The best tips and resources for selecting a DAM system

18 Jul


Written by

Bella Foxwell




The best tips and resources for selecting a DAM system
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Implementing a Digital Asset Management (DAM) system into your organization will have a big impact on your marketing strategy. 

Distributing content is an increasing challenge for many brands, particularly when it comes to ensuring that communications are consistent and adapted for both the individual platform and audience. Because of this, many companies are now turning to a DAM system to help support their marketing and communication actions. 

Indeed, a DAM can act as a Single Source of Truth, meaning that content and assets become centralized in one hub. Distributing, sharing, measuring and collaborating become intuitive actions. 

This helps to enhance internal processes and external actions for teams, clients, and suppliers alike. Not only does this save many different teams time and money searching for (and recreating) lost files, but it offers customers consistent, hyper-personalized brand experiences that increase loyalty and business revenue.

However, selecting the right DAM system can be overwhelming.

What features matter most? What differentiates one DAM system from another?

To help you decide, we’ve put together some tips, resources, and a checklist of questions to ask so that you can choose the right DAM system with confidence.

1. What is a DAM system?

2. Identify the content challenges you face 

3. Three kinds of DAM system

4. Questions to ask to help you select the right DAM system

What is a DAM system?

Digital Asset Management (DAM) is a technology that helps companies store, organize, manage, and share digital assets securely and efficiently across teams. 

A ‘Single Source of Truth’, DAM provides everyone (from employees and clients to partners and franchisees) controlled access to the most up-to-date digital content, including images, video, 3D files, audio, presentations, and more. 

There are a variety of DAM systems available, from simple storage solutions to a truly collaborative platform that becomes an integral part of a brand’s MarTech stack.

Which one you choose depends on the specific use cases of the organization. 

To help you figure this out, first you need to better understand your content challenges.

Identify the content challenges you face

With only 16% of marketers saying they have the right technology to effectively manage content across the business, that means the majority of organizations are struggling with content management.

And the bigger an organization grows, the more difficult this becomes.

So when you’re deciding which DAM system to select, list out the challenges you’re experiencing. Here are some you might include.

Silos within your organization

Engaging content published consistently is an essential part of the customer experience.

Now, you’d think that the ever-growing volume of content would only be an issue for small companies. Surely, as companies scale, they have more people to create, edit, and distribute content — right?

Unfortunately, it’s not quite as simple as that. Because with more people comes more silos and the pressure to coordinate content marketing efforts across multiple departments and brands.

For example, the marketing department doesn’t talk to the sales department so they don’t know how sales reps sell products (including the assets they use to do so).

It’s easy to see how content gets lost or duplicated unnecessarily, with so many different people having access to different things. 

Lack of consistency

Departmental silos usually mean that one consistent process isn’t being followed. Teams aren’t aware of what other departments are doing and create their own ways of working.

As a result, miscommunication, internal conflict, and inefficiencies are more likely to occur. 

And a lack of consistency within a company will have a negative impact on brand identity. This is maintained by ensuring that every experience and message is consistent, compliant and memorable. That every interaction a customer has with your company, whether online or offline, is always on-brand and legally compliant.

It’s much harder to achieve this when a lack of process results in outdated assets being used.

Poor workflow management

A poor conduction management workflow wastes time and risks brand integrity. It increases the likelihood of errors, missed deadlines, and content duplication.  

Put simply: it’s impossible to get the most out of content when there isn’t an efficient workflow in place — and this means lower ROI for the company as a whole. 

This efficiency makes all the difference between content success and chaos, and is essential for growing brands with a global presence. Not least because the bigger the reach, the more complex the approval process.

If members of your organization are experiencing any of the following, it may be time to address your content management workflow:

  • Slow publication process due to excessive number of approvers
  • Inefficient workflow results in task repetition
  • Insufficient time to review or iterate content
  • Manual handovers, alerts, and notifications causes delays and errors 
  • Outdated or subpar content published due to lack of standardization in workflow

Files routinely lost and/or duplicated

Another challenge that many organizations face is assets being regularly lost or duplicated.

One reason for this is team changes — people leaving the company with crucial information about assets stored in their head (and not properly documented anywhere).

Another reason is a lack of taxonomy for the brand’s digital asset library. In other words, there’s no process for organizing assets. They are uploaded into the company’s cloud storage solution without consistent naming conventions.

The amount of time and resource wasted by employees searching for files or recreating assets that already exist is staggering.

According to a recent survey, more than 50% of employees spend more time searching for files than actually doing work.

No clear distribution strategy

Content distribution is a fundamental part of content management workflow. 

But many organizations lack the workflow and the technology necessary to help them deliver timely and hyper-personalized content experiences in multiple formats across myriad channels to audiences around the world.

Think about all the regional departments, partners, resellers, franchisees, dealers, and more that need to quickly and easily localize and deploy marketing materials?

This is why organizations need one system to help them manage the entire content lifecycle and deliver consistent customer experiences at scale.

Security breaches

A security breach could provide unauthorized access to a brand’s digital assets and intellectual property.

This not only risks content loss or misuse, but serious reputational damage and potential loss of revenue.

It’s hard to overstate the importance of securing digital assets, but for many brands a lack of process and workflow leaves them vulnerable to a breach. They’re not aware of who has access to what or where all files are stored, and this is a major security risk.

Making security adjustments to an existing content management strategy is hard as it means re-working entrenched workflows and processes. 

That’s the major benefit of a centralized digital asset management solution. It factors security into the process from the beginning.

3 kinds of DAM system

Now that you’ve identified your content challenges, let’s take a look at 3 DAM use cases to help you understand which one best meets your needs:

Basic DAM functionality: Better centralize assets

A DAM system with basic functionality is an excellent option for universities, nonprofits or other organizations that want to organize their assets while keeping costs low.

This system helps teams find and share content more easily and quickly than before, but there is minimal integration with other systems and users are required to manually download and transfer files into other software.

Moderate DAM functionality: Increase marketing efficiency

This kind of DAM solution is more than a repository of digital assets. It enables businesses to streamline marketing activities and boost productivity, providing a single source of collaboration and distribution. 

It does this by enabling integrations with content management systems, social media channels, and other marketing automation tools, removing silos commonly found within growing organizations. 

Advanced DAM functionality: Drive digital transformation

An advanced DAM platform like Wedia’s is particularly beneficial for multi-product, multi-brand or multi-region organizations.

It offers auto-tagging functionality, facial and speech recognition tools, Optical Character Recognition (OCR), and machine learning services to automate the descriptive tagging of content. Its in-built analytics provide aggregated omni-channel feedback and recommendations to content producers.

This is what is known as DAM 3.0, the latest evolution of Digital Asset Management and, when used to its full potential, the driver of digital transformation and business growth.

Questions to ask to help you select the right DAM system

These 5 questions will help you figure out which DAM system is right for your business.

What does the company want to accomplish with DAM?


Defining your DAM goals will help you understand the scope of the DAM system you require.

For example, if your DAM system is primarily to streamline internal processes, you’ll need a different set of workflows and automations in place than if the DAM system was to be used by global teams for media distribution.

The clearer you get on your DAM goals from the start, the smoother your DAM migration will be.

How many and what types of digital assets does the company have?

DAM systems are not all made equal. Some are better for organizing, storing and sharing digital assets like documents whereas others are equipped to handle more complex assets like 3D files.

To ensure you select the right DAM system, make sure you know the full range of digital assets the company works with on a regular basis.

Can the DAM system integrate with other tools?

Would your marketing team benefit from social media integration to assist with content scheduling? Would an Adobe integration help the design department edit assets faster?

Figure out which integrations would benefit the company most and make sure your preferred DAM system offers those.

Is the DAM system customizable?

Organizations have a distinct set of procedures, processes, and people. 

Your DAM system must fit your needs and be customizable especially when it comes to categorizing assets.

How do you input appropriate metadata?

An advanced DAM system isn’t just a sophisticated storage solution.

It adds context to assets (metadata) so that you can quickly and easily find content based on information like dates, keywords, color, approval status, and product category. 

If you’re a global brand managing thousands of digital assets, make sure you understand how to input metadata and map a logical taxonomy to get the most of your DAM system. 

Resources to help you choose the right DAM system

There are plenty of resources available on our website to help you decide whether an enterprise DAM solution like Wedia is right for you.

These include:

Want to explore the benefits of an enterprise DAM system?

Book a free demo today and explore how DAM can enhance your customers’ experiences and boost business revenue or download our RFP template. 

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