What is Digital Asset Management?

Digital Asset Management empowers the organization, management and distribution of digital assets from a central hub.

The core principles of digital asset management are

  1. Empowering self-service, allowing permitted users to have ‘always-on’ access to the assets they need – using just a web browser and an internet connection.
  2. Giving users the ability to find the files they need quickly, using collections, searches or filters.
  3. Permissions Controls that make sense– Super Users who have high level access and control who can invite Contributors (who upload assets) and Users who have access to what is shared.
  4. Presentation tools available to users that are sophisticated enough to represent the requirements of organizations by segmenting assets into business units, seasons or subjects.
  5. Control over what users can do with assets – upload, organize, use and share.
  6. Reusing, recycling and repurposing of the most powerful brand assets.
  7. Easy sharing to Brand Management and Brand Automation applications.

Who is responsible for Digital Asset Management?

DAMs are usually the responsibility of Marketing and/or Branding teams who co-ordinate with IT teams to ensure compliance with the organization’s policies.

What does Digital Asset Management replace?

Typically, organizations who are exploring DAM have their items stored in a variety of online and locations – Google Drive®, Dropbox®, Box® or a hosted media server  – and might be using a variety of file sharing services like WeTransfer® too. Of course, lots of files will be stored on individuals’ laptops , external hard drives or network drives too.

Why is Digital Asset Management needed?

Small companies who do not have an intensive need for digital assets may never need a DAM system. Once they’ve got sufficient back-up of their assets, there may already have what works for their business.

However, when organizations are growing, establishing a process which establishes a ‘single source of truth’ – can be significantly save time and costs. A major part of the cost of running an organization is the cost of employees at all levels. DAM can help decrease bottlenecks and allow team members to become much more efficient.

The typical goals when establishing Digital Asset Management are:

  1. Defining one secure cloud location where assets that are required across the organizations can be accessed on a self-service basis, empowering each individual to be independent and help themselves, yet only having access to what they will need. Removing dependency on others for these frequent tasks creates an immediate benefit by ending ‘double handling’.
  2. Ending the process of sending large files to colleagues and for online collaboration – with a DAM, files are shared with users or external parties and you no longer need to upload and send files, which is an extremely time consuming task. Sending files using unsecured transfer systems also has a considerable security risk, which is eliminated by giving your trusted users access to the assets they need.
  3. Creating collections or keywords that make sense for the enterprise, allowing assets to be grouped in a way that matches the business need (by Product Range, Season or Product Type etc.) This makes it easy for users with just a little training to use everyday terminology to find what they need in seconds.
  4. Grouping users into different natural teams (sales, marketing, HR etc) , so that content can quickly be shared with an entire group instantly. By hiding irrelevant content from users, it allows them to focus on what they need.
  5. Ensuring that access to assets that are no longer relevant to ensure brand consistency (old branding, withdrawn products) are instantly unavailable to users in a single click. This ensure that all brand collateral and assets confirm to brand guidelines.
  6. The ability to manage with many different file types, from video to Adobe InDesign packages, presentations, logos and all types of photographic imagery from PSD files to TIFFs, JPEGs and PNG.

Who controls what users see in the DAM?

Users of the DAM can see collections of assets that have been shared with their group.

Where are restrictions on asset usage placed?

Asset restrictions are usually based at the collection level as the collection is shared with groups, meaning that different groups can have the collection shared with custom permissions.

The options to share a collection with users include:

  1. View assets (this is a default with shared collections)
  2. Download assets – users can select single, multiple assets or the entire collection.
  3. Share assets publicly – users can select single, multiple assets or the entire collection for download via a public download link. Setting an expiry for the download is possible here.