a program specifically designed for the storage and management of a company's digital assets. Product information management (PIM) software also usually includes digital asset management functionality, so you can store text information such as product descriptions, features, specs, etc., along with visuals, audio files, and file attachments. What's more, digital asset management software programs make it easy for employees to keep information updated and share up-to-date information with sales partners and customers.

What Are the Benefits of Using a DAM Platform?

There are multiple benefits to using a digital asset management platform. These include:

  • The ability to store all data in a centralized location. This acts as a single "source of truth" that can be used across all your business branches. It can also be updated by authorized employees in multiple locations, which ensures the system remains up-to-date and accurate. The fact that most DAM systems are hosted on the cloud allows ease of access while providing the cybersecurity you need to protect your DAM system from breaches and hacks.

  • The ability to tag digital assets, makes it easy to find any asset at any point in time.

  • Search filters that allow team members to find all assets in a particular category.

  • Digital asset management tools that allow you to automatically update your website, product catalog, or third-party e-commerce sites such as Amazon and eBay. These tools are imperative because nearly two-thirds of consumers say that good images are more important to them than product descriptions. Additionally, consumers who view a product video are nearly two times more likely to make a purchase than those who don't view a product video.

  • Brand portals that allow your business to share selected digital assets with various sets of users, be they customers, other team members, sales partners, or influencers. Making it easy for your sales and marketing partners to access your digital assets ensures brand uniformity across multiple channels. This can increase brand name recognition, which in turn drives sales and builds brand loyalty.

Who Owns the DAM?

If you have a mid-size or large company, your marketing department will likely own and manage the DAM. In a small company, the owner or employee in charge of marketing will likely take charge of the digital asset management system.

Your company's marketer or marketing team will be responsible for creating the taxonomy used to categorize content, ensuring that all content is properly branded, and then using the content to market your products. However, marketers aren't the only ones who need access to the DAM system. You'll need to share digital assets with channel partners who are helping you sell your goods. You'll need to provide customers with product images, videos, and information in order to generate sales. Your customer service department may need access to your DAM system in order to answer customer questions. While your marketing team may be in charge of DAM management, others in your company will use your DAM platform in their day-to-day operations.

What Is a Digital Asset Manager?

A digital asset manager is someone in your company who is responsible for your digital asset management software program and overall DAM strategy. He or she is responsible for ensuring information on the DAM system is accurate and updated as needed. He or she will likely also determine which assets are used in which setting. Your DAM manager will likely be someone who works with marketing and who knows how to use each type of asset to its fullest potential.

What is an example of a digital asset management system? Check out how two companies of various sizes and in different industries manage their digital assets with a DAM system:

  • Company One is a large corporation with multiple offices throughout the United States. Each of its offices has a DAM manager to ensure that the marketing department is keeping information up to date and using the information in line with the company's branding guidelines. However, there is also a senior DAM manager who supervises DAM managers in each branch office. The senior DAM manager works with other DAM managers to develop brand guidelines for the use of digital assets. He or she keeps an eye on the DAM platform's change log to ensure information is accurate. Your senior DAM manager is also likely heavily involved in marketing decisions such as choosing which types of digital assets to create for your company.

  • Company Two is a small business with several employees. The DAM manager is also the company's marketing expert and website designer. The DAM manager, with input from the company's owner, creates a branding strategy. The owner may decide on the overall direction of the brand, but the DAM manager decides on the details of digital asset creation, ensures these assets are created in a timely manner, supervises the use of the DAM system, and chooses which digital assets to share with brand partners and the public. The DAM manager also ensures all updates made to the DAM system are accurate.

How Do I Start Digital Asset Management?

The first step in starting digital asset management is picking a DAM system. There are plenty to pick from, but some of the best-known digital asset management system examples include:

  • Acquia

  • Canto

  • Brandfolder

  • Bynder

  • Adobe Digital Asset Management

  • Bright

  • Cloudinary

  • MediaValet

  • Lumavate

Is Dropbox a DAM? The simple answer is no. It's a file hosting system, and you can use it to store and share digital assets, but it doesn't have the full range of tools offered by digital asset management solutions.

Is Google Drive a DAM? Google Drive integrates with tools you're likely to use in your marketing campaign, including Amazon and Etsy. However, it doesn't automatically update these platforms, provide tagging or filtration systems, or provide the many features and amenities you'll get when buying a digital asset management system. Thus, it's not a digital asset management platform. It can be useful when you're just starting a new business as it has several helpful tools that you can use to manage your assets, but it's not a functional DAM platform for long-term use.

What Is the Best Digital Asset Management Software?

The best DAM systems are the ones that have the tools you need to properly manage and use your digital assets. Before you pick one, it can be helpful to answer the following questions.

Where and How Will our Digital Assets be Used?

This is perhaps the most important question to ask yourself when looking over digital asset management companies and deciding which platform to use. The nature of your company, the number and types of products you sell, your marketing strategy, and other factors will determine when and how you use digital assets, and which system can enable you to make full use of your assets. For example, if you run a B2B company, you won't need DAM tools that update e-commerce websites or share digital assets with the public. However, you will want tools to make it easy for you to keep your website updated and/or share assets with sellers and other business partners. On the other hand, if you're selling goods online, you'll need a DAM system that can update your product pages with relevant digital assets without undue delay. You'll also want a system that integrates with your product information management platform to enable you to create special offers, product bundles, and custom product recommendations.

It's also wise to consider your long-term goals when deciding on a digital asset management platform in order to avoid the hassle of having to move to another system at a later date. Do you intend to expand your product line? If so, you'll want to make sure your DAM platform has unlimited file storage capacity. Are you selling goods in-person now but plan on offering goods for sale online in the future? Make sure your DAM platform can automatically update online sales platforms when you change prices, add new products, discontinue product lines, or create seasonal offers.

How Do We Want to Organize Our Digital Assets?

The best digital asset management solutions offer multiple tagging and filtration options. They make it easy for you to sort digital assets by type, file size, product line, and a host of other criteria. Some of these filtration/tagging systems may be more intuitive than others, so check out various product demos to find the system you'll feel most comfortable using.

Which Other Programs Should the DAM Platform Integrate With?

Your DAM platform can make product flyer and catalog creation a breeze as the system will have all the digital assets and information you want to include in your promotional content. Picking a DAM system that integrates with the catalog creation program you already use can save you a lot of time and hassle, as well as reduce the odds of human error.

You may also want to check prospective DAM platforms for integrations with commonly used programs such as Microsoft and Adobe. Because your DAM platform stores all the up-to-date information on your product lines, integrations with the programs you use to communicate with other people you work with can save you a lot of time.

How Long Will Onboarding Take?

This isn't the most important factor to consider but it's one that's well worth considering nonetheless. The sooner you start using a digital asset management system, the faster you can boost business profits and grow your brand. Unfortunately, the onboarding process can take weeks for many popular DAM systems. Instead of providing price plans upfront, Adobe and many other DAM platforms require business owners to submit business information before offering a DAM structure and price plan. Once you choose a DAM platform, the company's IT experts start the onboarding process, which is a service you have to pay extra for when buying your DAM platform. If you find that the platform you originally chose doesn't meet your needs, or you need added features, you'll have to communicate with the company about upgrading your plan and have their IT experts work on your system to add in needed tools.

Lumavate, on the other hand, has three plans to pick from and publicly shares its pricing. Once you choose a plan and pay for it, you gain immediate access to the DAM platform. It's already set up and ready to use, so you can start moving your data onto the platform immediately. What's more, the platform is user-friendly so you don't need an IT expert to get you started.

How Much Does a DAM System Cost?

DAM systems range in cost from $1,000 to $250,000 per year. However, digital asset management pricing isn't the most important factor to consider when choosing a DAM system. In many cases, if you purchase an overly cheap system, you'll find that you only get what you pay for, as a system with limited tools and capabilities could hamper your company's long-term growth. At the same time, you don't want to overspend on a DAM system when you can get the tools and features you need at a lower cost. You also don't want to spend a large sum of money on an expensive DAM system, only to find that the system is a standalone platform, and you still have to invest in third-party solutions or hire a developer to create the digital experiences that will drive sales and boost profits. Many prominent DAMs, including Adobe, Canto, Bynder, and Brandfolder, don't have the full functionality you need to use your digital assets to their fullest potential.

Lumavate stands out from other DAM systems because it includes a full product information management platform and digital experience platform (DXP). If you need to create a catalog or product flyers, Lumavate has free templates and tools to make the task a breeze. If you want to build forms for use on one or more websites, Lumavate can give you the tools you need for the job. Do you need to update online sales platforms as soon as you finish creating new digital assets? Lumavate can do that too. Additionally, Lumavate is compatible with all video, photos, and audio file types, does not have file storage limits, and can pull in videos from popular video sites such as YouTube, Vidyard, and Brightcove. Advanced Lumavate plans also offer text messaging solutions to empower your marketing campaign and boost sales and profits.

A winning digital asset management plan can make a world of difference for your business. It can enable you to maintain brand continuity across multiple channels. It makes it easy for sales partners and marketers to work with your business. It gives the customers the information they need to make informed purchase decisions, which builds positive product experiences that generate sales and build brand loyalty. Finally, a digital asset management platform can save you a lot of time, hassle, and hard work, as you'll be able to find the assets you need right away and send these assets to other programs you commonly use with just a few clicks of a mouse. Lumavate's DAM software program has all the features and amenities you need to use your digital assets to their fullest potential, and the platform is up to 75 percent cheaper than other DAM options. Get in touch with us at your convenience to find out more about what we offer or to schedule a free product demo.

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.