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Best Marketing Asset Management Software in 2021

by Ryne Knudson

Someone at a computer with marketing related visuals overlaid

Many marketers make the switch to marketing asset management software — broadly known as digital asset management (DAM) software — once it becomes too difficult to manage brand assets in cloud-based storage tools like Google Drive or DropBox. After you accumulate many brand assets, those storage solutions get messy; teams have trouble finding the right digital files they need and waste time weeding through out-dated asset versions among other issues. Ultimately, marketing teams end up struggling to track how and where assets are shared and used.

But marketing asset management and DAM software does more than improve asset organization: It helps marketing teams operate more efficiently and strategically. With Brandfolder’s marketing asset management tools, you improve collaboration in a number of ways:

In this post, we walk through marketing asset management in Brandfolder and discuss how our suite of tools streamline key tasks for your marketing teams. At the end, we’ll also review five other DAM platforms so you can find the best digital asset management software for your entire organization.

Interested in learning more about Brandfolder’s features for marketers? Get in touch with our team for a free demo of Brandfolder! We’ll walk you through our digital asset management system so you can see how easy our software is to use and decide if we’re the best solution for your marketing teams.

Marketing Asset Management in Brandfolder

One of the biggest benefits of switching to a digital asset management tool is the ability to house all branded digital media in one highly-searchable repository; this is extremely convenient and a time-saver for creatives, but it also benefits everybody else who needs to access and use these branded assets — such as sales teams and marketers.

Read on or skip ahead with this overview of what you can do with Brandfolder:

- Organize assets in Brandfolders, Collections, and Portals - Search your entire asset library in seconds - Access and customize pre-approved inDesign templates - Collaborate with other team members on updating assets and improving version control - Share assets with peers and stakeholders with permissions and custom share links - Power your website and email marketing content from Brandfolder - View performance reports to track how many times people engage with your assets - Convert asset file formats and sizes on the fly - Sync Brandfolder with your other marketing tools

In Brandfolder, you can organize digital marketing assets in Brandfolders, Collections, and Brand Portals:

Brandfolders: Brandfolders allow teams to create dedicated folders of assets for the different brands they manage (hence the name Brand-folders). A lot of the businesses we work with only have one main Brandfolder; however, marketing teams who manage multiple brands or marketing agencies who have many clients enjoy the convenience of storing marketing materials for different brands/clients separately.

View of Brandfolder asset portal

Collections and Brand Portals help marketing managers get more narrow with content management. By uploading and organizing assets in Collections and Brand Portals, asset managers can ensure that the assets different teams have access to are the most relevant to their activities, such as current campaigns or a particular region.

Collections: Collections live within Brandfolders and allow you to centralize media assets by vertical or team. Some users create Collections to coincide with each of their different marketing campaigns, but you can also create collections to organize content by asset type, use cases, publishing channel, and more. There’s really no rule to how you can choose to organize your digital content (but we’re always here to help you design your digital asset library taxonomy).

Brand Portals: Brand Portals are especially helpful for multinational organizations since they allow admins and managers to consolidate and share assets with global marketing teams. With Brand Portals, global teams can pop into Brandfolder and instantly access assets specific to their current campaigns or region. Teams can also take advantage of our multi-language functionality to localize assets and view asset information or metadata in their preferred language.

Regardless of where assets are uploaded and organized in Brandfolder, our system detects duplicate assets and implements version control by keeping all asset versions in the same place, along with change history and team comments on that asset.

Brandfolder’s digital asset management features give you more confidence knowing the branded materials you have access to are already approved and up-to-date. You can find and use the marketing content you need without asking creatives for approvals or current versions. Marketers can also include brand guidelines in each asset’s description so everybody knows how to use the asset.

Brandfolder’s flat search structure lets you quickly search the entire asset library instead of wasting time searching collection by collection. You can organize assets in whatever order or structure you prefer, but still use the main search feature to scan your entire library (and find assets in seconds).

The advanced search feature of our Brand Intelligence uses AI to recognize the actual content of your assets — i.e., scenery or products in photos, video dialogue, fonts, colors, etc. — so you don’t have to remember exact file names to find what you need. You can also use Pins, Tags and Filters to narrow down your search results when you search broader terms.

For example, say your brand runs annual Father’s Day sales and you need to find this year’s promo videos with the current offers: You can type “Father’s Day” into the search bar and find all marketing materials related to your Father’s Day sales, add Filters to search by file types (e.g., rich media or videos) and upload date to view which media files have been recently updated.

Note: You can create Filters and Pin relevant Tags depending on your needs and tailor our search features to your teams.

Brandfolder’s templating feature is a huge bonus for marketers because it gives marketing teams more freedom with content creation without sacrificing brand integrity. Plus, creative teams love it because they don’t have to spend time approving every single new ad you create.

With our templating tool, creatives can design pre-approved templates in InDesign, import them directly to Brandfolder, and control how each template can be updated. That way, you can find the templates you need, customize them while staying on-brand, and download or print the finished products right from Brandfolder (without the need for another approval process).

View of Brandfolder custom template

This feature is extra beneficial for creative teams in global brands because it allows them to design templates from a single location and make those templates available to their different marketing teams around the world. Then, marketers near and far can access those templates, customize them for their specific region and in different languages, and create unique content for their marketing efforts. This means the creative team doesn’t necessarily need to support content production for an entire global marketing team.

We also provide collaborative tools so you can communicate with other team members and creatives when there is a need for an asset update (instead of messaging about updates outside of Brandfolder).

When viewing any asset, you can click into the Workflow tab and leave comments right at the asset level. This allows marketers to 1) collaborate with others in real-time on how the asset should be updated, 2) tag-in designers to make the updates, and 3) receive comments back when the asset is ready to use. Teams can also view the asset’s entire comment and version history within that same Workflow tab so there’s never any confusion about which asset version to use.

Sharing digital assets in Brandfolder is easy with permissions and custom share links.

You can share assets with other team members by adding them to the Brandfolder or Collection of assets you want to share. When a user is added to a Brandfolder or Collection, they’ll have access to all of the current assets in that Brandfolder or Collection, and any new assets that are uploaded after they’ve been added. Users can then view, download, or share those assets themselves.

View of asset sharing in Brandfolder

If you want to share assets with people outside of your immediate team or organization — such as retailers, distributors, or other external stakeholders — you can send custom share links.

You can name these links, set expirations for them, limit downloading and sharing of assets, and even require users to provide an email address to view assets (to better track who’s accessing your assets). Best of all? We provide our users with unlimited free guest seats, so you can share assets with whoever you need to and not worry about extra fees.

*Shopping Tip: When looking for enterprise digital asset management software, look for a solution that provides free guest seats. (Like us!) Why? Many brands charge extra to share assets with external users, and since enterprise brands typically have to share assets with a lot of different stakeholders, those extra fees can really hike up the price of the software. *

Marketers can power all of their online and email content directly through Brandfolder to automate asset updates and improve brand consistency.

View of CDN links in Brandfolder

Here’s how this works:

Every asset is assigned a unique content delivery network (CDN) link so you can embed that asset across different online channels. You can copy the CDN link when viewing the asset, and then paste that link on e-Commerce websites or even within email marketing campaigns. Then, if the asset is ever updated at the Brandfolder level, it’ll automatically update everywhere that CDN link lives online.

Using Brandfolder as a single source of truth saves you hours (or, for larger companies, actual days of work) combing back through all of your online content to update every instance of that asset manually. It also means you’ll never have to worry about forgetting to update a webpage or campaign when your marketing collateral changes.

Another plus to CDN links is that you can track where the asset lives online and receive better insights and analytics regarding how people are engaging with it.

You can find usage metrics like engagement numbers for every asset you host via Brandfolder and use that information to improve marketing strategies. See how many times an asset has been viewed, downloaded, or shared, and how many times (and where) an asset has been used online.

Asset insights in Brandfolder

These details help creatives and marketers gauge which assets are performing well — and which ones flop — so they can build better campaigns.

Any Brandfolder user can convert assets to different file formats and sizes — to suit different online platforms and social media channels — when downloading assets from Brandfolder. Just select the parameters you want and Brandfolder makes the change for you.

Built-in file conversions mean you don’t have to spend time hopping into another tool to get different sizes and formats of the same file, plus it means you’ll always have easy access to the full resolution, high quality original that all your campaigns are based on.

Marketers need more than just a digital asset management solution to operate efficiently — you also use a variety of tools to power email newsletters, online blog content, social media campaigns, and more. So we designed Brandfolder with numerous integrations and an open source API so teams can customize it to manage the entire content lifecycle in one software.

Some of the digital marketing software, content management systems, and project management tools we integrate with include:

You can read more about our integrations here. But remember, open source APIs support unlimited customization, so if you don’t see a certain software on our list of out-of-the-box integrations, you can still set up Brandfolder to sync with that tool by using APIs.

The Runner-Ups: Other Top-Rated DAMs for Marketing Asset Management

Brandfolder has been voted the #1 top-rated digital asset management platform on G2, a popular software review site. But as you shop for marketing asset management software, you might also run into some of these other DAM options:

Bynder

View of Bynder homepage

Bynder is a very robust digital asset management software option: It’s built with dozens of features to make organizing, finding, and sharing assets easy, and it integrates with many other software. Bynder is similar to Brandfolder in terms of features, so if you like Brandfolder, you might also like Bynder.

However, reviews of Bynder say their DAM isn’t very easy to learn or use and their customer experience team isn’t the most helpful or prompt. As a result, many teams, especially enterprise companies with hundreds of users, have trouble adopting Bynder across their entire organization.

Canto

View of Canto homepage

Canto is one of the only SaaS DAM brands that offers an on-premise version of their digital asset management platform, so if you need self-hosted DAM, then Canto is definitely worth considering. Traditionally, Canto has been advertised as a DAM for small and medium-size businesses because it’s relatively inexpensive and doesn’t have a super robust feature set. But in more recent years, Canto has been updating their platform with more features to appeal to teams and businesses of all sizes.

All in all, Canto’s platform is pretty easy to use, but some reviewers say the features are somewhat basic and the interface is a little cluttered.

Widen Collective

View of Widen homepage

Widen is advertised as an “enterprise digital asset management and project information management software,” but through its many features and functionality, Widen also serves as a brand management and marketing resource management software. With that, Widen is a good choice for medium and large businesses who need all of this advanced functionality.

Though Widen has a variety of different features that may be helpful for marketing teams, the software can be pricey and is a little complex to learn. If you don’t have a need for everything Widen offers, you can save yourself time and headache by opting for a simpler software option.

MediaValet

View of MediaValet homepage

MediaValet is another digital asset management platform designed to cater to enterprise teams, and their platform is built with many features specifically for marketers and creatives. If you’re a bigger business with a bigger budget, MediaValet might be a great solution for your marketing teams.

MediaValet’s DAM is the only DAM built on Microsoft Azure, and many reviewers say the software is fast and intuitive. MediaValet offers a variety of add-ons and is customizable via integrations and an open source API. That said, some reviewers mention that MediaValet’s search function and built-in reporting tools can be glitchy and the software’s interface is a little outdated.

IntelligenceBank

View of IntelligenceBank homepage

The last option on our list, IntelligenceBank, offers a variety of software for marketers, including: Digital asset management software, brand portal software, marketing operations software, marketing resource management software, and knowledge management software. It gets pretty good customer reviews and they offer flexible pricing to appeal to different team sizes.

If you need an expansive marketing software solution, IntelligenceBank is certainly a good option; but if you don’t have a need for all of what IntelligenceBank provides, you’ll end up paying for features you don’t use. (In fact, several reviews mention that IntelligenceBank is a little too robust and the extra complexity hikes up pricing and prolongs implementation.)

Get Started With a Free Demo

Brandfolder’s DAM system has a variety of tools and integrations to make marketers’ lives more convenient, but we also built our software solution with user-friendly features to make life easier for everybody in your organization. We also understand that transitioning from one storage solution to another can be challenging and time consuming, so we also provide different tiers of onboarding and support to help with that entire process. (We can thank our dedicated customer experience team for our 99% retention rate!)

To learn more about all of Brandfolder’s different features, receive a free demo and pricing quote, and see how you can tailor our DAM solution to suit your specific needs, request a free demo of Brandfolder today.