Considering digital asset management (DAM) software? If so, DAM feature evaluation is likely on your radar. To help, we’re sharing our top eight features you should know: Five essential features and three that are quietly changing the game.

Five of the best DAM features for retailers, manufacturers & brands

For a new or upgraded DAM implementation, the best features often deliver a big impact right out of the box or drive momentum through quick, tangible wins.

Gold trophy with a red circle behind it. Trophy says best quick win at the top and custom metadata at the bottom. Trophy has a black stop watch icon.

1: Custom metadata (Best quick win)

Custom metadata (i.e., the information that describes your data) is recognized as one of the most valuable out-of-the-box DAM features – popular for its ability to deliver quick wins among users.

For example, thoughtfully designed metadata makes searching for assets fast and easy. Your team members will save time and avoid constant frustration with standardized metadata in place.

Beyond sparking adoption, custom metadata helps an organization set standard operating procedures for rights management. It helps automate manual actions using one, easy-to-use system. And it streamlines the management of intellectual property.

Metadata is more than a practical feature — it’s core to the strategic evolution of a DAM program for a forward-thinking company.

Gold trophy with a red circle behind it. Trophy says best for collaboration at the top and asset versioning at the bottom. Trophy has a black icon of three people with lines circling between them.

2: Asset versioning (Best for collaboration)

Asset versioning in DAM is a fan-favorite feature among creative teams. It allows you to systematically manage and monitor changes to assets, presenting a clear chronological display of version history. This is especially useful when many people work on the same files over time.

This feature is a game-changer for maintaining quality and brand consistency across all channels, particularly in distributed work environments. It supports collaborative review cycles, allowing teams to annotate assets, compare different versions, and confidently revert to earlier versions if needed.

Gold trophy with a red circle behind it. Trophy says most dependable at the top and digital rights management at the bottom. Trophy has a black icon of a thumbs up inside a circle.

3: Digital rights management (Most dependable)

Losing track of digital rights management is one of the biggest potential DAM pitfalls. That’s why rights management is a must-have DAM feature.

Digital rights management addresses risks and compliance associated with intellectual property, usage rights contracts, and copyrights. A rights management feature in DAM enables teams to precisely define, monitor, automate, and manage the rights tied to each asset throughout its lifecycle.

By incorporating rights management into your content workflow and metadata, your team can navigate the complex world of digital rights with confidence. This allows for better-informed decisions about content usage and a secure framework for using assets.

Gold trophy with a red circle behind it. Trophy says best for scalability at the top and asset relationships at the bottom. Trophy has a black icon with two overlapping squares, one dotted and one solid lined. The solid line square has an arrow pointing up and to the right.

4: Asset relationships (Best for scalability)

With this standout feature, internal DAM users can create associations between assets. This provides context and further describes the interdependency between assets.

For example, you may have a PNG used in an InDesign file. With asset relationships, anyone who uses that PNG file can also see the InDesign files it was used in.

Gold trophy with a red circle behind it. Trophy says most creative at the top and asset transformation at the bottom. Trophy has a black icon of a painter's palette.

5: Asset transformations (Most creative)

Asset transformation is another power feature for DAM right out of the box. This capability allows you to easily adjust media assets to meet a wide variety of unique and diverse delivery requirements. Whether it is resizing images for specific channels, converting file formats, removing backgrounds, or cropping to highlight a specific part of the image, the process is straightforward and user-friendly.

Let’s say you need to quickly convert an image for a marketplace listing. With transformations, this task is simple and can even be automated. You can easily modify, optimize, or tailor your assets to any channel requirement.

Underrated DAM features you won’t want to miss

When looking for DAM software that scales with your needs, don’t overlook these underrated features. They often fly under the radar or come into play in later DAM maturity phases. And their true potential can only be unlocked with proper configuration.

Gold trophy with a red circle behind it. Trophy says most innovative at the top and AI metadata generation at the bottom. Trophy has a black icon of a lightbulb.

6: AI metadata generation (Most innovative)

AI metadata generation is a valuable feature set with substantial long-term potential—albeit still emerging as a practice.

Using AI, your DAM software can create content using only your licensed, approved-for-use assets. This gives you freedom and precision when creating new content. And it mitigates potential legal problems for using content you shouldn’t.

It also streamlines the process of searching for assets – saving time and improving accuracy. This eases the need for manual tagging and categorization, saves valuable time, and leads to happier users.

As AI-driven metadata generation evolves, you can also expect a more personalized and responsive system tailored to user preferences and usage patterns. An investment in this capability is an investment in the future.

Gold trophy with a red circle behind it. Trophy says most reliable at the top and reporting and analytics at the bottom. Trophy has a black icon of a shield with a star on it.

7: Reporting and analytics (Most reliable)

Initially, the focus in a DAM implementation is often on content creation, management, and delivery. However, the impact of reporting and analytics becomes clearer over time. When properly configured, the feature reveals insights into user engagement, asset performance, and content utilization.

And by integrating DAM with other software, such as PIM, you can use even more features, like digital shelf analytics. This proactive feature scrapes all websites where your products appear, looking for missing data, incorrect pricing, and out-of-stock. These insights give you action plans for better-performing product listings.

Ultimately, reporting and analytics are essential for continued ROI — essential to making strategic decisions and improving team performance with real-time data.

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8: Webhooks for PIM integration (Most likely to succeed)

Webhooks offer a dynamic way to keep your systems in sync. Anytime something changes within the DAM system, it sends the updated information in the form of a data payload to an endpoint that you’ve specified.

This is crucial for successful digital commerce, as we discussed in our recent blog post about how PIM + DAM connect to enhance the product experience. A PIM + DAM duo helps teams increase sales, maintain consistent branding and compliance, and offer an exceptional product experience — selling more, faster.

Choosing the best features for your retail or manufacturing business

DAM isn’t just software; it’s a powerhouse for digital commerce. The right features, from metadata and AI to webhooks, are critical for success.

Remember, the best DAM features are those tailored to your needs. For expert guidance in navigating these waters, give us a shout.

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