Are you still manually updating all of your sales channels? Relying on phone calls alone to make sales? Practices like these have long since gone the way of the dinosaurs.
And much like the dinosaurs, B2B companies are experiencing a seismic shift. Customers were once content to simply do business through in-person sales and phone calls. Now, they expect to engage across ten or more channels throughout their buying journey. And, they’re more willing than ever to switch suppliers when their omnichannel needs aren’t met, according to McKinsey research.
Marketers, then, must evolve as well to create a unified shopping experience. It’s no longer enough to support a handful of channels with a stagnant website or a catalog of PDF spec sheets. Instead, every customer avenue works together to dynamically guide customers from product discovery through purchase.
Consistency is the key. A buyer may initiate a product inquiry on a partner’s website, continue the conversation with a sales representative via live chat, and finalize the purchase through a self-service portal.
Every channel needs a consistent feed of accurate, updated product information to provide this seamless experience. Without a scalable system for product content distribution, teams will struggle to keep dozens of touchpoints in sync across the expanded ecosystem of B2B commerce.
Fuel omnichannel at scale
At the heart of a successful B2B omnichannel strategy lies product information management (PIM), a powerful tool that enables businesses to synchronize and distribute correct and current product information across multiple channels.
PIM creates a central, trusted source for marketers to aggregate and enrich product data. Rather than manually updating each individual channel for new product or market launches, PIM maps the centralized data to different channel requirements and syndicates the content. That means no more keeping track of dozens of PDFs and email threads to keep all your channels straight.
A PIM solution ensures that product information is appropriately formatted for each specific platform, maximizing its impact and effectiveness. By maintaining consistency, businesses can establish trust, reduce customer confusion, and improve the overall buying experience.
By integrating with enterprise systems, such as product lifecycle management (PLM), commercial teams gain real-time visibility to authentic product definitions and specifications. Marketers add customer-facing descriptions and digital assets to make a complete, continuous product record that ensures a uniform experience regardless of the channel customers choose.
As companies expand their presence across more channels, PIM is critical to delivering enriched product content to every customer touchpoint.
Power the full B2B ecosystem
Traditional PIM systems focused more on consumer and retail uses, where product information fed only to ecommerce catalogs and marketplaces for single transactions. However, the B2B omnichannel evolution requires more.
B2B buyers interact equally across in-person, remote, and self-serve digital throughout the whole product lifecycle. Product information can’t be limited to only a third of the customer touchpoints or ignore after-sale updates for continued service and support. A PIM designed for B2B:
- Connects more closely with engineering and quality processes, so that product changes fully saturate the customer channels well beyond initial launches.
- Extends distribution of product information to all customer-facing touchpoints, including direct sales, service teams, and distribution partners.
Fast-paced channel expansion requires speed and agility to stay ahead. PIM facilitates real-time product information updates across every B2B channel, ensuring that customers have access to the most accurate and relevant data.
Whether it's introducing new products, localizing market content, or modifying specifications, PIM enables businesses to make changes swiftly and propagate them seamlessly across all touchpoints. This agility allows B2B organizations to respond to market demands, adapt to industry trends, and maintain a competitive edge.
The B2B omnichannel evolution is reshaping the way companies conduct business. For those seeking to retain customer loyalty and succeed in this environment, customer experience must be consistent as buyers toggle between channels, based on McKinsey findings. Implementing a connected, robust PIM solution is vital to deliver accurate, updated product information to every channel, including direct sales, marketplaces, channel partners, self-service portals, and more. PIM is the necessary foundation to deliver the exceptional experiences that customers demand and drive growth in the dynamic B2B landscape.
For a full guide on the power of PIM for omnichannel distribution, check out Propel’s resource, “Achieving Product Success in Omnichannel Commerce.”