Media Asset Management – the underestimated task
Digital Asset Management (DAM), Media Asset Management (MAM) or simply speaking image databases are no new phenomenon with content management tasks. There have been various systems that offer image-, video- or document management as a core task for some time now. At the beginning there were desktop applications that had to be installed on the personal computer, but in the meantime the systems moved to web. Today, all the good systems are web-based.
Features in focus, but unfortunately not the core tasks …
Systems of this kind are still being compared according to the individual features they have. Excel-lists are being sent, that are usually defined by a single provider, and the alternatives are being evaluated according to the following criterion: Do they have all these features, too? Then the price comes also in question and everything seems clear – the one who is chosen is the one who offers quantity and doesn’t cost much.
Unfortunately, what comes next is the predetermined result. 95 of 100 features aren’t used or even needed, nobody has thought about the data quality and equivalent assets are double and triple uploaded. On top of that, nobody understands the way the system works and anybody can adjust anything without control.
How to manage the chaos …
Actually, a system like that is introduced to offer a solution and not to cause further problems. Therefore, what counts for us is an intense technical support when it comes to structuring and organizing media-assets, as well as an extensive explanation of data formats. Here we provide lot of educational work in order to work efficiently and with structure right from the start.
Contents and the purpose of DAM
Why do I actually need the DAM-system? It may sound strange, but only when you choose a DAM, you get a better understanding for its need. Some departments become aware of its benefits, others take notice of it. It is important to stick to the central task and to examine each and every need or feature-option, whether they can be solved with the materials on board.
Additionally, it’s all about distributing the perfect data to partners, retailers, field workers, agencies, clients and of course to your own staff.
This involves a general change of thinking. Filing logos, images and texts on the desktop and to use or update the data only there – this is not how a central data storing works.
Concept, organization and storage
A well-structured storage is an essential basis. Many people save their files in folder structures, because that’s how it is done on a computer. Whether Mac or Windows, files are always stored in folders. This has crucial disadvantages for a DAM. If an image is filed in one folder, it can’t be filed simultaneously in another one. However, this is a key requirement, because a relational storage is absolutely necessary to assign data clearly to several structures without creating duplicates.
You can’t imagine how many DAM-systems I’ve seen, where a great chaos arose due to this procedure. In a DAM-system, it has to be possible to assign filters, tags, types etc. freely to each data-set, so that it is easily found. In doing so, the problem is solved elegantly.
Online and offline data – what was 300 dpi again?
One of the most frequented articles on our website is this one: https://dietz.digital/en/dpi-lpi-pixel/ In this essay I explain in detail what the difference between dpi, lpi and pixel is. This subject got even more complex over time due to the increasing resolution of monitors, retina-displays etc.
In short: A DAM-system and the data it contains have to be used generally online as well as offline. If an image is uploaded in the highest possible resolution, the system can generate the image in other qualities, sizes and formats automatically. We call this “download-filing-formats”. They also consider color profiles, color-space conversion etc. This enables you to create GS1-compatible formats as well as 300 dpi jpg images with clipping paths. Even png-formats with transparencies and smaller pixel-sizes are possible anytime.
Maintaining separated formats for online and offline use is simply unnecessary. Only if the image or video is substantially different, is it also a different asset.
The data formats – a mystery for marketing managers
What is a jpg, what a png? What characterizes a gif? What are psds good for? And what about vector data formats? The old world wasn’t that bad after all. Back than a lot of decision makers knew what these things meant and what they were good for, which is a rare quality these days.
You have to know data formats, their advantages and disadvantages as well as their opportunities. This is the only way how a DAM-system can demonstrate its benefits in its full extent in an essentially digitalized future world. That’s how you can avoid misunderstandings.
It’s a good way to define the requirements for image-/video- and file-formats right from the start. Only what meets these standards is accepted, and what doesn’t has to be improved. That’s how you keep the system “clean” and the data quality rises. We generate fact-sheets for requirements like these and our clients are happy to have a reliable basis for excellent data quality. This is essential, especially when many different agencies supply the data.
Conclusion: The single-point-of-information
A DAM-system that is linked to a PIM-system (DYNAMIC PIM®) offers an excellent basis for today’s data requirements. Additionally, the length of time-to-markets is significantly reduced and the products can be delivered more quickly to the stationary trade or eCommerce.
But there’s one condition: the data quality has to be excellent. No feature-list can help here, but a good, clean and structured approach, clear rules and a reliable system that allows a high availability.
We experience daily, that well structured data – whether product information, media data, SEO-optimization or texts – are an essential competitive advantage. Those who have them lead the way and those who lack them struggle to keep up.