What could be the worst nightmare for any business? Unsold and returned products piled up in the inventory? Inefficient, inconsistent product data? Or vulnerable product information?
Actually, they all are!
In today’s rapidly growing digital business environment, a satisfied customer equals repeat business and great word of mouth recommendations. Unlimited internet connectivity provides buyers endless opportunities to scrutinize every facet of a product they wish to buy. Over 80% of online customers regard instant access to detailed product pictures, videos, and specifications as an essential driver for purchase decisions. Delivering quality product information that is accurate and timely is the key to successful omnichannel marketing.
Bridging the gap, enabling sales
Marketing and sales channels require compelling product catalogs and content to bridge the gap between product developers and customers. Product marketers disseminate rich media files, videos, images, blogs, customer testimonials, reviews, case studies, ROI reports, demos, and awareness surveys to influence buying decisions. All pieces of product literature need to be consistent, precise, enriched, accurate, and up-to-date to enable sales. Brands and retailers get hit hard with lower conversion rates, higher returns rates, lousy SEO, impaired brand image, and customer loss when they do not share high-quality product information.
Managing product data with MDM
Businesses need MDM Master Data Management, to manage and deliver accurate product information to offline and online channels. MDM unifies and harmonizes product data that is dispersed across diverse teams, disparate systems, creating a single version of the truth that serves as a comprehensive, trustworthy data point for organizations. The data quality is continuously checked and monitored for consistency, integrity, fidelity, and security to facilitate effective decision making.
MDM ensures that the product data is ready to be shared with confidence across Points of Sale, product catalogs, social media portals, e-commerce websites, product comparison, and review sites. When the product story delivered is consistent, optimistic, and cohesive across channels, a trust factor and emotional connection is created among the consumers. This connection results in increased sales, higher conversion rates, lower returns rate, and positive reviews that trigger a further increase in sales.
MDM insights help business leaders to devise strategies that can accelerate time-to-market and global expansion. For example, they can increase focus on products that generate the most profit, decide the right time, and demography to launch a product and proliferate into markets that show potential. MDM serves as a centralized hub to manage your product information and assets across all sales channels.
Best practices to optimize MDM for superior product data management
Here are five best practices that will help your business to optimize MDM implementation and derive maximum value from product information.
Centralize and integrate systems
In global businesses, most of the product data is spread across Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Warehouse Management Systems (WMS). Centralizing and interconnecting these systems will harmonize the information efficiently to create a single version of the truth with fewer errors. A centralized MDM system will be scalable with the potential to boost operational efficiency and drive better decision making.
Increase cross-functional collaboration
Product information is usually scattered across product development, testing, marketing, sales, partner, and customer support departments. All these teams must work together to manage and utilize data effectively. These cross-functional teams help boost workforce productivity, increase product visibility, and operational efficiency through parallel planned executions. They must leverage enhanced workflow collaboration tools and automated task assignments and reassignment to deliver quality product information to marketing and sales channels.
Implement data governance and stewardship
Securing and maintaining the quality of product data is of paramount importance to businesses. Product formula theft or data breaches will gravely hamper any business. Robust data governance structures and stewards need to be firmly established with strict access controls, role-based responsibility, workflow enforcement, access hierarchy, and rules. Mature master data governance will deliver exceptional business outcomes when monitored by the right stewardship team.
Leverage data syndication
Timeliness is crucial when it comes to products and channels. Companies cannot risk selling outdated or expired products at irrelevant channels, which will cause customers to become irate. Product data syndication enables faster channel adoption and data update with less effort and time-to-market. Product data can be mapped from MDM to outbound systems, where customers and other stakeholders will be notified about the updates.
Expand to new markets
Market expansion and new customer engagement are significant for businesses. Product managers must ensure that the MDM system facilitates easy translation and authoring of multilingual product information for publishing in multiple channels around the world.
MDM goes beyond being just as a product information management (PIM) tool. It resolves business challenges and delivers transparency, digital transformation, data-driven insight, and growth.
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