Book in Brief: Digital and Marketing Asset Management

Editors’ note: The second “Book in Brief” feature here on Boxes and Arrows is from Theresa Regli’s Digital and Marketing Asset Management: The Real Story About DAM Technology and Practice. Use the discount code ‘dmambanda’ to add this to your library; it’s good for 20% off.

We’ll publish an excerpt, up to 500 words, of your book. The catch is that we’ll only publicize one book a month; first come, first serve. Other rules will certainly occur to us over time. Hit us up at idea at boxesandarrows.com.


Since the turn of the millennium, digital media—photos, audio files, video clips, animations, games, interactive ads, streaming movies, and experiential marketing—have become an increasingly significant part of our everyday experience. The combination of inexpensive, highly functional digital still and video cameras (even as part of mobile devices); increased network bandwidth; decreased storage costs; low-cost, high-performance processors; high-capacity, solid-state memory; affordable cloud services; and the requisite digital media infrastructure has laid the foundation for today’s vibrant electronic ecosystem. Whether you’re browsing the Web, listening to a song on an iPhone, watching a video on a tablet, opening a rich media email on your mobile device, or recording a TV series on a digital video recorder, you’re experiencing digital media.

Cover of the book "Digital and Marketing Asset Management"

This digital media expansion creates a challenge for consumers and enterprises alike. Consumers want to organize the experience and consumption of digital media files. They want to be able to find them, categorize them, use them when and where they want, and do all this across multiple devices.

Enterprises have a similar but much broader wish list. Of course, they want to be able to find their assets easily—whether for a historical archive or in service of current projects. Most often, they want to use digital media “products” to reach prospective buyers. They may use them as part of a marketing campaign to reach a specific audience in a specific form, such as a brochure, an email promotion, a movie trailer, or a website landing page. The digital media tool also could be the product itself[—]a music collection, streaming television series, video, electronic magazine, e-book, or catalog[—]that the enterprise must distribute in a variety of formats or forms.

To produce these products, you need to create, organize, find, and use pieces of digital media: images, graphics, photos, layout and design files, video segments, and audio files. In most cases, you need to add textual information like copy, descriptions, and product data. Finally, you have to put it all together in the right format within the specific production process or workflow. Upon completion, you’ll want to distribute and track all the product components, as well as any changes or versions over time. Additionally, you’ll want to know how the various audiences use or consume the product, in both digital and non-digital (for example, paper, CD, and DVD) formats. Additionally (if that were not enough), many digital files have restrictions and rights that must be monitored and respected.

Enterprises have a growing desire to manage the entire lifecycle of digital media. They want to manage each piece of the product independently of, or in addition to, managing the product. This requires a master file that can be transformed into different formats, depending on need and derivative works that are one representation and use of the master. This management of digital media throughout its lifetime is the general domain of digital asset management (DAM).