What to look at when considering a Digital Asset Management platform

What do all DAMs do, and what are the points of differentiation between them?

When you’re making a decision about a Digital Asset Management partner, consider the following eight areas.

File formats and handling

One area of differentiation involves the varying abilities to manage a variety of file formats. Though most players say they support the most popular video, image and audio formats, if your workflow requires the use of a specialized format you will want to ensure the vendors you’re considering can fully support that format.

User permissions management

The content production supply chain can be long and complicated, involving many departments, agencies, freelancers and more. The ability to provide flexible permissions so that the right people have access to the right assets –– and only the right assets –– can be very valuable.

Search and metadata

A DAM provider’s capabilities with regard to metadata and search are key to one of the most important benefits of a digital asset management system –– the ability to find assets after they’ve been created and filed away. Most providers now use artificial intelligence, either proprietary or through a partnership, for image and video recognition and tagging.

Workflow management

DAM systems differ in the extent of their workflow management capabilities. Some allow collaboration through @ tagging, while others have more full-fledged project management offerings. This functionality can help marketing teams, along with outside creative resources, communicate about changes while an asset is in the development phase or being updated.

Later in the process, they can allow for approvals to be obtained from brand managers, execs and the legal team, while some systems also facilitate asset distribution. These capabilities may be built into the core platform or be offered as an add-on or integration.

Reports and analytics

Analytics capabilities are what allow marketing leaders to trace the return on the investment made in the development of digital media.

Platforms

Most DAMs are offered as SaaS and can be accessed from modern browsers on a variety of platforms, but some have developed native apps for mobile or other platforms.

Data storage and security

The majority of DAM providers have partnered with Amazon Web Services or Google to host their software and their clients’ assets, and so depend on their partners’ geographical distribution, regular backups and adherence to security protocols. However, some players offer clients a variety of options for data hosting, something that’s likely to be appreciated by enterprises that operate in markets with strict data governance regulations.

Integrations

Since a DAM system is meant to be the central “single source of truth” repository for all of a brand’s assets, a key factor for a successful deployment will be whether or not it integrates well with the other tools in your martech stack.

Vendors differ greatly in terms of the number and types of integrations they offer. Some are also beginning to specialize in serving a specific sector with unique integration needs, such as online retailers.

Learn more about Digital Asset Management platforms and get guidance on how to make a decision. Download our Martech Intelligence Report now!


About The Author

Pamela Parker is Research Director at Third Door Media’s Content Studio, where she produces Martech Intelligence Reports and other in-depth content for digital marketers in conjunction with Search Engine Land, Marketing Land, MarTech Today and Digital Marketing Depot. Prior to taking on this role at TDM, she served as Content Manager, Senior Editor and Executive Features Editor. Parker is a well-respected authority on digital marketing, having reported and written on the subject since its beginning. She’s a former managing editor of ClickZ and has also worked on the business side helping independent publishers monetize their sites at Federated Media Publishing. Parker earned a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.

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