Recently I ran across a Donald Duck pocketbook with a cover where Donald is staring at a chicken, eyes wide. The name of the book was “PIM! Hypnosis, mentalists and nonsense”. As much as I do believe in the power of meditation and even hypnosis, that is not what PIM stands for me. For me PIM is the exact opposite of all that: real information when needed, where needed.
PIM is the side of marketing automation which is usually not talked about. According to Aberdeen Group it increases customer satisfaction by 45%, and adds the same to the profit margin, so this should really be something that every company should be interested in. And they are. A study conducted by RNR Market Research shows that product information market will triple in size over the next five years.
So what does PIM mean, really? PIM means tools and processes which are used to manage the product information for sales and marketing purposes. It’s different from Product Data Management (PDM) or Master Data Management (MDM), in essence the continuation for these two. It’s the step in product information management which guarantees great visibility and first-class purchasing experience.
While PIM is also used to give customers better service, it also adds to the employee experience. Study done by ATKearney shows that each year companies use 25 minutes per sales unit (SKU) to fix product information and creating better harmony within their channels. With PIM this need can be eradicated, since all the information can be sourced from one, centralized location. Employees generally do not enjoy fixing the same thing over and over in different channels.
But are there really that many different channels? Yes there are. I have seen a map with 130 different channels, with new ones coming in constantly. Consider where your company publishes all the product information: on product data sheets, on social media, on advertisements, on websites, on discussion forums, in customer reviews, in user manuals, in purchase systems, in QR-codes, in customer service, in shelf labels, in invoices, in training material… And I didn’t even mention the web store.
PIM is profitable, and even fun once you get into it. And there’s a drop of magic in there as well. When you launch a new product, you input all the relevant information into the product information management system and PIM! All the information shows up correctly and uniformly in dozens of channels.