No matter what kind of business you are in, it’s not hard to imagine a scenario where your data starts to get out of control. If your business is in any way consumer facing, your data is critical for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is keeping track of your products that your business is centered around.
In today’s business climate, data is collected at an unprecedented rate. In 2013 a famous study was published stating that 90% of the world’s data was collected within the last two years. Coincided with Moore’s Law, which states that technology doubles every two years, it’s easy to see how vital it is to organize and utilize your data properly. Since your products are within your control and inexcusable to not have accurate data on, product information management software is a good place to start.
Descriptions, tech specs, support information and marketing assets all require careful organization to maximize their effectiveness, and CMOs need to make sure their information-sharing protocols are intuitive and efficient.
Complex processes kill productivity
Sales execs need prices and product specs, marketers need product features, and designers need access to images. To work efficiently, content must be centralized and accessible to all departments. This way, different teams can feed into the process to deliver the best content possible, and ensure nothing is ignored. Once the content is created, you need to have automated processes to export data or connect directly to sales platforms like eBay or Amazon. This eliminates the risk of human error during platform expansion or changes to product offerings.
Inefficient sharing is expensive
Complex processes don’t just disrupt your workflow, they impact your customers and, ultimately, your bottom line. 42% of consumers have returned products because they did not match their descriptions, a problem which AT Kearney estimates can cost companies around 3.5% of their sales each year. As well as storing content centrally, it also has to be segmented. This means dividing the various assets into a hierarchy of departments, relating back to each single product. This structure ensures that every employee can quickly and easily access the right copy for the right job.
Metadata empowers creativity
Beyond the basic common-sense benefits of organizational efficiency and content accuracy, your employees need to create rich, cross-product and cross-channel campaigns. By tagging product information and other resources, your entire database becomes searchable in increasingly useful and creative ways. If every product is described in the same harmonized, information-rich protocol, then your team can compare, match, transfer and integrate it across channels. This not only maximizes your content, but also ensures a more consistent brand identity and UX.
Adding context builds understanding
As your business evolves and changes, so will your product information. Factoring in new developments, client feedback, performance history and campaign details is an essential part of improving your product information and wider marketing content. The attachment of these notes and data to your product information database will make sure that both new and existing creators and employees are fully up to date with the history of the information, and ready to improve it for new campaigns.
Centralizing data lets you take control
In order to facilitate this smooth data management, you need to be able control your assets from a centralized Product Information Management (PIM) system, making data easily searchable, more efficient and with the relevant metadata to show relationships to the marketing and content that features this particular product. With a better view of your product information, your marketing is more connected, tailored and efficient.
While the scenario where data gets out of hand is real for many companies, it doesn’t have to for you. There are options available to store your data properly and manage your product information. To find out how PIMs can help you achieve strong information-sharing, download our whitepaper Why Marketers Need To Rethink.