What is the best digital asset management product? That’s a good question… and a common question among those beginning to research digital asset management technologies and vendors. The purpose of this post to help those understand how to decide what is the best digital asset management product for you.
Organizations of all shapes and sizes are adopting digital asset management systems and practices to improve efficiency, brand consistency, accountability, intelligence and effectiveness. When asked, “what kinds of companies need digital asset management?” my response is typically any company that has sophisticated enough creative or marketing operations that they’re creating significant amounts of digital content – images, videos, brochures, etc. – that need to be used and repurposed. That digital content is to be centrally managed and readily available for multiple users to access the content they are supposed to. DAM is particularly valuable to organization’s that have distributed user networks and workers who require remote, self-serve access to a central library of digital assets. There is no exact right or wrong answer to know if a company needs DAM. The size and scale of a DAM implementation varies. When the “traditional” methods of using the shared drive, email attachments, and FTP site start to bring reoccurring pain, then DAM might be something worth considering.
Organizations that are finding success in adopting DAM software solutions include the following vertical markets: manufacturing, retail, marketing & advertising agencies, media, entertainment, publishing, sports, colleges & universities, healthcare, insurance, financial services, non-profit organizations, hospitality, food service, government, engineering, construction, hi-tech.
When asked “What is the best digital asset management product?” … There really is no right answer. It varies. The digital asset management analyst community will tell you the same thing. The best DAM solution really depends on you and your company. It depends on what kind of company you are and what your functional goals are. The size of your company or industry you’re in may matter (or may not). The size of your digital asset library may matter (or may not). The types of assets you predominantly need to manage may play a part. The quantity of users and their location (internal or external) may make a difference.
The digital asset management analyst community will tell you to consider the types of solutions vendors offer to fit different use cases. It is important to understand the business scenarios that fit each vendor’s product strategy to find the best digital asset management product for your particular circumstances. The DAM analyst community has helped those looking for DAM solutions by rating vendors according to common scenarios useful for understanding which types of products tend to work better according to the type of projects. These use case scenarios can be divided into three buckets to include: (1) Image Management, Brand Management and Marketing Operations – segmented further by Digital Asset Library, Photo Archive, Brand Management, Marketing Collateral Production and Distribution, and Ad Production services; (2) Publishing – segmented further by Periodicals Production & Distribution, Multi-Channel Publishing, Catalog Publishing, Rights-Managed Content Syndication and Distribution services; (3) Video Production – segmented further by E-Learning, Video Review and Approval, Short Form Video Production, and Broadcast Video Production services.
Other things to consider when looking for a digital asset management vendor (in no particular order) include:
How long has the vendor been around? … How long have they been offering DAM? … How much of their focus is on DAM? … Is DAM a core part of their business or just a side activity? … How many DAM clients do they have? … How many DAM clients have they lost? … Do they have experience in your industry? … Do they offer complementary services? … Where does their experience come from? … How stable is the company? … Have they been bought or sold? … Is their DAM offering home grown or purchased from someone else? … How sophisticated is it? … Is it evolving as the marketplace changes? … What does their product roadmap look like? … Do they have one? … How often do they come out with new upgrades and innovations? … Who installs them? … Do they have a technical services team? … Do they have a help desk? … What are their hours? … How do you reach them? … Who handles the implementation? … Do they offer training? … Do they perform integrations? How? … What information technology resources will be required internally? … What is the cost to deploy? … What is the cost to maintain? How do you achieve an ROI? … What are the extra costs? … What are their security practices? … How can they ensure my assets are safe? … Is it customizable? … How much customization is required to make it work? … Is it scalable to grow with my business?
These are just a small set of the many questions to ask when looking for the best digital asset management product for your organization.
Leave a comment if you have other advice for those looking at DAM for the first time or share your experiences.