The vastness of the martech landscape makes the process of software procurement rather unintuitive. It might be obvious that your company needs to refine its digital strategy, but since all the software vendors you speak with have a logical reason to invest in their product or platform, a sound strategy and direction are needed before you listen to your first pitch.
So how do you begin to build your strategy?
The architect of the building you’re sitting in didn’t begin with the top floor and work his or her way down. Buildings begin with infrastructure. Any digital architect will also tell you to begin with infrastructure and work your way up.
That being said, even digital infrastructure comes in different flavors depending on your business or industry.
If your business is reliant on catalog production, for example, a DAM might be a good foundational building block. If your business is centered around selling inventory online or even offline, then a PIM is a likely candidate to build upon.
Whichever direction you choose to go, it’s vital that you invest wisely, because starting from scratch is rarely an option, as platforms are time-consuming to research and not inexpensive to implement.
By understanding the functionality and limitations of different platforms you can rest easy knowing that you made the correct decision. Below are five reasons why your business needs a PIM.
1. You’re still using a web content management (WCM) solution to manage your products
This is perhaps the most common reason that businesses end up with a PIM. Running your online shop with an e-commerce platform or WCM before you have a PIM is a little like building your first floor before you dig your basement.
E-commerce can technically be used without a Product Information Management, but it’s very hard to scale upward without the strict taxonomy and structure that a PIM inherently solves for.
Because of a PIM’s rule-based classification, matching and linking capabilities, for example, you can ensure high-quality data no matter the volume of data you onboard.
2. You need a shorter time to market
Having your house in order, so to speak, allows you to go to market quicker with any new products and variations of previous products. About now a light might be going off in your head.
The more SKUs you have, the more important it is to have them organized in a way that can quickly be added, maintained, searched and disseminated. Improving time to market speed requires collaboration from at least three entities: manufacturers, distributors and retailers.
With a PIM's integrated workflow management capability, processes are automated and smooth collaboration and orchestration are enabled, effectively eliminating elements that slow down time to market.
3. You want your business to be data-driven
With 47% of customers saying they would immediately take their business to a competitor the moment they experience poor customer service and 68% more vowing to never do a repeat business once they’ve switched, no wonder customer expectation delivery is critical to 81% of decision-makers.
Hence, the importance of customer insights. But if your product information and digital assets are stored across multiple ecommerce platforms or even local drives, your ability to discern any relevant data from your products is next to impossible.
A PIM allows you to have a 360-degree view from where your products are stored, physically, all the way through the sale and shipment of an item.
Of course, the all-important sales process, which channel is most successful, who is purchasing your products, and even help to refine your target messaging based on user habits and history, is front and center when it comes to PIM development.
4. You take personalization seriously
A mere online presence isn’t good enough anymore. Now consumers expect a tailored experience no matter where they visit on the Internet. In fact, 74% of online consumers don’t appreciate content that has nothing to do with them.
If you can’t place relevant products in front of your target audience then they will simply purchase elsewhere, or not at all, as proper product placement can entice even a passive looker to make an impulsive buying decision.
With a PIM's analytics and digital asset management capability, you can create remarkable content based on personas, campaigns and insights from product information and digital asset association.
5. You value happy customers
It’s common knowledge that it costs much more to attain a customer than to retain a customer.
By having control of your SKUs from the warehouse through the buying cycle and to the front door, you can ensure that your customers aren’t getting the wrong size or color and that they’ll be as satisfied with the buying experience as they are with the end product.
Why the emphasis on experience? Because more than price and product, customer experience will be the key brand differentiator come 2020.
You know your business better than any software vendor ever could - but we can help you identify why your business needs a PIM system. To build your digital presence properly, having an idea of where to begin is the first step to a successful procurement process.
Once your foundation is in place, you can scale with the knowledge that the assets that your business needs to succeed are fully functional and are carrying out a strategy designed for your business.