Digital Asset Management (DAM) software enables organizations to create, store, distribute, and find content more quickly and easily than ad hoc systems that can be less secure, difficult to maintain, and a nightmare for ensuring content elements are consistent across large organizations.
In the context of B2B, DAM software can help streamline marketing and sales teams by aligning multiple media formats in one location and making them easily accessible to these departments and other relevant stakeholders such as IT and brand teams. In industries such as healthcare, where version control and regulatory compliance are critical, a DAM can ensure all assets are not only safe but stored securely as well.
A sound B2B marketing strategy depends on everyone in an organization being on the same page when it comes to messaging and media. In this post, we’ll outline why a DAM system is important in the context of B2B marketing and provide some examples of must-have features for a good DAM platform.
The massive business of managing digital content
According to MarketWatch, the DAM market was valued at $1.2 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach nearly $7 billion by 2024.
Spending in DAM is increasing across all industries because of the need to manage the growing number of digital assets in a secure environment while keeping brand messaging consistent across all devices, screens, and platforms.
Chiefmartec’s mind-boggling infographic, which attempts to visualize the growing martech landscape (now listing 7000+ solutions), places digital asset management beneath the umbrella of “Content & Experience” – sandwiched in between tools that focus on content marketing and marketing automation/lead management.
DAM’s place in the martech stack
Digital asset management is just one piece of the marketing technology ecosystem that members of the C-Suite must now contend with if they want to deliver top-notch customer experience.
Ideally, a DAM solution works in conjunction with a Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress or Drupal and other tools like customer relationship management platforms (e.g., HubSpot) to form a foundation for your marketing ecosystem.
Most companies have some sort of CMS in place. It could be WordPress, Drupal or another platform—where they manage images and other visual assists in addition to a file management tool such as Dropbox. Integrating a DAM such as Bynder into your CMS infrastructure takes file management to the next level. Among other things, it can help you streamline and automate the process of locating, accessing, and updating images, videos, and other digital assets.
How DAMs improve user experience
Being able to manage assets appropriately is critical for delivering a good end-user experience. From a sales perspective, this means being able to access the latest images, presentations, videos and other marketing collateral as soon as it’s needed, preferably without having to reach out to marketing or IT.
DAM platforms solve the problem of version control and provide access to sales materials by aggregating all assets in one location and making them searchable. Prospects are presented with consistent, up-to-date information no matter who they connect on the vendor side. When you consider that today’s B2B buying teams typically involve 6 to 10 decision-makers, it becomes even more critical for content to be consistent and up to date.
DAM systems help marketers quickly create and distribute media assets that remain on message and consistent—something that helps with brand perception and improves overall user experience.
One of the most powerful features about DAM platforms is version control—that is, when messaging and images expire or become out of date, they are removed from the system. This is particularly helpful for large organizations with decentralized teams. In this case, even simple assets such as obtaining a high-resolution logo for a business card or brochure can become complex without a centralized system in place to store these images.
The main features of an enterprise DAM platform
Many marketing technology platforms and tools contain some elements of asset management—Dropbox, for example, stores files and allows companies to share them easily. However, a comprehensive DAM system should contain some key features that go beyond simply storing and sharing assets. These include:
Ease of use
At its core, a DAM is a search engine that enables you to tag and categorize all your digital assets—images, video, content and more. As with any search engine, the DAM’s UI should be intuitive and user-friendly. Many DAM systems now provide auto-tagging and AI-enabled metadata features that save companies time by automatically tagging assets as they are added to the DAM.
An example of Aprimo DAM’s search interface—source: Aprimo
As noted above, a DAM is just one component of your tech stack and, as such, should offer robust integrations so that you can leverage it with your existing tools. An example of this is Aprimo DAM’s ability to integrate with Adobe Creative Cloud which enables designers to access images without leaving their design tool. Other tools like Bynder provide a robust list of integrations across many different categories such as content management, distribution, e-commerce, and mobile. The more integrations, the more likely it is that the DAM platform will fit in with your company’s unique needs.
Support for multiple file types
One of the strengths of a good DAM system is its ability to manage many different types of files, including large video and image files. Make sure the DAM system you use can manage both common and emerging file types (e.g., 3D objects, 360-degree product views, CGI renderings, etc.)
Version control and history
“Versioning” involves editing, updating, and changing your digital assets in some way. Version control is important because it ensures that a single asset isn’t being edited by different people at the same time or overwritten completely. It also gives editing access only to those people working and collaborating on the asset (e.g., the latest version of an ad or the company logo). These people should be able to see a history of the asset in all its iterations, while the rest of the company should only have access to the most current, approved version of the asset.
Not every business needs a DAM
As noted above, many capabilities inherent in a DAM system are also present in other systems that you may already be using. Small companies may not need to invest in a full DAM system if they already have a tool they like—such as Teamwork or Dropbox—that enables file sharing and some level of rudimentary digital asset management.
However, for larger organizations with decentralized teams that need to manage many different file types and digital assets, DAMs can save time and ensure everyone in the organization—regardless of location or department—is able to access and utilize approved content.