Reduced mobility triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic has created a strong appetite for digital commerce among customers. Instead of risking their health by wading through crowded shopping aisles, customers choose to enjoy the safe convenience of omnichannel shopping right from their homes’ comfort. They make informed buying decisions at their own pace by comparing parameters such as product specifications, pricing, reviews, etc.

Delivering quality product information is the key to successful omnichannel marketing. Irrespective of the industry, businesses need to leverage this opportunity by providing precise, enriched, and detailed product information in the form of documents, images, videos, presentations, and product descriptions, at a single click of a mouse. Accurate, up-to-date, and top-notch product information must be published in product pages across sales channels in the most convincing manner.

Why Product Information Management (PIM) is crucial

Product data is usually available with respective product teams, across disparate and diverse IT infrastructure. Collecting, organizing, and cleansing the complex product data is a humongous task.

As data inconsistencies and poor data syndication lead to loss of customers, enterprises need to adopt a healthy Product Data Management (PDM) or Product Information Management (PIM) system. It helps them to manage distribution channels, product portfolios, and economies of scale.

To help enrich and publish product data across multiple sales channels, PIM also cuts costs, empowers data teams by integrating marketing data with product data, and synchronizing commercial structures, customer experience management, and product management.

How MDM solves top 5 PIM challenges

Progressive Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumer (B2C) companies seek to unlock value by optimizing marketing and sales channels. They face several challenges in managing complex product information, vendor multiplicity, and content development for product catalogs and literature.

A well-implemented MDM Master Data Management system helps address the challenges and resolve the issues listed below.

1. Massive data and digital assets strewn across departments

Dealing with data from multiple product owners, service offerings, suppliers, and distribution channels can cause any stand-alone PIM system to become dysfunctional. As the data is mind-boggling, digital assets such as product photos, manuals, marketing visuals, videos, or presentations tend to get cluttered and piled up, if left unarchived for a while. The sheer enormity of data might result in errors, data inconsistencies, and poor product data quality.

MDM unifies data from all business elements and creates a refined master data with the most accurate and current version of information from multiple sources and formats. It also declutters digital assets by archiving them logically into a cohesive product library. Data owners and stewards alone can access product information from the master data anytime for dissemination.

2. Improper communication between supplier and PIM team

Lack of clarity and timeliness in communication results in work duplications, inefficiencies, and loss of business. Cross-functional PIM and supplier teams often fail to collaborate and share accurate product information. It results in inadequate product listings that require significant time and effort to fix in distribution channels.

MDM enables easy creation of a custom portal that eliminates silos and communication gaps. Smooth, transparent communication will help market the products on time while ensuring the authenticity of product information.

3. Error-prone manual spreadsheets

Managing manual spreadsheets are tedious and time-consuming. Though it requires tremendous effort, the process is highly error-prone. Data tampering also becomes very hard to track in manual spreadsheets, resulting in ambiguous product data dissemination.

MDM facilitates bulk import of product data from different sources and formats, while simultaneously checking for inconsistencies and errors. The workflows created are centralized and tracked for data tampering issues.

4. Unexpected delays in product launches

Product launches need to be expertly timed and positioned to attract customers and generate revenue. Manual product data entry, communication issues, and cluttered product information will cause product launch delays, thus hampering business momentum and growth.

PIM system embedded in MDM ensures that such issues do not occur by allowing businesses to create a dashboard for monitoring and tracking product completion stages and information. This feature will render easy access to enriched product information, thus creating a better customer experience and improved sales.

5. Cluttered channel distribution and sale management

Businesses must leverage multi-channel distribution and sales strategy to generate increased revenue and collect more customer data. A stand-alone PIM will not be able to support the disparate data demands, standards, formats, and approval and pricing policies of the different channels.

A mature MDM system helps businesses with multi-channel demands by providing the most accurate and up-to-date information in flexible formats to suit diverse markets and demographics.

For businesses to stay ahead of the competition and benefit from improved customer experience, they need effective Product Information Management (PIM) embedded in a robust Master Data Management (MDM) program.

Read: Master Data Management Solutions

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