A Definition of Product Information Management
Product Information Management or PIM isn't often associated with Product Lifecycle Management. But it's a mistake to simply say that PLM is for engineers and manufacturing, while PIM is for sales and marketing. Without successful product commercialization, even the best designed products will have a hard time succeeding in the market. Product Information Management involves getting the latest relevant product information into all sales channels and into the hands of customers.
Key Capabilities for Product Information Management
- Data aggregation: data needed for selling and marketing products often come from multiple sources. If possible, it's better if sales and marketing can share the same product platform as engineering and manufacturing. Otherwise, companies need to be able to extract, consolidate and load data from separate systems.
- Content management: marketing teams typically need to supplement or enrich product data with marketing assets, like artwork, multimedia, collateral, promotional materials and other documentation. Companies need to not only store this information, but make it easy to share, collaborate and update this content both internally and externally.
- Sales enablement: sharing marketing and product information with sales channels is one thing, getting them trained and effective in selling new products and updates is another. Companies should ensure they have systems and processes in place to communicate, train, and certify direct sales, distributors and other channel partners.
- Omni-channel management: different channels may require different types of information for what is essentially the same product. Companies need to be able to easily manage channel-specific differences like pricing, product categories, product names, language, artwork and more. Allowing channels and partners to update this data also streamlines data management.
- Change management: a key component of product commercialization is managing changes in a controlled manner. Updating fields and assets is the bare minimum, but it's more important to be able to propose, review and approve product changes over time, including pricing, assets, options and more.
Benefits of Product Information Management
Companies who execute well with PIM software can expect the following benefits:
- Higher sales productivity
- Increased partner revenue
- Faster time to market
- Higher customer satisfaction
Find out more about PLM, or learn more about Propel's approach to product information management, which offers a highly flexible and collaborative solution built on and integrated with the world-class Salesforce CRM platform.