I am a bit of language nerd. In the earlier days of online marketing and advertising, I suggested the phrase ‘social media’ was redundant. I posited that ‘all media is social,’ because all marketing communications media is intended to establish, grow, or maintain a relationship between providers of products and services and their prospects and customers. If it’s about a relationship, it must be social, right?
The phrase ‘digital asset management’ can elicit similar confusion depending on how an organization is leveraging it. It certainly encompasses the traditional definition of rich media organization, but it can also be a reference for non-digital assets such as the physical collection of an art gallery or a fashion house. In these use cases, a digital representation or reference to the physical asset is being managed. Thus, ‘digital’ can refer to the type of assets or the method of managing it.
None of this matters as much as the need to manage assets according to needs. The size of your organization doesn’t matter, or whether your asset volume is a hundred gigabytes or multiple petabytes. We all need DAM to some degree, to organize, retrieve, share, and re-use what we have, efficiently and effectively.
You only have to look at the success of Marie Kondo to understand why we all need DAM. The KonMari method of decluttering, tidying, keeping and organizing the physical things that have value in our life (spark joy, as she says) is a simplified version of what happens with a well-run DAM initiative within an organization. But our world is increasingly digital, personally and professionally. If you ‘KonMari’ your desktop, email, and paper files, matching them to each other and deleting/archiving all that is no longer needed, you will understand the benefits it delivers. (If you also apply sound principles of DAM taxonomic structure and naming standards as you go, it works even better!) Once you experience what this can do for you personally, understanding what it can do for your organization is clearer, making the case to upper management easier.
‘Asset management’ is essential for any well-run organization. How much of it should be digital and how that is accomplished via which solution is unique to each. DAM solutions will continue to evolve as will our uses for them, but DAM to some degree is needed to consistently grow a brand. I say this because another adage I share in my consulting – a company is its digital assets. How it presents and stays relevant and engaging to its audiences is a reflection of how well it articulates its structure and hierarchy of assets to reflect its organizational requirements, its product/service, Industries/markets, and marketing/sales structure and processes. It must be right or nothing else works.
What do you think?
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