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7 Must-Have Digital Asset Management Platform Capabilities in 2020

Eleanor Drew

Associate Director, Content Strategy, EPAM UK
Blog

We’re facing an unprecedented content challenge. A proliferation of channels, screens and formats coupled with the increasing importance of personalization means we’re creating content at a volume and pace we’ve never experienced.

It’s more important than ever to define a content strategy that will engage users and drive business results, but it’s also vital to ensure you’ve got an airtight solution for storing and managing this increased volume of digital assets. The ability to share assets across multiple platforms (both your own and your third parties’) is a pivotal part of you content strategy. As Digital Asset Management (DAM) platforms extend their remit and capability, here are some of the key aspects you should have in 2020.

1. It should be user-friendly

Gone are the days when DAMs were only used by a handful of people in a company. As the functionality and utility offered by DAM platforms has increased, so too has the profile of the user base. While your marketing teams are still likely to be your primary users, legal teams, accounts teams, sales teams and even project managers may need access, too. Not to mention the fact your creative teams and agencies are also likely to be uploading assets directly to the DAM. The technical ability of these users will vary hugely, so the platform needs to be completely intuitive and straightforward to use. 

2. It should have all the integrations you need

Your DAM platform should easily integrate with all of your content sources and all of your publishing outlets, enabling seamless ingestion from a wide range of sources and output to a host of channels—be that your app, website or social media accounts. Sound integrations with your product information management system is also a must for many organizations.

3. It should facilitate collaboration

Amendment and sign-off processes can be built directly into the DAM’s workflow, all the way from initial brief to final approval. In addition to these standard workflow capabilities, we are starting to see project management and MRM capabilities included to ensure content and digital teams can:

  • Plan, schedule and manage complex multi-team, multi-channel activities
  • Align teams, processes and outcomes
  • Streamline collaboration between internal and external teams

The right integrations will also benefit your creative teams (both in-house and agency), as some DAM systems offer integration with design software, eliminating the need for time-consuming exports and uploads. 

4. It should save you time

While tagging assets used to be a huge manual overhead, modern DAMs have built-in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities to perform image and video analysis to automate metadata enrichment process. The new breed of DAM is even smarter, as it’s able to recognize individual faces (and even emotions) and assets like brand logos, adding more granularity to your tags. Modern DAMs also use AI and ML to perform image and video analysis to automate the metadata enrichment process. This includes auto-transcribing video and audio files, which enhances the user experience while providing richer asset data to power a more accurate search. 

5. It should protect you from rights infringement

“Do we still have permission to use this?” should be a question of the past. Your DAM should help you keep track of asset rights by allowing you to set expiration dates, trigger expiration warnings in good time and prevent admins from using images if the rights have expired.

6. It should give you the data you need

Housing your assets is only part of a DAM platform’s job. Giving you intelligence on how and where they’re being used is just as important, and your DAM solution should be able to offer you advanced reporting functionalities. This data is invaluable in informing your asset optimization and archival strategies.

7. It should be able to handle your future content needs

Right now, you might be using your DAM system for images and videos, but as new types of content emerge, it must be adaptable enough to keep up. Think about 3D assets or the file types used in virtual or augmented reality. If you’re planning on creating this kind of content in the near future, will your current DAM platform be able to keep pace?

The right DAM platform provides a solid foundation to enact your content strategy – a fully-integrated tool that allows you to easily find, manage and publish assets across your digital channels. But if your solution hasn’t kept pace, it may not be able to meet the challenges of an increasingly complex content ecosystem. When choosing a DAM platform, it’s important to keep all the above capabilities in mind to ensure your digital asset and content operations are robust, scalable and future proof.

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