Assets is a term that can cause confusion: traditionally, the word ‘asset’ is associated with financial assets such as shares, property or policies. It’s often used in the world of finance. Digital assets, however, are usually files such as images, video or presentations that are valuable to a company. The difference: digital assets contain information. Each and every company produces a lot of information. But information is only useful when it’s available to authorized users at all times. Our blog post explains what a digital asset is, what significance they have in today’s business world, and what role Digital Asset Management (DAM) system plays.
We’ve already explained that a digital asset is, simply, an asset that’s digital. But what is an ‘asset’? Anything that is purchased and then regularly brings in money, such as a share. The difference is that a digital asset isn’t physical, it’s digital. Digital assets could include: images, videos, graphics, audio files, animations, presentations and even the relevant user rights.
Together, these are files resulting from a creative process. For example, a graphic designer creates an infographic or a photographer takes high-quality photos at a photo shoot. Even writing a blog post like this is a creative process. This process is what injects information into a digital asset. In marketing speak, this is called content.
Why is content now an asset? It goes without saying that creating this content costs money. The photographer wants to get paid for their photo shoot and photos, and the Marketing Manager within the company, who writes snappy product texts, must also be paid. But: content can be cleverly used in marketing campaigns.
With content, products can be better advertised and understood. A cool image, a powerful text or a soundbite can significantly contribute to sales success. Even internal documents only intended for use by employees can be digital assets. The value for the company lies in the costs in creating the asset.
There is a catch when it comes to storing digital assets: in many companies, they often spend their existence in poorly structured data carriers. They could be hiding in computer hard drives, emails, servers or even CDs in a cupboard, completely forgotten. These files are not being used, making them worthless.
A lot of information about these assets gets lost in the chaos of data, such as copyright information: Who took this picture? What licenses were agreed at the time? Can we even still use this photo? Nobody has a clear overview. One thing’s for sure: information is only valuable to a company when it’s stored in a structured manner, accessible to all parties, and easily understandable.
How is this possible? That’s where Digital Asset Management comes in. Using a DAM system, data can be saved, organized and shared. Rights and licenses can be easily managed using DAM. Allocating metadata lets you manage media content in the DAM system. The benefit is clear: content is centrally accessible for all employees or certain user groups and can be easily found - because it’s underlaid with information.