What is Digital Asset Management? The Definitive Guide for 2024

Digital asset management (DAM) software makes it easy to sort, find, and share your digital assets. It is more powerful than commonly used file storage services like Google Drive orDropbox, and an important step for companies ready to upgrade their data storage. But is it right for your business?


Table of Content

In this definitive guide, we will explain:



What does DAM software do?

DAM software goes a step beyond normal file storage systems. They are designed to meet the demands of growing companies that need more advanced tools to keep track of their digital content, from audio/video files, to brand assets, proposals, presentations and more.

These additional features include:

  • Metadata tagging
  • Automatic file conversions
  • Version control
  • Advanced permissions management
  • Analytics and reporting
  • Customizable branding options
Looking for the best DAM software on the market? If so, check out our list of providers which offer the best integrations so you get the best ROI.



What can you store in a DAM?

The short answer is any digital file you need! In practical terms, growing companies use DAMs to store everything from images, videos and documents, to brand materials and guidelines, legal documents, PDFs and more.




The benefits of using DAM software

When DAM software is used correctly, it can bring benefits to every part of your company, from marketing to sales, to even legal and IT. Here are the key benefits of digital asset management software.


Benefits for All Employees


Quick Access to Assets Anywhere and Anytime

Using DAM software ensures that all employees have instant to the digital assets they need from anydevice with an internet connection. Having a centralized storage system makes it easier to locate files, so tasks get done faster.


Always Up-to-Date Content

With a standard storage drive, it’s all too easy for staff to find and use outdated content. But with a DAM, you can easily locate and update old assets. This ensures your team will only have access to the latest content.


Improved Collaboration

DAM systems allow multiple users to access and work on digital assets simultaneously. This helps improve collaboration among teams, so your work has more input and a resulting high quality.



Benefits for Brand Managers


Keep your teams on brand

Using a DAM makes it easy to maintain brand consistency by ensuring the right digital assets are available and updated. This helps to protect your brand image and ensure consistent messaging across all channels.


Optimized Asset Usage

With the additional features of a DAM, brand managers can track which assets are being used most. In this way, marketing teams can make data driven decisions on what types of assets to make in the future.


Increased Content Value

When it’s easy to find, edit and organize your data, you can get more out of the content that your team creates! This not only maximizes your asset value but unlocks new ways to use assets that could otherwise go unnoticed.



Benefits for Marketing and Sales Teams


Improved Sales

DAM empowers sales teams with persuasive assets, facilitating efficient distribution and ensuring accuracy and consistency in messaging, ultimately enhancing sales effectiveness.


Personalized Marketing

DAM systems leverage customer data for personalized and targeted marketing campaigns, enhancing customer satisfaction and retention through tailored content and experiences.


Efficient Distribution

DAM simplifies asset adaptation and distribution across various channels, ensuring a consistent brand presence and user experience.



Organizational benefits


Cost Savings

DAM software speeds up the creation, retrieval, and distribution of digital content. This saves countless admin hours and improves the Return on Investment (ROI) of the content you create.


Enhanced Efficiency

By centralizing digital assets and automating tasks like resizing and organizing, DAM tools improve efficiency, allowing easy file access without the hassle of searching through multiple locations.


Benefits for Legal and Security Teams


Secure Storage and File Sharing

DAM systems provide safe storage, reducing the risk of losing important files and ensuring confidentiality by keeping assets in one secure location. DAM software allows secure sharing of files with stakeholders, with control over post-sharing usage, including setting expiration dates and tracking sharing history.


Legal Compliance

Using a DAM solution also assists organizations in complying with copyright and legal requirements. By tracking licenses and usage rights it reduces the risks associated with asset usage, like a member of staff accidentally posting material under copyright.


Enhanced Security 

DAM solutions control access to assets, automatically backing up files to secure locations, protecting against data loss and ensuring compliance with regulations.

ISO 27001 Certification



What are the difficulties of using a DAM?

Upgrading from a conventional cloud drive folder to a DAM will pay dividends, but it’s not always easy to make the switch. Here are some of the key challenges companies face when switching to a DAM:


Lack of company buy-in

Like any new tool, the success of a DAM is dependent on the support and buy-in it receives through out the company. As DAMs have been traditionally seen as specialized databases for creative teams and marketers, it is important to ensure the tool is understood as a tool for the whole enterprise.


Internal resistance

Resistance to change is the biggest obstacle to any new technology. When it comes to introducing a new DAM, it’s crucial to communicate the benefits of the new system over the old, otherwise employees will want to stick to what they know.


Integrating the DAM into existing systems

Ensuring the new DAM works seamlessly with existing tools is an essential but complex task, and can sometimes require custom development. However, with the help of a Connector plugin, employees can seamlessly connect to the new DAM through their work apps and access the assets they need.



When should a company implement a DAM system?

When a company is starting to develop and manage larger amounts of digital assets, using a traditional file storage system will become cumbersome and slow. Changing to a DAM system makes sense if your company’s everyday work now involves:

  1.  Connecting multiple online tools: When the assets you need will be used across different platforms like a CRM, an email system and work apps like Microsoft 365 or Adobe Creative Cloud.
  2.  Frequent collaboration: If multiple team members are involved in the production of a piece of work or a project, and simultaneous access is needed to the asset.
  3.  Sharing large volumes of files: When there are daily requirements for larger files to be accessed and shared internally and externally.
  4.  Complex organizational structures: When a company reaches a large enough size that assets need to be systematically categorized and tagged to be found by team members in multiple departments or locations.
  5.  Establishing a brand: If a company is aiming to establish its brand and needs to ensure consistency and alignment.



What is the best Digital Asset Management software for 2024?

There are dozens of DAM software providers available today. If you are in the market, check out our recommended list of providers which offering the best integrations to make your DAM work seamlessly.


How to connect a DAM to your work apps

The easiest was to connect your DAM system to the apps and tools your team uses is with CI HUB. It integrates directly into dozens of apps, including the Adobe Creative Cloud tools, Microsoft 365, Google Workspace apps, Figma, Sketch and dozens more. CI HUB also supports Content Management Systems like WordPress, HubSpot CMS and Joomla!


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the differences between a DAM and a regular Drive?

In simple terms, a regular drive allows private users and businesses to store and share digital assets, without any specialized functions. DAM systems are used by businesses, and provide robust asset organization, search ability, and workflow capabilities for dealing with extensive digital content.

What is the difference between building an on-site DAM and using a cloud-based DAM?

Creating an on-site DAM system means taking responsibility for hosting and managing your digital assets within the organization's own infrastructure. This involves setting up the servers, looking after the maintenance and security, and the key benefits are that you retain full control over data privacy and can customize it at will. On the other hand, a cloud DAM will be stored and managed by a third-party provider in remote data centers. For many organizations, this is more convenient and scalable, however it also means giving up some control over security and customization to the service provider.

How do users access and interact with assets in a DAM system?

DAM systems are usually accessed through a password protected web portal, and can be searched for specific assets using advanced keyword or filter functions, as well as through metadata. DAM systems usually offer a preview of the files available, and enable the user to download or share them as needed.

How does metadata work in a DAM system?

Metadata is the information within an asset which helps to describe and locate it, including the title, description, keywords, creation date, file format, usage rights, and more. Within a DAM system, metadata acts as a roadmap, guiding users to the right digital assets quickly and efficiently.

Article by
Michael Wilkinson

PR ConsultantMichael is a consultant with 10+ years experience advising tech companies, research agencies, and human rights organizations in marketing and media. Most recently, he led Communications and Content Marketing with Cleanwatts and Anyline respectively, two leading European scaleups. He holds an MBA and a masters degree in Communications.