What are the main features of a DAM?

2 Aug


Written by

Bella Foxwell




What are the main features of a DAM?
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With the growing demand for content and hyper-personalized, omnichannel experiences, many organizations are reaching the limitations of existing file-sharing tools.

They don’t want to waste any more time and money searching through lists of digital files and downloading and uploading assets. They want a system that can manage the entire content life-cycle from creation to distribution. One that becomes a key part of their marketing techstack.

This is where Digital Asset Management (DAM) software comes in.

But what exactly can a DAM system offer organizations? 

What key features should you look out for if you’re thinking of implementing this technology into your business?

Let’s take a closer look at 6 main features of DAM:

- Robust content repository

- Provide a single source of truth for all your content

- Tailor made segmentation

- Acquisition workflows

- Distributed marketing

- API and integration

1. Robust content repository

One of the most significant features of a DAM system is that it provides a central storage for all marketing, corporate and product assets in one place. 

A scalable storage hub that supports different content formats, has powerful search functionalities and keeps everything organized, increases an organization’s productivity and creates a positive user experience. 

It makes light work of the time-consuming process of uploading, downloading and modifying large creative assets. This enhances collaboration between teams, streamlining their workflow and giving them more time to focus on value-producing work (not trying to figure out how to share assets internally and externally).

DAM features to look out for:

  • A cloud platform that provides a centralized location that can easily store huge volumes of large images and video files 
  • Keyword-based search that leverages smart tagging
  • Ability to configure with your choice of external storage and still use the features of DAM
  • Tags and folders to organize assets as per various attributes

2. Provide a Single Source of Truth for all your content

A Digital Asset Management system isn’t just a sophisticated storage system. It’s a Single Source of Truth that allows organizations to avoid copyright infringement and maintain brand integrity.

It helps connect digital assets to existing tools and teams as these solutions can integrate with an organization’s entire ecosystem. Ecommerce sites, Content Management System (CMS), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software can draw content directly from the DAM that’s been automatically indexed by Artificial Intelligence (AI).

For example, a photo of a red trainer will automatically have its “alt” tag filled with essential information for Search Engine Optimization. The URL will contain all the references to the product. Not only does this streamline content creation and production, it ensures that content is fully validated before being published and that it complies with regulations. 

This is thanks to approval workflows and audit trails that involve legal, risk and compliance managers in the content validation process and enable the tracking of content via digital watermarking and video tokenization. By being able to monitor their visual assets, organizations can take immediate action when content is non-compliant. 

DAM features to look out for:

  • Full audit trail (with review and markup features)
  • Digital watermarking and video tokenization to track content post-distribution
  • Integrability with an organization’s entire ecosystem

3. Tailor-made segmentation

A DAM solution helps organizations control the accuracy of the information they share, which is particularly important for highly regulated industries like healthcare.

Security features within the DAM platform like permission-based access and password-protected portals means that only the right content is downloaded, edited, and shared by the right departments and regions. Companies can segment content based on brand, business unit, region, and more, and offer different levels of access to assets to different partners. 

In addition to better security, a DAM system eliminates the financial drain of lost assets and helps teams find content with the help of AI and advanced indexing capabilities.

This allows DAM users to increase efficiency when finding and retrieving assets, boost their productivity as they spend less time on the actual categorization and enrichment of content, and automates the moderation and compliance of content in order to protect the brand’s image. 

DAM features to look out for:

  • Strong roles and rights capabilities
  • AI-automated indexing and classification
  • Creative and validation workflows
  • Image reverse search capabilities

4. Acquisition workflows

One of the major benefits of a DAM system is automated workflows. These guarantee traceability, accelerating time to market while complying with regulatory obligations.

This is hugely valuable for highly regulated industries like finance or life sciences. DAM offers legal, risk and compliance managers their own workflow to approve content and keep track of all versions—essential in the event of a regulatory audit or when anomalies are detected. 

It’s also essential for large organizations like retailer Decathlon, which employs more than 93,000 people working across 1,700 stores and 73 e-commerce sites. Since implementing DAM, the organization has streamlined the distribution of 15 billion media files per month across all geographical regions.

Removing friction in the content validation process is one way DAM workflows can help teams. Accelerating content creation and improving collaboration is another.

For example, approval workflows can be set up with alerts notifying campaign managers when tasks are late or need attention. And because a DAM system connects to your CMS, CRM, PIM, and more, when a digital asset is modified in one area of the techstack, the DAM generates a chain reaction across the rest.

As for content workflows, a DAM like Wedia’s frees users up from merely commenting on assets (time-consuming and not always enough) and enables them to draw directly on the image and compare two versions by using a slider or an overlay mechanism. 

DAM features to look out for:

  • Adaptive rendering to create media variations and derivative content at scale 
  • AI-automated tasks e.g. smart cropping, video subtitling, etc.
  • Content lifecycle analytics spanning production through delivery to make tweaks where necessary

5. Distributed marketing

For organizations with external parties like dealers, agencies, field teams, sales, PR and media outlets, and vendors distributed all over the world, sending and receiving files has historically been very challenging. 

The retail sector is no stranger to this challenge. Many brands are still using poorly optimized tools and inefficiently downloading, uploading and emailing content between partners and regional teams, slowing time to market and hindering sales. 

Digital asset management addresses this challenge by feeding assets into pre-branded templates that can be versioned by local marketers. Companies can define which aspects can be edited, restricting usage (by geography, user type, content type, etc.) and using approval workflows to review and approve newly created documents. This way, content remains on-brand and consistent no matter where in the world it's published. 

It also reduces operating costs by standardizing the production process and enabling franchisees and regional offices to alter what they need without having to do ad hoc copywriting or design. This improves an organization’s ability to meet deadlines and accelerate time to market. 

DAM features to look out for:

  • Intuitive interface for changing contact details, promotional offers, pricing, photos, or headlines
  • Easily customizable pre-branded templates 
  • Enforce communication embargoes as well as segment assets and content by localization, language, market

6. API and integration

To offer organizations a ‘Single Source of Truth’, a DAM system must be able to integrate with key applications across the technology stack.

This is made possible by the APIs and ‘headless’ architecture that allows a DAM to integrate with an organization’s various CMSs, ERPs, CRMs, Product Information Management (PIMs) and Customer Data Platforms (CDPs). Headless simply means a DAM system that has no front-end or user interface, meaning that its back-end (where the centralized asset library exists) can connect seamlessly to any software straightaway. For example, brands can access a specific asset from everyday tools like Microsoft Office and Adobe Suite.

As a result, efficiency improves, personalized experiences are delivered with exceptional speed and accuracy, and organizations can respond nimbly to emerging trends and technologies. Asset control is also better overall, with optimal accessibility, security and flexibility in publishing. 

DAM features to look out for:

  • Best in class cloud infrastructure (AWS, Azure, Akamai)
  • GDPR compliant
  • ISO 27001 certified

Unlocking the potential of DAM 

Want to learn more about the features of Wedia and how they could benefit your business?

Book a free demo today.

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