What is Product Information Management?

Product Information Management (commonly referred to as ‘PIM’) handles vast amounts of product data and related digital content. This comprehensive data set enables you to provide accurate product information to everyone in the organization, from sales and marketing to customer services, distribution partners and suppliers.

A mid to enterprise level PIM system should allow users to easily manage product data and syndicate content across all relevant channels, including your website, online shop, mobile app, print collateral, and POS application.

See PIM in Action

How does a PIM Work?

Once you’ve allowed for a connection to your product master data, a PIM is able to ingest and automatically aggregate large amounts of data and keep it consistent across all channels. The PIM will connect your Product Master Data with rich media and all product related digital assets, providing one single source of truth for all your product content. When your information is updated in one place, every piece of sales and marketing collateral reflects those same changes, thus keeping data (and people) aligned.

Types of Information You Can Manage with a PIM

  • Product Data - Such as SKUs, UPCs, information structure, product names, and product descriptions

  • Product Assets - Such as images or graphics, 3D, video, data sheets, and manuals

  • Product Specifications - Such as model or type, materials, warranty information, labels, awards, and dimensions

  • Marketing and Sales Material - Such as brochures, digital promotions and ads, and other collateral

  • Localization & Translations - Such as pricing for various regions, measurement units, warnings and legal disclaimers, currency and language variants

Why is PIM Important?

Whether you’re a manufacturer, a retailer, media production organization, or a financial entity, the chances are you have product information (and lots of it) in use throughout your organization. The question is, is the most accurate, up-to-date version of that product information available for all who need it?

Having a centralized PIM plays a large part in keeping teams on the same page with approved product information – no matter which channel each user is responsible for. This information may include items such as pricing, specs, images, packaging, video, and localized materials.

When to Consider PIM as a Solution

Over time, your product information is used in a variety of ways, places, and formats.

Despite the best intentions to centralize and upkeep product information within your organization for multiple use cases, channels, regions and languages, it is incredibly difficult to achieve this in a timely manner without a centralized solution. This overwhelming challenge is what often inspires leaders of growing brands to invest in a PIM.

When a new product becomes available or product details change, a PIM should be able to automatically syndicate the new information across channels and platforms.

Who Uses a PIM?

PIM is primarily used by retailers, manufacturers and brands that have large volumes of product IDs (SKUs) and associated product assets that require aggregation. In these instances, a PIM creates harmonization for use across the enterprise, creating a “single source of truth” for everyone. This includes organizations that produce content in multiple languages and for multiple regions.

Typically, leaders in marketing, product management, eCommerce, and IT seek out the best PIM solution for their unique needs and evaluate with an internal team.

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Key Restrictions of a Standalone PIM

PIM is just one piece of the digital experience. In isolation, it can’t provide the depth of information or the relations between product data, assets and other information required for a truly successful and joined up approach to product information management. Nor can a standalone PIM tie in the productive sourcing of information that fast paced, omnichannel digital marketing dictates.

The analytics that come out of a standalone PIM are often piecemealed together via integrations. In this way, the story can be difficult for marketing leaders and their teams to comprehend.

6 Benefits of Using an Integrated PIM in Your Content Workflow

Moving away from the standalone approach to PIM and fully embracing a scalable solution isn’t just a case of keeping pace with the latest tech. It’s a business critical move that significantly improves your ability to communicate your offers while boosting collaboration within the organization.

  • Avoid using out-of-date, incomplete information
    Move away from using discrete applications in each area. Make real time updates to your product information in the same centralized database as your other content and assets. Use the same user interface, processes, and analytics across all functions.

  • No more working in silos
    The divisions between databases are dissolved, allowing for an integrated, holistic approach between your marketing, creative, and product teams.

  • Consistency across the business
    Product information, marketing collateral, and corporate branding is 100% consistent across all departments, regions, and branches.

  • Flexible marketing
    Easily manipulate product data, content, and collateral into any campaign or communication channel, not just ecommerce or social media channels.

  • Grow your business within a scalable solution
    Allow your content systems to grow with the business, without limits on the numbers of users, workflows, iterations or variants per asset.

  • Remove the complexity of your daily workflow
    Apply the semantic power of the system. Work with multiple variants of products and numerous iterations of content to supply these assets across a huge variety of channels. This patented semantic database is exclusive to censhare.

Approaching an Integrated PIM as a Solution for Your Team

Since your PIM combines all product information – including prices, potentially sensitive information, specs, and media or usage rights – into a master record, you’ll want to vet vendors carefully to ensure your bases are covered.

For example, automated updates are critical components of a well equipped PIM. This means the latest information will always be available to your team and collaborators. Additionally, these product information changes can be swiftly applied to all channels and assets.

It should also take data from an existing PIM or MDM system and make it intuitively accessible for the marketing organization to create sales and marketing material for all channels quickly, efficiently, and with consistent accuracy.

"Hang on. What’s a Semantic Network?"

censhare’s unique semantic database structure supports the creation of contextual relations between all kinds of digital objects, smartly and on the fly, enabling users to intuitively find digital assets they are looking for as well as discovering and amending related content as needed.

Learn More

Real World Success Stories

Learn from our clients how Product Information Management has helped them solve their product content challenges.

Cleaning Up Content Management

BSH Hausgeräte, one of the world’s leading companies in the home appliance market, uses censhare PIM to control its product content, transform its productivity, and to bring its customers the information they need.

State of the Art Communication Management

Migros, the largest supermarket chain in Switzerland uses PIM to manage 6 million assets, cut agency costs by 15%, and produce 14 weekly variants of its magazine within 10 regions.

Smarter Retail? It’s in the Detail

One major US retailer uses censhare to create high quality product packaging content from 3,000+ consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers to retailers for digital advertising, marketing, ecommerce, mobile, and planogram applications.

Getting Started with Your New PIM

After signing the contract, the implementation phase begins. This usually means that the actions defined with your vendor will be taken, i.e. data sources and output channels will be connected, data will be ingested, workflows and other processes will be defined, dashboards will be set up, and so on. Towards the end of this phase, your teams will be trained on how to use the system.

For large brands, it is a good idea to test drive the system in smaller markets. This usually generates valuable user feedback and can help identify improvement potential before rolling it out to all employees and other stakeholders. Once the tests have been concluded successfully, the system will be launched, and the new way of working will be available for everyone.

Transitioning from a Standalone PIM

If you already have a PIM and you’re looking to make a switch, the first step is to identify a holistic PIM vendor that matches your requirements for managing product data and related information and material.

Typically, you will have already identified the data sources within your organization that you would like to incorporate into your PIM project as part of the RFI process. After all, you and your vendor need to agree on the effort required to make the existing information available for everyone. At the same time, you will want to describe all (or most of) the existing processes – e.g., who provides data, and where and how that will data be used. While not everything needs to be finalized up front, all parties should have a thorough understanding of what’s going to happen once the final buying decision has been made.

censhare Product Information Management

With censhare PIM, you can integrate, aggregate and manage all of your product information and see it in relation to product groups, families, and variants. It is built specifically with enterprise level workflows in mind, and links product data with related media and product descriptions.

  • 240p
  • 360p
  • 480p
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  • Flexible product information structures

  • In line processing of product master data

  • Connections to all media assets

  • Mass processing of product data

  • Process based automation

  • Manages product variants

  • Integrated editor for mass data editing

  • Completeness check for product data

  • Integrated publishing and syndication of product data

censhare PIM provides a single source of information that puts product data at everyone’s fingertips.

Learn More About censhare PIM

Ready to See How PIM Can Help Streamline Your Projects?

Request a demo on censhare’s PIM solution, or send us a message about your unique use case and we’ll see how we can help!

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