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. ”
“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