The role of the marketing executive is often associated with strategic and creative decisions to strengthen the brand and to support the sales organization. The more products and sales channels you have and the more markets and language areas you work in, the harder it gets to communicate a clear-cut image of the company’s offers. And the more expensive it gets to handle all texts, pictures, graphs, logos and relations to complementary articles etcetera.
PIM and the digital B2B-machinery
The challenges grow exponentially as the customers come in contact with more and more varieties of products in more and more digital and analogue channels. To maximize results at the lowest possible cost, these days most leading companies have developed a well-oiled digital machinery. A vital cog in this machinery is the so-called PIM (Product Information Management) process, which handles all information about the company’s products.
Same product, different facts
Many B2B companies have substantial product and spare part catalogs and it’s not unusual that some product facts and price data are presented in different ways, during different periods of time, through different channels. Maybe it’s because of IT not keeping up or because of lack of overview. Those types of misses can become both costly and lead to the loss of customer confidence.
Large portions of these costs are hidden, or rather obscure, which is why the exact return on an investment can sometimes be hard to show. And it hardly becomes simpler to prove as the ones who really see the benefits of it is marketing, but the one that handles the cost is the CIO.
These days, many industry databases require a certain way of delivering information and companies need to adjust to the format that they choose. Therefore there is power gain to be made in having a good information model to send and receive structured data.
Choose a PIM-partner, not a PIM-system
There’s a lot of money to be saved and earned by having a thought through PIM solution. But where do you start? A common mistake is to go directly to the technological solution and evaluate different systems. To optimize the use of such an investment it is necessary to first and foremost develop a thought through strategy based on the company’s unique goals and prerequisites and thereafter develop the internal process that the strategy demands. With this foundation the company will both organize activities in an optimal way and produce specifications for a suitable system.
There are lots of good technological solutions on the market. To the extent that the company considers itself to be in need of external guidance, it is important to choose a partner that can handle the entire chain of events – from business needs to strategy, process and system; not limited to a predetermined technological solution.