Our organization is growing

Check out the new Canterians below!

We have grown by three Canterans in early 2022.

Kim Korhonen, Head of Sales and Marketing

Kim, tell us a little about yourself.

I am a father of three and live in Tontunmäki, Espoo. As a hobby, I coach squash, where I lead both junior and adult coaching teams. I also occasionally coach beginner’s courses as well. I’ve had quite a few national team-level juniors in personal coaching, but there isn’t one at the moment. In addition, I serve as an assistant coach on my daughter’s football team. The additional name given by my son, “Coach of Every Aspect of Life”, includes a joke, of course, but also tells about my personality. Coaching and the desire to help others to develop is a big part of me. This is reflected in my work as a supervisor and in my work with clients.

Tell us about your background.

I have worked all my life in the IT & ICT area in B2B sales and marketing positions. And I was also the CEO of an industrial internet growth company for about 5 years. In my duties, I have represented a fairly wide range of products or solutions that have helped both domestic and international companies to develop their own business or build their own business. One of the many great moments to mention, was when my customer succeeded with his solution and hired 10 new service technicians in Finland at the time.

Why Canter?

An amazing combination of experience, know-how and new opportunities. I once met a guy who had built three detached houses for himself. He said that third is almost perfect. These of my co-workers have been making a PIM solution for almost 30 years. Our CTO, Janne, made a third generation product. Referring to the previous one, they know what they are doing and that is it. I dare stand behind it. Our customers agree.

We make a solution that helps our customers develop their business. We will improve their customer experience. Better product information management, for example, makes it easier for the end customer to make the right product choices. At its best, we reduce the amount of product returns, which means that our operations also have a strong ecological impact! And yes, this gang was also one reason to come here.

Anne Komulainen, Customer Success Manager

Anne, tell us a little about yourself.

I am an Espoo-based product information management professional. My family includes two sons, a spouse and a one-year-old short-haired dachshund. I enjoy moving around in nature, reading and shooting guns. I love music and look forward to coming summer with stadium gigs.

Tell us about your background.

I have had a career in the hotel and restaurant industry for years. About five years ago, I decided to change trails and study to become a datanome. Already during my studies, I ended up working in an import company’s versatile product information management tasks, which also included e-commerce and PIM development projects.

Why Canter?

In my previous work, my most meaningful job was related to the development and training of product information management systems. With Canter, I get to do it full time, while developing myself. Returning to the customer interface is like returning home to me. Hope to see you face to face as soon as possible. My honorary mention to the Canter team, it was nice to come here to work!

Muath Othman, Technical Specialist

Muath, tell us a little about yourself.

In my free time I do entrepreneurship, I make websites for companies. I am very social, so in my free time I like to spend time with my family and friends. I have played many different sports: judo, taekwondo, swimming and football. I also go to the gym these days.

Tell us about your background.

I studied for a bachelor’s degree in information and communication technology and a double degree in business college in Helsinki, and I will graduate from there in April. I have done a variety of jobs: as a magazine distributor, as a car washer, as a food driver, and as a restaurant worker. In addition, I was on a five-month internship where I used M-Files.

Why Canter?

There is a good atmosphere here and everyone is helping each other, so I feel like I’m in a different family. I also feel that I learn new things here every day.

What should be automated in marketing?

Marketing automation and inbound marketing are hot topics for marketing. People are concentrating in content production, and automation provides content to potential customers right when and where needed. The marketing automation system replaces ten separate systems and significantly reduces manual work. But can basic marketing automation handle all the publishing in all channels? In my own experience, it is worth exploring options for automating multi-channel publishing, especially if the offering contains a lot of products.

Like all other content, product content should also address its readers correctly and be targeted at each phase of the purchasing path.

Why then is the product content publishing so burdensome?

Like all other content, product content should also address its readers correctly and be targeted at each phase of the purchasing path. This need leads to a huge amount of product information.

For example, if you take running shoes, the content for the purchasing path can go like this. First of all, interest in running and getting shoes is inspired by inspirational running pictures in social media. Once there is an interest in the topic, the potential customer may be interested in tips for shoe selection. This can be followed by a comparable sports shoe test of different shoe options. Eventually, one gets to the product page of a shoe from where one buys online or alternatively the shoes are bought from the nearest store.

If we consider that the range of this company includes a hundred shoe models with variations, we are suddenly talking about managing the release of tens of thousands of product information.

When counting the number of separate pieces of product information for this single customer’s purchase path for this single product, it is likely that there will be more than a dozen individual pieces of product information including all the images, texts, feature data, store materials, and articles, not to mention the user recommendations. If we consider that the range of this company includes a hundred shoe models with variations, we are suddenly talking about managing the release of tens of thousands of product information. It is clearly impossible to manage such a quantity without any assistance from automation.

When you publish content to only one channel, it is likely that it is better to do the publishing through the channel’s own content management. As soon as the same content is published to multiple channels, you should consider centralized publishing.

What’s the solution?

As a rule of thumb you could say that when you publish content to only one channel, it is likely that it is better to do the publishing through the channel’s own content management. As soon as the same content is published to multiple channels, you should consider centralized publishing and associated product information- and digital asset management. This will save you from overlapping work.

If you think about the content of that earlier sports shoe example, it would probably be best to publish the content for the early phases of the purchasing path via a marketing automation system. Publishing of product-related product information to web pages, online store and potential merchandising materials such as posters, shelf labels, and other sales promotion material in the store, is not usually possible with marketing automation systems.

Publishing automation systems can be used to define publishing channels for each product information field, and to handle the actual publishing at the touch of a button.

Fortunately, there are also solutions that are just for this purpose. Publishing automation systems can be used to define publishing channels for each product information field, and to handle the actual publishing at the touch of a button.

Automation takes care of all the routine work and it is possible to make full use of the people where they are at their best.

What kind of marketing systems does a company with many products need, in addition to the marketing automation system and publishing platforms? I personally feel that a good product information- and a digital asset management system and the accompanying publishing automation module are often sufficient. In this way, automation takes care of all the routine work and it is possible to make full use of the people where they are at their best: in analysing, planning and in goal-oriented content production.

Adeona PIM news from partners and customers

On November 23, 2021, we celebrated the 3rd anniversary of the new generation Adeona PIM software at Spektrin Business Park. The party was attended by a number of companies that use Adeona PIM product information management in their business to share their Adeona PIM experiences, learn something new and, of course, celebrate in good company.

Vierumäki and Adeona PIM – together on the way to the top

The first speaker was Sanna Partanen, Vierumäki’s Marketing Director, who spoke about the needs of Vierumäki’s product information management and what the benefits of centralized product information management have been from the marketing director’s point of view. In addition to about 200 different activities and sports, Vierumäki offers accommodation and campus facilities for about 800 students. By managing many different areas, Sanna has noticed benefits, among other things;

  • In harmonizing and simplifying product management
  • Product lifecycle management
  • In unifying content production
  • In the background of new e-commerce opportunities

Product information management to help you create moments

Next, we heard Pinja Tolvanen’s views on how Adeona PIM has made it easier to manage the range of thousands of E. Ahlström’s products. In her speech, Pinja emphasized the importance of digital channels and how a significant part of their turnover is currently generated through digital channels. At the beginning of the product information management project, E. Ahlström’s goal was to improve the customer experience, enable digital business in the future, streamline the product information process and improve the employee experience. We are pleased to hear that E. Ahlström has felt that they have achieved these goals over the past two years.

”PIM and website marriage – happiness comes from good planning”

With these words, Karhu Helsinki’s Timo Salminen began his presentation on the marriage between the website and PIM and how good design is an essential part of website design. In his speech, Timo highlighted the “8 Commandments of the Website Project Leader”. Timo thinks these 8 commandments are a sure recipe for the success of a website project:

  1. Allow enough time for the project
  2. Make sure your website provider has experience with product data projects
  3. Define product data well before the start of a website project, but be prepared for flexibility
  4. Invite a website editor, PIM editor and your in-house product people to the same table in time
  5. Keep your partners and important people involved throughout the project
  6. Set aside time for your own people, especially for testing
  7. Publish a good enough first version and make regular improvements
  8. Test and research, ask customers and make further developments based on the findings

Automation publishing as a time saver

As the last guest speaker, Tero O. Nieminen of Thero Design told the guests how automation publishing facilitates employees’ work by providing ready-made layouts for product information publications. Relieved, Tero also explained how much Adeona PIM will improve communication between different departments when it comes to producing different product materials. For example, the outlook is the same for a graphic designer as for a product manager, which makes it more straightforward to produce materials and communicate related things.

There’s a ready-made connector between the Adeona PIM and EasyCatalog, so commissioning is quick and easy “So effortless that I’ve developed into a true Adeona addict” Tero said with a twinkle in his eye.

News from Canter

At the end of the event, we heard last year’s Adeona PIM news from our Chief Technology Officer, Janne Costiander. Over the past year, new features have been added to the Adeona PIM software every 2-3 months. All new features have been made available to users of Adeona PIM within a few weeks of release. Janne also talked about how investments have been made in integrations, in addition to the issues seen in the user interface during the past year. In addition, Ville Miettinen, Canter’s Head of Customer Operations, spoke at a deeper level about Canter’s consulting services.

The importance of customized customer experiences in marketing

How significant are custom customer experiences for today’s consumers? How can companies deliver a unique customer experience in an ever-changing market environment? In the webinar, Canter CEO Patrik Palatz and Priint Group’s Sebastian Hardung will discuss why these are important in marketing, as well as tips on how to create these enriched experiences.

In order to be able to provide a unique customer experience, a company must be able to implement customized experiences at every customer contact point within the company. Today, customers want their purchases to include more than the product or service itself. An example of a Starbucks case in a webinar where customers get a personalized experience in a coffee shop; the coffee order is exactly written on the customer’s coffee cup in addition to their name. At this point, the customer no longer pays for the service that is available when buying coffee, but the customer pays not only for personalized coffee but also for the well-designed environment of the café, for example.

The return on investment (ROI) increases by 15% when companies combine digital marketing with traditional marketing

Study conducted by Colorado State University

Screenshot from webinar

Before companies can provide a personalized customer experience, product information must be up-to-date and consistent at every possible point of contact in the customer’s purchasing path. If the product information is the right kind, the company can control marketing and product placement. In addition, the importance of collaboration in creating unique customer experiences is emphasized. Everyone who is part of maintaining and sharing data is also responsible for the smoothness of the customer experience. Technologies such as Product Information Management (PIM) make collaboration easier and better.

In the webinar, Palatz goes over three tips to make your product stand out in the market:

1.Product’s story

“The world of marketing can already show a little digital fatigue. It can be very challenging to make a product stand out, so the product itself has to tell a story so that it gets a breeze under its wings” says Palatz. He lists the company’s tone of voice (used both internally and externally), differentiating the product portfolio and product content, choosing the right channels, and making the right decisions as key steps.

2.Choose your battle – create rich and up-to-date content that adapts as needed

“By this I mean, for example, choosing the right marketing channels because they are constantly being renewed and I have not yet seen a company that has been able to be active in all channels” Palatz continues. Choosing a company’s own ecosystem and network are the first steps to adaptive sales and marketing. “It’s important to adapt to situations and maintain rich and up-to-date information at the company’s contact points.”

3.PIM as a product information management glue

Collecting and aggregating data from different departments and channels in the company is paramount. Locating data warehouses, data fragmentation, and data collection and aggregation provide a 360-degree overview of data. “Enriching and organizing information for sales and the customer is one of the most important steps in creating an impressive customer experience” Palatz concludes.

Screenshot from webinar

The purpose of the market is to provide solutions to various consumer problems. For this reason, standards and classifications make it possible to identify, compare and adapt solutions to the right needs. Translating and locating product information supports trust when it comes to sales. For example, translating a message into different languages ​​is not enough; the message should also bring out the context and narration of the story in the language and manner of the target country. It is important to take cultural differences and their different aspects into account when communicating with different countries. Finally, structure and metadata help companies automate and analyze different contact points within the target group.

6 tips for increasing sales with commercial product information management

Product information plays a paramount role when looking at sales on digital channels. They can either provide comprehensive answers to a potential buyer’s questions and thus facilitate sales , or reciprocally throw a sale at a competitor’s lair. It’s time to ensure your company’s sales growth in light of product information. 

Product information management plays a significant role in a company’s business. A potential customer knows how to demand information about the product they want and will change boutiques quickly if they find accessing information difficult or the amount of information unserviceable to them. This will by no means alleviate in the near future, as digitalisation is still in its acceleration phase.

“Companies estimate that sales from digital channels will almost double over the next couple of years. The most important channels are e-commerce, digital services and applications, and websites”, says Katariina Tenhunen, CEO of Vastakaiku.

When you think about what things to keep in mind at the digital age from the perspective of product information management, the answer is clear.

“Sales with all their steps have already moved strongly online. It is relevant to think about the basis on which the buyer chooses the online store they want, as competition is present all the time. According to a study conducted by Posti, the fourth most important factor in choosing an online store is product information, its quality and discoverability. The mere platform does not bring happiness to customers” says Minna Andersson, Canter’s former head of sales and marketing.

It is important to understand how the e-commerce platform works, but still remember that content itself is a strong foundation on which to build each store.

“Diverse product information that takes into account different customers, must be available in all digital channels.” Andersson continues.

Seamlessness is a development trend that creates a smooth customer and shopping experience across borders.

“The customer shouldn’t even notice that the channel of the selling party is changing, so the customer experience and paths should be kept as intact as possible. The entire organization needs to move towards digitalization. An online store is not just a store that lives its own life” says Patrik Palatz, CEO of Canter.

Adding wind to sales through third-party marketplaces

In third-party marketplaces you can test the market, increase visibility, and track competitors. Especially when entering a new market, it’s a good route to experiment.

Of course, a third-party sales channel is not for everyone. If, in addition to sales activities, there is a need for professional consultation with the seller, it is not desired to hand over the sale to others.

“There are, of course, industry-specific differences. For some this creates opportunities, for others that channeling does not sit at all. Electronic sales through a third-party sales channel are technical and require technical expertise. At the heart is the sales catalog management, accordingly to the other ecosystem model” Palatz opens.

It is also continuous optimization. Just as your own business requires development, you also have to be ready elsewhere.

“The competition is even tougher on the third-party platform. Of course, there are added value factors, so companies want to try it” Palatz adds.

Direct sales to consumers have raised their heads and gained media visibility. There is also a critique of third-party outlets if someone owns a giant relationship from the platform.

“Testing is an opportunity for many. It can provide wider market coverage. Distinctiveness is really important; keep analyzing competing products and highlight the strengths of your own products. It all starts with the content” says Andersson.

Rich content to meet customer needs

Many companies still view product information strongly from their own point of view, not so much from the customer’s perspective. Operating systems often revolve around hard factual information about products, but the enriched text that requires separation remains missing.

“Pioneers are those who have built their business model around customer understanding. They wonder who the end user is, what they need” Palatz explains.

There is a huge amount of information and understanding of the customer’s needs in sales and the customer interface. All that information is valuable to the entire organization.

“With good content, it is possible to help the whole company succeed and serve better. It has tremendous potential to stand out from the competition” Palatz continues.

In the consumer business, the emphasis is on experientialism and storytelling, but equally in the b-to-b business, information management should be based on the fact that the basics and information are in order; what the product is suitable for, what it is capable of, whether it complies with the requirements.

Uncertainties due to product information weaknesses easily sway sales to a competitor. All the friction should get out of the buying process and make buying as effortless as possible.

It is worth considering, why product information is still made more for your own organization than for the customer.

“It’s pretty natural. If content is utilized directly from the ERP system, then it is internal material” Andersson explains.

It is important to stop to think about the customer’s buying paths and buying personas, what kind of person is buying the product, what their needs are.

“Someone is looking for a product by purpose, another by size. For some, ecology is important, while another buyer may be strongly appearance-oriented. So when we think of multi-channel sales, all those customers should effortlessly find the right product for them. That is, when starting to enrich and modify product information from ERP, all of these different uses should be considered. Groundwork is where you have to start, only then can different purchasing needs be served” Andersson lists.


Getting started is worth it

Existing information is second to none. It is about enriching it.

“All members of the company, regardless of role, should have access to all the information created for each product. Knowledge capital is an important tool” Palatz lists.

Customer complaints and return reasons are important additional information that can be used to develop both the product itself and product information. This is often due to missing or incomplete product information.

“I would call for courage. It doesn’t always have to be a complete and ready-made game plan, the experimental culture also fits pretty well into product sales. That’s where the best innovations come from testing and experimenting” Palatz encourages.

According to the study, the most important development areas in product information management in the next few years are the quality and enrichment of product information, meeting customer needs and diversifying product information management. These steps can only go in a more positive direction.

6 tips to stand out with product information and increase sales

  1. Customized service on all channels. Digital sales help automate information.
  2. Get foundations in order. When the product data structure is in order, the data can be easily divided into different channels.
  3. The right tools for collaboration. Data management requires collaboration and the necessary tools.
  4. To success with speed, distinctiveness and the ability to change. If your company decided to export its products to Amazon tomorrow, would you be ready?
  5. Content strategy and enriched product information create pioneering spirit. Create a lead with the same plan.
  6. Always do product information management for the customer.
virtuaalitodellisuus laajennettu todellisuus PIM

5 tips for embracing AI and new technologies

This article discusses artificial intelligence and new technologies from a product information management perspective. The article is based on a webinar – “The Future of Product Information Management – Artificial Intelligence and New Technologies” (spoken in Finnish). The webinar dealt with topic related stumbling blocks that companies should take into account as well as tips on what should be done in order to be left behind in the competition. The experts in the webinar are Katri Koskentalo, Senior Consultant in Product Information Management at Canter, and Minna Andersson, Sales and Marketing Director, and Katariina Tenhunen, CEO of the research office Vastakaiku.

The background material for the webinar was Canter’s extensive study of the state of product information management in Finland in 2021.

Abilities to utilize artificial intelligence and new technologies create ponderment

According to the survey results, only half of the respondents rate the ability of their company as a user of new technologies to be good and only 41% are satisfied with the current way of using new technologies in their business. “The answers may reflect the fact that people perceive artificial intelligence and new technologies in very different ways: for some, the mere introduction of Teams means being digitized, and for others, ‘artificial intelligence’ does almost everything automatically and by reading thoughts.” Katri ponders.

However, the vast majority of respondents feel that there are many opportunities that have not yet been fully utilized. “If the foundation, ie centrally managed, high-quality product information and product information model is in order, there will be better capabilities and opportunities for the introduction of new technologies. In addition, one of the first prerequisites is modern, powerful APIs that allow data to be shared across all publishing channels. ”

virtuaalitodellisuus laajennettu todellisuus PIM

“The worst stumbling block is if you don’t do anything”

Companies are easily excited about new technologies, and are well aware of the opportunities they bring. “I think the worst stumbling block is that there’s nothing to do but just wait for the perfect ‘artificial intelligence’ to do everything automatically.” says Katri. “The other is, companies don’t take full advantage of analytics data or figure out what customers would really need. For example, e-commerce analytics is often not systematically used to track customer buying behavior; what they buy or not and why and how the changes made affect their buying behavior” she continues.

A clear stumbling block is also focusing too much on internal processes and forgetting to monitor the world around us and customer needs. “It is important to constantly monitor what and how customers want to buy products and be prepared to respond to changing needs,” says Minna. “Customer needs are living and changing all the time. In this respect, I do not think that the need to monitor customer usage can be underestimated enough” she continues.

5 Tips for Embracing New Technologies

1.Get your foundations in order

  • Invest in a product data model and good APIs to share and receive data
  • Automate and streamline routine processes – make sure you have powerful tools to take full advantage of

2. Keep the goal clear, monitor and analyze

  • Utilize, for example, e-commerce analytics data in product information management reporting and enrichment control
  • Stay on the map of your customers’ needs at all times and find out how your customers would like to buy and what services they really need
  • Combine electronic surveys, analytics data, and user interviews

3. Personalize and align

  • Know your customers also in online services and target the offer according to the customer’s interest

4. Invest in video content and images – including 360 ° and 3D
5. Stay current with the times, constantly evolve and have the courage to give it a try!

  • Take responsibility for the development of online services, set goals and monitor that progress
  • Development is worth doing all the time, even in small steps
  • Measure your success and be prepared to change direction if necessary

PIM should be easy

We at Canter work every day to make Product Information Management (PIM) as easy as possible. As with many other things, product information management is successful for those who can make complex easy.

Although product information management is not complicated.

At least we don’t think it needs to be. Following a few basic principles will go a long way. The basic idea is the same in every company, although there are industry- and company-specific differences.

PIM is not an information system project.

It is the introduction of a new way of working that involves change management as well as automation of manual processes. The PIM system does not do everything automatically but acts as an enabler. In order to make product information management as easy as possible for our customer company, we have paid special attention to the following aspects and actively developed these.

Easy to purchase

In our opinion, the acquisition of an information system must not be complicated, but we should think about how to make the use and processes as efficient as possible. The starting point should usually be how the PIM system supports existing systems, unless there is a comprehensive IT system overhaul. The more our customer use the PIM system and takes advantage of the data it contains, the greater the benefits our customer will receive.

Ease of acquisition is also affected by:

  • contract length – we believe in the added value we generate, not long contract periods
  • the opportunity to start with definition alone
  • what kind of training the deployment includes
  • how the customer is supported in change management
  • delivery of the system as a SaaS service or installed on your own infrastructure

Easy to set up

Ease of deployment helps get your system up and running efficiently. When the background is in order, managing change is easier.

Easy deployment means many things:

  • how well the definition is derived and prepared
  • filed practices and industry-specific productization
  • ease of system installation and parameterization
  • functional application programming interfaces (APIs) facilitate integration
  • productized modes and connectors for the most common systems

Easy to use

The easy-to-use interface motivates users to maintain product information and take full advantage of the data.

A good user experience consists of a number of things, here are just a few:

  • a logical, reliable interface
  • search functions that work like an idea, but only faster
  • smart suggestions
  • pulping operations, import and export; especially with large numbers of titles

Easy integration

The PIM system rarely works on its own. Typically, it is integrated with at least one other system, but most often there are more systems, such as ERP and e-commerce.

Systems integration should also be easy. A well-documented API that follows common standards makes it easier and faster for everyone to do it. Information is made to move efficiently between different systems without massive integration projects.

Easy expansion and data recovery

We want to help our customers make better use of product information. Once the interfaces of the PIM system are functional and open, data-driven applications can be easily built on top of product information. In this way, our customers can utilize the know-how and partner they consider best.

Finnish PIM study 2022

For the second year in a row, the Finnish PIM study is a unique survey of the state of product information management in Finland. If you want to better understand product information management, how Finnish companies utilize it in their own operations and how your company can use it to gain a competitive advantage, you now have the opportunity to be part of the research and its results. The experiences and insights around the topic are really valuable, so please contribute to our study via the link at the end of the article.

PIM study 2021 and its key findings

In 2021, more than a hundred Finnish people working in the field of product information management participated in our survey, which was the first of its kind in Finland. The survey was conducted both as an online survey and as an interview survey.

One of the key findings of the study was that as many as 84% ​​consider product information management to be a critical factor in their business. In addition, up to 76% considered the importance of product information to be high when customers make purchasing decisions about products. The study also found out how product information is put to good use today and what plans there are for using it in the future.

New PIM study 2022

We have launched a new study, the results of which will allow you to see how the situation has developed in the midst of the digitalisation of sales driven by the Corona Year, and what are the key developments in product information management in 2022.

All participants in the research will have access to the research results as soon as the research is completed, as well as an invitation to a webinar where Finland’s leading product information management experts will open the research results.

Participate in the survey from the link below. For each response we will make a donation to support the activities of the Finnish Mental Health Association.

The survey is in Finnish and done anonymously. It takes about five minutes of your time.

Sales enablement trends in 2021

Paulus Perkkiö, Seidat Oy

Patrik Palatz, Canter Oy

In the interview, Seidat’s CEO Paulus Perkkiö and Canter’s CEO Patrik Palatz.

Sales Enablement is anything but traditional sales management, it’s enabling sales. This strategic way of working supports successful sales and enables the necessary materials and tools.

The year 2020 completely changed the way sales work was done, as customer encounters shifted to virtual meetings, and sales organizations had to revamp their old familiar practices. We interviewed Paulus Perkkiö, CEO of Seidat, and Patrik Palatz, CEO of Canter, and asked what big sales trends the year 2021 will bring.

Sales management changes

Palatz: Leadership is in a big transformation. In 2021, the change in sales management will continue from controlling to enabling management, where the core idea is to create the best possible trading conditions for salespeople and sales teams. One of the basic ideas behind it is how to turn an average salesperson into a top salesperson.

Perkkiö: Success requires empowerment and human focus. Sales Enablement tools that support sales should be such that they support the interaction between the seller and the customer. With the help of the tools, customer data is also generated automatically and the seller does not have to handle customer reporting separately, for example.

System’s ecosystem

Perkkiö: The big sales trends are accompanied by tools to support sales work, but that does not mean that the number of systems needs to increase. Different systems in the same ecosystem can be integrated with each other, merging into one whole. The ecosystem allows the salesperson to have the content and information they need at their best through a single interface, such as the Adeona Sales Tool or Seidat. Effective data transfer works discreetly in the background and streamlines working hours, eliminating unnecessary work steps.

Palatz: Different platforms have their own roles, and together they form a whole that serves the needs of the company. It is easy to add services designed for specific needs to a well-designed entity. In micro-services, good interfaces are important because they allow information to flow between systems.

Analysis and data

Perkkiö: Various figures and analytics are important tools for the salesperson to manage themselves, as the data provides a lot of relevant information related to the customer relationship. In Seidat, the seller sees the status of the customer in the system, for example, such as whether he has read the materials sent by the seller or passed them on. The status allows the seller to see when it is the right timing to open a conversation with the customer. Data is also an important tool for sales management for process design and team development.

Palatz: Data also provides better customer understanding and can minimize purchasing path bottlenecks. The quality of basic information, such as customer and product information, affects the implementation of Sales Enablement practices. Adeona PIM ensures the high quality of product data and a versatile product information model. When these are utilized in e-commerce and sales materials, information can be collected with which to develop operations.

The meaning of remote work

Perkkiö: Hybrid model and remote working are the ways of working in the future. Unfortunately, sales organizations that have been left waiting to return to the old will be cold. Teleworking is one of the biggest sales trends of the year and will also intensify during 2021. Change requires cloud-based solutions that enable telecommuting and related challenges, as well as effective teamwork, no matter where the team is physically located.

Palatz: It can no longer be thought that the marketing department helps every time customer-specific sales materials are needed. Sales must have good tools at their disposal that enable the production of just the right content, brand-specific and customer-specific sales materials at the touch of a button.

Perkkiö: After all, sales are pretty technical. Without the right Sales Enablement tools and cloud solutions, human hands would not be enough – automated processes have to run in the background. It is the seller’s job to focus on the essential, i.e., interaction with the customer, and with modern sales management, this is possible.

tuotetiedonhallinta akilleen kantapää

The challenges and opportunities of Product Information Management

Explanation: The year of the Corona revealed Achilles’ heel in Finnish companies – The current quality of product information does not succeed in international competition.

Although product information is considered a critical factor in a customer’s purchasing decision, companies are not satisfied with its management, a survey of product information professionals reveals


The Corona year 2020 made Finnish companies wake up to the potential of digital platforms and e-commerce. A survey commissioned by Canter says companies expect the share of sales through digital channels to almost double within the next two years.

As digital commerce becomes more important, the importance of product information also increases. Product information refers to all product-related information that is used to serve the customer at different stages of the purchasing path and customer relationship. 76% of the companies that responded to the survey considered product information to be a major or very large factor in the customer’s purchasing decision.

Although product information was considered a critical success factor, respondents had poor control over its management. Only 11 percent of respondents felt very satisfied with their company’s current product information management. As many as 33 percent estimate they have lost sales due to incorrect or incomplete product information.

“This year, the eyes of more and more Finnish companies have opened up to the importance of digital commerce and thus the importance of product information. On the B2B side in particular, the conformity of the product and its suitability for the intended use are emphasized. The simple truth is that a customer doesn’t buy if they don’t know,” says Patrik Palatz, CEO of Canter, a provider of centralized product information management solutions.

Information is scattered in ERPs and Excel, although centralized product information management would help

According to Finnish companies, the most significant problems in managing product information are the fragmentation of information in different systems and the lack of uniform operating models.

“Indeed, many product information management professionals who responded to the survey described a situation where product information is fragmented into many parallel systems and behind several different people. Transporting product information living in ERPs, excels or colleagues’ hats to sales channels and materials puts a painful amount of manual work in companies,” says Palatz of the survey.

It is possible to automate product information management with Product Information Management, or PIM systems. PIM solutions facilitate centralized management of commercial product information as the information can be updated to different sales channels from a single location.

The results of a study commissioned by Canter provide a strong signal of the benefits of centralized commercial product information management. More than 70 percent of companies using a centralized PIM solution said they were fairly or very satisfied with their company’s product information management, and 44 percent said they were satisfied with the quality of their product information. In contrast, nearly 70 percent of companies operating without a PIM solution were dissatisfied with their company’s product information management, and only 20 percent were satisfied with the quality of the product information.

“Companies focusing on product information management highlighted clear business benefits. The speed, ease, and automation of product information management allows for a better focus on areas that are important to online sales and marketing, such as content-rich content. In companies where commercial product information management is not centralized, the emphasis is still often on basic issues such as ensuring the accuracy of product information and an adequate level of quality, ”says Palatz.

Amazon is interesting, but getting there requires enrichment

The survey also examined the attitudes of Finnish companies towards Amazon, Google Shopping or various sectoral marketplaces. These were considered interesting by more than a third, or 35%, of respondents.

The expansion of trade to platforms such as Amazon further emphasizes the importance of product information and its centralized management: for example, product descriptions require market-specificity and several different language and unit versions. Product content is also a way to differentiate yourself from your competitors.

“Domestic companies selling consumer products in particular see Amazon, Google Shopping and other marketplaces as important ways to reach a more global customer base,” Palatz interprets the survey responses.

Centralized product information management solutions also help enrich product information, such as linking videos, user stories, guides, or product links to basic information. 87% of the respondents estimate that enriched product information is an important differentiating factor in digital channels.

“The power of recommendation in an online store is huge. If a company is able to enrich its product information with, for example, tip videos, reviews from other users, or inspiring use examples, it will gain an advantage over its competitors. Communication related to responsibility and ethical values ​​is also becoming increasingly important, ”says Palatz.

The study carried out by Canter in November 2020 was the first study to extensively examine the state of product information management in Finland. The electronic survey and qualitative telephone interviews were attended by experts and decision-makers working in the commercial product information management of more than 100 different companies. The study was carried out on behalf of Canter by research agency Vastakaiku Oy.


More information:

Patrik Palatz, President and CEO, Canter OY

Phone number +358 40 774 1200