Explore our Digital Marketing Strategy and Planning Toolkit

What is Digital Asset Management?

Author's avatar By Content Partner 15 May, 2018
Essential Essential topic

Digital Asset Management (DAM) software is a business process management solution which provides you with a centralized online hub to create, manage, share, track and find digital assets

Each year, more than 160 million Americans watch the Super Bowl on television. Given the huge viewership, 30-second commercials are highly coveted, despite a cost of $5 million per spot (not including the cost of production). In 2018 the list of big spending advertisers included; Budweiser, Coca-Cola, Hyundai, M&M’s, Pepsi, Stella Artois and several others.

Now imagine if the Budweiser ad featured the wrong logo or an embarrassing typo pointing viewers to a competitor’s website. Fortunately, this didn’t happen, but it is every marketer's nightmare.

A Super Bowl commercial is a digital asset, made up of other digital assets, including; the logo, font, images, music, video, and other elements. All of it must be carefully managed to help tell the brand story.

Every day, there are more and more digital assets being created. Trying to keep track of versions, licensing and stakeholder access is harder than ever - and the chances of (often costly) mistakes increase.


Digital Asset Management (DAM) software is a business process management solution which provides you with a centralized online hub to create, manage, share, track and find digital assets.

According to leading business software site Capterra,

“Digital asset management software (DAM) is designed to keep your media files safe and secure. Be it photographs, videos, logos, and more, these systems seek to keep your company's branding materials cohesive and protected.”

A DAM streamlines management of all files including Microsoft Office documents, video, audio, design files, and presentations. Seamless integration of your DAM with your other systems ensures your DAM is not an island – but rather, it’s the single source of cohesion for your marketing stack.

With a constantly increasing number of digital files being created and used in a multi-channel environment, without a DAM it’s easy to feel perpetually disorganized and lose control of brand assets. Trying to keep track of asset licensing, staying on top of file versions and managing stakeholder access to assets without a robust system in place is both difficult and costly. Haphazard asset management can lead to a slew of problems which prevent your marketing team from providing inspiring, on-brand marketing.

With a DAM, your marketing team, designers, agency partners and other business stakeholders have uninterrupted access to your creative files. And at the same time, you have clear processes for your creative content.

The core of any Digital Asset Management system is the ability to easily search for your digital files according to metadata you assign by tagging with keywords and other descriptors. However this is just the start of how a DAM can make your life easy. Here are some DAM use cases:

  • Online brandhub
  • Local area marketing
  • Creative approvals
  • Manage creative jobs online
  • Order branded materials


With custom brand guideline pages displayed within your DAM, not only will your users be able to access brand assets such as logos, fonts, and images, but you can also put your brand guidelines online, making it easy to access and update. It’s the simple way to keep everyone on brand.

Local area marketing

With web-to-print templates, adjusting creative content for local markets has never been easier. With easily-accessible locked InDesign templates your retailers, franchises, dealers or local markets can fine-tune specific areas of creative like location and price point. Templates link back to your DAM library so users can select their logos or images to include, if permitted. With no more clip-art surprises, you will have creative consistency across diverse markets and will save on agency fees for local customization.

Creative approvals

Streamline your creative projects with workflow approvals. This means artwork is always approved by relevant stakeholders before it is distributed, and files with talent usage rights associated require download requests so you can capture how these file are used. With audit trails and alerts, creative approvals keep everyone on the same page for brand compliance.

Manage creative jobs online

With custom forms and workflow, anyone can submit an online creative brief to your marketing or design team. Briefs can be approved and assigned so you can track the status of projects, assign designers and monitor budgets. Run custom reports on design jobs and view all key dates in a calendar view. Say goodbye to complicated spreadsheets and hello to better-managed creative processes.

Order branded materials

With a database of promotional materials, your team or sales force can easily view pricing of each item, request customizations and order with ease.

IntelligenceBank CEO Tessa Court attributes the growth in DAM usage to the clear ROI benefits, “Digital Asset Management saves up to two hours per day in marketing administration time and promotes creative quality”. Other benefits include that it; enables stakeholders to ‘self serve’, avoids duplication, ensures compliance, and promotes consistency.

The ROI of DAM

To put it simply, Digital Asset Management makes your life easier by saving you up to two hours per day in marketing administration time. With a DAM system, you experience the following tangible returns on investment.

  1. Save time searching for assets — instead of trawling through a chaotic shared drive or Dropbox, lightning-fast search means your stakeholders can instantly find the creative files they need
  2. Enable your stakeholders to ‘self serve’ so the marketing department isn’t repeatedly sending out the same files
  3. Template customization lets retail stores or dealers make limited adjustments to creative files, saving you thousands on artwork localization costs
  4. Reduce courier costs by emailing links to large files to both registered and non-registered users
  5. Avoid duplication of creative which is costly and time-consuming
  6. Ensure creative assets are compliant with talent usage rights and copyright, so penalty fees are avoided.

While these are some of the cost benefits of a DAM, ensuring creative quality is another huge advantage.

Download the 'What is Digital Asset Management?' Whitepaper to learn about the many features and benefits of a DAM.

Author's avatar

By Content Partner

This article is contributed by a Smart Insights Content Partner. To find out how you can become a regular contributor and share your knowledge and experience with our readers, please see our Content Partnership options.

Recommended Blog Posts