Here we clarify the differences between a DAM and a PIM system for marketing and content management, including images, videos, and databases, and what functions each one performs and why they are important.
Although the DAM and PIM systems have several similarities, they are really different systems and are used for different purposes.
The main difference is that Digital Asset Management deals with all the digital assets that an organization controls, whereas Product Information Management focuses on the lifecycle of a product. Let's elaborate on that:
Digital Asset Management stores, organizes and collaborates an organization’s digital assets such as images, videos, presentations, documents, logos, marketing materials and so on. The primary goal of the DAM is to drive the value of a digital asset by letting you and your organization easily find, access, retrieve and use the digital files. DAM shines when you have a number of digital assets to access, retrieve and share internally and externally.
Product Information Management focuses on a product. It integrates product data and information into one centralized system to optimize the product’s distribution across sales and marketing channels. All the product-related data required to market and sell products are handled within the PIM system. If you have a variety of SKUs with a dynamic product range that is updated frequently, a PIM can help you to keep track of all the information to manage the products effectively.
The Benefits Of DAM
- Easy access to digital assets: The key benefit of DAM is the ability to easily find, access, retrieve and use all digital assets from one single point of entry. It ensures all files are indexed and structured appropriately with metadata so that they can later be searched for and retrieved easily. Even if you can’t remember the title of a certain file, you can search files using a variety of parameters, such as tags, descriptions, categories and more.
- Brand consistency & protection: DAM keeps your brand cohesive and up to date no matter where it's used. Usage of brand assets is controlled by a limited number of authorized users so you can easily protect sensitive assets and copyrighted material. Even when sharing access with someone outside of your organization, such as partners, suppliers or distributors, there is no need to be concerned about illegitimate use of your assets.
- Streamlined marketing efforts: DAM improves marketing efficiency and allows you to be more creative. It integrates with relevant applications such as PowerPoint, Adobe InDesign and social media to help you get the job done faster with less effort. Workflows and processes are automated to minimize the number of steps required to perform your tasks.
The Benefits Of PIM
1. Shorten time-to-market: All product data and associated information are integrated into one platform which enhances flexibility in reacting to market changes. Entering a new market or updating the product assortment is much easier as your product catalogs and portfolios can be extended quickly. Product changes across channels can be reflected near real-time.
2. Operation excellence: Having one master location for storing product information enhances operation efficiency and improves inventory accuracy. Usually, PIM works together with an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system to strengthen the consistency and transparency of product-related processes by integrating internally available information with information from external sources.
3. Improve customer journey: Reduced time-to-market means customers can get the newest products much faster. You can provide customers with high quality and timely product information as well as a consistent brand experience across all touchpoints, both on and offline. Some of them - such as stock availability or delivery time - will have a significant impact on customers' decision making.
As described above, DAM and PIM are different solutions playing different roles and it’s not necessarily a question of one or the other. They work as a great team together with a capability that complements each other.
Do you need both a PIM and a DAM System?
It depends on the needs of your company. A PIM and a DAM system are not replaceable or mutually exclusive since they do not meet the same objectives.
A PIM system is responsible for organizing and managing all the product content of the company and all materials related to the products on sale, from SKUs, pictures, and translations to marketing campaigns. But a DAM system does not take care of the product information. A company also has other materials not related to the products but linked to other departments and the company’s marketing and branding. A DAM system must organize those materials.
Choose a PIM if you mainly want to store and distribute product information centrally. Think of the product description, the accompanying photo, the price, etc. This information is then easily accessible for, for example, multiple stores and your webshop. Every store and system that is connected to your PIM always has accurate and qualitative information.
If all or part of your company’s activity consists of the cataloging and sale of products, it is very likely that you will need a PIM system to achieve the highest quality levels of content management, impossible to achieve by hand. If your company does not sell any products but handles many materials with other purposes (in social networks, fairs, congresses, content for clients… ), then a DAM system will be the most appropriate solution for you.
Choose a DAM when your focus is on creation, marketing, and communication. All your marketing material, your photos, designs, videos, and commercials are managed and distributed here. You determine the latest version of a folder or commercial. Everyone always has the correct material in their hands. On-line and Off-line.
Can you have both things, a PIM and a DAM system, at the same time? Of course, given that a PIM system manages product content and a DAM system would be responsible for other types of corporate and marketing materials.
Choose both if you want to use the benefits of a DAM and let it feed your PIM. This way, the right product information comes with the right marketing material.
When it comes to achieving effective, updated and one hundred percent controlled e-commerce product content management, a PIM system is the best solution, since its functions are not performed by any DAM system.
Want to learn more?
If you have any questions regarding Product Information Management, from PIM Selection to Implementation or how a PIM would fit in your IT landscape? Feel free to browse our data base of articles on everything PIM related. If you want to know which PIM would be the best fit for you (and get a free 1-hour consultation with a PIM Selection consultant with relevant industry expertise): do our Quickscan. In just 30 minutes you will be able to create a profile that we can match to the right PIM system.
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