Why brands should give a DAM when it comes to their digital asset management

With the amount of digital data growing – and with it the need for it to be managed in a clear, concise and user-friendly way – brands, their agencies, corporations and institutions with multiple departments, etc., should indeed care who, what and how, their brand is being handled.
Why brands should give a DAM when it comes to their digital asset management
The need to record a brand’s journey is important, not only for marketing purposes but for legal reasons too. But, the sheer volume of material that is generated, often on a variety of devices and by a host of different users, is staggering. It’s no wonder then that with the advent of ‘fast marketing’, sometimes things go awry – where vital logos, a brochure or image of the CEO shaking hands with an important dignitary go missing, or the wrong one is sent.

The answer to averting brand confusion or not being able to find an image of an event you hosted, for use in an annual report, or an image for the corporate ad or a host of other vital applications, is found in a centralised cloud-based repository called, Digital Asset Management or DAM. Digital Asset Management, sometimes popularly referred to as Brand or Marketing Asset Management, describes the process, policies and software an organisation uses to manage its digital assets such as images and brand material.

DAM has been around since the early nineties. The primary use at the time was to scan and store documents and images. But as the digital era grew, so did the need to find a simple yet secure system to store, retrieve and share the right information. Swiss-based Picturepark was launched in 1997 and was the first cloud-based DAM solution. One of its first clients was a well-known Swiss-based watchmaker (who incidentally remains a client) who required a place to store literally thousands of watch images.

Since then, Picturepark has expanded its operations to cover most corners of the globe and in South Africa, has partnered with Brandpark, under the guidance of CEO Mnive Nhlabathi to assist the African continent manage its digital assets better.

While South Africa already has a number of large corporations who have reaped the benefits of integrated DAM systems, DAM has been particularly effective of late, for the number of companies that are spreading their corporate wings into Africa.

“South Africa and Africa as a whole continue to be an attractive proposition for multinationals looking for new and emerging markets. With the successful merger or acquisition of the asset, comes the need for corporates and their marketing agencies to converge and centralise their marketing collateral so it can be deployed in various markets and adapted for local use,” explained Mnive Nhlabathi, CEO of Brandpark, the South African company that has been awarded the exclusive rights to the technology of leading DAM provider, Picturepark.

“A DAM system that allows for uploading files into a central repository and tagging them with descriptive metadata, is no longer a luxury but a necessity.”

However, DAM is not reserved solely for the multinationals and advertising agencies. Other organisations that could well benefit from the implementation of a DAM system, are the likes of libraries, tertiary institutions, banks, estate agency groups, and more.

It’s not all about safe storage, ease and safety of distribution though. There are some pretty good time and cost savings too, that allow you to reap full ROI on your investment in brand and marketing assets. These include:

Time saved searching for assets
Increased productivity
Data Storage cost savings
Bandwidth cost savings
Managed Copyright risks
Analytics on usage
And, being aware of the assets you actually have (for the expanded list, please see below).

The question is, are brands truly leveraging their investment in their digital assets?