What Is the Difference Between PIM and PCM?
by Lumavate | Last Updated: Feb 3, 2024
by Lumavate | Last Updated: Feb 3, 2024
Data is an organization's greatest asset and its largest liability. Because every company's information is unique, it serves as a resource for creating a competitive advantage. However, data becomes a liability when it is inaccurate, contradictory, or misleading. Information that comes from multiple sources within an organization can build an inconsistent image that results in poor customer and employee experiences.
Product information management (PIM) and product content management (PCM) are two categories of tools that can help organizations manage their product information, including digital assets such as videos and images. PIM software centralizes information to establish a single source of truth that employees can access for curated information.
PCM solutions are tools that enable organizations to create, store, and distribute product content, usually for web-based pages or product catalogs. Most PCMs require a PIM to organize and control information. Understanding the nuances between PIM and PCM can help companies decide on the best solution for their needs.
Product information management or PIM solutions simplify the retrieval of product information. PIM software allows end users to store, update, and manage data from a central location. End users can collaborate to ensure accurate and consistent information and retrieve videos, images, documents, and unstructured data quickly. A PIM solution that integrates with other software, such as enterprise resource management, creates a single source of truth for product information.
Instead of storing different versions of product information in numerous systems, organizations can develop workflows that ensure data is taken from a single resource. This centralization allows sales and marketing to deliver consistent and accurate information to all channels. It also means service departments can trust the information when assisting customers.
Robust PIM solutions such as Lumavate can include the following types of information:
Product Descriptions and Specifications
Product Images and Galleries
Product Reviews and Ratings
Replacement Parts and Accessories
Installation Videos and User Guides
Warranty and Compliance Information
Some PIM software comes with built-in digital asset management (DAM), making it easier for businesses to access their digital assets and product information.
Product Information Management software does more than centralize data. It allows organizations to improve data quality, enhance search and retrieval, and help with upselling. A PIM solution can provide the following capabilities:
Data Quality. PIM solutions can help with quality control if they include features that help ensure accurate and consistent information.
Customization. PIM software enables end users to tailor information for global markets or targeted buyer profiles. Rather than customize each instance, companies can create curated and reusable data for different marketing segments.
Multichannel Delivery. Centralized repositories allow businesses to deliver consistent information across all channels. Whether websites or online catalogs, the data comes from the same source.
Navigation. PIM solutions should be searchable with easy-to-navigate capabilities for rapid retrieval of product data. Because PIM software examples may have different capabilities, organizations need to determine how customizable search categories are.
Version Control. Management systems offer version control, making it easier to identify the latest information. The feature can also track changes to content to help manage updates.
Upselling. PIM software can link product information to help potential buyers see complementary products or accessories for added sales. It can display alternative models with added features for increased selections.
The right PIM solution gives organizations the ability to leverage their product information and digital assets for consistent information distribution. A robust solution such as Lumavate can combine PCM, PIM, and DAM functionality into a single solution.
Most companies consider a product content management (PCM) system as managing the creation, storage, and distribution of product information. Some definitions include the ability to enrich product content. However, not everyone agrees.
Gartner defines PIM software as the following:
Solutions that provide product, commerce, and marketing teams with the ability to create and maintain approved shareable versions of rich product content. PIM solutions support complex use cases such as product experience, analytics, feedback, and contextualization.
Gartner's definition implies that a PIM solution should include product content management (PCM) capabilities. It characterizes PIM software as combining digital asset management (DAM) and product content management tools into a single PIM solution.
Many PIM tools in market make stand-alone PCM unnecessary. They have built-in DAM functionality for managing digital assets such as videos and images, as well as product information. If PIM software interfaces into a digital experience platform (DXP), product content can be tied to PIM and DAM for a feature-rich management system, eliminating the need for a separate PCM solution.
A product information management system encompasses all details related to a product. The details may include pricing, options, dimensions, and SKU numbers. Some details, such as pricing, may change periodically, while others, such as dimensions or specifications, remain the same. Product information management systems help organizations manage data from a central location.
Content Management Systems (CMS) provide similar functionality for all types of content. CMS is not restricted to product-only information. It contains digital assets, forms, documents, and audio files. It may contain contact information or the latest ESG score. It is used to store, update, and publish content for web-based digital experiences.
Some PIM software companies offer unified solutions that combine CMS and PIM functionality in a single platform. Others offer integration with existing CMS solutions. A few, such as Lumavate, offer both. Integrating CMS and PIM features allows manufacturers to build distinctive digital experiences throughout the customer journey.
Product information and product content management are tools used to create customer experiences. PIM solutions are traditionally viewed as providing a centralized repository for product information that ensures accurate and consistent data. PCM software is often used to create, store, and deliver product content, including digital assets such as images and videos. Companies can look for separate tools to provide an end-to-end solution for acquiring, verifying, creating, and publishing product information and content. They can also look for a single solution that incorporates both.
Digital experience platforms (DXP) such as Lumavate give manufacturers end-to-end capabilities for managing product information and digital assets for unique customer experiences. PIM software provides the central repository for information that improves data quality through version control. It works with a digital asset management (DAM) solution to access product images, audio files, or videos. Lumavate's DXP creates an environment for building, updating, and publishing enriched product content.
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