100 Years of Advancing Destinations

Digital Asset Management 101 for Destination Marketing Organizations

Author: Guest Deanna Girardi
Posted: September 12, 2014
Blog Topics Covered:

Deanna GirardiLet’s face it, Digital Asset Management sounds way more technical than it really is. A DAM (how’s that for an acronym) system is a centralized digital library that stores, organizes and distributes all of your digital assets. Your digital assets being your photos, videos, documents, and logos, also known as your creative content. In today’s marketing world we all know that ‘content is king’.

Society is addicted to photos and videos, as demonstrated by the overwhelming success of Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. To effectively promote your destination, you need to get it seen. How do you keep track of all of the content that’s coming and going? Digital Asset Management, that’s how. 

That’s only the tip of the iceberg - here are the Who, What & Why’s of Digital Asset Management (not necessarily in that order): 

WHAT is Digital Asset Management?

The technical term for Digital Asset Management is ‘management tasks and decisions surrounding the ingestion, annotation, cataloguing, storage, retrieval, and distribution of digital assets.’ Based on this terminology, I can see why one might steer away from entering the wonderful world of DAM. Tech talk aside, it’s essentially a file management tool with two key roles - organization and distribution.

If you’re anything like the DMOs we talk to everyday, then you likely have most of your photos and videos on your server, some on a hard-drive, a few on your co-workers computer, and a bunch somewhere in your email. Wouldn’t it be great to have them all one place? Implementing a DAM system allows you to go through all of your digital assets and put them into one central system. You’ll know exactly where they are. And once your assets are in their new home, you can organize them into folders and apply metadata to each asset. You’ll be able to find exactly what you’re looking for without wasting any time.

Now that you know where your assets are, you want to get them seen. When media requests come through for an image for a blog or article, ASAP isn't fast enough. Digital Asset Management streamlines this process to help get media, clients, partners, employees, whoever, the files they need faster. Users can access your DAM system and download the content they need in no time at all. 

WHY implement a Digital Asset Management solution?


According to GISTICS research, professionals were found to spend an average of one out of every 10 hours of their time on file management. That same study found that the average creative person looks for media 83 times per week, and fails to find what they need 35% of the time with no DAM in place. 


With a DAM system, employees spend less time looking for files and more time working on their daily tasks and projects. An average of $8,200 per person, per year is spent on file management activities. Even if you have a small team, you can see how quickly this can add up.


Have you ever been excited to read an article published about your destination only to discover the magazine used an outdated photo taken 14 years ago? Digital Asset Management allows you to control the content that is being distributed and used. There is always the possibility that dated content may slip through the cracks, but DAM will greatly lessen that chance. Plus, you will not only have control of what assets are out there, but who has access to them. Be selective, or let everyone into your creative content – you’ve got the power.

WHO uses Digital Asset Management?

If you have digital files, then Digital Asset Management is for you. No matter how big or small your library, organizing files in one centralized place for easy distribution is beneficial to anyone or any organization.

So there you have it, Digital Asset Management 101. In the upcoming posts (yes, there’s more!), we will take a closer look into ‘Who’ is using DAM in the DMO world. Plus, the unanswered ‘Where’ and ‘How’ will be addressed. Stay tuned!