Why you should give a DAM

Kaitlyn Fahey — 28 October 2021

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Raising the DAM

Is my brand worth a DAM? It’s a topic most marketing teams of any size or complexity have been asking themselves in recent months.

“What’s a DAM?” a few of you may be still asking - if you’re not thinking, “DAM - I already know this”.

But bear with me as we dig a little deeper into your DAM… and how to get the best out of it.

For the uninitiated, the acronym “DAM” usually refers to “digital asset manager” or “digital asset management” system and refers to the software and practices that help companies store, organise, manage, and share their approved, on-brand digital assets from a central library or repository.

When we say “digital asset”, we’re talking about photography, logos and graphics, audio and video files, presentations, PDFs, design files, spreadsheets and documents - anything of value, whether immediate or longer-term, for an organisation.

Broadly speaking, DAMs help improve the productivity and efficiency of marketing teams by enabling the use and re-use of approved content, in the process boosting productivity, improving accessibility, and increasing the ROI on creative production.

So when it comes to most marketing teams, since we’re indulging in some pretty DAM amusing puns, a good rule of thumb is: “[Your Brand] be DAM’d.”

Give a damn to get a DAM

If you’re thinking about whether to get a DAM, or even patting yourself on the back for already having one, it’s worth giving a little thought to the practices that will support your DAM and the overarching question: “What is good digital asset management?”

Digital asset management is more than simply storing files in one place. Anyone can create a folder in a file storage system and start moving assets into it.

Getting better visibility, management and use of those files is what drives efficiencies and ROI.

Marketing teams often deal with large volumes of files of various sizes and versions, as well as the approval processes that go into creating them.

Following are some of the useful features and factors that contribute to good digital asset management.

Organisation and management

  • Customisable metadata fields can be attached to each asset, allowing it to be stored so it can be found easily, and enriched with data and metrics over the course of its life. And since marketers often report spending 10 per cent of their time managing files and looking for assets, it’s worth investing in organising your assets logically.
  • Teams can group and store assets - such as campaigns - together, as well as individually so no asset is ever left behind.
  • Assets can be rendered and stored in multiple file types, sizes and forms, making them easier to use and distribute.
  • Structured workflows support efficient asset review and approval, eliminating painful email trails.

Finding and sharing

  • Searches using metadata, keywords and categories help teams find assets faster
  • Assets can be previewed before downloading to make it easier to find the right file.
  • You can produce and publish content by sharing, linking or otherwise distributing outside the system.
  • Assets can be shared together, as well as separately.

Compliance

  • Controls and permissions for access and use of the system can be defined, so only those people who should have access to an asset actually have access.
  • Asset version history, connected to the original asset, can be tracked, to manage and minimise risk.

Who gives a good DAM?

If you already know you give a DAM about good digital asset management, the next question is “Who gives a good DAM?”

The good news is Outfit partners with a number of digital asset management solution providers who can help take your digital asset management tech and practices to the next level.

A solid DAM provides a great foundation for your martech stack, because it allows you to:

  • Get full use from your existing digital assets
  • Collaborate effectively
  • Improve brand consistency
  • Save time
  • Improve ROI

But it’s important to keep building on those foundations. To get an even bigger return on your marketing investment, the next step is to incorporate effective brand management so you can start increasing marketing output and brand recognition, while lowering production costs - supercharging your digital asset management and production strategy.

Raising your DAM with an effective brand management strategy

Effective brand management builds on your DAM by incorporating responsive design and automation technology into the management of your on-brand digital assets.

This allows your organisation to put your approved digital assets into the hands of anyone in your organisation, enabling them to self-create on-brand assets using responsive templates designed to fit your predefined brand guidelines.

The effect of this is to allow you to scale your digital asset production, enabling your entire organisation to participate in the creation of on-brand marketing assets, boosting production output while minimising cost and risk.

Brand management and automation technology such as Outfit enables marketing teams to:

  • Automate brand production at scale using responsive technology that enables different sizes and formats to be generated from one responsive template
  • Improve brand consistency by ensuring each round of creative amendments remains on brand
  • Reduce the time it takes to create new assets from hours or days to just minutes
  • Make repetitive creative production a DIY task
  • Minimise risk by safeguarding brand guidelines
  • Increase output and agility
  • Automate the creation of personalised assets by integrating with your other martech solutions.

Once you tap the potential of great digital asset management plus effective brand management, you can achieve compounding benefits in terms of the return you get from your investment in your brand.

Read more about how customers such as Durham University, Red Hat and mortgage broker Aussie have already reaped the benefits of taking a proactive approach to managing their brand and digital assets.

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