What is Digital Asset Management?

Digital Asset Management is a system that enables you to store and manage all types of digital files that your company produces in one central location. Commonly used digital asset types include images, graphics, video, audio, text documents, presentations, 3D files, and more.


There are several DAM providers available with varying levels of capabilities (and costs), so it’s important to keep your specific organization’s needs and use cases in mind as you research your options.

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Introduction to censhare DAM

Curious to see what a DAM in action looks like? Watch our on demand webinar for a live demo of the censhare platform.

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Why DAM Matters to Your Tech Ecosystem

As your organization produces an array of digital assets for various platforms to support the customer experience, it’s important to understand how digital asset management can play a role within your technology ecosystem.

Digital Asset Management is designed to centralize your brand communications and marketing assets and facilitate a quality user experience. No matter how complex your current workflows or permission sets need to be (or how many end users will be working within the content hub), your DAM should enable – not hinder – ongoing creation. A future-proof DAM will not have to be replaced as your library grows and content management needs develop. It should grow along with you, allowing your team members to produce an unlimited amount of assets and variants, store them centrally, and make finding each one simple and intuitive.

Common Issues Solved with DAM

Removes the silos housing digital assets

Say the online team is creating some digital assets for a series of articles, while the marketing team is working on a new video series on the same topic. Are the stakeholders spending extra time or money on duplicate work? The answer is often yes. And while alignment meetings or a central creative department can alert teams when similar assets are requested, if your brand assets don’t exist in a central repository, these problems will continue to crop up.

Speed up content updates across multiple channels

Digital assets call for variants – whether that be ad sizes, localization, different languages, etc. If a change takes place and multiple assets need to be updated across channels and regions, DAM automation can save the day. Not only is the search and find process immediate, using a DAM tool allows you to make real time updates to those assets and deploy them from within your content hub.

Expands employee knowledge & awareness

Relying on the legacy knowledge of a few individual employees or groups can seriously hinder your organization’s growth. New employees learn this the hard way, inadvertently wasting time recreating existing content or testing images that have already been evaluated, slowing the pace and ultimately stunting innovation. Using a content hub for all of your digital assets to support a creative workforce keeps everyone at the same level of awareness of asset existence, performance, and correlated metadata.

Understand how assets relate to one another

A DAM system also aides establishing a healthy content management process that has been designed for omnichannel growth, allowing groups to see how each asset relates to one another, and which target audiences are associated with each digital asset.

How DAM Brings It All Together

Let’s say, for instance, your team is using Adobe InDesign to develop digital and print layouts for an upcoming product launch. This content will be funneled into a content repository where the marketing team can access variants of the assets for an omnichannel marketing campaign. Then the worst happens. A day before the campaign is set to launch, you discover an error in the product spec that needs to be corrected across all asset variants. Within your DAM, you can make this correction once and automatically apply it to every asset where this information is in use, as opposed to making the changes manually.

A DAM solution can also save your team from creating duplicate content or re-testing a concept where results have already been proven. It may seem obvious, but many organizations are behind in content management innovation. As made clear in a 2020 study on the state of Universal Content Management , over 56% of marketers currently spend a substantial amount of their time looking for assets that may or may not already exist. This can be an issue for a number of reasons.

Which Teams Benefit from DAM?

In principle, any organization with a large quantity of assets can benefit from a centralized system.

Since DAM software is meant to bring everyone together for brand consistency, seamless workflows and exceptional user experiences, clients deploy the system typically for users within the following teams:

  • Creative: Photographers, videographers, graphic designers, copywriters

  • Marketing: Digital marketers, content strategists, global brand managers

  • Media: Media planners, authors, publishers, editors, content engineers

  • UX: UI/UX Designers, UX developers, researchers, web developers

  • Quality Control: Digital asset managers, digital asset librarians, solutions architects

  • Outside Collaborators: Freelance writers and designers, marketing and channel partners

While these are typically the core users, you can make this functionality available to other teams like product management or customer service. A rollout of an intuitive search within your DAM to the entire organization can enable everyone to find the content they're looking for.

Selecting the Right System for Your Needs

In order to assess which DAM system your organization needs, you should first ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How many assets does our organization manage today? How/where are they managed?

  2. Which file types do we work with (e.g., MP4, 3D, PDF, INDD)?

  3. Can each person on my team easily find the files they need? Do we need permission settings for sensitive information?

  4. Are we using multiple separate systems for the same tasks (e.g., DropBox, Google Drive)?

  5. How do we ensure only brand compliant materials are used?

  6. Does our agency also manage our digital assets? What costs are associated with this?

  7. Are we improving on the customer and brand experience in a measurable way?

  8. How prepared are we for the challenges of ongoing digital transformation?

  9. Should we look for an out-of-the box, DAM-only solution? Or define and follow a long term omnichannel content management strategy that also encompasses product data?

Depending on your answers to these first few considerations, our recommended next step is to scope out your business needs and timeline, then begin to research your options.

Third party review sites that evaluate Digital Asset Management tools in an agnostic manner such as Gartner , Forrester , Real Story Group , Research in Action , G2 , and Capterra are great places to start.

The Top 15 Global DAM Vendors 2021

This Vendor Selection Matrix from Research in Action presents the top 15 global DAM vendors of 2021, and is a great source of independant insight for first time as well as more well versed tech buyers.

Download Report

Avoid Outgrowing Your DAM

Choosing a DAM-only vendor may suffice your needs today, but you should be aware that maturing out of your standalone system can happen in just a few years. A future-proof system integrates with product information management and includes additional offerings such as variants management, print production, headless CMS, and marketing project planning.

If you’re early in the DAM research phase, we also recommend checking out an educational session or two on Henry Stewart , which has a strong community centered around DAM expertise and analysis.

How DAM Helps You Nail Your Content Strategy

Once you’ve decided on the DAM platform that will meet your needs, it’s time to implement your content strategy.

At this point, you’re likely to have completed an RFP process, scoped your initial project roadmap, and have the relevant DAM users set up within the system. Your DAM vendor’s onboarding team should now be ready to help everyone get acquainted with the system through documentation, videos, and training calls. Ideally, you’ll also have a dedicated project manager whose job is to ensure your solution be delivered on time, with high quality, and within budget.

To help you further master your DAM system, we recommend having 2 - 4 champions of the system that can help pioneer and introduce future users with ease. One common roadblock is that some silo-based habits may need to be broken – such as sending updated digital assets via email or by direct message. In order to get the most out of your DAM, you’ll want to encourage users to upload and collaborate through your central system. This may be rocky at first, but the rewards of a fully implemented and adopted content hub are well worth it.

For more tips, check out our post on
How to Deliver on Your Software Implementation .

How Top Global Brands Use DAM

Here’s how a few censhare clients have used Digital Asset Management to help them solve their content challenges.

Smart Content Repository Boosts Ecommerce

Steinberg, relies on censhare as a central company wide information management hub to underpin further rapid growth.

Read More

Taking Local Marketing To The Next Level

Supermarket chain PLUS Retail in the Netherlands depends on censhare’s flexible content management to promote its stores locally.

View Case Study

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censhare Digital Asset Management

censhare Digital Asset Management allows you to automate all of your manual content admin tasks, leaving you free to focus on creating the optimal customer experience. Use the latest images, documents, graphics, media files, and other assets to create, edit and update any content. Link assets any way you want, add references and other vital information such as source or usage rights.

  • 240p
  • 360p
  • 480p
  • 720p
  • Supports all file formats including video and 3D

  • Bulk upload and export

  • Automated import and export

  • Transfer of metadata (XMP, EXIF, IPTC)

  • Multi level duplicate checks

  • Automated versioning

  • Image and video version generation

  • Rule based archiving and de-archiving

  • Full text search for all content and metadata, including smart, intuitive filters

censhare DAM provides a single record for each asset that can be used by everyone. This means each asset can be flexibly linked to related information, such as target audience, source, usage rights, or other insights, enabling your teams to intuitively find and use any content.

Learn More About censhare DAM

Want to see censhare DAM in action?

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