What to look for in a digital asset management solution

A guide to how digital asset management systems work and what benefits they can deliver for your team and organization.

6 minute read

Stack of Colorful Papers in Mid-air on Grey Background.

What is digital asset management (DAM)?

Digital asset management is the process of organizing, storing, retrieving, and distributing digital content and media assets, such as images, videos, audio files, and other multimedia content.

This allows organizations to efficiently manage their digital assets, control access to them, and ensure that they are being used in compliance with relevant regulations.

How does it work in practice?

Digital asset management is critical for organizations that have large collections of digital assets that need to be managed and distributed across multiple channels, such as websites, social media channels, and marketing campaigns.

Let’s look at how that might work in practice for assets used in a campaign for a new product launch.

A series of devices arranged in an arc.

IT teams

connect the DAM software with all marketing and customer facing channels
Three different asset types: Video, Image and Text.

Global lead marketing and creative teams

develop new product range images and video content
Assets organized inside a folder.

Approved content

is securely stored, organized, and made accessible globally via the DAM software
A stack of papers or assets.

Marketing

plans to run a new product campaign and builds a list of assets they’ll need
Three shapes merging into a single direction.

Agencies and teams

build the campaign content for the website and social media channels
A circle and a square representing A/B testing.

The campaign goes live

and runs A/B tests of images in different contexts to prioritize the most effective content

Why do I need DAM software?

Digital asset management software provides a huge range of benefits for organizations

Sitecore makes the SCHOTT portfolio and our spirit of innovation accessible to our target groups in such a flexible way that we can serve widely differing markets.

Jörg Duhr

Head of Digital Experience

SCHOTT AG

From streamlining workflows, increasing efficiencies, and improving collaboration to enhancing brand consistency, transforming customer experience, and driving revenue, the real-world impact of DAM systems for brands across different industries and regions is undeniable.

What value will DAM deliver for my team?

Beyond the topline benefits for your organization, DAM brings several specific benefits and functionalities for different users and teams, including improved workflows and integrations, automation of metadata tagging, secure storage of digital files, up-to-date templates, images, and creative files, and enhanced permissions throughout the content lifecycle. It plays a significant role in brand management by ensuring consistency across brand assets.

We’ve improved the customer experience and employee productivity, thanks to the enhanced searchability, security, and accessibility to digital assets.

Katharina Haugg

IT Project Manager

Hilti Group

Here are six key benefits for marketing, IT, creative, and agency teams.

For marketing teams

  • Faster and more efficient content creation and production processes
  • Increased ROI on all digital assets and marketing campaigns
  • Increased ROI across your martech investment
  • Improved brand consistency, compliance, and digital rights management
  • Greater cross-team and cross-regional collaboration
  • Smarter campaigns informed by asset performance metrics

For IT teams

  • Less burden on IT with greater process efficiencies
  • Improved security and data governance
  • Easier system integration and maintenance
  • Less manual tasks and lower risk of human error
  • Lower storage costs with all assets optimized and up-to-date
  • Increased efficiencies across the whole tech stack

For creative teams

  • More effective collaboration with marketing teams
  • Faster design processes and feedback loops
  • Better version control
  • Less time on administrative tasks
  • More time for creative work
  • More value from assets with easier repurposing

For agency teams

  • Greater client collaboration across different teams and departments
  • Faster service delivery with quick and easy access to all digital assets
  • Improved client relationships by delivering high-quality work, faster
  • Less time wasted locating and updating assets
  • More efficient internal processes with creative teams
  • More time to focus on strategy, creative, and solving client challenges

What capabilities should I be looking for?

CapabilityBasicEnterprise
Asset storage ― Store all your digital assets in one central place X X
Asset organization ― Organize your digital assets in the most effective way ✓ ✓
Asset distribution ― Send any digital asset to any customer touchpoint ✓ ✓
Scale ― Manage assets across channels and markets Limited Unlimited
Asset tracking ― Track the journey and use of any asset X ✓
Analytics ― Measure the performance of every asset Basic Advanced
Customizability ― Create a DAM tool fit for your business X X
Workflow automation ― Automate processes and increase efficiency X ✓
Version control ― Keep all your assets up-to-date and in order X ✓
Metadata management ― Import and leverage all your metadata X ✓
Design tool integrations ― Integrate simply with your favorite design tools Limited Advanced
Channel integrations ― Deliver digital assets to all your channels Limited Advanced
AI-powered asset research ― Leverage AI to find any asset quickly and easily X ✓
User access controls ― Control permissions on asset access and use X ✓
Rights management ― Manage all legal and compliance requirements X ✓

What questions do I need to consider?

Below are some starter questions for marketing and IT teams to consider when approaching the buying process for DAM software.

They include questions about what your organization needs from a DAM platform, and questions about any DAM system you’re assessing. Tweak and add to them to cover all your needs and challenges.

Marketing teams

Team considerations

  • What digital assets do I need to manage and what channels, formats, and marketing activities do they need to support?
  • What languages and regions do I need to cover?
  • What legal and regulatory considerations do I need to think about?
  • What would an ideal process look like for creating assets with creative teams and agency partners?
  • What impact do I want to see with a new DAM solution for my team?

Product considerations

  • Does the product have the capabilities my team members and organization need?
  • How does it integrate with my design tools and marketing channels?
  • How would it work with other products in my current martech stack?
  • How user-friendly is the tool?
  • Does it have the scale and flexibility my organization needs?

IT teams

Team considerations

  • What are the current and future demands on IT in terms of storing and managing digital assets?
  • What security, legal and compliance factors do I need to consider?
  • What is the overall IT strategy for the business over the next five years, and how does this align?
  • What regions do I need to be thinking about and how will they be affected by any change?
  • What impact do I want to see with a new DAM solution for my team?

Product considerations

  • Does the product have the capabilities to deliver for marketing and other stakeholders in the organization - now and in the future?
  • What are the security features of the product?
  • How does it align and integrate with my existing martech stack?
  • How customizable is the product?
  • Will the product ever need replacing or upgrading?

How can Sitecore help?

Content Hub DAM is digital asset management that provides a single source of truth for a content ecosystem, allowing brands to centralize their marketing assets, manage digital media, and enforce brand guidelines across all file formats, file types, and marketing materials. Combined with Content Hub Operations, brands can improve workflows and cross-departmental collaboration while allowing for changes in real time.

At Sitecore, we're passionate about finding solutions that fit the needs of our customers. Take a tour of our products or request a custom demo to see how a digital management solution can benefit your brand.