PIM or MDM? Maybe you need both!

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