Is the practice of managing product content getting any easier? That’s the question CGT Magazine posed in its recent 2017 CGT Technology Solutions Guide. An article on Product Information Management (PIM) solutions set out to help consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers navigate the challenges and opportunities in effective, efficient product information management.
So, the answer? According to EnterWorks CEO Rick Chavie, it’s not. At least, not without the right approach.
While tools for managing product information continue to improve, the demand for differentiated content is growing at fast pace. The idea of “competing on content” has become a necessity, and CPG manufacturers are working out how to respond.
Four Ways CPG’s Can Measure Return on Content
In light of this product content imperative, Rick presents four PIM principles CPG companies are driven to adopt (download a free copy of the guide to read more). One such principle is the idea of measuring “return on content” (ROC). Why is this such an important principle to embrace? Because great content drives interest and helps manufacturers avoid the often ineffective race-to-the-bottom on price. When measuring ROC, companies should consider:
- Competitive content comparisons: This includes comparing images, attributes and descriptions for comparable or “like” products, whether through web-scraping or promotional flyer comparisons.
- SEO: If shoppers can’t find your product on the web, you can’t sell it. This is true not only for web retailing but for physical store selling, since web research increasingly dictates choices.
- Breaking through the retailer’s content barrier: A brand may create wonderful content. However, if it doesn’t find its way onto the retailer’s website, it is all for naught.
- Mix of user-generated content: While consumers are not as controllable and on message as centralized brand marketers, the failure to generate buzz from the word of mouth of friends and family is deadly to a brand wanting to rise above the digital content clutter.
Tackling ROC with PIM
CPG manufacturers face constant pressures to make operations more efficient and meet evolving regulations, all while improving the omnichannel experience. As Rick notes in CGT, “software tools supporting ‘consumable’ narratives are the ones that unify data, digital assets, and product storytelling in a single platform for product information, master data for brand and customer, and constituent portals.”
Inaccurate data is a big issue for manufacturers. Information is often hand-keyed, inconsistent, and error-prone. Difficulty supporting the evolving data requirements of channels such as Amazon and Walmart is another key challenge, as is sustaining global growth and consistently enriching product information with digital assets and the right consumable content.
So, how can PIM help? When it comes to CPG companies in particular, an enterprise-wide PIM platform enables manufacturers to effectively distribute compelling, accurate, and up-to-date product information in catalogs, on websites, and to trading partners.
What’s the number one content practice for CPG’s?
Rick concludes his best practice list for measuring ROC with this advice:
“The best content practice? Test. Learn. Try again.”
The best content strategy is fluid. Continue to test, measure and adjust as needed. Take a cue from one of EnterWorks’ major CPG customers. After their initial PIM launch, the business gathered its PIM team to ask the question, “What do we do with the toolset now?” The team regularly assesses all areas of the business to determine and test what additional needs, or use cases, the PIM platform can assist with. With PIM established as the “single source of truth” for all product data, the company is set to achieve a global, omnichannel structure that’s positioned for growth.