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6 Things I've Learnt About DAM In 6 Months

By Alex Kronenberg on May 4, 2017

When I was first introduced to FotoWare the only DAM’s I knew about were:

1) The Hoover Dam

2) Amsterdam

3) ...built by beavers

Ok, that’s the cheesy DAM-related puns out the way nice and early…

Feature Image by Steve Raubenstine on Pixabay

Just over six months ago Digital Asset Management was a totally new subject for me. I hadn’t ever come across the term and had no idea that this industry even existed. Should I have known about DAM? Well, having worked at a digital marketing agency I was more than familiar with the trials and tribulations of managing vast sums of content and important files… Having now been part of FotoWare for just over half a year, creating interviews with some of their fascinating customers for this very blog, I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve learnt about DAM in that time.

1. DAM stands for ‘Digital Asset Management’ – but what does this actually mean?

Digital Assets are the nuts and bolts that make up your organisation, digitally-speaking of course. This includes everything from media files including photos, videos and audio, but also includes text files like PDF’s – they are important files that hold some value for your organisation.

2. DAM can be used by anyone

FotoWare was born through a desire to solve a problem within the publishing industry. To cut a long story short, they provided a way for photographers’ images to be more easily accessible by the editors on the picture desks. Today, DAM is used by a wide range of companies from a variety of industries. From Retail & Manufacturing to Police departments, and Museums to Marketing teams.

3. Metadata is a life-saver

Metadata is instrumental in helping you save time and be more organized and chances are you already use it on a regular basis without even knowing! Simply put, metadata is data that provides information about other data. Titles, keywords and tags all contribute to giving context to their subject – e.g. a video or photo – as well as the date, time and type of file (mp3 / mp4 / mov / jpeg / png). Attributing metadata to your assets enables them to be managed effectively within DAM and means you can find what you want, when you want.

4. DAM saves time

A recurring theme in each of the customer interviews I have conducted over the past few months is that using DAM has increased efficiency within the respective organisations. Whether it be the social media team being able to locate and use approved content without chasing confirmation, or the marketing team simply being able to find the assets they need quicker than before, DAM is helping companies to get work done faster and more effectively.

5. It’s not just a glorified Dropbox

Naturally, there will always be comparisons between DAM and cloud-sync products, like Dropbox, as both allow you to store and manage your assets from anywhere in the world. However, the key difference between the two is the purpose of the products. DAM’s focus is on the assets, with multiple users being able to automatically access them, whereas cloud-sync products are built to revolve around the single user, with assets being kept private unless shared.

Check out our article on How a DAM is different from Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, and other cloud-sync services for a more in-depth analysis between the two.

6. Determining the ROI

Having spoken with a number of companies who have each benefitted by upgrading to a DAM, it’s always interesting to find out how they determine whether it was worth the investment. For those who create, manage and archive content it’s as simple as calculating the amount of time wasted in the process of searching for and distributing assets. When you consider how much time can be saved on a daily basis, you can then see how much extra, meaningful work could be done instead thanks to DAM.

Find out what other DAM users have to say about their experiences, from The White House Historical AssociationSan Francisco Ballet & Thomas Cook.

If you want to separate the fact from the fiction, then download the eBook that does just that: