Few would disagree that, in today’s world, data is ubiquitous. In fact, IDC predicts that the digital universe doubles in size every two years and, by 2025, will reach 163 trillion gigabytes.
In light of that statistic, what do you think of when you think of managing data within your organization? In many cases, Master Data Management, or MDM, comes to mind. This isn’t surprising—when you Google the term ‘Master Data Management,’ millions of results are returned. These results are dominated by firms such as IBM, Oracle, and Talend—firms that offer a method to manage your customer, operational, and transactional data and to implement data policies and governance across your enterprise.
But what MDM does not—and cannot—do, is manage product data in a way or format that is useful to marketers and customers. What this suggests is that MDM needs product information management (PIM), just as PIM can leverage MDM. In fact, according to Ventana Research, “the top two barriers to being able to have and use a single version of product data are incompatible tools (52%) and disparate forms of data (48%). Each is a problem that can be addressed through the effective integration of MDM and PIM into the business.”
PIM can take the product data that is being effectively policed and governed by the MDM solution and turn it into product information—product content that can actually be used to sell products! And isn’t that the true goal of your organization? You aren’t in business to manage data. You are in business to put your great products into the hands of valued customers!
If you deploy a true PIM, you will have a central store of product information—one single source of truth—which you and your colleagues can rely upon for accurate and complete product information. Why wouldn’t you want that?
Product marketers, digital marketers, and merchandizers can leverage a PIM solution to enrich product data with imagery, romance content, and upsell/cross-sell relationships. This product information can then be disseminated to a variety of online and offline systems—to e-commerce engines, CMS platforms, and downstream vendors.
Ventana Research’s study uncovered that by deploying a PIM solution, “74% of organizations report they are able to eliminate errors and mistakes. Another benefit, cited by 61 percent of organizations, is being able to improve the customer experience, which…increases customer engagement and improves the quality of interactions.”
We agree that both data governance and MDM are needed to manage the exponential growth in data that is being created within organizations every day. As the digitization of systems continues to increase, enterprises need to have the right solutions in place to address their data challenges.
Turn your product data into useable product information with PIM. Read the Ventana white paper for more reasons why.
Kathryn Zwack, Senior Content Marketing Manager, inRiver
It is widely known and understood that prospects and customers begin their online product search on a search engine or on Amazon. In fact, according to a survey by PowerReviews 35% of customers begin their search on Google and 38% on Amazon.
Customers are looking for convenience when considering a purchase. Most prefer to search online rather than talking to one of your sales reps or walking into a store. Depending on the industry, as many as 80% of customers have researched their product purchase online before they even talk to you.
To take advantage of these growing customer habits, you must ensure that your products are findable through online search engines. Here are three tips to help make that happen.
When a prospect enters key words into the search field in Google or Amazon or another vendor site, how will they know that the best results will be presented? What can be very frustrating for the prospect, and a lost customer for you, is when no suitable results are presented. What the user will see will be the results crafted by the best search engine optimizers, pay-per-click managers, and feature advertisers. What the user is not necessarily seeing are the results that meet their needs.
We understand that search engine ranking is important, but consider this: What it you reallocated some of the resources spent on SEO or PPC advertising and used it for producing and displaying great content? What if you really let your products tell their stories? Not only would you be rewarded by Google’s website crawlers organically for having great content, but also your potential customers would find your products more easily and buy from you. In addition, as you review key word usage on your site, you will be able to more appropriately refine your key word selection through a feedback loop to reflect the words that your customers use to find products on your site. Read more on this topic.
Once a potential customer has found your site, you want them to be able to find suitable products within your assortment quickly and easily. By setting up a great taxonomy within inRiver, your products and associated attributes will be organized and properly classified, assisting users in being able to efficiently search and filter for the SKU that best meets their needs.
Read more on taxonomy and how it benefits your downstream channels in this blog by our partner, Earley Information Science.
Product Up-sell and Cross-sell
One way your business adds value is by helping customers make informed purchasing decisions. This does not just apply to the way you promote single products ― it also applies to the way you cross-sell and up-sell.
When you have high-quality information—categorized and tagged appropriately—it is easy to show customers how to combine complementary products. You gain a competitive advantage and increase revenue because you give your customers an in-depth understanding of the product and guide them toward the ideal solution for their needs.
When you deploy inRiver Product Marketing Cloud, you are able to quickly and easily create product assortments and relationships—in the manner of a “look book” for retailers or “additional parts and services” for B2B vendors. Contact us for a demo!
Kathryn Zwack, Senior Content Marketing Manager, inRiver