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PIM vs. DAM (Digital Asset Management) - Know the difference between the two systems

If you are looking for a Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution, you will probably also run into information about Product Information Management (PIM) systems.

And why is that?

The reason is that some PIM systems also have DAM functionality. This may sound confusing; what exactly is the difference? We will explain this here so that you are better prepared to decide what to choose.

PIM vs. DAM (Digital Asset Management): Know the difference between the two systems

A PIM system – What is it?

PIM systems handle product information and the way it is presented in a company's marketing and sales channels. The channels may comprise printed catalogs, product data sheets, websites, online stores, dealer portals, social media and much more.

The principal task of a PIM system is to ensure that product information sent to customers and business partners is comprehensive, correct, consistent and high-quality. A PIM system helps to enable customers to make well-informed purchase decisions.

With a PIM system, all product information is collected in one place so that all of the company's employees can always find what they need.

Learn more about handling Digital Assets with a PIM system in

"A CMO's guide to e-commerce success with PIM""A CMO's guide to e-commerce success with PIM".

Download guide

A DAM system – What is it?

In contrast to the PIM system, which handles product-related information, DAM systems handle non-product-focused assets. These may include digital files, for example, pictures, videos and documents. There may also be metadata and presentations.

Sales and marketing departments also use DAM systems for storing advertising and marketing material so that the company's video material, pictures, drawings and guidelines for branding are accessible and well protected.

Thus, a DAM system handles some different things than a PIM system does. However, what the systems have in common is that they function as a central and easily accessible database. Like a PIM system, the task of a DAM system is organizing data and providing the relevant people with easy access to it.

When a company chooses to install a good DAM system, it becomes easier to handle and maintain images, and the company's processes can become more efficient.

When is a PIM system the best solution?

Originally, PIM systems were specially designed for storing product-related information, that is, everything from descriptive texts to supplier data. Today, however, there are some PIM systems – including Perfion – that also have DAM functionality, and can store and distribute all types of product-related assets, including media files such as videos, images, audio files and more.

PIM systems are especially suitable for manufacturers and retailers, and  companies that need to collect their product information in one place, or  gather it from many sources. A PIM system will also be the ideal solution for companies that have many product numbers.

Because PIM systems are designed to make it easier to take control of product information and manage and prevent errors and inaccuracies that can have negative consequences for sales, they contribute to reducing the time the company spends on product information management. Thus, they make life easier in a large number of the company's departments, including product development, sales and marketing.

When is a DAM system the best solution?

DAM systems are ideal when there is a need to stream or publish video files for an audience. They are also perfect for archiving material and tracking previous versions of a file.

For companies with a lot of digital assets, DAM systems are very useful, because they can help streamline access to assets, thus saving time. It should not be forgotten that the average marketing employee spends around 65 hours a year looking for missing digital files. Every company that wants to save these 65 hours and spend them on more productive tasks will benefit from having a DAM system.

PIM systems with integrated DAM functionality

While PIM and DAM systems have some functions in common, they are still different platforms, developed to meet different needs. As previously mentioned, PIM systems are designed to manage product and product-related information, while DAM systems are designed to handle digital files, such as logos and videos, but

it is important to bear in mind that such digital files are also product-related. Therefore, some PIM systems – including Perfion – are also fully capable of handling these file types. This is why you also run into product information management systems when you search for a digital asset management solution.

Read more about Digital Asset Management with Perfion PIM

In some cases, however, a PIM system with DAM functionality will not be sufficient to cover all of your digital asset management needs. In that case, an integrated PIM and DAM system may be a good solution.

A CMO's guide to e-commerce success with PIMDownload our guide

Learn more about handling Digital Assets with a PIM system in "A CMO's guide to e-commerce success with PIM".

Download guide