If you’re thinking of investing in Digital Asset Management for your marketing department, you’ve probably read about a lot of features and benefits. But what does that look like on a day-to-day basis? And how does that translate to bankable benefits for your business?
DAM might sound like an organisational tool that’s just nice-to-have. But the secret that savvy marketers don’t want you to know is how DAM drives systematic improvements and competitive advantage.
But here at Bright, we’re happy to spill the beans. So here’s how DAM accelerates time-to-market, supercharges productivity, and uplifts quality in four essential areas.
e-Commerce and apps
Regardless of whether your website is an e-commerce engine with 1000s of products - or a simple corporate site showcasing what you do - it’ll use a lot of digital assets. Logos, images, video, animation, audio, slide decks, diagrams...
Without DAM, they’re likely to be stored in the media library of your website CMS. And you’d be forgiven for thinking this is a perfectly adequate way of doing things. After all, it’s part of the CMS, so it must be right...right?
Sadly wrong. CMS are primarily designed for creating and managing websites. Media management is a supplementary feature - an add-on - and it doesn’t have the same functionality as a purpose-built DAM.
Designed for website management
Designed for digital asset management
Limited ability to search and discover assets
Advanced search and discoverability thanks to the application of metadata and keywords
Limited ability to browse for assets
Advanced browsability thanks to taxonomy and collections
Usually need to upload exact asset required for each individual use
Ability to easily create different file types, sizes and crops from any original asset
Limited capacity for asset storage
Unlimited capacity for ingesting, storing and serving up digital assets
As a result - once uploaded to your CMS - your digital assets become castaways in a context-less void.
- They’re difficult to find again if you don’t know the exact filename
- Users re-upload the same image because they can’t find the original, sapping your storage
- You have no way of ensuring expired or withdrawn assets are removed from the system....
- Or seeing the original permissions and ownership of the asset
By comparison, integrating a dedicated DAM system with your CMS means:
- Editors can access your entire asset collection from within your CMS - easily searching and discovering assets based on any keyword or criteria
- They can create instant crops and edits on the fly - turning master files into web-optimised images, for example
- No need to download, edit and re-upload assets between systems - saving time and duplicated effort
- Editors can see all metadata - including usage rights - reducing risk and legal exposure
- No duplicates or file storage issues because all assets are managed within your DAM
This makes it faster for editors to find the best assets for their page, instantly optimise them for specific uses, and make sure they’re never off-limits or out-of-date.
e-Commerce and apps
e-Commerce sites need to process a ridiculous number of product assets. We’re not just talking about one image per item. To help boost conversion rates, each product may have multiple images, video and 360 spinners.
All of these assets need to be received from manufacturers or suppliers, synced with product data, uploaded to the site, and delivered to impatient site visitors in lightning-fast time.
In this use case, DAM isn’t a nice-to-have. It’s an essential tool that increases accuracy, automation and time-to-market.
Depending on the sophistication of your software integrations, DAM can and should be at the heart of your product asset supply chain. A sample workflow looks like this:
- Suppliers and manufacturers upload images directly to your DAM online
- Assets are synced with product data in your PIM so they have relevant metadata attached
- Assets then go through pre-defined approval workflows to check quality and suitability
- Unsuitable or damaged assets are automatically reported to the product owner
- Approved assets are delivered seamlessly to storefronts through a Content Delivery Network
This makes it possible for e-commerce sites to process millions of assets with minimal manual intervention - whilst ensuring lightning-fast image load speeds and no lag for shoppers online and in-app.
Why is it that - just when channels are multiplying - so many senior managers are still suggesting marketers ‘do more with less’? It might be the mantra for budget holders, but it isn’t easy to achieve on the ground.
Website, social media, print publications, photos, video, podcasts, events… You need more time, more staff hours and more money. But - instead - you’ve got the same staff juggling way more work.
This is the challenge that all MarTech promises to fix for time-poor marketing departments. And Digital Asset Management software is no different.
DAM can save your team tonnes of time lost through systematic inefficiencies, which means faster time-to-market for your marketing efforts.
And you can put the time you save to better use. Like taking on TikTok, dominating Discord or just upping time for creativity - you know, the value-adding stuff that you actually hired your top talent to do.
Here are a few examples of how DAM accelerates multichannel marketing and time-to-market.
Find your assets fast - DAM provides a single place for all of your digital assets and makes those assets discoverable in a couple of clicks. It saves all that time your team waste looking for the right assets for the task at hand - the photos, artwork or video clips that you just KNOW is somewhere, but no-one can find. These minor inconveniences add up to significant, systematic time wastage in a busy team.
Get the right version, every time - Asset Bank allows users to download assets - particularly images - in the format they need for their specific channel. So there’s no need to download a master file; upload it to a design programme; amend the dimensions, crop and colour profile; download the new file version; then upload it to the programme that needs it. Just click your intended use - and select your preferred crop if relevant - and Asset Bank automatically converts the master file into your desired format, optimised for your channel and usage. Isn’t that better?
Cut out the middleman - Gone are the days when you had to download assets and manually add them to multiple channel-specific systems. Thanks to integrations with your DAM, you can use assets directly in your other tools - like your CMS, CRM and social media. This saves a lot of unnecessary duplicated effort. And it makes sure every channel is using the same approved brand assets. Brilliant!
Easier outsourcing - It isn’t just your in-house talent that benefits from DAM-streamlined systems either. DAM’s granular permission controls, secure online sharing and integration with workflow tools also make it easier to collaborate with external contributors. So you can improve how you work with external agencies, to maximise their time and talent too.
Self-serve design tools have made it easier than ever for aspiring designers to create content (we’re looking at you, Canva and pals!)
Whilst this is a boon for anyone that needs high-quality collateral without a professional price tag, it’s a challenge for brand managers trying to keep control of a corporate visual identity.
Well-meaning employees can easily create content that ends up in the public domain - all without your brand team getting a sniff of it. Especially in geographically dispersed or remote working teams. This can result in accidental errors, omissions and dilution of your brand.
A well-managed DAM is your first line of defence for brand management. Here’s why.
Access to brand assets
If your regional or departmental teams need to create public-facing materials, a DAM system provides essential quality control. You can create a collection of curated brand assets and pin it to the dashboard, so everyone can easily access:
- logos and fonts
- brand guidelines
- approved assets like images and video
This gives employees - wherever they are in the world - access to the assets they need to execute high-quality branded collateral.
Integration with brand tools
If you want even more control of decentralised content creation, you may be able to integrate your DAM with templating tools. You certainly can with Asset Bank.
Our DAM integrates with both Brand Stencil and We Brand - two outstanding apps that let you delegate and decentralise design, without diluting brand quality or consistency.
Branding apps allow you to create customisable branded templates. Employees can easily amend these online to create bespoke but on-brand local materials.
And, thanks to the connection with your Digital Asset Management system, they can select from a wide range of brand assets already approved and uploaded to your DAM.
That means regional teams are empowered to deliver higher quality with less effort… and you can sleep a little sounder at night.
How can Asset Bank transform my marketing team?
As you can see, Digital Asset Management is about much more than just centralising your files.
The ability to discover, transform and deploy digital assets effectively - as well as integrate your DAM with other essential apps - makes it a must-have for ambitious marketing teams.
So you actually CAN do more with less, just like the CFO suggested. Marketing team for the win!
Want to discover how Asset Bank could aid your marketing team? Check out the blog post: Five reasons your marketing department needs an Asset Bank.