What Is the Difference Between DAM and PIM?

Businesses invest in many different tools, platforms, and software on the road to digital maturity. The most valuable of all those investments are ones that enable great, seamless customer experiences in our complex and connected world. Two such high-impact tools are Digital Asset Management (DAM) and Product Information Management (PIM) systems.

The ever-increasing number of customer touchpoints and always-on brand channels make fresh, accurate digital content more important than ever before. A movie studio needs its latest trailer to display beautifully, whether viewers are watching in their Instagram feed, through the studio’s app, or on an end-cap at a retail store. Ecommerce companies need product pricing to be current and consistent across their website, apps, digital ads, print catalogs, and beyond. DAM and PIM systems both help businesses organize, manage, and distribute information and content, ensuring consistency wherever that content might appear.

Whether to invest in both DAM and PIM systems or just one depends on the nature of the business in question. So let’s explore the benefits, overlaps, and differences between these two core systems and how they integrate with Content Management Systems (CMS).

 

DAM vs. PIM vs. CMS

Most business leaders today are familiar with CMS, the category of software that helps keep website content organized and allows people of all levels of technical ability to make updates and other changes to a site quickly and easily. Digital Asset Management and Product Information Management systems both “talk to” a CMS, and DAM and PIM software should work with any CMS that a company has in place.

But the CMS is just one channel to which DAM and PIM systems feed information.

From a high level,  a DAM system organizes all assets and content such as videos, photography, documents, audio files, logos, and more, while a PIM system organizes all data related to products (such as dimensions, weight, color, etc.). As such, while PIM is generally more relevant to eCommerce brands, any business that is producing digital content will benefit from investing in a DAM system to manage and distribute those assets.

In addition to working with the CMS and website, DAM and PIM systems will help businesses identify and distribute the right content for print catalogs, in-store displays, vendor communications, and more.

 

Digital Asset Management: Why Invest in DAM?

Our partner and preferred DAM provider  Digizuite describes DAM software as “the foundation for digital transformations,” and we are inclined to agree. Essentially, a DAM is a central hub for all digital assets, from photos to videos to audio files and more. In our News-Feed-oriented and content-driven world, putting out the right assets in the right places at the right times is absolutely a core function of a digitally mature business.

By establishing a single source of truth for brand files, a DAM increases consistency and streamlines internal operations. By keeping high-quality photos and videos organized, it reduces the cost of content creation and improves time-to-market turnarounds. All of a company’s teams, from marketers to developers, can find the best, latest video or logo they need for whatever project they’re working on, without the internal churn that a last-minute email or Slack request inevitably produces. They’ll be able to finish the project more quickly and with better output—and the customer will be the ultimate beneficiary.

When you’re starting to scale up your business, digital asset management can get complicated and burdensome extremely quickly. DAM is a must for efficiency and consistency, two hallmarks of digital maturity.

 

Product Information Management: Why Invest in PIM?

In many ways, the use cases for PIM overlap with those for DAM. It’s also a core system that delivers both internal and external benefits for a business that needs to interact with customers in real-time across multiple channels.

As a tool that specifically focuses on products, a PIM is especially useful and impactful for eCommerce companies.

Check out  our comprehensive PIM blog post to read more about how this type of system can help set up brands for digital commerce success. For companies that are further down the path to PIM implementation, we’ve also covered the  Top Five Use Cases for PIM and  Four Key Considerations for Selecting a Product Information Management Software.

 

DAM, PIM, and Digital Maturity

DAM and PIM often work in concert, but both are also vital standalone products. They’re what we call “core systems,” in that they work across the whole business and help power a company’s key functions. While they are largely invisible to internal teams and totally invisible to consumers, they are nevertheless the key to delivering great experiences to both groups.

Achieving digital maturity requires keeping pace with the high expectations of modern and savvy customers—this makes systems like DAM and PIM absolutely indispensable to digital transformation. So if you’re part of a growing business and you’re wondering what your next step should be on the path to digital maturity, it’s worth thinking about how a DAM or PIM system (or a combination!) could transform how your business operates.