Where Does a DAM System Fit in the Big Picture?

A DAM supports a bigger picture in a company. This is why the DAM market is booming… if all those “market reports” that come out are to be believed – and given how many of them there are, and how expensive just the reports are, it’s hard to doubt. As we’ve noted before, a DAM system is part of a marketing and management system to assist in communications of all sorts in an increasingly diverse environment made up of many types of media.

As Jake Athey cogently points out in Marketing Tech News, in “How digital asset management takes immersive marketing strategies to the next level“, the intent of these combined tools is marketing. To reach and retain customers today requires a mix of tools and expertise across a broad spectrum.

Immersive marketing is the use of a mix of methods (advertising, public relations, word-of-mouth, digital marketing, partnerships and more) to ‘surround the consumer’ with a consistent message about a brand.

It is not enough to have a searchable library of images. A DAM system must track usage, rights, create value in its connectivity to other marketing tools, and demonstrate utility in its diversity… a tall order, but, as this article points out:

Immersive marketing works when there is consistent storytelling across all channels. This brand consistency ultimately comes down to knowing what digital assets are available, which assets need to be created, and where these assets should be shared.

A truly useful DAM is a tool that exists as part of a tool that serves marketing, and isn’t an end in and of itself.

Digital asset management (DAM) systems help marketers to store, organise and find their content easily. As a centralised dashboard that manages the adaptation, distribution, and re-use of digital assets, it unlocks the opportunity for teams to focus on the tasks they need to, while designing more impactful marketing campaigns with proven ROI.

AI, Machine Learning, and Your DAM

This week, we highlight a couple of great articles on how Artificial Intelligence is affecting Digital Asset Management systems, and discuss AI’s strengths and weaknesses.

Digital Asset Management News has an original, lengthy and meaty article by Ralph Windsor, DAM News Editor and Project Director of DAM Consultants, Daydream.  It is titled Subconscious and Conscious Data: Where AI & Machine Learning Could Create Genuine Value for DAM.

He notes that AI isn’t a magic bullet, and that human conscious and unconscious data is necessary to realize effective tagging and metadata to deliver an optimal DAM experience; and that sales teams are likely to over-promote AI’s ability to deliver on these needs.

He also spends valuable time on Machine Learning:

“While Machine Learning is frequently mentioned by vendor marketing materials, they rarely implement any form of it themselves. The reason is because getting useful results from ML necessitates custom development work and frequently their core architecture was never built with this kind of use-case in mind.”

He makes the point that DAM vendors will likely need to get more involved in the AI/ML custom development work, or face disintermediation and end up merely reselling the technology of others; and then goes into an excellent amount of detail about how this can be avoided, something DAM vendors should heed.

Mindy Carner of Metashop has written (another) fine article, this one also on AI, with some great citations, titled Artificial Intelligence (AI) is Not an End-All to Metadata, it is Built From it.

It makes some similar points, basically that AI and ML are not going to make taxonomy, tagging and metadata work by librarians obsolete any time soon, as the business changes faster than these systems can be reprogrammed to adjust to contextual changes.

One of the major points of these essays is that while AI and ML will be useful, but be wary of the effort it will take to make them work well for your DAM system.