The Content Hub Revolution: Regaining Control of Product Information

  1. chevron left iconThe content hub revolution: Regaining control of product information
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Lucy Campbell-WoodwardApril 27, 2021
  • Product Information Management
  • Content Management

Can you imagine a more important place to have all the information to hand than a hospital? To be able to see, at a glance, the latest treatment regimen, reactions, successes and failures – and next steps. Now, can you imagine managing this healthcare resource and content hub to curate critical patient information?

Yes, we’re talking about the same sort of content hub that catalogs SKUs, marries them to price information, product dimensions, manufacturer data, stockist details and gets them in shape to share with retailers, social networks and magazines.

The Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia does just this and it shows just how powerful a PIM system can be when it comes to managing information.

In essence, the ‘product’ is the patient’s story, the ‘product attributes’ all the pieces of information that go into telling that story – their photo, drugs administered, progress made, even consent forms and insurance details. All contained in a hub ready to be shared with whoever needs information that is up-to-the-minute accurate, but equally secure and controlled by strict permissions, making sure no-one has access to confidential records who shouldn’t have.

Being able to access accurate information when it’s needed by the right person and for the right person needn’t always be a matter of life or death. However, there is no denying that content hubs are becoming an increasingly powerful tool in competitive marketplaces.

The sheer volume of content distribution needed for brands to stay relevant and in front of the customer is staggering. Besides their own channels – websites, social media, catalogs and more – there are retailer channels, advertising, earned media and increasingly chat and app-based content. The omnichannel universe is expanding much faster than brands can produce the content needed to fill it.

Surprisingly, given the demands of the modern marketplace, only a little over a third (37%) of companies state they have an integrated and centralized content hub, according to censhare’s State of Universal Content Management, 2020 report. Even fewer have this capability on the agency side at just 22%.

Unsurprisingly, a lack of centralization can lead to delays in getting campaigns live or updating ecommerce sites. More worryingly, it is also a significant contributor to inconsistent or inaccurate product information. This, in turn, leads to order returns, customer dissatisfaction, and ultimately, loss of custom to better prepared competitors.

A recent report from PWC, Retailing 2020: Winning in a polarized world, stated that consistency was vital to a successful retail brand. It stated: “In a fragmented world, the need for a multitude of shoppers to have a similar impression of what the retailer stands for actually becomes more important, not less.”

The PWC report also identified another critical element for success in such a crowded omnichannel marketplace, called ‘The quest for the new efficiency’. This was made up of four parts: Opportunity realization, lowest potential unit cost, holistic productivity management and doing the right work. It is particularly the last of these where PIM and the content hub come into their own. The report splits ‘doing the right work’ into two parts:

Focus on eliminating unproductive work – ie employees spending a lot of time looking for information, removing duplications or correcting errors.

Envision new ways of doing new things – by streamlining the source of product information and arranging it in a format that makes it easy to use in a range of inventive ways, companies can take a new approach to their content creation that is faster and more effective than before.

One excellent example of this is in the way home appliance retailer, BHS Hausgeräte GmbH (BSH), which reorganized its content to be able to create more effective marketing. This involved the ‘Feature Story’ approach. Take the PerfectBake Sensor, present in a number of the retailers’ oven ranges. These stories can be made up of a number of different product features such as icons, descriptions and perhaps a video.

Instead of describing each new product from scratch, BSH can create a Feature Story, often before any of the new product information is available. The story re-uses features, packaging them together to be used across new products, increasing efficiency and maintaining brand consistency. A consistent set of pre-packaged product features also allows for faster, more accurate localisation and better product and brand storytelling.

To find out more about how censhare AG’s PIM and content hub solutions can help bring product information under control and create an effective, efficient marketing organisation, as well as experience a walk-through of the easy-to-use, intuitive software, download The Content Hub Revolution on-demand webinar.

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Lucy Campbell-Woodward
Lucy is the Digital Marketing Manager and a blog contributor at censhare. Based in Munich, Germany, Lucy forms a pivotal cog in the Corporate Marketing team, always with an eye on keeping the content machines churning. What her resume doesn’t state, however, is an impressive knowledge of Bavarian beer. Prost!

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