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The state of DAM in 2021 and beyond

The year 2020 had its own plan which no one saw it coming. The businesses had no strategy in place or time to adapt to the new normal. The challenging times saw most of the brands undergo digital transformation almost overnight. The hardest questions such as collaboration in a new remote-first world to moving the offline campaigns and margins completely online— the management were confronted with an increasing rate of change and complexity overnight.

Looking ahead to 2021, it’s time for both reflection and foresight. It’s not just the demerits of uncertainty but opportunities the digital transformation has brought in. The rapid change in the marketing landscape calls for a holistic view of the business. Customer experience as a new facet of business continues to be with the support of solutions that aids fostering high levels of customer engagement and conversions.

To pioneer growth with experience-led branding, it’s important to nail campaigns to perfection with consumer needs in mind. The impulse nature of customer decision making should be optimized with on-brand, top of the mind, unique and engaging marketing campaigns. This explains the increased valuation of the DAM industry to about $5.36 billion by 2021. Because for timely execution of campaigns at scale brand needs an asset management solution in place.

Where we are today

Consider this current day scenario— teams are remote and campaign execution needs tools beyond business communication platforms. Bringing together branding, marketing and creative teams together on a campaign includes uncountable brand and digital assets as part of ideation, creation, and distribution. At this scale, sharing and accessing different media files without a DAM solution is impossible.

Let’s face it, today, the list of digital assets owned by the company as of today is an unwieldy amount and it’s only going to grow exponentially from here owing to the digitization of marketing campaigns. The challenge for any DAM solution is to organize, compile, manage, secure and distribute brand and digital assets at this incredible scale and automating the process to perfection. The need for consistency across in-house content and drawing benefits of a centralized hub for sales and marketing collaterals is crucial and is at the core of any DAM solution.

But, is that all? Sort using metadata, organize using folders with secured access, distribute to the channel of choice? Well, the possibilities of a DAM solution and the areas to optimize are endless but here are some new feature additions that one can expect in early 2021. 

7 DAM features to expect in 2021

Brand Management

Consumers today have countless choices at their disposal for the same product that you’re trying to make a sell. It’s of utmost importance for brands to maintain brand identity, consistent perception and establish trust both internally and externally. Hence, the ease of operation and customization takes centre stage for brands as we look ahead. The solution needs to get intuitive and ensure consistency and accuracy in asset management using AI and automation.


Flashback, DAM solution was considered an archive. In contrast, today, DAM is an important component of a larger connected ecosystem of tools. Without an interoperable integrated solution, a siloed DAM is a lost opportunity for any business. Hence, interoperability is crucial, however, it’s a two-way street. In addition to DAM-specific data, product data along with customer data needs to be exchanged as well. A difference in approach would be in investing in data quality and interconnectedness instead of beginning with integrated systems. The 3 main interoperability features expected are:

  • Enabling DAM systems to integrate with enterprise software
  • Enable an end-user solution
  • Provide connectors within the DAM by improving APIs

The unified solution with horizontal and vertical integrations of disparate systems, brands can be more efficient by expanding the possibilities using a DAM solution. 

Business Intelligence and Analytics

Analytics is at the heart of any digital strategy and it will continue to remain extremely relevant. As per Ralph Windsor, Senior Partner at DayDream, “One utility of big data in digital asset management is for marketers to apply analytics tools on DAM to identify and interpret actionable information – like using sales data to identify the kind of images or content that works versus ones that do not.”

Hence, an enhanced line of sight into asset tracking and performance can equip marketers to improve their strategies based on those assets’ performance and improve ROI.


To magnify the efficiency of workflows the DAM provider needs to set sight on an end to end MarTech Suite. In the past, DAM solution has been enigmatic and segmented away from mainstream operations of several brands which have now changed. DAM is now embraced by the C-Suite as a key enterprise solution. 

Besides, as marketing has become more consumer-centric, marketers sense that new approaches must focus better on customer preferences – including their browsing and buyer history. Employing a MarTech suite will be instrumental in realizing customer needs. A future where marketers create, build, launch, and understand the performance of their campaigns all in one place would be ideal. Such a streamlined workflow will also help brands to go to the market faster. 

Artificial Intelligence

Contextual and automated metadata owe their existence to AI technology. Companies now have the option to apply a predictive workflow to proactively communicate as per behavioral drifts. As machine learning algorithms get more sophisticated, AI is said to play one of the most definitive roles in imagining the future of DAM solution. Several mundane administrative duties of a marketer can be taken over by AI, thus liberating them to focus on more creative tasks. For example, AI presently can accurately tag images in APIs including Google Cloud Vision.

Fully-featured, functional with simplified user experience

DAM systems are not just for marketers anymore as optimal customer experience is a responsibility of every department within a brand. It’s essential for everyone involved in the campaign to understand the importance of content and the role it plays in optimizing the customer experience and also the utility of images and other digital assets are cross-functional. There is an increasing need for both internal and external collaboration as briefed below:

  • The sales team needs access to digital assets to distribute directly to prospects.
  • Project management teams need access to DAM systems to pinpoint the stage of the project in its lifecycle.
  • The legal teams must access content to ensure that the business abides by public and corporate regulation.
  • HR teams can use DAM systems to access recruitment marketing content and also oversee employee performance

As more creative heads and marketers turn to DAM to enable them to streamline their asset management process, DAM providers will ensure to add additional functionalities and features that may improve the complexity of the software. No matter how sophisticated a system or software can get, it ultimately has to be easy to use by the consumer across different disciplines. 


Ready to step into the future of uncertainty more unpredictable than ever with exciting new features and partner?

The DAM industry aims to improve the usability of DAM, address the demand for many more types of content, provide the best interoperability, and facilitate better analytics. These will moreover help brands realise the ROI of implementing their systems. Marketers should learn to adapt to evolving technology so that they can distribute content to reach users at every touch point.  



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