Digital Asset Management: 10 frequently used terms

Wessel Boekschooten
Jan 14, 2020

An important part of Marketing Resource Management is Digital asset management (DAM). When implemented correctly, Digital Asset Management strengthens and empowers your brand. It quickens the marketing process, ensures consistency in all marketing material and decreases the chance of publishing incorrect information. Is DAM relatively new to you? Is your company implementing this type of management, or are you still orientating? We'll explain what Digital Asset Management entails and what the frequently used terms in DAM-software are. 

1.   Digital Asset Management


Digital Asset Management software provides a central place where you can organise (surprise, surprise) digital assets. Digital assets are, for instance, images, video's or documents. This form of management is often shortened to DAM. It plays a huge role for companies that work with a lot of information. Nowadays, everything is digitized, which means that you need the right software to protect and share this information.

Not all companies are using (the right) software for this type of management. One of the most common errors these companies experience is, for instance, the time that is wasted on finding and requesting content. When information is nog found, it often happens that information is duplicated. Furthermore, it increases the chance of errors and inconsistencies. This is especially common for companies with several offices and with partners or other third parties.

2.   Digital assets


In everyday life, an asset can be a house or a car. In business, assets are at least as valuable. (Digital) Assets embody all content of a company, making them important properties. Assets can be any type of file in any variant. What differentiates an asset from a file though, is that assets are relevant to the entire company and its exclusively for business use. Examples of assets are documents, illustrations, video’s, logo’s, animations, spreadsheets, photography etc.

3.   SaaS

IT people love to use acronyms or synonyms for technical related subjects. SaaS, or Software as a Service, is a Cloud solution. Software as a Service is the perfect solution for businesses with multiple offices. Users have access where ever since all information can be found online in a secure environment.

Digital Asset Management can also be installed 'On Premise', meaning it is location-based. However, it is preferred to have an online, or SaaS solution.

4.   Create and Publish

In a Create and Publish module, it is possible to efficiently create, publish and print marketing collateral. Some DAM-software allows you to use customized templates. This ensures consistency, prevents errors and removes the need to call in a graphic designer for every publishing task.

5.   Metadata

Metadata is often used to find content quickly and efficiently. Data exists of different components, metadata describes these characteristics. Components of product information are for instance descriptions, prices, product lines or categories. By adding metadata, or tags, you categorize information and you can easily retrieve it at any given moment. Instead of searching through multiple folders and files, the right content is easily found with the added metadata.

6.   Albums vs. collections

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In DAM-software, these terms often come hand in hand and can sound the same. But there is a difference: in albums, you decide the structure of your assets. Meaning, you store assets under the same subject. Collections are refined when you group assets on basis of metadata. For instance: albums are categorized according to product lines and you would like to share illustrations with a similar category such as size, taste or color. By assembling these images, you create a collection.

7.   Asset variants

Asset variants are different 'versions' or 'editions' of an original asset. These can be logos in different editions or resolutions, or documents in several file types. Asset variants are not literally versions of assets. Versions can be innovations or improvements of content, variants are alternatives of the original. Other terms for variants are renditions, proxies or surrogates.

8.   PIM

Product Information Management

Although not frequently found in DAM-software, this type of management is getting more and more relevant to DAM-software. PIM is an acronym for Product Information Management. With PIM, you manage and enrich product information with multiple users. Companies with several offices gain a lot from this management software. It is easy to share the latest information internationally and to efficiently manage product translations. Users have access to content that is relevant to them. It is no longer necessary to manually share information.

9.   Rights Management

Rights Management is a way to implement an efficient workflow. In DAM-software users can be assigned different roles and rights, meaning everyone has different access rights. This is very convenient for companies with partners that need access to content that is relevant to them.

Assigning roles is beneficial when created marketing material need approvals before publishing. It ensures consistency, prevents errors and protects the brand's identity.

10.   Brand Identity


All these terms are components of Digital Asset Management and contribute to a strong and consistent brand identity. Your brand identity, not to be confused with brand image, is how you wish to carry out your brand. Your brand image is how your brand is actually perceived. DAM software helps you strengthening your brand identity and therefore your brand image.

Mismanagement can cause damage to your brand. That's why it is important to use the right software to manage marketing content.

Is your brand identity fully secured and integrated throughout the company? Read 5 Signs You Should Invest In Your Brand Identity to do the check.

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