Knowing Your PIM vs DAM Systems – And Why You Need Both

Businesses seeking to optimize their digital assets and go-to-market capabilities will likely encounter two types of software which, while overlapping in some functions, serve distinct purposes: PIM and DAM (Product Information Management and Digital Asset Management systems).

Understanding the difference in each’s purpose and usage can help define the unique benefits provided by each as well as illustrate the advantages of a solution that handles both PIM and DAM systems as one, single source of truth.

In this article we’ll start with an overview of PIM/DAM solutions to establish the purpose of each type of system, what kinds of data they store, which industries use them, and what their primary benefits are. We’ll also discuss the areas in which they overlap, and the distinct advantages that make both systems highly relevant to an increasing number of businesses.


What is a DAM System?

A DAM is a digital asset management system designed to provide one centralized place for the creation, organization, storage, management, and distribution of digital assets.

  • What types of assets does a DAM store? DAMs store a wide range of data including logos and other branded digital assets, videos, documents, images, and marketing materials.
  • Who is a DAM used by? DAMs can be used effectively by businesses in virtually any industry, as brand consistency and efficiency in marketing are universally beneficial. However, DAMs are particularly helpful for industries which market services over products, such as the entertainment industry, education, healthcare, professional services, and non-profits.
  • What are a DAM’s main benefits? By organizing all digital assets into one centralized location, businesses ensure that their content is easily searchable and retrievable by every individual and department who needs it, consistent across all platforms and channels, and protected from unauthorized access. The most effective DAMs employ cutting-edge AI to automate the metadata tagging and indexing of assets for easy collaboration and streamlined marketing efforts.


What is a PIM System

A PIM is a product information system designed to provide one centralized place for the organization, storage, management, and distribution of product information.

  • What types of data does a PIM store? PIMs store a wide range of data, but all of it is data connected to products in some way. This may include UPC numbers, a listing of product ingredients or materials, product specs like weight and size, product descriptions for catalogs, and shipping requirements. They can also store product-related digital assets like product images and videos. PIMs organize this data according to each specific product by Stock Keeping Unit (SKU).
  • Who is a PIM used by? PIMs benefit businesses that sell products, and thus are ideal for industries with a dynamic product portfolio such as consumer goods, clothing, electronics, wholesalers, manufacturers, and retailers of almost every stripe.
  • What are a PIM’s main benefits? The main purpose of a PIM is to provide one centralized place from which all product information can be accessed, updated, and distributed across multiple sales and marketing channels. This can speed up go-to-market strategies, as organization and ease of access generate the agility needed to respond quickly to market changes and evolving consumer demand. A centralized system for product-related data also ensures greater inventory accuracy for more cost-effective purchasing decisions as well as insight into product performance. Finally, customers reap the benefits as well with up-to-date product, availability, and shipping information.


What PIM and DAM Have in Common

While it’s clear from the overviews above that DAMs and PIMs have distinct purposes and uses, there are also important areas of overlap. Both of them are software systems designed to provide a centralized location for the organization, storage, access by authorized persons, and distribution of data crucial to successful business operations. Both of them streamline processes and increase productivity by reducing the time wasted searching for content scattered among different storage systems without a consistent tagging or indexing protocol. And both of them foster consistency of data among all channels and touchpoints.

Perhaps most significantly, however, both DAMs and PIMs benefit an organization’s bottom line. Beyond increased internal productivity, there is also the enhancement of the consumer’s experience of your brand, your services, and your products. DAMs and PIMs promote an engaging and effective customer journey with timely, consistent, high-quality, on-brand messaging and information.


Why You May Need a Combined PIM DAM Solution

Some PIMs do come with limited DAM functionality due to the fact that products often have digital assets that need to be organized, stored, and distributed. However, these PIMs do not have the full capacity of a dedicated DAM that manages digital assets for the entire organization.

PIMs and DAMs have multiple points of intersection, and both serve an organization’s bottom line, but the unique functions of each system ensure the necessity of both. A good DAM will help attract people to your brand and offerings, while a good PIM will help take them the rest of the way through the process of product selection and purchase. In today’s e-commerce reliant market, businesses can gain a leading edge by leveraging the unique and complementary benefits of both a PIM and a DAM, especially as one combined solution.

Recognizing that PIMs and DAMs need to work closely together, companies with complex and brand-driven product offerings may be best served by a single-source solution that serves both needs. While the market for combined offerings is small, next-generation integrated solutions are now available, forcing a redefinition of what is possible. The biggest challenge in creating a single-solution DAM+PIM environment is the different kinds of data sets needed by each platform. Nonetheless, cloud-based enterprise solutions built from the ground up to meet this hybrid need represent the new standard for companies with constantly evolving product lines and complex, multi-layered distribution and retail networks.

Learn more about the potential of integrated, hybrid DAM+PIM solutions by exploring Amplifi.io, a market-leading hybrid cloud solution trusted by some of the world’s most innovative product manufacturers. Contact us here.