Manage product experiences efficiently with PIM, DAM & CM

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP: Product Experience Management

Marketing and e-commerce managers are faced with the challenging task of increasing sales, improving customer satisfaction and building a strong brand in the long term. In today’s digital retail landscape, this is becoming even more difficult due to growing global competition, rising expectations of product content and increased cost pressure. Effective and efficient product communication is the key to optimising product experiences in digital retail. In the latest apollon Thought Leadership Paper, we have summarised the most important basics of the PIM, DAM and Channel Management (CM) systems and explain how Artificial Intelligence (AI) can increase the efficiency of these software solutions.

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The impact of digital commerce on the value chain

Offline was yesterday, online is the present: and with it a shift towards a digitalised world in which more and more digital channels and their product content determine the economic structure.

The classic offline structures of the value chain are being supplemented by the increasingly important elements of digital commerce. Especially in competitive industries, companies rely on an optimised and efficient digital information supply chain. In the digital age in particular, it is therefore extremely important to focus on each individual link in the chain in order to meet the challenges of digital commerce.

Processes that are becoming more complex and also more technical due to the digitalisation of the various economic structures require suitable administrative systems that can handle the mass of different data and information. Nevertheless, the use of Excel spreadsheets is still a widespread reality and in many places leads to redundant data storage, outdated document versions and sometimes serious data quality problems. The use of Product Information Management and Data Asset Management systems, which manage and maintain the relevant data centrally and in a media-neutral manner, as well as transferring it to each company channel in a targeted manner, is much more effective and resource-efficient.

Digital commerce has changed massively in recent years: The number of channels is constantly growing, and with each channel,

the requirements for new and, above all, more content are also growing. The product content must be particularly convincing in terms of quality – this is the only way to generate converting product experiences. This includes comprehensive product information, marketing texts, slogans, product images and videos as well as corporate design elements and graphics that increase awareness in the digital channels.

Every customer currently has more opportunities than ever to get in touch with companies – and vice versa. The transition between offline and online is becoming increasingly fluid, the number of possible points of interaction ever greater. This makes consistent and cross-channel product communication and customer communication all the more important. Only with such a holistic approach can the company succeed in positioning itself on the market.

To successfully and efficiently master this task, you need the right technological foundation – Product Experience Management (PXM). PXM comprises the core disciplines of Product Information Management (PIM), Digital Asset Management (DAM) and Channel Management (CM) and thus covers both the procurement and maintenance of product content as well as the control and management of the various data recipients.

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Product Information Management

From automated data onboarding to centralised data management: PIM systems are essential for sales companies and smooth and reliable information management.

Product data is essential for many companies, but managing these sometimes very large volumes of data is a challenge for many users on the company side. With their centralised and media-neutral data management, PIM systems ensure efficient data maintenance while reliably complying with data quality rules. These solutions thus create a single source of truth for all communication processes in the context of the products.

PIM systems offer e-commerce decisive competitive advantages. Above all, this includes the centralisation of all work processes related to product data and their distribution to the respective company channels. Everything is controlled and managed via a centralised system, which contributes to an overall resource-efficient way of working. PIM systems usually obtain product data from various sources such as ERP systems, supplier portals, Excel spreadsheets and others. Data onboarding is automated by modern PIM solutions and the data is transformed into the target model with the help of mapping. Validation rules ensure the necessary quality of the data as soon as it is obtained. This allows a high level of data quality to be maintained right from the start.

The benefits that a Product Information System offers the respective companies also include the possibility of expanding the PIM system through the use of AI services, which further increase the efficiency of processes relating to the management and enrichment of product data. These include, among others:

  • Text generation: AI services are able to create product descriptions or product information based on certain predefined criteria.
  • Text translation: Translations are also part of an AI’s remit – good product descriptions in the appropriate target language are an essential component of effective marketing at an international level.

PIM systems offer decisive advantages, especially if your own company operates several sales channels, because a well-structured PIM system can ensure that all product information on each individual channel remains up-to-date and consistent. Thanks to their centralised data storage, PIM systems not only offer advantages for e-commerce or marketing, but also support sales, customer service and product management in their tasks.

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Digital Asset Management

Audio-visual communication is an important factor for many companies, without which their own public presentation is not possible. A DAM system is the perfect support for this.

In addition to the management of pure product information, the organisation of visual elements is also part of optimised product content management. Image files such as photos, graphics, charts, videos, animations and audio files are managed by a Digital Asset Management system.

Audio-visual elements are of great importance for the communication of a company, as they often create a lasting impression on customers. For example, a company website must use visual elements to evoke emotions and associations in customers that create a positive attitude. A DAM system ensures that all digital assets are available everywhere within a company at the same time. This ensures that the data records are always up to date. If changes are made, every employee involved is notified accordingly and can work with the respective updates. Digital Asset Management systems offer many advantages, such as

  • Avoidance of redundant data storage
  • Improved workflow efficiency by avoiding manual processes
  • Traceability of activities that involve a change in assets
  • Creation of guidelines and templates for a content-compliant way of working

Similar to a PIM system, AI can also provide valuable support for DAM systems, significantly increasing productivity and

efficiency. Artificial Intelligence can take on the following tasks, among others:

  • Repetitive image editing, such as cropping image parts, keywording or image editing as such, such as masking, shadow or skin editing.
  • Management of images of people, which can easily be taken over by an AI thanks to facial recognition. It is also possible to sort and select images of people according to predefined parameters using such a system.
  • Support of layout processes through to their complete automation

Technologies are constantly evolving and becoming ever more effective. The number of functions that can be performed by AI tools in the future is growing steadily and AI technology is also becoming increasingly reliable, even if manual follow-up checks and approvals are still necessary to ensure optimum quality.

Product Information Management and Digital Asset Management systems must go hand in hand in order to perfectly map today’s corporate reality in all its complexity. In order to integrate the two software areas as seamlessly as possible and thus enable effective product content management, it makes sense to bundle them in one and the same system.

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Channel Management

The number of corporate channels is growing and with it the responsibility to structure them profitably as part of Channel Management.

Well-organised management of the respective sales channels is important for any company that offers products or services. Customers obtain information about a product or service via various channels, and the customer journey often includes a large number of different communication channels. This makes it all the more important to effectively control channel-appropriate product content. The way in which a sales channel communicates often differs, but granular content can still be the same as on other channels.

Optimised Channel Management includes various elements. The control and coordination of the various channels and the content used there are particularly important. Information such as

prices, stock levels and product specifications must be managed individually. Successful Channel Management leads to various benefits for the company. These include, among others:

  • Expanding your own reach by utilising multiple sales channels
  • An improved customer experience, as your own company ensures satisfied customers through a smooth process on many different channels with equally different touchpoints
  • Cost efficiency through effective processes and avoidance of repetitive work
  • Increased competitiveness thanks to targeted product communication

Management Summary

The market is now overloaded with different terms – for companies, this often leads to more uncertainty than orientation. The growing complexity of the software market is largely due to the highly dynamic nature of today’s digital business reality. New communication channels and sales platforms are constantly emerging, competition is becoming ever more global and differentiated and consumers have ever higher expectations in terms of the quality of product messages and the transparency of product information.

Keeping all of this under control has become an almost unmanageable challenge for many companies. Accordingly, the focus is shifting to the digital information supply chain, which forms the basis for flexible and effective communication. For example, many companies have realised during the pandemic that investments in new e-commerce environments without high-quality product data have not led to the expected increases in sales.

Accordingly, basic data management systems such as PIM and DAM form the starting point for optimisation projects in the context of marketing, sales, customer service and product management. However, managing granular product data and media content is only the first step – for decision-makers in companies today, it is no longer expedient to approach individual software solutions in isolation. Rather, the aim is to include downstream software areas such as Channel Management in their strategy and thus consider the entire product experience management.

Picture credits: Getty Images on Unsplash (Header); Aakash Dhage on Unsplash (Absatz "Die Auswirkungen des Digital Commerce auf die Wertschöpfungskette"); Hector J. Rivas on Unsplash (Absatz "Product Information Management"); Danny Howe on Unsplash (Absatz "Digital Asset Management"); Shawn Kenes on Unsplash (Absatz "Channel Management")

OMN: The PIM and DAM with AI

Our OMN is one of the leading software solutions for the automation of product data communication and data distribution in omnichannel commerce. OMN is characterised by excellent usability, scalability and flexibility. As product information and assets are managed holistically and centrally in OMN, data silos are a thing of the past. Various services for automated content refinement with Artificial Intelligence and seamless integration into existing system architectures enable digitisation success in companies.

Take a look at our OMN for yourself and let us introduce you to our PIM and DAM including AI functions in an online presentation – free of charge and with no obligation: Request a demo

Screenshot of OMN DAM, the digital asset management system from apollon
OMN DAM with the AI service ‘AI Tagging’

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