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Product Information Management for marketing

3 minute read
Product Information Management for Marketing - ©iStockphoto.com/skynesher

Marketing teams today have to move fast. Keeping up with continually changing customer habits and market trends means they need to react quickly, adapting campaigns to what will work best for their brand at any point in time, or risk missing out on sales.

By enabling companies to deliver the right product content to the right channels, at the right time, and in the right context, a Product Information Management (PIM) solution is an essential tool for any marketing department - particularly in an increasingly omnichannel world.

Considerably more complex

Marketing has evolved. Although the overall goal of marketing has always been to build a pipeline of qualified leads to hand over to sales, the role itself has become considerably more complex in recent years.

While the model varied depending on the target audience and vertical, marketing materials and actions - from raising awareness to consideration - were traditionally the basic tools used to build a pipeline. Now though, marketing also has to ensure cohesive and positive customer experiences. End consumers will engage with a brand across a range of different channels. They expect their experience to be seamless, regardless of which channels they use, and for marketing to be tailored to their needs. In fact, 72 percent of consumers say they’ll only engage with personalized messaging.

We know that the right product placement in the right place at the right time can entice even a passive browser to make an impulse purchase. But if a brand can’t place relevant and enticing product content in front of its target audience - wherever they are - then it’s likely they’ll simply look elsewhere. This need for relevant and consistent omnichannel product information is one of the key challenges that can be tackled by the use of a PIM solution.

Consistent customer experience

Product Information Management (PIM) allows brands to easily manage and deliver rich, accurate, and up-to-date product content- anytime and anywhere. However, in addition to ensuring customers are informed and assured that a particular product is the one they’re looking for - on whichever channel they’re looking for it - PIM also allows marketing teams to evaluate and quickly adapt based on how their campaigns are performing.

By identifying which content works best on which channels and for which audience, it’s possible to make swift adjustments to product data, continually honing marketing messages, and improving the customer experience. Furthermore, pairing a PIM with digital asset management capabilities allows marketers to create rich content based on personas and insights by using precise product information and digital asset association.

PIM makes it quick and easy to strengthen a brand’s omnichannel presence, too. This has never been more important, especially when you consider that companies with weak omnichannel customer engagement retain only a third of their customers. Those with extremely strong omnichannel customer engagement, on the other hand, retain 89 percent.

The sheer volume of data a brand holds on its various different products, and the number and type of channels across which this information needs to be shared means it’s no longer feasible to handle all that data manually. A PIM solution, however, can disseminate complete, consistent, and channel-optimized product content from a centralized source to wherever it’s needed. This way, marketing teams are able to quickly update product listings, produce catalogs, and even take new products to market - all while ensuring customers enjoy a seamless, consistent experience across each and every one of a brand’s marketing channels.

Single pane of glass

Marketing teams don’t work in isolation, of course. The success of a campaign often depends on collaboration with other areas of a business, such as sales, finance, and customer services. A never-ending stream of calls, meetings, and emails to discuss the latest analysis and design iterations can be a massive hindrance to that success, though. After all, speed and agility are essential.

But the single pane of glass view offered by a PIM system means marketing teams are able to access the latest versions of product data at all times, allowing them to react quickly when necessary, and spend more time devising innovative new marketing strategies.

The role of the marketing team has become increasingly more challenging over the last couple of decades. Building that pipeline of leads for the sales team is still a vital part of a marketing strategy, but consumer demand for satisfying and seamless omnichannel experiences means there’s now so much more to focus on.

Implementing a PIM solution allows marketing teams to work closely with other departments, tailor product information for specific audiences and share it across specific channels, monitoring and analyzing its performance, and adapting it accordingly. PIM is a vital part of a marketer’s toolkit, offering consistency in a rapidly changing world.