What marketers need to know about the digital asset management industry
DAM Basics

What Marketers Need to Know About the Future of DAM

  • 7 min read

If you’ve recently been in the market for a digital asset management solution (DAM), you’ve likely come across expert predictions about the future of the industry. And what you’ve probably been reading is a lot of different and highly varied information about the future potential for success of the hundreds of vendors out there for you to choose from. Here, we’ll break down 2 of the most common (and polar opposite) market projections people tend to ask us about and then show you examples that illustrate how companies are actually using DAM today and thus, what we feel are 5 really important catalysts for the future growth in the DAM industry.

DAM Market Projections

When you start looking into reports and commentaries for DAM, you will likely find a wide range of future predictions for growth. Some of these turn out as optimistic as this headline:

Digital Asset Management (DAM) Market on Course to Reach US$7.48B by 2024; Emphasis on Rich Media Content Shapes Growth.”

That would require a compound annual growth rate of 18.8% over the next 8 years.

Such high expectations build off of 2 things:

1. The incredible demand across most industries for rich media content in all promotional materials that advertise brands and products, and

2. An increase in the number of vendors offering solutions including various DAM functionalities.

Other conservative predictions reflect a moderate scope of expected growth. Worried about unfounded “hockey stick” growth numbers, a lack of consideration for the reality of vendor turnover, possible double-counting of industry revenue, and other potential research problems that lead to future projections that seem too good to be true, DAM industry expert Ralph Windsor has reframed the issue. He has focused the conversation on the value a “digital asset” actually provides to the people who use them each day. Windsor is of the mind that if we start talking about what digital assets are in practice, we will have a clearer idea on where the DAM market is going.

No matter which end of the spectrum you fall on, what’s not debated is the fact that businesses are going to increasingly need an easy way to structure, organize, access and use their digital resources – and only more so as the years wear on. Gartner considers DAM to be a key solution undergoing a kind of “renaissance” that is going to help solve some of the most pressing future marketing challenges. Every day, organizations create new & innovative ways to use their DAM, and those solutions are quickly becoming the catalysts that are driving the industry onward and upward.

Use-Cases for the Future of DAM

At their heart, these catalysts really are simple. They are merely the ways in which businesses are using digital asset management technology day-to-day to uncover the amazing potential of tool integrations and grow business impact.

DAM as Teaching Tool

Known for it’s innovation in dance, The National Ballet of Canada is embracing technology, such as the cloud and digital asset management software, in newfound ways. In addition to using their DAM as a central library for all of its marketing assets and historical footage, the National Ballet is planning to use it to enable new teaching methods. While instructing, their Artistic Staff will have direct and on-demand access to 65 years of performance and choreography footage (via tablet). Their DAM has become an in-studio teaching tool, meant to help make it easier for today’s dancers to learn and improve dance techniques, utilizing the expertise and experience of their Artistic Staff and that of great ballet dancers before them. From YouTube videos to online universities, video has become an unreplaceable teaching tool. With the video quality increasing and driving file sizes up, it is only natural that solutions that help to organize and easily share those video resources will become a requirement for many organizations.

DAM as Customer-Facing Company Portfolio

ATOMIC Design is a set-building company that started out by designing some of the most iconic rock-and-roll performances across the world, and in recent years has turned to corporate and sport set designing and building. When customers sit down and consider ATOMIC for their next event, it’s crucial that customers can view recent similar designs and finished products. Once they adopted their DAM, ATOMIC discovered that the easiest way to show potential customers the breadth of what is possible is to use their DAM as a central showcase of past work. Their DAM has become a customer-facing company portfolio used to inspire customer choice and future design brainstorming sessions. With the explosion of enterprise content marketing, being able to access customer information, presentations, and high-quality design samples from any location at any time is a requirement for more businesses every day. That level of access helps drive business growth and requires reliable infrastructure to support it – DAM is rising to the occasion.

DAM to Drive eCommerce

In order to grow their online presence and remain dedicated to impeccable customer satisfaction, the products of a leading German retailer must align with all of the up-and-coming eCommerce trends the younger buyers are coming to expect. eCommerce goes a step further nowadays, as younger women aren’t simply looking for pictures of blouses and dresses – they want personalized online experiences that reflect an understanding of their needs, interests and passions. An enormous amount of constantly changing visual content is required to fulfill this demand. This retailer is not alone. Businesses across industries find that their broad customer pool increasingly demand easy online access to products for purchase. DAM is becoming a key enabler of their new eCommerce strategy, allowing them to have instant access to the images and videos of their fashion collections to keep up with constantly changing demands.

DAM as Part of an Efficient Design Process

Many businesses complete design work using the Adobe Suite. As DAM systems expand their product offering, companies are beginning to seamlessly integrate their DAM with their creative processes. Without leaving their desktop, creative teams are now able to check assets in and out of their DAM directly from within Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop, ensuring that no one else can edit or use the assets while they’re being updated. Once checked back in, the DAM replaces the previous assets and unlocks the new version. Anytime assets become linked in the Adobe Suite, they are automatically linked together in the DAM, ensuring referenced assets are always the latest versions. For designers, it’s no longer necessary to store mass amounts of files on their desktop – they can grab everything they need directly from their DAM.

DAM as Part of Enterprise Ecosystem

As the DAM market develops, people are thinking less about using their DAM as a tool at the forefront, and are now thinking of it as a “hero” to be hidden in the background of an organization. With integrations into existing business systems, such as Office 365, Hootsuite, eCommerce CMS and Active Directory, it’s becoming less and less necessary for people to have direct access to the DAM system, but rather have indirect access through these systems. This change in thinking is transforming DAM into an enterprise-wide system, rather than just a marketing tool.

The use cases above are incredibly important examples when talking about the future of the DAM industry. DAM technology is becoming relevant in ways that vendors were not anticipating. With each passing day, these kinds of use cases are driving an intense need for digital asset management that is so much more than photo and video storage.

The DAM industry is growing, but not because people simply have the need to handle photos and videos. The industry is achieving real momentum because businesses and teams within those companies have begun to use their DAM to fundamentally change how organizations operate at all levels around digital assets.

MediaValet Team