Alexander Santo

From startups to enterprises, businesses that want to make a name for themselves need an engaging web presence to grow their customer base. Media assets lie at the heart of every campaign, drawing in readers and spreading brand awareness.

Think about all the pieces that go into a single marketing campaign: written assets, photos, graphics, videos, social media posts — the list goes on. Managing these assets effectively is necessary to keep the marketing machine moving forward. If your growing library of assets is spread across multiple computers, cloud platforms and email inboxes, you’re going to have a bad time.

You need a management solution to maintain control over your media assets — and your sanity.

What is media asset management?

The idea behind media asset management (MAM) is simple — it’s the process of using software to control multimedia files, including images, videos and interactive assets. MAM originated in the film and television industry. Studios produced massive amounts of rich media files, and they needed a solution for keeping everything organized and easy to find.

As more types of businesses leveraged video and image files, the solutions grew broader in scope as well. Today, marketers use cloud platforms to manage assets for content creation, collaborate with third parties and optimize workflows.

What is digital asset management?

Another term you might hear is digital asset management (DAM), and you might wonder how it differs from MAM. Originally, DAM solutions focused exclusively on photos, graphics and other types of files, excluding videos and other rich media. Today, there are very few differences between DAM and MAM solutions. In fact, the only major difference you’re likely to encounter is that specific products may be designed exclusively for video libraries. Most solutions you find should be able to handle any type of file you can throw at them.

Who benefits from media asset management?

Anyone who uses a large number of media assets in their work can benefit from using MAM or DAM platforms. Marketers will find that MAM solutions make content creation and distribution much easier.

Here are some of the benefits of using MAM to control your media files:

Brand consistency

Your brand is more than your company’s logo and color palette.

Amazon CEO and Founder Jeff Bezos has been quoted as saying, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” This idea applies just as well to internal meetings as it does to external communications. By that, I mean that you can’t always be in the room when discussions about your brand are taking place.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say you’re the de facto marketing manager at your organization. You know your company’s brand inside and out. You can tell when the font used in a press release needs to be a few points smaller to align with your style guide. As a result of being the Holder of Brand Knowledge, every piece of marketing content needs your approval before it goes live. While it’s great that you can spot and correct mistakes in your company’s content, it also makes you a bottleneck.

DAM and MAM solutions enable you to keep the quality checkpoints but lose the bottleneck.

As your company scales up and your marketing campaigns grow, a MAM system can help you automate your brand compliance checks. That means you can be sure that all of your content aligns with your brand strategy, even if you’re not in the room.

Project collaboration

The trend toward remote work has been on the rise for years, but the COVID-19 crisis rapidly accelerated this movement. According to Stanford economist Nicholas Bloom, 42% of the U.S. labor force is working from home full-time as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In these circumstances, cloud-based MAM tools enable the level of collaboration and productivity that employees achieve at the office. From video production projects to content marketing campaigns, coworkers can easily share media files, track versions and proceed quickly from ideation to launch.

Importantly, the leading DAM and MAM tools come with robust information security protocols out of the box.

Cloud-based MAM solutions are like any other software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering. They seek to prevent outside attacks and protect user privacy. For example, Bynder, one of the leading DAM platforms, is fully compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) as well as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Integration with development tools

Most leading DAM and MAM solutions integrate with other widely used tools. These integrations allow for a seamless workflow where asset creators, web developers and other stakeholders can work together and move projects forward without having to wait for teammates to share their files. Common integrations include:

  • Adobe Creative Cloud.
  • Amazon Web Services.
  • Asana.
  • Dropbox.
  • SAP Hybris.
  • Salesforce.
  • Slack.

How to leverage media asset management when working with a content marketing agency

The great thing about DAM and MAM software is that they allow everyone to keep using the tools they’re most comfortable with.

Graphic designers can keep working in Adobe Illustrator and social media marketers can continue working in Hootsuite. The DAM tool sits in the middle, seamlessly connecting everything else. This works with third-party partners as well.

So let’s say you’re a marketing manager and you’re working with a content marketing agency to create a series of social media posts, blogs and YouTube videos. Even with just three asset types, you’ll need to share all kinds of media files: images, vector graphics, videos and written content. Each asset will go through various stages of development and revisions.

Without a MAM platform, you’ll have to share all of these files through email or as links to cloud storage. The potential for misplaced versions of files is extremely high. A MAM tool not only simplifies your workflow with the marketing agency, but also drastically reduces the risk of missing files.

The last thing you want is for an unfinished asset to get published to your website or social media pages. Or for a finished asset to go unpublished. No matter what file formats or media types you use, a MAM system will enable you to produce content that aligns with your brand. Plus, you’ll know your files are secure and private until you’re ready to take them live.