What is the difference between DAM and PIM and how do they complement each other?

Sometimes there is a lack of clarity about the difference between a PIM and a DAM system. Hence a blog about PIM vs. DAM, in which not only the differences are discussed, but also in which it becomes clear how the systems complement each other and are thus relevant for brands, retailers and wholesalers in the current era of digital collaboration and the creation of content for the customer journey.

PIM system

A PIM system is mainly product oriented and supports wholesalers and retailers by managing all product information, such as product features, specifications and associated images in one place. Product Information Management systems are thus ideal for product managers who need to collect and manage product information within the organization. Such systems save a lot of time and help prevent errors. Without a PIM system, collecting all product information is a challenge. How do you keep an overview of this information if it is stored in a large number of different systems?

Many organizations get lost in this area in the various software packages, databases and Excel sheets that they use. When you have centrally managed all this information in a PIM system, you are able to publish your texts and images faster on your website, e-commerce platform or in a catalog.’

DAM system

In addition to this static product content, you want to inspire consumers with storytelling, beautiful design and atmospheric images. “To be able to sell products, online or in a brochure, you need attractive content. These are appealing stories, sometimes published multilingually, in combination with beautiful design and images. This requires creative processes. A DAM system helps you create the content and manage it, up to and including the approval of the final versions. This way you work in DAM towards tempting content for your customer journey”, says Ronald Leusink, partner at Graphit. “And that in a uniform way. So that consumers have a uniform experience on all channels.”

You create this content with Adobe InDesign and Adobe Photoshop. This is where the DAM system comes into play. You manage all visual content for all your marketing communications and channels. The system completely streamlines this content creation and publishing process. In the step to commercial presentation of your products and stories, you use both the product information from your PIM system and the visuals and storytelling from your DAM. The DAM system provides workflow support for all stakeholders in the creation processes: from photographers and copywriters to designers.

What is the difference between DAM and PIM and how do they complement each other?

The differences between PIM and DAM

Product information (text) v
Background information (brand, year, collection) v
Product image and renditions for channels (jpg, eps, tiff, png ) v
Product image ( reference image ) v v
Marketing and brand assets (logo, location, presentation ppt/key) v
Product assets ( video, slide deck, designs ) v
Metadata v
Automatic process and delivery of image to website and e-commerce channels v
Roll based/ function related v
Workflow image manipulation / photoshop v
Plugins/ API for image v
Resizing / (re)sizing files v
Share and send assets: images and designs v

When does a DAM system become urgent?

Smaller organizations may still be able to manage with just a PIM system. They use it as the basis for their product content on their website. But after that, the possibilities quickly run out. “If you want to publish content on different channels – print and online – creative processes are involved. A DAM system facilitates those processes. Preparing a campaign under embargo and getting it ready for publication, for example, works perfectly.”

This is not a randomly chosen example. Launching new marketing campaigns is becoming more important at a time when the customer journey is largely digital. A time, moreover, in which we often work from home and the focus is on digital collaboration. “With these developments in mind, you arrive at a DAM system as a supplement to PIM.”

How the systems complement each other, content orchestration

You preferably want to integrate the two systems in a way that enriches the raw ERP material in the PIM system. And the storytelling, design and images for each publication channel are managed in the DAM system: from product presentation and website to brochure or app.

The ownership of PIM lies primarily with product management and IT, while the ownership of DAM lies primarily with marketing. Of course you want them to use each other’s content. PIM is “the single version of the truth” for product information. The DAM system “the single version of the truth” for all visual storytelling information. With an integrated PIM-DAM environment you are able to use the combination of storytelling content and product content at any time for every publication channel: web, app, social, print. With this dual unit, DAM automatically provides the correct version and resolution that is suitable for the respective channel.

With the integration, you prevent content teams from doing double work. Without the integration you have to constantly ask yourself whether you are using the most recent image and text – important for brand consistency. In such a situation, it is not surprising that marketers spend an average of 300 hours per year searching for digital files. You would rather spend that time usefully.

With a full integration of DAM and PIM, so with orchestrated processes – which Qonqord absolutely propagates – you have one central place with the right versions of all your content and you can be sure that you are using all your assets. In this way DAM ensures peace, structure, efficient working and uniformity of your brands. From such a system, marketing and sales can work together to create the best customer experience, which is decisive for sales results.

Qonqord content orchestration process - admin

An important conclusion: you can only automate the steps in the workflow of content creation and publication if work processes do not overlap. That requires orchestration of processes. After all, you do not want a team lead to manually convert an image to a format that suits the publication channel. DAM does all that automatically!

Our consultants are happy to help you improve and automate your content creation and publishing processes.

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