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Guide to digital asset management

A digital asset management (DAM) system is a solution that helps organizations and publishers manage and access all of their digital assets through tools like search, workflows and editing features—all in one place.

Digital asset management explained

Content is constantly evolving. Consumers today are building new habits that involve more channels and more types of content than ever before. As a result, organizations and publishers are having to adapt and put solutions in place to help maintain control of their content processes. Successful content businesses are those that reinforce a strong foundation to their content processes and workflows—and digital asset management is one key part of this. By bringing order to the creative process, prioritizing consistency and supporting collaboration among teams, putting a strong digital asset management solution in place now will ensure digital and editorial teams can focus on the future, and be ready for what’s next.

What is digital asset management?

A digital asset management (DAM) system is a solution that helps organizations and publishers manage and access all of their digital assets through tools like search, workflows and editing features—all in one place.

Why is digital asset management important?

These days, every business is a content business. Whether you’re a media company, Fortune 500 organization or eCommerce brand, a successful business strategy starts with ensuring you have the right solutions and foundational systems in place to create consistency in your content output.

Why you need a modern digital asset management solution

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Today’s publishers and brands are focused on strengthening their business core. They understand that in order to succeed, a strong foundation is required to save both time and money. In fact, a recent McKinsey & Company survey of hundreds of executives across industries found 72% say their organizations are considering implementing changes to “core processes and how the company is run” following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

When it comes to building any successful content business—one that supports the brand in delivering on successful customer experiences at scale—an important facet of ensuring you have a strong foundation is implementing a digital asset management (DAM) solution. By acting as a central repository to all of your most important digital assets, a DAM solution helps bring order to the creative process, create a consistent brand narrative and support stronger collaboration

What problems does a digital asset management solution solve?

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For digital leaders—anyone from the chief digital officer and chief product officer to social-media specialists and project managers—the brand is their product. In setting out to establish a content business, these leaders need a system that effectively and proactively allows them to manage their brand narrative in a digital ecosystem. There are three key roadblocks to supporting that digital ecosystem that a DAM aims to help organizations and publishers overcome.

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Chaotic creative processes
Organizations and publishers today work with a variety of content types for everything they produce—including text, photos, audio and video—and these shifts are only expanding that list. A DAM solution aims to bring order to the creative process by increasing functionality for the digital and editorial teams working with these assets to produce content.
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Inconsistent output
With the heightened number of channels to which content is being delivered, and disparate teams working on different projects behind the scenes, organizations and publishers can get lost in trying to achieve a seamless, consistent experience for every user. A DAM solution aims to act as a business’s central repository of assets, making it easier to ensure a uniform approach to content is being produced across channels.
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Lack of collaboration
Unclear and undefined roles and permissions create bottlenecks in the content process. Digital asset management works to solve this by supporting organizations and publishers in strengthening information sharing and collaboration amongst digital and editorial teams at every stage of content creation—from planning and creation, to review, version control, approval and license management.

How Brightspot approaches digital asset management

Brightspot’s digital asset management solution helps organizations and publishers manage and access all of their digital assets easily through a powerful and modern platform with integrated search, workflows, permissions and editing tools all in one place.

Brightspot’s DAM solution makes finding assets easy and intuitive. Advanced capabilities like word proximity, diacritical-marks search and exact-phrase search make locating assets seamless for the user, while AI also drives intelligent image and video analysis to identify objects, people, text and activities.

Federated search is an especially powerful tool that comes with the Brightspot platform, and allows you to query a third-party database, like Getty Images, directly from our solution, saving time and making finding assets easier. Assets can be imported as a Brightspot content type, then edited, all without having to leave the CMS or rely heavily on IT support. One of the other possibilities through federated search via Brightspot is the ability to connect to another—often homegrown—DAM or storage location for assets.

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Integration-ready approach to asset management
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Integrated search capabilities across internal and external libraries
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Roles and permissions settings ensure appropriate use and access
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AI- and ML-powered image and asset management
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In-CMS editing tools and powerful version control

Inside Brightspot: Integrated search

Enjoy the benefit of browsing and importing directly from external sources like Getty or Youtube with an integrated search feature that reduces extra clicks and makes the image upload and management process as fast as possible.

Why digital asset management matters for your business

Now that we’ve identified the key challenges a DAM solution aims to solve, the bigger picture as to why digital asset management matters is becoming clearer. To deliver on a strong brand experience, and create and promote a positive image, a DAM solution matters to organizations and publishers for four core reasons.
  1. It brings order to the creative process: At the center of delivering on the experience customers want is first increasing efficiency between digital and editorial teams throughout the entire content lifecycle. Without this, content creation and distribution becomes chaotic. A DAM with the right search capabilities, image and asset management and editing tools in one place saves time and money in the long run for organizations and publishers.
  2. It allows easy access to assets that matter: Today, digital assets like photos and videos are key to driving engagement and making content pop. It’s no longer just the words on a page that will drive people to react and respond to your content—visually, businesses need to stand out. A DAM solution ensures you have the right assets at your fingertips to bring your stories to life beyond the text.
  3. It makes consistency key: Brand consistency has never been more important than it is today. For digital and editorial teams, reinforcing brand narratives through meaningful content is key, and at the center of this is ensuring your organization delivers a consistent output/ experience with these ideas reinforced. According to Oberlo, consistent presentation of a brand has been seen to increase revenue by 33%. For publishers, specifically, where advertising plays a huge role in revenue generation, delivering on a consistent content output—both aesthetically and emotionally—is what will keep advertisers confident in their partnerships. A DAM solution helps establish a consistent, seamless digital experience for the consumer by making it easy to access a bank of assets for every piece of content.
  4. It supports stronger collaboration: Stronger collaboration via the right technology and tools is especially important for businesses in the era of remote working. For organizations and publishers, a DAM solution offers robust admin capabilities to set clear roles and permissions, as well as to establish workflows to better track reviews, edits and rejections.
Los Angeles Times Brightspot CMS case study

Digital asset management in action: Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Times needed to modernize its editorial newsroom systems to centrally manage the intake, production, and distribution of content—quickly. The business had a tight 12-month timeline to move all its publishing infrastructure off the Tribune’s systems following the company’s acquisition by biotech billionaire Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong.

The publisher had millions of archival assets in digital storage—videos, documents, images—with no way for the newsroom to access, search, or leverage the archive.

With Brightspot, the publisher consolidated six legacy content stores into Brightspot Media Desk, giving the newsroom instant access to all photos, videos, graphics and articles ever created in the Los Angeles Times’ 100-plus year history.

Learn more here

Digital asset management resources

Brightspot handles images a little differently than other CMSs, specifically in a way that gives businesses more freedom and flexibility with how they want to work with images. In this way, forget your notions of a CMS and a digital asset manager. With its robust capabilities and integration-ready flexibility, Brightspot is the only digital-asset management platform you'll ever need.
Brightspot’s Media Desk, built on top of a powerful and flexible search engine, makes it possible to find, edit and publish content faster and more efficiently than ever before.
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