DAM versus PIM
Digital Asset Management
Digital Assets are all the pieces of content (copy, photos, videos, graphic designs, audio files etc.) that an organization has. A DAM system helps you preserve, manage and share them from one central location. In the DAM system, the digital assets are organized based on the specific needs of an organization. All stakeholders (employees, customers, partners etc.) have controlled, secure access and can find what they need quickly and easily.
Differences and similarities between DAM and PIM
Nice! So DAM manages our digital assets and PIM our product information. Two different worlds. Right?
No, they are not! For example, anyone who has to set up a marketing campaign likes to have attractive, creative content and the right product specifications.
Each company, each organization has its own specific needs. These determine whether your organization will benefit from a DAM or a PIM system, or both. Let’s put them side by side for a moment.
Central management of
Mainly used by
The overview above clearly shows that DAM and PIM have different purposes, they work with different data and are essentially used by different departments within an organization. But bottom line they do the same thing: managing data and making sure it is easily accessible and used optimally with the right permissions.
A manufacturing company that works white label and doesn’t market any of its own products might benefit much more from a PIM than a DAM system. A retail organization that distributes a new folder every week with different products on sale each time, cannot do without DAM (and will benefit greatly from integration with a PIM). So the needs depend on the nature of the business.
Integrating DAM and PIM
The major problem in many organizations is the use of different stand-alone systems, from which data must be transferred from one to the other. Often the right data is hard to find and people have to work in systems they are not familiar with. If they do find the desired data, it is sometimes stored locally on a computer. Data gets scattered and control and management (and the value of the management systems) is lost.
An integration of DAM and PIM prevents this. It also offers additional benefits and makes 1+1 more than 2! By connecting DAM and PIM, organizations integrate all their product information with all their digital assets. This can be automated to a large extent according to the needs of the users. It goes without saying that the marketing person finds peace of mind when they no longer have to worry whether the information they are broadcasting is correct.
Because DAM optimizes the storage and searchability of the asset library, it also helps categorize products in the PIM system. In this way, both systems become fully searchable in the same way and different users can be given the correct access rights. A good taxonomy and metadata are the key to success.
With an integration of DAM and PIM, collaboration improves, efficiency increases and your brands become stronger in the market. Both your employees and your customers will benefit!
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Get more out of your digital assets with a good taxonomy and metadata
PIM, DAM, taxonomy, metadata
A designer who needs to create a publication needs product information and digital assets.
- The product information is collected in a PIM or Product Information Management system
- Digital assets (photos, videos, logos, illustrations etc.) are managed in a DAM or Digital Asset Management system
Taxonomy and metadata are the keys to success in these solutions. They speed up the designer’s workflow and ensure that you get the most out of your digital assets.
- Taxonomy is a form of classification. For example, look at biology, where animals are classified into species and subspecies. The subspecies have all the characteristics of the species, but differ from each other. So too in computer science. Taxonomy defines a classification and a hierarchy, making information from different systems easier to exchange.
- Metadata is data about data, about digital assets in this case.
Investing in taxonomy and metadata pays off
So the major benefits of a good taxonomy and metadata are that you:
- find the right digital assets faster
- get a much higher ROI from your DAM because you can use the digital assets much more effectively.
“Do I have to provide all those digital assets with metadata manually?! Another tedious job…”
Well, no! Catena Company analyzes your data and digital assets and together we determine the optimal taxonomy and metadata strategy for your DAM. The assignment of metadata to your digital assets can then be automated to a large extent, just like the management of these assets.
Thanks to this automation, we can apply metadata at a much deeper level, without it costing you any extra effort.
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How artificial intelligence speeds up your marketing content creation process
Adobe Sensei brings AI under the hood of the Adobe suite
Sensei is Adobe’s substructure to integrate AI throughout the Adobe suite. Since its introduction some five years ago, the platform has expanded to support a wide range of Adobe SaaS applications. Sensei’s versatility and broad integration allow the algorithm to learn from data it collects from numerous applications.
Adobe uses under-the-hood integrations to add Adobe Sensei to their products. Creative Cloud software such as Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects and Premiere Pro are fully supported by Adobe Sensei.
Smart automation of Digital Asset Management for brand owners
Integration of DAM
DAM (Digital Asset Management) systems allow you to easily store, organize, search and share digital assets (photo, video, InDesign files, PDF, …). They do this by adding metadata to the files and indexing them.
DAM systems are also increasingly integrated with other systems such as WCM (web content management), CMS (customer management systems), PIM (product information management), project management, marketing automation, … You name it. Catena Company has specialized in the seamless integration of DAM with other systems for many years.
Integrations of DAM systems simplify access to specific digital assets. Thus they ensure a smoother collaboration between different employees and departments. Consider, for example, a graphic designer who needs product data to create technical sheets.
DAM automation with AI
However, it remains a challenge to optimally utilize the enormous amount of digital assets, to deliver the right customer experience to different target customers. AI makes it possible to find the right content faster based on more intuitive searches. Feel free to compare it to the way Spotify makes suggestions, specifically for you.
With AI, processes such as searching for images where, for example a person wearing sunglasses appears, can be automated very easily. Simple actions like tagging large amounts of images are done completely automatically with AI. Categorizing digital assets thus becomes much more dynamic and the entire process speeds up enormously thanks to automation.
So if you have a good picture of the customer you want to reach with your marketing, then by describing that persona you can very quickly create exactly the right content that your target customer will appreciate.
Automate the creation and management of your digital assets
AI thus accelerates your content creation process in two different ways:
- Sensei offers you a comprehensive (and rapidly expanding) pallet of intelligent tools in applications across the Adobe suite.
- DAM automation with AI enables you to more easily manage and optimally use your digital assets.
Catena Company has been bringing together expertise in content creation, IT and automation for years. New AI-based tools in Adobe applications are often quickly picked up by users. Those who want to master the finer points can turn to Catena Company for training.
Managing the ever-growing amount of digital assets is often a more difficult task for many brand owners. It is often time-consuming and – because of the many manual operations – error-prone. As a brand owner, automating your DAM is one of the best investments you can make. Especially now that marketAI can significantly speed up and improve the process.
DAM: an indispensable link in any successful marketing strategy
Many marketing professionals will surely agree: a successful marketing strategy stands or falls with having professional images. Nothing is more important than images that highlight products, services, events, people and/or locations with razor sharp clarity.
Strong visuals, animations and videos often play the leading role in any successful campaign. Those campaigns are often not limited to one channel. A successful omnichannel marketing strategy often addresses multiple channels. Social media, print, kiosks, portals, websites. All must be provided with high quality visual content. And precisely because of this enormous added value, neither cost nor effort is often spared. By calling in professional photographers and videographers, who use high-tech means such as HD, 4K and 3D cameras, steadycams, video cranes and drones, every marketing department can dispose of excellent visual material. But even those who have to make do on a more discreet budget can use the better smartphone and a few tools to create professional content themselves. After some hands-on training, any marketing strategist can now provide premium content themselves.
Whether you call on outside expertise, or whether or not you work with a colleague, the end result will find its way to marketers via hard drives, USB sticks, emails, WeTransfer links, OneDrive shares, or even still DVDs. To then be stored on computers, servers, NAS systems, SharePoint folders, … Often without logic or structure. The fact that these valuable files are often not protected against irreversible deletion or safeguarded by a solid backup strategy is unfortunately still too often an Achilles’ heel.
And so it happens that over time, the first problems arise. The once precious files cannot be recovered, are overwritten, or even deleted. Thus not only the most important marketing assets of a company disappear, but also opportunities to put the core business of the company prominently in the picture. As a result, every well thought-out marketing strategy collapses like a house of cards.
What is often overlooked is the importance of managing all those valuable digital assets. An organized and structured way to quickly find the right files to share with others can provide a solution. And it is precisely for this task that “DAM” systems are ideally suited. Digital Asset Management systems are not new, but have been gaining tremendous popularity in recent years. And rightly so. They provide a central place where all assets can be managed. And just by securing management and storage in one point, it also becomes particularly easy to find and share assets with colleagues, external partners or use them on social media. All stakeholders can have easy access as well as the ability to access and/or download files.
Anyone using a DAM solution will find that long searches for just those crucial images will soon become a thing of the past. Anyone who may have access to the solution can quickly locate the desired files through simple searches. Often the search can use not only words that appear in the name of the file, but also information that was added to the file by the photographer via metadata. Copyright information, the name of the photographer, GPS coordinates, … you name it. If it was provided, it can be searched for.
DAM systems can also allow assets to be provided with ‘keywords’ or a ‘vocabulary’. Using these predetermined lists of keywords can significantly speed up the search process. Assets can also be assigned to ‘categories’ or ‘groups’. It is also possible to link assets together, allowing related assets to be located quickly. Anyone who wants to make use of additional information that is inherently linked to an asset, and is not satisfied with the standard fields, can indicate during configuration that additional fields can be assigned. This information can also be searched based on afterwards.
File retrieval and sharing
A DAM system makes it particularly easy to find assets. One can often not only download files directly, but also collect them in collections, for subsequent downloading or sharing with colleagues or external contacts. It is often even possible to use a direct link, making it even easier to use on social media channels.
Access to the central system is often possible via a Web browser. Most platforms use HTTPS to establish a secure connection. Login procedures are always done via a login and password. Those opting for a ‘workgroup’ or ‘enterprise’ solution often have the option to choose to link to the Active Directory or Ldap server during setup. This allows users to use the same login credentials they already know from other enterprise applications. Perhaps it is just as important that external parties such as publishers, editors, journalists, advertising agencies, suppliers, retailers and customers have direct, 24/7 access to the latest and most accurate content. Wherever they are, regardless of time zone, access the assets is always assured.
Adding and collecting content becomes much easier. By giving suppliers access to the portal, they have the ability to add their assets immediately. And this eliminates the need for all other delivery channels. The beauty of a DAM system is that during the input procedures, crucial information can be added immediately. This saves a lot of searching and misery afterwards. Systems that are often fed with generic images can be equipped with artificial intelligence. Just such technology can ensure that images are automatically provided with the right keywords.
Sometimes it may be important to integrate with other systems such as editorial workflows or product information management (PIM) systems. Or perhaps it is a requirement that information can be read or added by external platforms. Through Web or REST services, this can often be obtained. Linking multiple systems creates robust entities that seamlessly provide each other with the latest up-to-date assets and information.
DAM systems can often be equipped with a range of tools that can automate operations. Those who previously relied on a graphics partner to perform minor operations on assets can now easily do it themselves. Crop an image, scale it, convert it to another color space, another file format, or add a watermark. By adding actions, users can perform these operations themselves immediately. This allows you to save significantly on additional costs with external partners.
Installation can often take various forms. Companies that do not have their own professional server environment may opt for a managed solution in the cloud. Those with their own solid server infrastructure use a formula where everything can be set up on-premise.
Adobe Bridge is not a DAM
Despite the visual similarities between the Adobe Bridge program and a DAM system, it is important to emphasize that the two applications are miles apart. A misconception that unfortunately still circulates. Adobe Bridge gives individual users the ability to visually retrieve local images quickly, but is not a solid server solution with the aforementioned features. Therefore, placing these solutions under the same heading is completely unjustified.
Several technologies have had a huge impact on business over the past few decades. Just like the advent of email, ERP and PIM systems, DAM solutions provide the next step in increasing the efficiency of any business. Any marketing department looking to engage with content professionally has every interest in having access to a robust platform. Whether it’s images, visuals, videos, interactive ads, animations or other content. By centrally managing these assets, all marketing assets become easily accessible. Internal marketing or sales colleagues, external editors, resellers … Everyone can get to work with high-quality content, in a centralized and secure environment.
For more than 15 years, Catena Company has been a prominent partner supporting companies across the Benelux in implementing the right DAM solution. This unique expertise allows us to optimally assist clients in rolling out a powerful marketing strategy using the right tools.
Want to learn more about how DAM can boost your business? Then don’t hesitate to contact us with no obligation.