Digital Asset Management (DAM) is a business process for organizing rich media assets such as pictures, images, video, and audio for storage, retrieval and distribution.
DAM is an increasingly important tool for organizations to protect and grow their brands, control the costs of creating and distributing their digital media content, and maximize the return from their digital assets. Many organizations rely on DAM to provide the much needed centralization, workflow optimization, collaboration, digital media management, and distribution solutions that are becoming an increasingly demanding requirement.
Departments in an organization such as marketing, sales, advertising, public relations benefit most from digital asset management. Using DAM enables organizations to address their most pressing rich media challenges such as managing video, presentation slide decks, creative design media, as well as marketing collateral and related processes.
Organizations face these challenges regarding their digital assets:
- disconnected and inefficient production processes;
- lack of unified collaboration and sharing among all contributors, (photographers, authors, editors, designers, marketers and distributors) international offices, third-parties and business partners;
- wasted resources, both human and capital, due to needless searching for media assets, recreating or repurchasing lost images, using incorrect versions, workflow bottlenecks, inefficient file transformation and delivery processes, lack of usage tracking and lack of production automation;
- implementing disaster recovery and archival plans;
- embracing new technologies such as RSS feeds, user-generated content, and Web 2.0 applications;
- identifying efficient ways to move images, video, audio, PDF, InDesign, PPT, Excel, Word, EPS, GIF and SVG files from where they are created and managed to their ultimate destination in web production, printed magazines, mobile devices or a whole host of other delivery points.
The Benefits of DAM
Organizations deploying specialized DAM solutions typically realize the following benefits:
Cost Savings — organizations gain immediate ROI by eliminating redundant asset creation efforts; quickly retrieving, editing, and redistributing assets; redeploying resources to other mission critical projects.
Generation of new revenue streams — organizations derive new revenue by converting and repurposing existing content like book covers to promote their eBooks. Consider an image that costs thousands of dollars to create and recreate multiple times. With DAM, it can be reused. Without DAM, its existence may not be known and the re-creation costs become reoccurring.
Brand and Messaging Continuity — built-in revision control, asset repurposing, and approval processes ensure organizations maintain consistent use and re-expression of digital assets, from brochures and corporate videos to web content.
Digital Media Management and Distribution — DAM systems enable the efficient organization, indexing, and distribution of digital assets. Advanced DAM systems provide a distributed architecture and multi-site asset storage, as well as the ability to provide multiple repositories for self-synchronization of both assets and their associated metadata. This means professionals can quickly and easily find and create what they need and distribute it to their intended audience with the click of a few buttons.
Global Web-Based Access — organizations can distribute digital masters and other types of licensed assets via secure web access. Advanced DAM systems also provide asset ordering and fulfillment modules that can easily integrate with existing ecommerce and transaction servers. Not only can organizations quickly access their files from any web interface, they can create new revenue streams and sell their assets via virtual storefronts.
Full-featured DAM solutions include a variety of tools for organizing, accessing, editing, transforming and working with images, video, audio, presentations, etc. Important features include search, transformation of media into various formats, integration with creative authoring tools, workflow, IP rights functionality, usage tracking, back-up and role-based security.
With a robust DAM solution, organizations can achieve new levels of creative effectiveness and efficiency by enabling marketing teams to quickly find content, easily reuse digital assets, enhance creative productivity, provide visibility into digital asset management usage and processes, improve brand consistency and maintain
security and policy compliance. Digital asset management solutions provide deep integration functionality with creative authoring applications such as Adobe Creative Suite 3 or Quark.
By enabling secure access and management of all digital media content throughout an organization, DAM tools provides an efficient, centralized, and connected publishing workflow environment right from the creative design stage through to production and distribution to all channels.
There are tools in the market which are specifically designed for DAM. I will describe them in my future posts.