Too often, product marketing teams get bogged down collating product information, usually because the organization has fragmented or homegrown systems to manage data.
For each channel, season and market, teams often trawl through separate documents, image files, spreadsheets and supplier systems.
But every minute wasted on repetitive or inefficient information management is time not spent thinking strategically about the product story – and how to communicate it effectively based on your target customers and channels.
In fact, every inconsistency affects the way customers perceive your brand. Clothing retailer Lindex grappled with this problem. The company has expanded rapidly and needed to produce accurate product information in several languages.
As Lindex is entering new markets, displaying more products, and adapting to quick changes in trends and seasons, time-to-market has become essential in their process of selling and marketing quality clothing. Using inRiver PIM, Lindex now handles its large product range in a flexible way, streamlining the product marketing process by using a collaborative approach.
Staff know that products are updated with the latest information, whether they are ready for release, which channels they are made available in, and if the content has been translated or not. Using PIM has made it possible for teams to work in parallel to unify product information for all channels. Read more about Lindex’s success with PIM https://www.inriver.com/customers/lindex/
You gain a competitive advantage when you bring products to market quickly.
First mover advantage means you will be the first brand customers see when they search for new assortments, or want to know where to buy the latest equipment that is “Best in test” for the new season, like winter ski boots or summer bike fashions.
To get that speed to market you need a collaborative approach to planning.
Having a definitive source of product information is the first step in facilitating collaborative planning. The next step is to integrate product information management with your strategy and timeline.
To accomplish this, use a visual planning application that tracks all activities, milestones, timelines, deadlines, budgets and products. This ensures each employee can see the bigger picture and filter down to team and individual responsibilities, and meet team deadlines and goals faster while maintaining high quality product information.
Take a new seasonal assortment launch as an example. It is common practice for channels and geographies to manage their milestones and deliverables in isolation, even though everyone is working toward the same release date. By using a product information management system with a planning app that ties the enrichment of product information to a timeline, managers have a dashboard that highlights progress and flags holdups. Employees can work more effectively, sharing information and collaborating strategically to work to tighter timelines – with a better result.
Your processes need to adapt to fast-paced digital marketing, which means eliminating inefficiency.
Most bottlenecks occur because an employee or team must wait for someone else to finish a task before they can proceed.
Flexible processes allow you to market more effectively based on factors like channel, geography and season. For instance, different routes to market prioritize products differently. Parallel workflows mean online marketplaces do not have to wait on the e-commerce website or catalog to achieve milestones before proceeding.
It also means local teams can manage assortments independently while still working towards global timescales and delivering a consistent brand experience. Teams then filter information by channel so they only see what is relevant to their task. This means the website, posters, leaflets and catalogs are all consistent, and everyone can access the right information they need to work productively. It is a seamless process that can extend all the way to the external advertising agency, simplifying brand management.
Sports retailer Stadium experienced the benefits of this approach, finding it significantly easier for employees to manage very large volumes of product information and digital assets in the fast-paced and trend-sensitive business of sports, while still handling product information consistently across multiple channels. This has dramatically reduced production costs, improved the quality of marketing material, enhanced customer experience and increased sales. When Stadium entered new geographic markets such as Germany, they had all their product information ready and translated for all channels within 3 months of deciding to open there - something that would have taken much longer without the flexibility to collaborate that they get from inRiver PIM. Read the entire Stadium story https://www.inriver.com/customers/stadium/
The result of collaboration? Harmony across workloads, empowering employees and delivering a more compelling story to customers – one that is told before your competitors have figured out how to present their information.