From information to insight: Maximizing the value of PIM

  1. chevron left iconFrom information to insight: Maximizing the value of PIM
Josh Van Dyk Headshot.jpg
Josh Van DykApril 27, 2023
  • Product Information Management

Why PIM needs a new approach

In today's digital landscape, product information plays a crucial role in shaping customer experiences, driving sales, and ensuring the success of businesses across various industries.

The traditional view of a product information management system, or PIM, as a mere place to corral product data has limited companies’ ability to deliver valuable insights and create meaningful connections with customers. Instead, by understanding that a PIM is about more than just information, businesses can use it to find insights that will build a data-driven organization, create significantly faster time to market and unlock new opportunities.

What are the different types of product information?

All product information is not created equal. It’s worth exploring some of the basic types that most companies encounter.


  • Traditional product information: features, specifications, pricing, product descriptions and media.


  • Instructional product information: detailed but accessible explanations of how to use the product, including manuals, how-to guides, and spec sheets.


  • Workflow-oriented product information: creating workflows to improve new product launches and time to market. That includes approval processes for product changes and how to quickly publish them in the omnichannel world.


  • The product’s users: Understanding the demographics, preferences, and behaviors of the people using a product is essential for businesses to create targeted marketing strategies, develop customer personas, and optimize their products to better meet user needs.

Move beyond information

Maximizing the value of your product information management (PIM) software involves using data to leverage connections, including the ones between people within your organization including marketing, customer service, production and more. To do this, you have to build your PIM strategy on strong foundations.

Step One: Analyze current PIM strategies

To unlock the full potential of product information, businesses must first evaluate their current data collection and analysis. Are current data storage methods unified, i.e. are databases either all intrinsically linked or centralized so there is a single source of truth of your master product data? This is typically an ERP system or Master Data Management System. This information should flow directly into your PIM which will minimize duplication and errors when syndicating products or creating marketing collateral. Your PIM will be able to lock down the master product data and provide role-appropriate access to that information across your organization?

The best PIM system in the world can be rendered useless by poor education and integration. It just takes something as simple as failing to agree on universal tagging terms for the whole strategy to come tumbling down.

On the other hand, if companies can establish simple procedures in advance, they will have built strong foundations that will help them make data-driven decisions that improve product management. PIM solutions like censhare can help, ensuring that valuable insights are readily available to inform decision-making.

Step Two: Convert data into collaborations

A solid PIM foundation works best when combined with a strong DAM (Digital Asset Management) module. Together, the two allow you to maximize collaboration and create content faster.

Empower your product teams and marketing/creative teams to work together seamlessly and quickly with a PIM + DAM combination. You can quickly create marketing collateral, such as spec sheets, that utilizes your product information. Sourcing this information from your master data source in the PIM eliminates errors or inconsistencies in the marketing material you create and publish.

Product managers armed with a PIM + DAM solution gain the ability to translate product information into tangible assets quickly and efficiently.

3 things to look for:

When looking at PIM platforms there are a lot of options. The best platforms can do a lot more for your business than just organize your product information. If you are looking to procure a truly great platform it should leverage your PIM data to its full potential:

  1. Flexible data modeling
    More than just inputting product data, data modeling is all about how your PIM handles product groupings/hierarchy, new products, and the growth of products over time. If you begin to add new information, is the PIM’s data model rigid or is it flexible enough to handle new categories, changes in your data model, acquisitions of new companies with completely different data models. Is the data model flexible enough to easily change as your business evolves over time? Flexibility is key, without it you will likely outgrow your platform in a few years and need to spend a lot of time and money procuring a new one.
  2. Efficiency and Automations
    A PIM platform that also has robust workflow management can dramatically decrease your time to market by creating efficiencies in the time it takes to move from product ideation, to approvals, to syndication.If you are looking to maximize automations of your product collateral (spec sheets, manuals, sales one-pagers, etc.) look for a platform that has a InDesign server connection and allows you to build automations. Product collateral that used to take 1-2 days to create gets cut down to seconds by dragging a product into an InDesign template which then runs an automation on the backend to create a full product marketing collateral.
  3. Relationship management
    Look for a PIM + DAM solution that is built on a graph database. This will allow your team to see all of the relationships between products, product planning, marketing campaigns, marketing material and syndication channels (web, social, print) and how they are all connected. To that end, any good PIM needs to display a robust ability to actively manage those data relationships, rather than simply catalog them.

Transforming information into real-world insights

Using PIM to derive strategic insights from product information is not limited to any specific sector. Indeed, industries that can benefit from maximizing product information value are as diverse as manufacturing, retail, consumer packaged goods (CPG), hospitality, investments & insurance, and media & entertainment.

From information on physical items, such as supermarket fresh goods, to human beings - in this case, a slimmer’s success is the ‘product’ - PIM is an invaluable resource in developing your business. Here are just two examples of the many that can be found, in detail, on the censhare Customer Success Stories hub.

Case Study 1

The changing face of media - Hearst UK

Twenty-four major publications across the UK reach an estimated one-third of all women and a quarter of all men in the country. That’s an impressive accomplishment, but also a major challenge when it comes to regular production.

For Hearst, censhare provided the tools to manage its editorial product. Words and pictures from dozens of sources flow together to create a single magazine. With censhare, Hearst is able to take product information for each of those sources and create insights on what works, what doesn’t, and how everything fits together.[PAR]

censhare facilitates the process, allowing Hearst to better manage all the necessary information to get a feature, a story, a photo, or an ad into print.

Case Study 2

Streamlining book production - Slimming Word

Recipes, success stories, and over 30,000 images form the ingredients for a successful Slimming World book. From a haphazard and disparate system, censhare provided Slimming World with a PIM that centralized its entire library.

Employees in charge of planning the piece of content can start with key product information and work backwards to map out an achievable and streamlined workflow, drastically reducing production times.

Case Study 3

Supporting the moment of sale - Kwikee

Product information poses a particular challenge for ecommerce platforms. That’s in part because of the sheer volume of information, with tens of thousands of products across hundreds of vendors.

Kwikee provides one critical element - manufacturer-approved images for over 420,000 products. That equates to over 9 million images, and censhare PIM handles them all. Of course, PIM as a simple yet effective, centralized catalog of product information is vital for companies for whom a single source of product truth is a vital everyday commerce tool.


Embracing a broader perspective on product information can drive business success by transforming it into an invaluable data asset. Data-driven insights can shape product strategy, leading to improved customer experiences, more efficient workflows, and enhanced collaboration across teams.

By acknowledging the potential of product information, companies can unlock new opportunities and thrive in the digital landscape.

Contact censhare to begin your own process of transforming raw product information into powerful corporate insights.

Josh Van Dyk Headshot.jpg
Josh Van Dyk
As Vice President, North American Sales for censhare US, Josh oversees the censhare solution consultants, and sales teams for North America, and has over 15 years of tech experience in the software industry. Over the last several years at censhare, he has had the opportunity to help many companies benefit from implementing a truly unified enterprise DAM, and understands the value of helping companies knock down data silos and create RIO through automation.

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