The weigh-in — Digital Asset Management (DAM) vs. Media Asset Management (MAM)

Like two prizefighters, duking it out in their prime, DAMs and MAMs have a lot in common.

After all, these handy tools are both designed to streamline and optimise your business processes — so what’s the difference?

Ring the bell, we’re about to find out…

In the red corner: Digital Asset Management (DAM)

And the blue corner: Media Asset Management (MAM)

So, how do these two technological thoroughbreds compare when it comes to features?

Tale of the tape — measuring up the key features

Athletic attributes — MAM

  • Secure management — whether it’s audio, video, images or docs, you should be able to safely access them from any connected device.
  • User permissions — a good MAM offers granular access controls. This means you can decide who can see, watch or download your files via permissions, SSO or email verification. Oh, and you should also be able to set session time limits too.
  • Custom interface — whether it’s custom widgets, forms or the ability to switch up the platform’s UI, this isn’t an off-the-shelf solution. It should be able to reflect your brand — whatever that looks like.

Ideal sparring partner — the content producer

Athletic attributes — DAM

  • Image conversion — whether it’s for social, blogs or other online purposes, DAMs allow you to select a predefined size and download for the perfect crop.
  • Advanced tagging and searching — the level of detail you can go into when indexing your files means searching for the right asset is dead easy.
  • Licence and rights management — get an automated heads up when an image or video license or copyright is about to expire. Handy when up to 23% of marketers worry they’re using images without the correct permissions.
  • Version control — DAMs can track changes in digital files so you know you and your team are always using the right version.
  • File sharing — instead of lengthy transfers, you can send files directly via a link to the folder. Aside from time-saving, another real benefit is that the recipient doesn’t need an account to access them.
  • Approval workflows — this feature allows you to encourage the use of certain assets or, actually, stop others from being overused.
  • Integrations — DAM is a solution that plays well with others. With that in mind, it should integrate with other applications like your content management system (CMS).

Ideal sparring partner — all comers welcome

DAMs vs. MAMs — jabbing away the jargon

7 signature moves of asset management

Taxonomy — unlike metadata, this is the hierarchical classification of assets. So how you categorise them, e.g. ‘office shots for LinkedIn social strategy’.

Faceted search — this is the tool that makes searching much quicker and intuitive. For example, if you’re searching for a certain asset like a specific photo, you could use this filter to limit the results.

SSO — stands for single sign-on. It allows a user to log in with a single set of credentials across multiple sites — without needing a separate username and password.

Lightbox — this is a location where users can store a collection of assets before previewing, sharing or downloading.

Watermarking — you know the little logo you see on certain images? This is a watermark. It helps protect your image from unauthorised replication and can also give your brand assets a consistent look and feel.

Interoperability with so many MarTech solutions in play these days , integration in 2021 is fundamental. Interoperability is how your DAM or MAM works with the likes of InDesign, Shopify and WordPress.

Something else got you stumped? Fear not. We’ve published an A-Z of DAM terminology here.

Pulling our punches — which solution is the champ for you

But with brands having to work harder than ever before to grab and keep their audience’s attention, technology has had to respond accordingly.

The scalability of a DAM means that it can help an online SME work just as consistently and efficiently as a major retailer; integrating with existing applications and getting all in-house assets aligned and easy to find.

But it doesn’t have to be one or the other.

Bright’s Asset Bank and Dash solutions have both DAM and MAM capabilities. So whether it’s an easier way to transfer files while you’re working remotely or a central hub for approved logos, fonts and presentation templates, you can build your perfect solution from the ground up.

Because when it comes to DAMs and MAMs, there’s more than one undisputed champ.

Originally published at on July 12, 2021.

Friendly neighbourhood copy chameleon. Whatever the tone, I’ve got you.

Friendly neighbourhood copy chameleon. Whatever the tone, I’ve got you.