We live in a digital world. Digital channels have largely replaced physical channels in most walks of professional and personal life. Digital news is replacing physical newspapers. Many businesses do not have a physical representation to engage with clients. But most have a website which is on and ready for business, 24x7. Websites, online stores, applications and platforms require one factor in complete order to remain competitive: properly managed digital assets.
A digital asset is an asset that exists in a binary format and comes bundled with the right to use it. Assets include photos and images, files, videos and multimedia, text etc. Your company has the right to use digital assets if:
- Your company created the asset.
- Another person or company granted you the right to use the asset.
- It is a free or open-source asset that anyone can use.
The importance of Digital Asset Management
Digital assets fuel the economy. It is likely that your business houses an abundance of digital content, comprising thousands of files scattered over folders, shared drives, emails etc. Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems help resolve this chaos by allowing business users to search and find the approved and current version of digital content in a relatively short period of time. Without robust DAM practices, processes and technologies in place, business users waste copious amounts of time locating assets. This lowers productivity, increases time expenditure in labour, increases inefficiencies in the business, ill-impacts operations and has an eventual impact on both top and bottom line.
DAM systems add value to your business processes by centralising access to assets and streamlining workflows. In short: DAM is not a nice-to-have, it is a must-have.
Digital Asset Management keeps your brand consistent
To build customer trust and loyalty, every brand must create unique and consistent customer experiences. Content is a key component to drive these experiences. It educates your audience about your brand and communicates your personal brand story. But to achieve this, you need brand consistency.
In a saturated market, consistency is critical when shaping brand perception. Your brand’s values and identity make you stand out from your competition. Consequently, it is vital to ensure your branding is consistent across your website, social media accounts and marketing assets. Producing high-quality content is expensive and time-consuming, so efficiency must be at the centre of your processes.
Leveraging a DAM system and the associated best practices, help ensure brand consistency by:
- Storing digital assets in a central location, accessible from anywhere.
- Ensuring the latest and approved assets are used by suppliers and staff
- Enabling easy sharing of documentation and content.
- Controlling and restricting user access to ensure limited file editing.
- Streamlining the distribution of digital assets.
- Measuring performance to streamline the number of assets used.
Solidifying brand recognition requires the aligning of your messaging with your brand identity, values and strategy. Consistency involves repeated exposure of the organisational core messaging and visual branding to target audiences. Over time these elements become ingrained in the minds of consumers evoking positive emotions through carefully crafted words and imagery. A DAM system ensures that your marketing and sales teams do not create assets without brand consistency in mind.
Good DAM systems improve time-to-market
Time-to-market is the time between producing assets and the eventual distribution to customers. A comprehensive DAM system achieves faster processes which reduce time-to-market for a product launch.
- Customising better workflows through efficient approval processes.
- Promoting collaboration with other team members and breaking down the ‘silo mentality’.
- Integrating data and systems, which provides valuable insights.
- Removing costly errors caused by different versions of the same file.
- Identifying campaign performance.
- Maximising asset utilisation by giving users easy access to files, eliminating time-intensive searches.
The processing time-to-market for digital assets can be lengthy and costly. A DAM system has built-in tools to assist with the distribution of digital assets. With an automated DAM system, the entire process of formatting and sending digital files is straightforward, decreasing time-to-market.
The right DAM secures your assets
From social media to downloadable PDFs, brands must be aware of how they manage their digital assets because they contain confidential and sensitive information. Hacks, data theft and loss, and accident leaks are increasing. Most brand managers have assets spread across different digital devices, with little control over them.
File-level security is not easy to manage and set for asset permissions. What typically happens is someone enables open access to a digital asset collection. The content is exposed, and anyone can access or take it. With a DAM system, you control access via a combination of permissions and roles so unauthorised users cannot gain access and misuse your content. DAM provides a proactive approach to security with built-in security features and multiple back-ups of your digital assets. For example, they are stored in the cloud and have features such as AI and rights management.
In-built DAM security offers:
- Certified secure content sharing.
- Extensive traceability with audit logs.
- Reliability and system performance.
- Role-based controlled access.
- Revoked access to sent items.
- Metadata-driven context.
- Visibility of your content.
DAM systems store assets in both metadata and binary formats which offers enhanced safety and security. DAM works with you to secure files, protect public assets via watermarks and define control lists for customised permissions, so assets are only usable to those who require them. DAM offers end-to-end security by classifying assets with keywords, metadata, digital rights and other unique criteria based on use cases; for example, mock-ups versus production files. Further, collaboration and approval processes are safe with defined access rights.
Digital Asset Management reduces the risk of non-compliance
Security and privacy regulation around personal data have increased in recent years. The initiation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) places compliance at the forefront of digital transformation. DAM is not a one-time project; it is an on-going process of governance to manage data safely. Most DAM systems have agreements in place which require compliance. Non-compliance of these agreements can incur penalties and reputational damage. Using your digital assets per relevant licensing terms is essential to the success of your business. Copyright infringements are costly, even if they happen by mistake. DAM has in-built Digital Rights Management (DRM) features which ensure that your copyright information and licensing agreements are up to date. DAM helps you to administer all licensing information and avoid non-compliance.
DAM is more than storage space. It provides an organised and searchable environment that facilitates management of a digital asset’s entire lifecycle, from creation to archival. These assets must be available on-demand to employees across the organisation. Additionally, DAM maximises asset value, providing a substantial earning potential. With the right tools, DAM allows your business to forecast revenue, conduct market research, and carry out data analysis.
If you are considering a DAM system, there are certain factors you should consider:
- You must contemplate the overall requirements of your business; such as which file formats need support and your volume of content.
- Integration of your business operations and third-party software must be seamless.
- Consider whether DAM can integrate with your existing IT investments.
- Ease of use is essential for team members.
A DAM system evolves with your team and changing requirements, roles and asset types. It is not a standalone application but a sophisticated platform that unifies your organisation’s marketing and brand activity. Additionally, DAM unifies your marketing teams to promote collaboration and brand consistency. When managing a significant library of files, security must be at the forefront of your organisation and DAM controls user access for you. Finally, it is crucial you are compliant with security and privacy regulations, and DAM manages the copyright information of your assets.
Creative Folks - Australia’s leading Digital Asset Management Experts
Creative Folks guides organisations through the planning and implementation stages of a DAM solution. Our technical consulting and integration services ensure the data in business systems is augmented into the platform to add value, and the content reaches the distribution platforms with reduced steps. We focus on outcomes and guide the change of management, so business objectives are met on time and on budget.
For more information on how Creative Folks can help you implement a DAM system, visit our DAM solutions page.