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Collaboration and PIM [1/2] : get ready for a shake up in product marketing !


27 April 2018

The specialization and diversification of work within companies has meant increasing numbers of contributors per task…
The emergence of E-Commerce has abolished trade borders and many are going international…
Startups are shaking things up by fostering remote working…
All kinds of information (internal, commercial, strategic, etc.) is flooding together…

How do we make sense of it all?

Through collaboration.

It allows :

  • Distant collaborators to work together : multinational companies, subsidiaries, remote workers
  • Productivity and skills to be promoted with smaller size work groups
  • Task follow up to be guaranteed: no matter what the work content or validation level
  • Crucial information to be centralized, more easily shared, and used to make projects a success

Innovative tools have rapidly appeared to make collaboration part of corporate life. These were the first two waves of innovations:

1. Collaborative messaging services
Communication without borders for all

  • The remedy : Slack
  • Treatment for : chronic emails and information loss
  • Posology : create project chains, group together smaller teams and facilitate productivity

2. Collaborative project management
A shared vision of tasks and steps to reach an objective which is fixed in

  • The remedy : Trello, Asana
  • Treatment for : paper to-do lists covered in splotches of spilled coffee, the opaque vision teams have of a project they are completing tasks for
  • Posology : projects grouped together by sprints and teams, definition and validation of projects by steps / tasks

So what’s the next milestone… ?

3. Inject collaboration into specific departments :
The complete orchestration of a department’s daily tasks

Once communication and project management are smooth running, collaboration tools can be brought in to simplify interaction at the heart of a department’s daily work.

Let’s take marketing teams dedicated to product information as an illustration. Their aim is to make sure information is available and updated so the customer can find it easily. These teams work together towards a common goal which is at the core of their daily work. They each have recurring tasks which have to be done regularly, so organization has to be arranged between teams to know who should step in at which moment.

It has become necessary to collect these labor intensive tasks in a dedicated space so as to avoid multiplying processes and simplify communication around specific tasks. The simpler interaction is the greater the speed at which teams can work.

This need for collaboration around marketing’s daily tasks has manifested itself as PIM (Product Information Management).

When it comes to managing specific information that has to be orchestrated around core tasks with a collaborative approach, the PIM is the dedicated tool for the job.

Focus on PIM :

  • Who is it for ? : All contributors working with product data (Product teams, Marketing, SEO, Photographers, e-Commerce…)
  • Why? : To ensure product pages are completed quickly and remain error free through to their diffusion across channels and internationally
  • The remedy : a collaborative PIM solution
  • Treatment for : errors and information loss in product pages, the time to market which is too long, the difficulty to open new channels quickly

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Collaboration with a PIM

What sets a collaborative PIM tool apart is its capacity :

  • To simplify product structure
  • To enable efficient collaboration for enhancing content, media and translations on all your sales channels

1. The product input and EAN code are automatically sent to the PIM from your ERP, which generates dedicated product pages. Collaboration can begin !

The Marketing or Product team is sent an alert, a new product has been added, enrichment can start !

2. The marketing or product team writes engaging product descriptions, validates them, or suggests them to their manager.

If it’s a suggestion the manager receives a notification and a task, verifies the content and sends it back as a modification if necessary.

The marketing contributor then receives a notification « Please modify this field »

3. The photo studio integrates photos for each product

4. The translation or marketing team (via an integrated translation plugin or using file import/export) directly translates product information in the PIM

The marketing team is notified, and validates or requests modifications of the multilingual content that has been added.

5. The SEO team optimizes the product page’s titles for e-commerce sites and et enriches the metadata

6. The E-Commerce team fills out fields dedicated to marketplaces and other digital channels with specific requirements

7. Content on each product page is automatically published and diffused on all channels !

The E-commerce team (for example) can congratulate everyone : « The collection is online ! »

This PIMus operandi, is also known as Task Workflow and the good news, is that it is entirely customizable. Your organization, your processes, your products : your PIM.

It is important to have flexible user rights so that the PIM is simple and easy to use for all teams. Inputs for different fields are thus restrained so each user only accesses the ones relevant to their job, making work much more pleasant for each contributor.

For example, you can set up Quable PIM as follows :

  • The SEO team can only see and modify the product’s technical page fields
  • The product team can only see and modify the product’s marketing description

News feeds, tasks, notifications and alerts : a collaborative workspace dedicated to your products

Collaborating efficiently also means keeping all team members informed and sharing task status. This is an even greater necessity when there is crossover between the contributions of several parties, as is the case when you are using a product information management solution.

At Quable, we have taken this into account and equipped our PIM with features that allow you to communicate with:

  • News feeds for collective information, to keep all or part of your team updated: « Marketing team, this new line is ready : get ready for enrichment ! Amicably, the product team »..
  • Suggestions to make a specific request to a contributor; suggestions trigger task creation and a notification.

Tasks are then collected in each individual’s personal space in the PIM and classed by status: « new», «in progress» and «complete» to facilitate follow up. Each task which is received or finalized can be followed up with an email alert (if desired) to ensure the information is properly sent.

With Quable PIM you can rest assured you have control during the information flood!

Collaboration is the basis of corporate work, it can make all the difference in terms of agility, productivity, and thus reactivity in your target markets.

We are seeing more and more of it : jobs and tasks are structured around tools ( ERP, CRM, PIM…) which inject collaboration and make teams more efficient when working towards common goals.

It is also worth noting that these tools interface with each other and are allowing us to gradually build an entirely connected ecosystem. Why should this interest us? Because it’s making collaboration ever smoother and improving operational quality.

Collaboration is no longer just seen as useful for communication or project management, it has taken pride of place at the core of business and is setting a new rhythm for daily tasks.

This is why Quable PIM has placed agility and collaboration at the heart of its product information management solution. Quable PIM is entirely customizable and scalable to suit organizational needs no matter what the complexity of the enterprise. The ideal product enrichment process abound with options for applying the collaboration level you desire is only few clicks away.

[Read more] A PIM for collaboration [2/2] : How can you define your own product data enrichment Workflow


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