Why Aren’t More Product Managers Using PIM?

Typically, I’ve found that PIM technology is usually evaluated, acquired and used by either the IT or marketing department to fulfill a particular need for integration, data quality or other of the typical uses of a PIM.

That said, the Product Manager’s role has traditionally been defined as being responsible for both product management and product marketing. “This includes managing the product throughout the product lifecycle, gathering and prioritizing product and customer requirements, defining the product vision, and working closely with engineering, to deliver winning products.”  One would think that with the title of Product Manager that they would be at the top of the list, but they didn’t make it on the list. Who uses a PIM system?

The Product Development and Management Association (PDMA) is a community of more than 2,000 members whose skills, expertise and experience power the most recognized and respected innovative companies in the world. PIM isn’t even in their official glossary.

At the heart of the problem is that most departments operate in separate silos of uncoordinated data, content, images, and processes that compete rather than work towards a common objective. The challenge is that each department, geography or brand uses their own means to store data and images using different tools, formats, and processes. Since Product Information Management (PIM) is the technology, practice and process of aggregating and collecting data or content about a company’s products and services. The Product Manager’s role would be simplified using a PIM as the primary method in which a company or organization manages the lifecycle of product data coming from multiple sources and delivered it to the customer or distribution channel for sales or marketing consideration.

So, why aren’t more Product Managers (PM) using PIM?  Kimberly Struyk provided very compelling reasons “Why You Need a Product Information Management System” and they all are relevant to the key role played by the PM. Now I can’t provide particular evidence to definitively answer this question but as I pointed out that at the heart of the problem is that most departments operate in separate silos and my experience has found that the PIM budget is usually with the IT or marketing department. So my suggestion to the PM is follow the money and you’ll have your solution.