Controlling The Product Content Explosion

Maintaining control over a complex range of product data is key to enhancing customer experience to create the joy which gives weight to your brand.

  1. chevron left iconControlling The Product Content Explosion
Morag Cuddeford-JonesFebruary 8, 2021
  • Product Information Management

When it comes to getting small jobs done, are you the sort of person to tackle them head on, or do you tend to put them off? Why is that? Do you have everything you need at hand to do the job, or are you delaying because you know it will take you twice as long just to find all the right tools?

So many of us put off what we could do today until tomorrow, because what we need to complete the job is in disarray. As a result, many of us put up with mediocre solutions far longer than we have to. We’re missing out on a part of our lives that could be functioning beautifully - something Marie Kondo, the Japanese home organizer, would say “sparks joy”.

Creating Customer Joy

What’s this got to do with product information? Product data is the nuts, bolts and brackets of your finished product. Every detail must be recorded and maintained, and accurately presented to the customer. You need it to be organized for everything to work smoothly, for your whole brand experience to ‘spark joy’. Only you can never seem to lay your hand easily on the right bit when you need it.

The bad news is, this disorganization can spiral out of control and reach the customer in a variety of different ways, pretty much all of which result in negatively impacting their experience or your brand. The good news is it’s easy to correct.

Product Content at the Center

Strong Product Information Management, or PIM, is fundamental to the success of today’s omnichannel organizations. There is almost no part of the organization that it doesn’t touch, from supply chain and inventory, to in store promotions and social selling. As customer interactions become more and more complex, it’s vital that information is clear, concise and connected.

Take, for example, the humble cooker. The sum of its parts is fairly unexceptional – an oven or two, a grill, some burners, and perhaps a timer. But how that information is organized and prioritized can be the difference between success and failure.

Cultural differences, for example, lend new dimensions to the cooker’s brand story. The wok burner will clearly be of more importance in certain cuisines. A small, finely balanced burner ideal for an espresso coffee pot will be a key selling point for other tastes. For those of us in countries with a conscientious approach to climate change, the product’s sustainability credentials will loom large.

What this means is that now, instead of just a range of brands, products, variants and price points to market across multiple channels, segments and geographies, there are now also different product stories to be told across those same channels, segments and geographies.

On top of this, even the end customer is getting involved. User generated content or UGC is becoming increasingly important to companies as it reinforces critical brand trust and widens customer engagement. But making sure the right product information is being accessed and shared by consumers is only possible if that information is being tightly controlled in terms of accessibility and accuracy. For an idea of the scale of information companies are dealing with, kwikee, the ecommerce engine has nine million files on over 420,000 products. This could be a content explosion and one that can only be effectively contained with PIM.

Integrating Systems for Optimal Product Data Management

If the prospect of integrating such a huge wealth of assets across an ever growing range of channels and platforms seems daunting, we recommend delving into digital asset management expert, Theresa Regli’s latest paper on integrated content management, Compellingly Connected.

The paper walks you through the basics of how integrated content management systems like Digital Asset Management (DAM), Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) and Product Information Management (PIM) can work together to identify and centralize the whole company’s assets, allowing teams to collaborate on a much more holistic – and effective – content strategy.

The censhare PIM, for example, works as part of an integrated content management solution (known as Universal Content Management and highly esteemed by PIM industry analysts, including SIMIO) which pulls an organizations digital assets, content and product data into one central database, for ultimate content efficiency. The outcome of working with such an approach, is often increased efficiency through centralization, process automation, and transparent collaboration, no matter where your teams find themselves at the moment. The paper takes BSH Hausgeräte here as a real life example here at the level of a top global brand.

It’s certainly worth a read in my opinion, but I would of course say that! You can download it for free here and see what you think.

Morag Cuddeford-Jones
Morag has been a marketing journalist and editor for 20 years but is still trying to convince herself that she doesn’t look it. She came to journalism after a brief flirtation with the music and entertainment industry, which ended when she discovered that she nurtured a passionate dislike of any tunes not produced in 1985.

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