WCM vs DAM: Differentiating Between Web Content Management and Digital Asset Management

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WCM vs DAM: Differentiating Between Web Content Management and Digital Asset Management

The marketing technology landscape is vibrant, diverse, and rapidly expanding. One corner is occupied by content management systems (CMS), which help users create and manage digital content. Within this domain is web content management, or WCM, which specifically focuses on content for the web.

 WCM functionality can overlap with other martech platforms like digital asset management (DAM), which manages, organizes, and distributes digital assets from a central content hub.  Let’s take a look at these two software solutions, and what each does best.

What is Web Content Management (WCM)?

According to the Association for Information and Image Management (AAIM), Web Content Management (WCM) is used to create, manage, store, and display content on webpages. And further, they define a Web Content Management System (WCMS) as a program that helps in maintaining, controlling, changing, and reassembling the content on a web page. These systems give users with limited knowledge of programming languages tools to design and maintain web content.

How is WCM different from DAM?

Both WCM and DAM systems store and manage digital content; and have tools to review and approve content as it is prepared for publication.

However, there are several significant ways that WCM and DAM are different. For example:

  • Content distribution: WCM systems are designed to publish content to the web, including the organization and storage of actual web pages.  Through the use of integrations, a DAM system’s range of content distribution is much broader, as content in the DAM can flow to web pages or other platforms in a martech stack.
  • Content transformation: WCM platforms offer a repository for rich media (images, audio, video, etc.), while DAM systems are designed to store, preview, and transform rich files into versions that are optimized for web or print use
  • Database structure: Although most WCM solutions store content in a database, DAM systems store assets in a file system and the associated metadata is stored in a relational database

Advantages of DAM over WCM?

If an organization is looking for a solution that will give users the ability to create websites and store the related content, WCM systems are the way to go.

However, if the goal is to find a solution that will serve as the content hub across the martech stack, then DAM offers numerous advantages over WCM. Here are a few:

  • Integrations: As mentioned above, DAM platforms have the ability to connect with a wide range of software applications to streamline workflows and brand management
  • Content curation: Some DAM platforms have advanced tools like portals, for organizing and sharing assets with specific audiences
  • Robust searching and filtering: Leveraging metadata, DAM systems provide a more refined search experience for digital assets over basic folder structures
  • Powerful asset analytics: DAM systems allow users to track embed views, shares, downloads, and more

Acronyms a plenty

That martech world has no shortage of categories, vendors, and acronyms! With many players in the same crowded, digital space, it’s no wonder that there is some overlap. But when it comes to WCM and DAM systems, the differences between the functionality are clear. And if you are looking for a powerful central content hub for you entire martech stack, an investment in DAM could pay dividends. Learn more about our enterprise digital asset management system  <https://www.widen.com/digital-asset-management>, the Widen Collective®.

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