Image source: Brandfolder
In contemporary businesses, an asset library refers to the organized collection of a company’s digital assets. This collection, which is often stored digitally, can include vector files, images, color palettes, fonts, and other available resources that are needed for any marketing or branding projects. Some of these available resources may include:
- UI kits
- Color palettes
- Audio files
- Video files
- PDF files
To give you a better illustration, an asset library is technically a collection of folders and files. It acts as a central digital content hub for companies where all the different revisions and versions of files are organized in such a way that makes it easier for employees to keep track of them. Hence, agencies, designers, marketers, and brand managers can definitely use this to their advantage. Moreover, asset libraries are always kept updated, which ensures that everyone has access to new and most recent files.
Why Asset Libraries are Important
Asset libraries are extremely critical to today’s businesses, and knowing how to efficiently organize and manage them is an important skill that marketers can benefit from. The reason why is because asset libraries make it extremely convenient for employees to access and retrieve all types of files needed to complete their work. Instead of having to contact multiple people to get these files, everything can be found in just one single space by everyone within the company. Even better, these files can be accessed at any given time or location. Therefore, if you have teams from different geographic locations that need the same tools, asset libraries will be very useful.
Asset libraries store correct files together and organize the revised versions in a way that makes it easy for everyone to stay updated with all processes within a given project. Therefore, with a well-organized digital asset management system, team members will no longer have to keep sending each other files, and this can help prevent mistakes of people sending the wrong files to one another. Consistency will be assured, and this can help save employees from confusion.
After all, once one error is made, the problem could easily disperse and become even greater if incorrect files were to be passed on to various people. This can ultimately lead to a waste of time and productivity within the company. In fact, it has been stated that the time it takes to find an asset is five times longer without a digital content hub. With that being said, can you imagine just how much time could be lost if you add it all up week by week?
At the end of the day, great asset management systems help companies improve efficiency and productivity. It lessens the amount of time needed for people to wait for others to send them the content they need, and it makes collaboration much easier between team members.
The Benefits of Digital Asset Management (DAM) Systems
Image source: Code Project
The prominence of the internet, along with companies’ recent move towards all things digital, has completely changed the way businesses operate. Prior to this, every single employee had to work within a single office space. Information was being spread through either word-of-mouth, meetings, as well as emails.
However, with all the possibilities that digital platforms provide businesses with today, you can even say that physical office spaces will no longer be needed within a few years. Everything has become much more mobile and flexible. Ways of working have transformed, and collaboration and communication between all levels of the organization have improved immensely. All processes and production are executed at a much quicker pace, and companies have to constantly keep up with this.
A digital asset management system, also shortly known as DAM, plays a crucial part in handling these changes as it helps support all teams throughout an entire organization. It essentially connects all the functions, content, and teams, increasing efficiency and overall quality of the workflow within a company. Some of its greatest benefits include:
- Quick digital asset delivery
Everything is in one place and easy to send to others
- Faster approvals
All discussions, feedback, and approvals occur in one place. DAM enables you to see who has or hasn’t seen the asset
- Better organization
Everything is managed and tracked within the library, both files in progress and those that are finalized, which leaves no confusion to employees
- Increased digital asset security
You can manage your settings to make sure that no outsider gets access to your company’s confidential information. Only those who were given access will be able to see your assets.
How does Digital Asset Management fit within a Digital Marketing Framework
Digital asset management is a type of digital marketing technology and tool that is commonly used within the industry. As marketers have become more and more customer-centric over the years, it is a system that many of them refer to in order to boost their digital marketing strategy.
Marketers have been heavily shifting their focus towards customer’s needs and preferences. As DAM can now be integrated with other marketing tools and systems, it has played a crucial role in helping marketers target their customers with the right content, which is considered to be a very important marketing tactic today.
All successful organizations have realized that in order to create the best customer experience, they need to equally pay attention to the quality of their digital channels, DAM included. This is because a great DAM system helps marketers tie both offline and online customer experiences together, and with the right assets and metadata attached to them, marketers are able to target content to their customers in better ways. This essentially helps make both a digital and content marketer’s job much easier.
By ‘metadata’, we refer to the information that is used to label a particular asset, giving it some sort of context so that employees, partners, or other suppliers can easily find and track it. Plus, it is technically the metadata, that adds value to the digital asset within a system. Metadata attached to asset can include anything from the name, creation date, or author of that file.
When do you need a Digital Asset Management System?
The common uses for DAM include:
Helps you find all the files needed for an upcoming project. You can also use DAM to ensure that these assets are built and approved by the right people
You can use DAM as a central hub to store all the digital assets used across your entire organization. Whoever needs it will no longer have to search or request for them from another person
As mentioned earlier, you can use metadata to label and tag your assets accordingly. This will help people in finding and accessing the correct digital files in an easier manner
All assets can be made available across all teams within an organization. It can be especially helpful if your company has teams in a different country, as it helps with coordinating all company processes, making sure that everything is in line. For any files that you do not want other members to see or access, you can always limit their access to it so that only the people who have permission can view it.
Allows for bulk storage of assets that don’t need constant updating. For example, once a project has been launched, files can be archived so that they don’t create clutter within your storage. They will also still be available for access if you need them at a later time.
However, there will be certain cases where a DAM system will not be as useful. If your company is one that isn’t digitally active or if you currently only have a few number of assets that you manage, then it would not be as worth it to establish a DAM system for your organization since it can be pricey.
On the other hand, if you are a company that is the complete opposite of that, then purchasing or developing a DAM system will be incredibly beneficial for your organization. It can also help boost your digital marketing strategy, allowing your brand to reach very high potential.
How to Implement a Digital Asset Management System
If your company has any digital content, developing a sufficient digital asset management system can become a lifesaver. Sometimes you may find that your company’s contents are scattered all over the place, impossible to access, or just simply difficult to find. Therefore, in this section, we’ll be covering how you can best implement an effective digital asset management system in your company.
1) Finding the right DAM strategy
This should always be the first step to implementing a successful DAM system. Many businesses lack a well-defined DAM strategy, and this is why its effect can often be hindered. What you need here is a coordinated approach towards identifying, storing, and using each digital asset. So, you should plan a discussion with employees and managers in order to figure out which approach would work best for your company.
2) Consistency is key
One of the aims of implementing DAM is to assure brand consistency across all departments and channels of your organization. Therefore, you should make a detailed list of all the items, workflows, and distribution channels that are most important to your DAM system. Then, you can further filter it by department, team, or employee to improve its structure and organization.
3) Specify your project objectives
What issues do you want your DAM system to solve? By laying out your DAM project objectives, you’ll be able to gain a clearer overview of what you need to do to achieve them. For example, one of your goals may be to improve coordination and communication between your design and marketing team.
4) Set minimum requirements for your DAM software
Your company’s budget will also be one of the things that you must consider when developing a DAM system for your company. Find a solution that best fits what you’re looking for and see how you can adapt other company needs into the system you end up choosing.
Overall, we hope that this article has been helpful in providing you with basic information about what a digital asset management system is and how these asset libraries can benefit your digital marketing strategies and business organization in general.
While not every single company will need an elaborate DAM system to function well, it is highly recommended considering the move towards digital means within today’s business landscape. In order to succeed in such competitive markets, going digital will be the way forward and companies will have to make efforts to adapt to these changes.
By implementing DAM the correct way, you’ll find that not only will your company’s productivity improve a significant level, but also the coordination and communication between departments, teams, and employees. It connects all your business networks and enables people to access all the resources and tools needed to work efficiently. With all the advantages that a well-organized DAM system brings in this day and age, you probably won’t ever look back!
Besides having grown up in the design Industry, Christiaan has advised some of the world’s largest companies on their branding & packaging designs. Has been the resident judge for design awards, and has spoken at numerous global design & marketing events. Christiaan founded the London office of the award-winning Cartils agency, and has founded the DesignBro.com platform.