Digital Asset Management systems allow businesses to manage and protect their most valuable asset: intellectual property. Therefore, choosing the right solution based on your organization's needs is vital.
In addition to the classic functions, there are some more specific requirements you should have in mind when choosing your next DAM system.
⇥ QUICK READ
- What is a DAM system?
- Why is choosing the right DAM software so important?
- 3 Requirements you might regret overlooking while choosing your DAM system
- Integrating a Digital Watermarking feature into your DAM: Tips for your next RFP
What is a DAM system?
Digital asset management (DAM) software allows companies to effectively store, share and organize all digital content in a secure and centralized location.
A standard DAM system has, at minimum, the following features:
- Good search functionality — keyword search that filters by author, date, project, and file type.
- Metadata — additional information for each digital asset, such as keywords, date, copyright, product range, approval status, plus other information relevant to your organization.
- File formatting — supporting multiple file formats (images, videos, and documents) is critical.
- Customization — tailored to your organization's unique needs and an easy-to-use interface to increase productivity and flexibility across all departments.
- Automation — automating processes and workflows is essential for efficient user experience and collaboration.
- Easy integration — a sound DAM system can integrate with other solutions you use, such as design tools, social media, CMS, etc.
- Scalability — as your collection of digital assets expands, you’ll want a DAM solution capable of accommodating your growing requirements.
The above features are the minimum requirements you'll want to consider when choosing a DAM solution for your company. However, DAM systems can differ considerably, with some additional features provided, either native or integrated.
Why is choosing the right DAM software important?
A standard DAM system may not be sufficient to support and secure your company's digital assets. Firstly, many brands ignore the risks of content leaks related to DAM systems. While a DAM allows you to manage how images and videos are shared across your company's extensive network of production teams and outside agencies, it won't keep your digital assets from being inadvertently shared outside your defined lists of recipients or by professional leakers intercepting and stealing them.
Secondly, once your digital assets leave your DAM, you no longer have control over them. Are they still up to date and used according to your brand’s standards? Ensuring compliance requires monitoring the use and distribution of your visual assets.
A common problem brands face today is the misuse of visual assets on reseller sites. For example, images are in colors that do not match the brand’s signature style. Or even outdated packshots and images with expired digital rights could still be used. All without your knowledge or control.
Moreover, once a brand's digital assets leave the DAM, marketing departments rarely can measure usage patterns, which prevents them from identifying the best performing digital content and adapting their marketing strategy accordingly. In other words, they have lost control of their assets.
Brand Protection can also be affected by asset leakage, as visuals revealing an upcoming product, used by scammers or counterfeiters (also read "Why pre-launch leaks speed up fakes to market" and "The role of photography in counterfeiting").
3 Requirements you might regret overlooking when choosing a DAM system
To avoid the above scenarios, you may want to add a few requirements to your brief for choosing your next DAM software.
#1 - Securely share files both internally and with a variety of external partners
Sharing visuals with your teams, your extensive network of external agencies, and retail and distribution partners is always risky.
This is especially true when dealing with new product introductions. When preparing a launch campaign, brands must share images and videos of undisclosed models weeks before the embargo dates. Therefore, you'll want to ensure your DAM system allows you to manage and protect presentations of unreleased products.
This is the case also with product testing: market research groups may need to test your unreleased products prior to the launch, and you’ll need to share unpublished product images for beta testing.
Creating a 'buzz' means ensuring digital assets are not leaked before the launch date. Therefore, your DAM must allow sharing of images with third-party contractors without compromising the security of your digital assets or the launch.
#2 - Track where digital assets are used
For marketing teams, accurate analysis of usage patterns of digital assets is critical. Identifying the best-performing visuals provides invaluable insights vital to a brand's marketing strategy. Thus, your DAM system must be able to track your digital assets' usage once distributed.
A secure DAM solution also lets you safely share embargoed imagery with press and media outlets and influencers. By tracking your digital assets, you’ll be able to analyze their reach and calculate your marketing return on investment (ROI).
Too often, brands ignore that digital asset managers have a key role in brand content protection. Detecting unauthorized usage with your DAM system allows you to protect your brand's reputation and safeguard your intellectual property and copyrights.
#3 - Track and identify users, entities, or individuals in the event of leaked or misused content.
Another feature you may not want to overlook when selecting a DAM system is leak detection. This function is particularly important for companies cultivating the secrecy of their upcoming product releases, and who wish to control their notoriety or reputation.
When preparing a product launch, a premature release of an image to the public can have devastating consequences. However, choosing the right technologies and solutions can protect your digital assets from unauthorized usage and potential leaks.
This is only possible by adding an invisible digital watermarking feature to your DAM system.
Integrating an Invisible Digital Watermarking feature into your DAM: Tips for your next RFP
For optimal protection and tracking of your digital assets, combine your DAM with a digital watermarking solution that lets you identify leaks and monitor the usage of your visuals online.
Invisible digital watermarking allows you to mark sensitive content with a recipient-unique identifier that is imperceivable and does not distort or degrade the quality of your digital assets. When a leaked image has been detected, it is searched in the DAM to determine the source of the leak, thanks to the identifier specific to the image or video.
To find the best combination of solutions, here are some tips for your next DAM RFP:
- Ask the supplier or integrator to demonstrate how digital watermarks can be preserved in different image replications, such as screenshots, photos taken with a cell phone, printouts, or images with color manipulation.
- Provide a sample of digital assets such as images and video to verify that their quality is not affected by the digital watermark, which must remain imperceptible and not ruin the work of your creative teams.
Want to find out more about online content monitoring? Download our ebook “Assessing your content monitoring solution” to compare technologies and find the best solution for your organization!