As more players enter the eCommerce space, the stakes are higher than ever for organizations to provide the best possible experience for their website visitors. As a result, organizations are investing heavily into media to improve customer experience, purchase confidence and more.
With organizations investing more in their visuals, there’s an increased need to store them effectively – and ensure they’re always associated with the correct product data. This has organizations looking at additional solutions: namely, digital asset management (DAM) and product information management (PIM). But, with both solutions offering seemingly similar feature sets, companies are left wondering which of the two is best for them. And those that already have a PIM in place are left wondering – if I already have a PIM, do I really need a DAM?
Although a DAM and PIM share similar benefits, they each serve a different core purpose. In this post, we’ll review the definition of PIM and DAM, the key differences between the two, and how they can work together to help your company thrive.
What’s the Difference Between a PIM and a DAM?
Although there are some overlapping functionalities between a PIM and a DAM, their core purposes are different. DAM is primarily meant for managing digital assets like images, videos, and documents, and ensuring brand consistency across an organization. PIM is primarily meant for managing product information and making sure it’s accurate and consistent. PIM is used to centralize product information and optimize the product lifecycle, while a DAM is used to manage your own company’s digital assets.
Let’s look at each solution in more detail.
Digital Asset Management (DAM)
A digital asset management system (DAM) helps companies manage, organize, share and distribute their digital assets all from within one central library. It improves the productivity of marketing teams and increases the ROI of content and creative programs. A great example of a DAM is MediaValet.
Here are three key benefits organizations see with a DAM:
- Organizing Rich Media: DAM makes storing, managing, and finding brand and marketing material (photos, videos, etc.) easy with artificial intelligence, keywords, and advanced searches.
- Ensuring Media Security: Access permissions for internal and external users give organizations tighter rein on their digital media, plus it offers version control and history tracking.
- Providing Better Media Sharing: A DAM includes features that enable easy sharing of large media files, such as high-res images, large-format videos, etc., over email or branded portals.
Who is a DAM best for?
A DAM solution is best suited for organizations that are dealing with a high volume of digital assets and need a central location to store them where they can be easily accessed by a range of stakeholders—both internal and external. A cloud-based DAM is a perfect fit for geo-dispersed teams who need access to their assets any time, from anywhere, and who require varying user permissions. Teams that frequently share assets back and forth and may need access to different versions of those assets will benefit greatly from a DAM. It is very useful for teams that use their creative assets inside other platforms (like Adobe InDesign for example), and those who have brand assets on various channels.
Product Information Management (PIM)
A PIM is a system used to optimize product distribution and ensure that all information and product-related content is managed in one centralized location. A great example of a PIM is Akeneo.
To better understand how it works on its own, here are 3 key benefits of PIM:
- Managing product information: PIM makes it easy to ensure that all product information that reaches your audience is correct, consistent, and complete.
- Creating Positive Customer Experiences: With a PIM, your audience can get a better understanding of your products through various visuals alongside relevant product information, providing them with additional confidence of the product and potential purchases.
- Sharing information across sales channels: A PIM acts as a central hub for all your product information, that helps ensure that your content is always up to date across all your sales channels.
Who is a PIM Best for?
PIM is the ideal solution for any retailer with multiple SKUs and a dynamic product range. It best suits organizations that use multiple sales and marketing channels to support a sophisticated product portfolio that needs frequent updates. PIM helps all stakeholders have access to up-to-date product data, which is useful for those using multiple channels with data generated from multiple sources. Retailers who are employing eCommerce tools and providing an expansive amount of product information for online customers are an especially great fit as PIM is crucial for companies who prioritize fast time-to-market.
The Bottom Line
There aren’t many scenarios where an organization would need a PIM without a DAM. PIM could maybe be used on its own by companies who are dealing with a lot of product information and data, but not necessarily a large amount of complex visual assets that support product sales. For example, a company that is just getting set up with eCommerce and only has a small suite of basic images. On the other hand, companies who are not dealing with a large amount of product information or data, but are looking to manage, organize and distribute a vast amount of digital assets would benefit from using a DAM on its own.
Complementary, not Competing
While a DAM can store similar information to a PIM using custom attributes, that information is used to search for the asset, not pushed to different platforms. PIM is designed to manage products and product information, while a DAM is designed to manage digital assets.
So, how do they work together? Here, we highlight 3 key benefits of a PIM and DAM Integration in order to answer that question:
- Eliminate Content Siloes: Seamlessly sync product information between your PIM and DAM.
- Optimize Discoverability: Establish a single-source-of-truth for all your product data and digital assets.
- Scale Your Commerce Strategy: Quickly deliver product and branded content across all marketing channels.
To address the question: If I already have a PIM, do I still need a DAM? The answer is YES. After a deep dive into the functionalities and benefits of both a PIM and a DAM, it becomes very clear that the systems are extremely complementary to each other and are not competitors. Having both a PIM and DAM in place gives your company a steep competitive advantage in a variety of ways.
MediaValet is a leader in cloud-based digital asset management that helps organizations manage, organize and share their digital assets, improving productivity and increasing ROI. See MediaValet in action today.