With the global Product Information Management (PIM) market size expected to reach US$ 68.1 billion by 2030, there will be increasing demand for flexible and cost-effective PIM solutions and the role of product information managers. In today’s hypercompetitive market, businesses need to manage multiple channels, product catalogs and complex product details. Yet, most companies still face various challenges in handling product information, including data silos, lack of collaboration between teams and inconsistency across sales channels. With data coming from various sources and in multiple formats, creating high-quality product information isn’t always easy, which explains why 45% of B2B buyers often find product information incorrect.
Are you trying to achieve a high level of agility and integrity in product data distribution through manual product information management? For this, you might still be maintaining your data in Excel or an isolated ERP system. But to harness the full potential of your products, you would need software that’s designed to manage product data efficiently and a dedicated team to implement it. In this article, we will cover the definition of PIM, how a PIM team can support your company's vision and what are the tasks and responsibilities of a product information manager.
What is Product Information Management (PIM)?
Product Information Management (PIM) is a data management solution that enables businesses to consolidate, manage and enrich product data in a centralized repository and distribute high-quality, consistent and personalized product information across channels. It provides a range of benefits including the ability to build enhanced customer experiences, optimize internal processes and strengthen partner network relations.
Building a PIM team to support your company’s vision
One of the most crucial factors in a successful PIM implementation is to establish a dedicated project team within your company. Make sure this team consists of people who know the products and the associated data. While a PIM provider can help with a smooth transition to the system, it’s your team who knows your company's processes at the fingertips. So, when it comes to product attributes, sales channels and digital asset management challenges, it’s key to keep your finger on the pulse. Within most PIM systems you can easily assign roles and create organized workflows.
But this will only be possible after establishing priorities and discussing the project scope and desired outcomes in the initial stages. Depending on the project’s complexity, you may need to assign the role of a product information manager, who is responsible for defining business requirements and ensuring a successful onboarding within budget.
What does a product information manager do?
A product information manager is accountable for managing data in a PIM system and providing customers with complete, consistent and localized product information across channels. Poor product information quality is commonly caused by the lack of coordination and the use of isolated solutions to collect and manage data. Therefore, one of the most important tasks of this job is to "reduce the number of different sources in the company" and to determine "who are the parties collecting data and in which system this data is best stored," as Marc Konermann, PIM administrator at BRAND GMBH + CO KG, explains. The ultimate goal is to ensure that "information comes from only one source and, ideally, is no longer duplicated."
This leadership position is also responsible for maintaining data quality, formatting, reviewing, centralizing and uploading product content and digital assets into the PIM and Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems. This data is often distributed to consumer-facing websites, B2B/B2C ecommerce applications, etc. A product information manager works closely with IT, Product Management, Marketing and subject matter experts throughout the organization and with key product information stakeholders to establish product information consistency.
Responsibilities of a product information manager
Successfully rolling out software depends on how well employees adapt to technology. The leading role of a PIM manager is to ensure the PIM project will be carried out to the highest standard possible, with all employees on board and a solid implementation plan in place. The exact job description, duties and responsibilities of a product information manager vary from position to position. Still, most PIM managers carry out several similar tasks, including:
- Determining business needs and working to meet those needs in the PIM system
- Managing the brand catalogs and ensuring data accuracy and completion
- Integrating the PIM system with the existing technological ecosystem (e.g., ERP and CRM)
- Creating and managing business rules, processes and workflows directly in the PIM system to support standard work and quality improvements
- Determining taxonomy, hierarchies, attributes and user privileges
- Managing multi-format source files for a single target use
- Working closely with product owners, external partners/suppliers and brand and marketing managers to create appropriate models to distribute product content in different channels
- Sharing business knowledge and understanding among team members and stakeholders
- Assisting in designing/defining transformations, outputs and business rules within the PIM system
- Providing support, training and education for new users and all functional areas as needed
- Defining, measuring and reporting key performance indicators and metrics for product data quality
The bottom line
Introducing a PIM system is of strategic importance to most companies. It will change the way you present your products to the outside world, unravel new business opportunities and have a significant impact on your teams and departments. But to achieve your most critical goals, you should select a product information manager to guide your team through PIM implementation and optimization processes. Since this is not only an IT project, the right person for the job is someone with a global view of all data resources and processes. They will need to have high-level insights and knowledge of all departments handling key information, ranging from your product descriptions to your omnichannel marketing efforts, including all information that is distributed on multiple channels.
Therefore, choose wisely because the role and responsibilities of the PIM manager are critical to serving customers better by providing relevant information, removing buying obstacles and leading them further along the sales cycle.