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Types of Digital Asset Management Systems

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Outlined letters with some colored in to spell "DAM," "Brand," "MRM," "Video," and "PIM."


Digital asset management (DAM) software has been helping marketing teams organize their content for decades. This technology first emerged in the 1990s to help print and publishing companies manage their photos and videos, and has since evolved to be an essential platform in marketing technology (martech) ecosystems.  

Today’s DAM marketplace is packed with vendors offering similar features and functionality across these 10 core characteristics. But not all systems are equal, as many have unique offerings that support specific workflows or business goals. So let’s take a look at some areas of technical or operational focus that often differentiate one DAM platform from another.

Unique DAM capabilities

There is no shortage of marketing processes, each with their own methodology and deliverables. Here are a few that can be supported by the right DAM system. 

Digital asset management

Digital asset management is the practice of administering, organizing, and distributing media files from a central location. Organizations use DAM software to develop a library of digital content that is easy to search and deploy. And when DAM tools are leveraged effectively across these five foundational elements, they streamline workflows and facilitate cross-team collaboration.

Brand management 

Brand management is the practice of defining how an organization represents its values, culture, and products to the public. Marketers use brand management software to ensure that colleagues and external partners represent the brand with consistent messaging and imagery. There is a wide range of brand resources that can be stored and managed in a DAM system. 

Marketing resource management

Marketing resource management (MRM) is software that unifies marketing people, processes, and technology into one system. An MRM solution helps businesses track, manage, and report on marketing operations to optimize resources and make processes more deliberate. Many components of a modern martech stack can be integrated with a DAM platform as part of an MRM strategy. 

Video management

Video management software supports the storage and organization of video files across their lifecycle — from creation to archive. Because video files are often very large, this software needs to simplify how teams access, share, and publish this content. The right DAM system can be an effective and sustainable video storage solution.

Product information management

Product information management (PIM) is the process of assembling and distributing specs, descriptions, and content needed to market and sell a product. And PIM software helps brands prepare accurate, compelling product listings for their global e-commerce channels. Using PIM technology to support e-commerce can help businesses optimize workflows and gain a competitive advantage.  

What's the difference between DAM and other martech solutions?

The martech world is a vast and ever-expanding place, with over 8,000 vendors (and a multitude of acronyms). So how does DAM software overlap with other content management solutions? Here are some comparisons:

What DAM solution is right for you?

Once you’ve decided that a DAM system meets your organization’s content needs and business goals, there is still a lot to consider. Identifying the right vendor entails outlining your technical priorities, researching your options, and working through use case scenarios.

Resources like our DAM Evaluation Toolkit can help. This hands-on guide is packed with examples, exercises, templates, and tips to help you evaluate and discover which DAM solution is best for you. 

Our DAM+PIM platform, the Widen Collective®, offers a wide range of features, functionality, and integration options that support numerous goals and processes, including the focus areas discussed in this article. Our advisor team would love to learn about your content needs and technical priorities, and discuss what type of digital asset management system is right for you. Request a free demo or contact us  today!


Note: This article was originally published in July 2009 and has been updated to include additional information and resources.

Topics: DAM

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