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Building a knowledge-driven organizational culture – how does it work?

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The ultimate guide to solid knowledge management

Research: AI's role in revolutionizing Digital Asset Management - Your insights needed

Research: AI's role in revolutionizing Digital Asset Management - Your insights needed

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Why WoodWing

How we help

icon-woodwing-enterprise-information-management-eim

Enterprise Information Management

Take charge of your content and information with Enterprise Information Management

icon-woodwing-unlock-your-potential

Unlock your potential

Unlock your potential with WoodWing's innovative solutions

icon-woodwing-content-orchestration

Content Orchestration

Managing content at scale has never been easier or more profitable

Solutions

Content Creation

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Content Creation

Collaborate and create high-quality channel-neutral content

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Digital Asset Management

Manage and distribute digital assets for streamlined content

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Multichannel Publishing

Maximize reach with seamless multi-channel content publishing


Content Management

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Document Management

Centralize and control your documents, ensuring secure access

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Information Management

Become more agile, reduce risks and benefit from available data

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Knowledge Management

Share knowledge for better collaboration and productivity

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Process Management

Document and optimize business processes for greater efficiency

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Quality Management

Ensure consistent and compliant quality standards for your organization


Content Services

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Creative Workflow Services

Unleash creative potential with tailored support from experts

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Digital Publishing Services

Enhance digital publishing strategy with expert services

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App Integrations

Integrate WoodWing seamlessly into your existing tech stack

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WoodWing Cloud

Experience stress-free hosting, software maintenance, and more


FEATURED CONTENT PIECE

Der Spiegel

How one of Germany’s largest news publications increased editorial and production workflow efficiency using WoodWing’s publishing software.

Read this case
Products

Take charge of your content

WoodWing Studio

Streamlined content creation and multichannel publishing solution

WoodWing Studio

Collaborative content creation and multichannel publishing solution that simplifies workflows and streamlines production processes.

Assets Logo (base)

Enterprise-grade digital asset management for streamlined workflows

WoodWing Assets

Enterprise-grade digital asset management solution that streamlines your creative workflow and simplifies collaboration among team members.

WoodWing Swivle

Cloud-based DAM for seamless file management and collaboration

WoodWing Swivle

Cloud-based DAM solution for managing, sharing, and collaborating on digital files from anywhere and on any device.

WoodWing Scienta

Simplified quality and process management for regulated industries

WoodWing Scienta

Quality management platform for regulated industries that simplifies compliance, knowledge sharing, and collaboration.

WoodWing Xtendis

Secure digital archiving and document management system

WoodWing Xtendis

Digital archiving and document management system that allows organizations to store, manage, and access their digital assets securely.

Connect Logo (base)

Powerful integration suite for seamless connectivity and automation

WoodWing Connect

Powerful integration suite, including APIs, webhooks, plugins, and the best-in-class iPaaS solution (powered by Workato).

WoodWing Smart Styles

Efficient plugin for enhanced Adobe InDesign design workflows

WoodWing Smart Styles

Plugin for Adobe InDesign that streamlines design workflows by allowing designers to apply predefined styles quickly.

Industries

We know your challenges

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Agencies

Optimized workflow, improved collaboration, and brand consistency

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Finance

Modern document and quality management helps you manage risks and improve processes

icon-woodwing-franchise

Franchise

Ensure unity with document, quality, and knowledge management

icon-woodwing-healthcare

Healthcare

Always access the latest version of each process, protocol, guideline, or agreement

icon-logo-woodwing-housing-corporations

Housing Corporations

Document management from context, always up-to-date, complete and accurate documents

icon-woodwing-manufacturing

Manufacturing

Consistent branding, accelerated launches, and integrated content management

icon-woodwing-publishing

Publishing

Efficient content creation, collaboration, and multichannel publishing

icon-woodwing-retail-ecommerce

Retail & eCommerce

Streamlined catalog and marketing content production for faster time-to-market

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Trade & Logistics

Increase efficiency with process, document, and quality management

Featured content piece

Bavaria

How Bavaria significantly improved its global brand management.

Read this case
Inspiration

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Success Stories

Read success stories from trusted organizations that rely on WoodWing's solutions

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eBooks & Whitepapers

Dive into in-depth knowledge with our comprehensive digital publications

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Videos

Lean back and enjoy one of our educational videos

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Events & Webinars

Meet us in person or virtually at one of our events or webinars


Latest articles

Building a knowledge-driven organizational culture – how does it work?

Building a knowledge-driven organizational culture – how does it work?

The ultimate guide to solid knowledge management

The ultimate guide to solid knowledge management

Research: AI's role in revolutionizing Digital Asset Management - Your insights needed

Research: AI's role in revolutionizing Digital Asset Management - Your insights needed

View all blog articles

Featured content piece

Medium Rare

How Content Agency Medium Rare delivers better client experiences and outcomes with WoodWing.

Read this case
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About us

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About WoodWing

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4 minutes of reading

BAM, DAM, and MAM - what are the differences and how do you choose?

‍BAM vs. DAM vs. MAM: What’s the difference and which is best? They might sound similar but BAM, MAM, and DAM software have different features and functionality. Choosing the right one for your business needs will depend on your specific use case. Here’s how DAM - digital asset management - software compares to the other and why it might be right for you.‍

Shape

What do BAM, DAM, and MAM mean?

First things first, what does this alphabet soup actually mean? In all of these acronyms, the ‘AM’ stands for Asset Management. But it’s the type of assets that makes the difference.

Similarities - and benefits - of BAM, DAM, and MAM

At first glance, BAM, DAM, and MAM seem very similar. They’re all software solutions that allow organizations to store, search, and retrieve assets used in content creation. 

They provide a single source of truth for file management and retrieval, making it easier for users to find assets and use them appropriately. This, in turn, delivers higher quality and consistency in outputs. 

As you’ll see from the table below, the core benefits are almost identical.

Benefits of different Digital Asset Management solutions compared

But the closer you look, the more obvious the differences become. It all centers around the first letter of each acronym - indicating Brand, Digital and Media. These hint at the different strategic functions of each system and the specific functionality they deliver. 

Let’s look at each of the systems in more detail before exploring the differences. 

What is a BAM?

A Brand Asset Management system is dedicated to improving brand compliance, by providing employees with easy access to brand assets. That may include:

  • Logos - in a range of formats for different uses
  • Brand guidelines on how logos, colors, and tone of voice should be applied
  • Approved images, video, and other assets for employees to use in projects
  • Templates or artwork files for employees to customize 

It’s a single source of truth that empowers staff members - even those who aren’t part of a creative team - to produce on-brand communications. This prevents the accidental dilution of a brand through well-intentioned - but poorly executed - content. 

BAM is a curated collection of final assets, designed for a specific purpose - managing brand. DAM, in comparison, holds far more assets, often in different states of completion, and meets a much wider range of user needs.

BAM or DAM? The differences between two different Digital Asset Management solutions explained

What is a DAM?

A Digital Asset Management system is a single source of truth for all of an organization’s digital assets. This may include:

  • Logos and brand assets
  • Images, video, and audio files
  • Artwork - like InDesign and Illustrator files 
  • Slide decks, PDFs, contracts

In fact, as the name suggests, a DAM can hold any digital asset you can think of. Plus, each digital asset is accompanied by metadata, which can be tailored to the type of file. Metadata describes the content, permissions, version history, usage, and more. This makes digital assets discoverable in a few clicks. 

DAM also includes advanced functionality to make creative, marketing, and other operations more streamlined and efficient. Two noteworthy features include the ability to:

  • Integrate DAM with other applications, to deliver digital assets directly to where they’re needed - for example, in design software or your CMS 
  • Automatically transform digital assets based on usage needs - for example, applying crops or color profile changes to image files when they’re downloaded

These make it quicker and easier for employees to discover and deploy assets from your full library of files. 

What is a MAM?

A Media Asset Management system is part of the media supply chain, concerned with video and multimedia files. Despite the name, it’s more than just a management tool - it can also provide specialist functionality to manage post-production work.

At the end of the process, MAM may also be used to manage media sales - such as licensing, rights, and distribution. Modern MAMs may allow for the safe transfer of video files online, and even video streaming through a branded web portal.  

Like a DAM, a MAM system makes assets instantly accessible by adding metadata to files. This increases the value of those files by making them more discoverable, and easier to re-use, repurpose, and sell. 

As you’d expect from software focused on video and multimedia content, a MAM can also analyze the contents of video files to add keywords, and even add timestamps to show where particular content occurs.

MAM or DAM? A Media Asset Management solution compared to a Digital Asset Management solution

Differences between BAM, DAM, and MAM

All three software solutions - BAM, DAM, and MAM - recognize that the value of digital assets is directly linked to how easy they are to find, use and reuse. However, there are distinct differences.

  • BAM is specifically concerned with improving brand outcomes - may be considered a subset of DAM
  • DAM is a comprehensive solution for managing a large variety and quantity of digital assets
  • MAM is specifically concerned with managing video and multimedia files  

As individual software vendors seek to improve the value they offer customers, the line between these systems becomes less clear-cut. 

  • DAM systems have added more video-processing functionality
  • MAM has added capabilities around other asset types
  • BAM functionality can be easily delivered within a DAM

So customers need to scope out their needs and carefully research their options.

You may think you just need a BAM for brand asset management. But think around the wider challenges in your business. You may discover there’s a use case for a more comprehensive DAM solution.

On the flip side, you may think you need a DAM solution. But think about how you’ll use it... Do you really need full DAM functionality or will a more limited solution - like BAM - deliver the specific functions you need?

Digital Asset Management tools comparison: differences between BAM, DAM, and MAM

Which do I need - BAM, DAM, or MAM?

Hopefully, the descriptions above have helped you narrow down the type of product you need. Despite surface similarities, the three systems serve very different purposes. 

You probably need a BAM if...

You’re just looking for a system to:

  • Centralize and store brand assets - like logos - for easy access by employees.
  • Curate an approved selection of finished brand assets.
  • Provide brand templates and guidelines.

You probably need a DAM if...

You’re looking for a system that lets you:

  • Centralize and store a wide variety of asset types.
  • Add meaningful metadata to aid discoverability.
  • Create automatic versions and crops on the fly.
  • Integrate with other applications to streamline production workflows.

You probably need a MAM if…

You’re looking for a system to:

  • Centralize and store specifically video and multimedia assets.
  • Add meaningful metadata to aid discoverability.
  • Provide easy access to media assets for post-production activities.
  • Potentially provide a platform for streaming and distribution.

WoodWing Swivle - the fast-launch DAM for busy brands

If you want to launch your DAM in days, not weeks, then WoodWing Swivle is for you. Our Digital Asset Management system is fast to implement and intuitive to use, so you’ll be up and running in no time. It’s fast, flexible, and favored by brand managers and digital marketers around the globe. 

Book your 14-day free trial of WoodWing Swivle today

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Published on February 04, 2022

Magdalena Ivanova

Magdalena is a digital marketer and tech enthusiast with multiple marketing disciplines under her belt. Her articles cover various topics, including all things marketing, digital asset management, interviews, and opinions.

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