What is digital asset management? A guide to DAM in 2024.

What is digital asset management? A guide to DAM in 2024.

Unlock the full potential of your brand’s digital assets with our guide to Digital Asset Management. Discover how to efficiently store, organize, and distribute your valuable content.

Key takeaways

  • Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems centralize, organize, and distribute a company's digital files, including logos, marketing materials, and product images.

  • DAM solutions are essential for maintaining consistency across brand assets and streamlining workflows, especially when integrating team members, departments and external partners.

  • A Digital Asset Management (DAM) system may be essential for your organization if you frequently handle a large volume of digital assets across multiple teams or geographic locations.

  • When selecting a DAM platform, consider factors like native integrations with your tech stack, ease of use, scalability, asset accessibility, access and rights management, and analytics capabilities.

What is digital asset management?

Digital asset management is the process of storing and organizing your company’s logo files, marketing collateral, pitch decks, and product photography. Many companies use a dedicated digital asset management (DAM) system to simplify these processes.

Let’s look at how such a solution provides a centralized and easy-to-access home for all your brand and campaign materials.

How DAM streamlines your digital assets

Digital asset management software provides a comprehensive framework for accessing, organizing, and distributing content and creative assets.

These assets — the images, videos, animations, or documents — are the essence of a functioning DAM. In a perfect world, the files are searchable through metadata and offer different access and user rights.


DAM software provides a centralized location for storing all your brand assets. Whenever anyone in the business creates a digital file, they save it to your DAM rather than on their laptop or in their personal folders. Today, DAMs are often cloud-based.


In your DAM, you can categorize assets into libraries to make them easy to navigate. For example, you could set up libraries for different marketing campaigns, product lines, or departments.

When you upload an asset, you can add detailed metadata and tags to make it easier to search within your DAM:

  • Metadata simplifies categorizing and has a clear format, such as “date.” It helps to structure the asset library, similar to how “genre” structures your music library.

  • Tags are entirely open-ended with no restrictions. If you use only tags and multiple people upload files, the tags might be inconsistent (e.g., “puppy” and “dog”), which makes finding the right asset more difficult.

Metadata and tags work best if you follow a clear structure or taxonomy. Then, users can add tags to help narrow in on an asset within such a metadata category. For example, some customers may want to use metadata for “department” or “product line” and include tags for the description, such as “marketing” or “shampoo.”


DAM software gives all team members access to your brand assets to find and use the files they need. Everyone can have their own account, and you can add or remove users as necessary. This is also useful when working with people outside your organization, such as partner agencies.

A DAM can also help you restrict access to individual files. For example, if you have creative assets for a marketing campaign that are still being reviewed, you can hide them from the wider organization until they’re approved for publication. Many solutions let you customize permissions to give people access to different libraries or assets based on team, seniority, or location.

Is a DAM right for your organization?

When considering whether your organization could benefit from a DAM system, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does your organization frequently create, use, and share a large volume of digital assets? If multiple teams and external partners need regular access to branded materials, a DAM centralizes and streamlines this process.

  • Is your team geographically distributed, or do you have regional offices? A DAM ensures everyone has access to the same assets, regardless of location.

  • Do you need to track asset usage, control access, set up and automate creative workflows and approval processes? A DAM can optimize operations and boost productivity.

  • Is it important for you to deliver personalized and consistent content experience across various channels? A DAM acts as a single source of truth for your digital assets and can integrate with your everyday tool stack, such as your CMS, Contentful, AEM, and design tools (e.g., Canva, Adobe, and Figma).

If you answered “yes” to the questions above, you likely need a DAM system. Let's explore who uses digital asset management software and what role it can play in your business.

Who benefits from digital asset management?

Most employees will access your DAM at some point, though some teams will be heavier users than others. But it’s not just your internal teams that will collaborate — external partners may also benefit from DAM software.

Creative teams

Your company’s creative teams — designers, photographers, and videographers — are likely to use your DAM most frequently. They’ll use the platform to organize and store the media assets they produce and share access with other colleagues for approvals and feedback.

Marketing department

Marketing teams are also heavy users of DAM tools to create promotional materials, content, and templates.

A DAM gives them a central place to store assets and collaborate. This is especially useful if you have regional offices or a distributed team, as everyone can find the relevant files. This way, the marketing team spends less time sending documents to everyone or individually granting access to specific assets.

External partners

Any external partners you work with — such as creative agencies, freelancers, or PR companies — may need access to your DAM. This means that they can use your logo or add your mission statement anytime. Additionally, they can upload files to your DAM, which makes it easy for creative agencies to share assets with internal stakeholders for review.

Choosing the right DAM platform: A step-by-step guide

There are lots of DAM tools on the market. When comparing different options, here are a few things to consider in your decision-making process.

1. Integrations

Look for a DAM platform that natively integrates with your tech stack. This is especially true for creative tools like Sketch or Adobe — they make it easier for your creative teams to use and add files to your DAM.

It’s best to include your developers in your DAM decisions so that they can give the thumbs-up from their side. For example, allowing the software to communicate and exchange data with ease via open application programming interfaces (APIs) or web services is a must-have feature. Alternatively, you could look for solutions that offer a developer platform and SDK to let you set up your own integrations so you can customize them to fit your existing tech ecosystem.

2. Ease of use

It can be tricky to roll out a new technology and ensure that it gets adopted. When testing or attending DAM product demos, be sure to evaluate the user-friendliness of the software.

Look for a simple, intuitive interface and user experience that’s easy to set up and work with so that you won’t need any coding or a lot of training. This will lead to a high adoption rate and fast return on investment.

3. Horizontal solutions for brand consistency

Compare different options and find out if the solution is a stand-alone DAM-only product or if it’s part of a bigger platform.

Comprehensive brand-building platforms, such as Frontify, offer other functionalities — including real-time commenting and connecting with products, such as guidelines and templates. This will allow users an end-to-end experience directly within the same platform, boosting brand consistency, collaboration, and organization.

4. Asset accessibility

Your users want to collaborate anywhere and anytime by finding, downloading, and commenting on content and assets on their phones or computers.

Depending on your needs, you can choose a vendor that offers a mobile app — perfect for brand building on the go — and a desktop app that provides instant access to all your content without opening the application in the browser.

5. Scalability

The more your brand grows, the more files you’ll have — to a point where it becomes impossible to keep an overview, let alone manage anything. Ensure that you select a DAM solution that helps scale by centralizing, managing, and sharing your growing number of assets with ease.

6. Access and rights management

You’ll want lots of people using your DAM, but you don’t want everyone to have access to everything.

Find out how easy it is to set up rules about who can access what and how granular you can get when adding or restricting users. For example, can you limit access to individual files or only to whole libraries?

7. Analytics

The best DAM systems provide data that shows how your teams use the platform and specific assets. It helps you understand and track brand engagement levels within your team. Analytics is a must-have feature that helps you monitor asset usage, creating a data-driven culture for all things creative and brand-related.

Some vendors offer user-friendly analytics dashboards that help you with the following tasks:

  • Evaluating budgets: Gain visibility into the brand platform’s usage and performance to prove its ROI.
  • Optimizing content marketing: Identify whether the resources spent creating branded content are paying off, and get insights to guide your content strategy. Are teams using the content you create? Do specific content types or topics get used more than others?
  • Streamlining software integration: Get a bird’s-eye view of your brand operations to identify the gaps in your team’s daily workflows and determine where new software integrations might improve processes.

8. Vendor support

Before choosing your DAM vendor, read peer reviews and case studies to understand if customers are happy with the vendor’s support.

Collect all the information about the onboarding and initial rollout: Find out if the vendor provides onboarding training or additional sessions when they add new features.

How these companies use DAM to streamline brand building


Uber has been using Frontify to manage its brand assets and document its guidelines since 2021.

Uber’s DAM houses thousands of brand files and materials. The global company has also created a public asset library — including logos, fonts, templates, and usage guidelines — so journalists, marketers, and other external parties can access the core materials.

*“Today, more than 20,000 Uber brand builders have engaged with the platform globally — about 12% of the company creates, manages, and shares assets through a centralized hub,” said Brian Coonce, Global Creative Director at Uber. *

Learn more about how Uber uses Frontify’s DAM.


Telefónica uses Frontify’s DAM to house over 1,200,000, such as logos, illustrations, and color palettes. The company manages 19 brands in the same central system.

*Cristina Terrón Moreno from Telefónica’s brand team explained the benefits they’ve found from using a DAM: “To be able to manage all brand materials and workflows at the same time in one unique space for all countries and brands is the main benefit and a milestone for Telefónica.” *

Learn more about how Telefónica uses Frontify’s DAM.

Are you ready for a DAM system?

Frontify’s DAM helps companies like Telefónica and Uber manage their brand and creative assets. Learn more about our DAM and how it integrates with our full brand building platform.

See Frontify in action