Bad data leads to bad decisions. Inconsistent data leads to market confusion. And siloed data leads nowhere.
Manufacturers’ most valuable commodity is product data. The ability to properly catalog products and centralize all related data - specs, descriptions, prices, images, and more - is the single most important initiative a manufacturer can do to ensure long-term success.
The emergence of Product Information Management (PIM) and Product Experience Management (PXM) solutions have revolutionized how manufacturers manage and use product data.
Differences between a PXM and PIM
A PIM solution provides manufacturers with the single source of truth necessary to manage product data such as product names, descriptions, pricing, features, product images, owner’s manuals, and more. With a PIM, manufacturers have one single source of truth for product data making it easier to ensure product data accuracy. Most PIM solutions also allow manufacturers to collaborate across departments on the management of product data.
A PXM platform goes beyond the storage capabilities of a PIM and includes a Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution within its platform. This means manufacturers can store a variety of data types related to products, including images, documents, and videos. Most PXM platforms also provide functionality that focuses on how product information is communicated to customers. PXM platforms vary greatly on how they share product information with others ranging from merely sharing the product information with channel partners via API to providing comprehensive functionality to build any type of digital product experience. Manufacturers must consider their own needs for creating and managing product experiences when selecting the most appropriate PXM platform for their business.
For these reasons, a PXM is typically the best choice for manufacturers compared to a solution that only offers a PIM.
3 reasons organizing product data is critical
Centralizing product information improves data quality. By instituting a single source of truth, businesses can ensure there is one place to pull data from and update product information. When product data is centralized in a PIM, manufacturers can ensure that all information about a product is consistent across various channels.
- Improve productivity.
With all product information neatly organized in a PIM, manufacturers can quickly launch new digital properties, such as landing pages, microsites, and robust websites, with 100 percent accurate product data. Teams can also easily update these live digital experiences as product data evolves, such as with new product launches or campaigns.
- Reduce support costs.
When customers can self-enable support costs decline and customer satisfaction increases. Manufacturers that have a PIM can create customer-specific digital experiences, such as troubleshooting guides and owner’s manuals, which enable customers to find answers to common questions.
Well organized product information fosters cross-functional collaboration within an organization. It enables product managers to share foundational product information with marketing, sales, and support teams. Those teams can in turn contribute to the PIM data by relating digital assets - think graphics, lifestyle images, FAQs, competitive notes, and more - to product records. The result is a holistic product profile stored in a centralized system.
PIM and PXM solutions also eliminate data silos. When product information is stored in various locations, such as spreadsheets, there is no single source of truth. Versions of the various product files are created, and data quality cannot be assured. Without a centralized PIM or PXM, manufacturers run the risk of producing customer-facing content that is inconsistent and incorrect.
Depending on a manufacturer’s industry, there may be legal and regulatory requirements regarding product information. Centralizing product data makes it easier to ensure compliance with these regulations, reducing the risk of fines or legal issues.
For example, product-specific disclosure statements can be stored on each product record in a PIM. This ensures that when teams create public-facing content, such as product guides, required disclosures are readily accessible and therefore displayed in the final piece of content.
A centralized product information solution is critical as a business grows. As a product line expands, company leaders must adopt a scalable solution for teams to manage and leverage all product data.
This forethought and planning results in increased productivity of internal teams and an improved customer experience.