DAM Basics: Creative Asset Management (for Enterprise)

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This is the first of our DAM Basics series starting with creative asset management for enterprise. Want the DAM basics for SMBs or for startups?

This is for enterprise marketing teams hungry to extract optimal value from their growing inventories of creative digital assets.

The aim here is to help you understand what digital asset management is vs. creative asset management and how both can and should be part of your growth strategy.

What Is Digital Asset Management (and Creative Asset Management)?

Let’s start with the DAM basics of core definitions.

What is digital asset management? (DAM)

Besides being a bottomless resource for DAM puns, digital asset management (DAM) is a collection of processes that encompass creating, storing, organizing, managing and retrieving digital assets.

What is creative asset management?

Creative asset management is a subset process of digital asset management more concerned with the features that enable creatives working in media, marketing and production teams.

To unify the two, you could think of creative asset management as “the work-in-progress DAM” as it’s sometimes referred to.

Why are DAM and creative asset management important for large enterprise content and product marketing teams?

Think of the avalanche of digital assets produced by enterprise creative marketing teams daily. Even traditionally photo and still-image oriented industries like e-commerce and fashion retail are turning to heavier rich media digital assets like video.

Some e-commerce enterprise brands are even rolling out realistic, interactive 3D product modeling using CAD, STEP, or STL files.

The results are impressive. Imagine zooming right inside a piece of footwear, street-view style, to the point where you can almost smell the leather.

Terabytes of rich media assets require a DAM miracle.

We said no DAM wordplay in this article, right? That didn’t last long. No more, we promise.

As enterprise creative digital assets snowball almost exponentially, creative teams need to work minor miracles to keep creative workflows streamlined and scalable.

Just consider all the moving parts of enterprise creative workflows that make up the digital asset lifecycle from creation, through to deployment and optimization.

  1. Digital asset planning
  2. Digital asset creation 
  3. Digital asset management
  4. Then distribution
  5. Optimization
  6. Asset preservation

In enterprise creative workflows in particular, any one of those digital asset lifecycle stages involves further sub-processes.

Sustaining high-quality content distribution at scale

Without a clear, universal DAM strategy and creative asset management system in place, all the moving parts of production constantly drop out of alignment.

For smaller teams, it’s not so much of a problem. For large-scale enterprise and global teams, high-friction creative workflows translate into massive opportunity cost.

Confused feedback, lost digital asset files, mixups of wrong on the wrong version; constantly falling out of step not only diminishes content quality and value—it makes scaling content creation almost impossible.

For enterprise, DAM security is an increasing priority

Access control, security and cloud compliance. It’s always high on the list.

The larger your digital asset libraries, the more valuable they are to would-be cybercriminals and rogue insiders, and the heavier the penalties for compliance gaps.

The UK Government’s Cyber Security Breaches 2021 Survey discovered four in ten businesses experienced some kind of cyber security breach or attack.

It’s no surprise that enterprises that want to master DAM and creative asset management prize latest generation cloud DAM solutions able to offer detailed user management, automated cloud governance scans and customized policy management.

Defining a Clear Enterprise DAM and Creative Asset Management Strategy

Without DAM and creative asset management, the very process of creating, collaborating on and retrieving digital media assets incurs new costs that start to eat away at the value your rich media assets are supposed to generate.

Preventing the disorganized chaos, friction and actual financial losses means revamping your DAM strategy early before the scenario moves from loss-prevention to damage limitation.

This is especially true if you’re currently using a traditional DAM strategy with traditional tools disconnected from one another.

Wrapping up

For enterprises serious about maintaining the kind of creative asset workflow fluidity that small businesses enjoy, it’s worth switching to a modern headless DAM platform.

The rich availability of API custom integrations, workflow automation recipes and extensive security features makes a latest generation cloud-based DAM solution the way to go.