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"Comparison: PXM vs. PIM vs. DAM"

Excerpt: How do the disciplines PXM, PIM and DAM differ? We demonstrate the differences between the various data management systems and show how they relate to each other and for which business models they are most suitable.

One of the most frequently asked questions in the world of e-commerce and digital marketing is: “What is the difference between PXM, PIM and DAM?”. Even though the differences between these disciplines are sometimes subtle, those responsible for marketing, sales and product management should know about the characteristic features, differences and interrelationships of these data management systems.

Product Experience Management (PXM)

Over-saturated and transparent markets mean that the customer experience is increasingly becoming the focus of sales and marketing managers. They have recognized that it is becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate solely on the basis of price or quality. A contemporary and convincing customer experience therefore holds enormous potential for generating additional competitive advantages, both in the B2C and in the B2B sector.

“German brands with a clear focus on customer experience (CX) are three times more likely than their competitors to exceed their business goals.”

Source: Adobe Digital Trends, 2020

The basis for a mature customer experience lies in a convincing product experience. This is exactly where Product Experience Management steps in. PXM helps companies build a seamless omnichannel experience by ensuring consistent product communication across all channels and brand touchpoints (e-commerce, mobile apps, print, point of sale). PXM increases long-term revenue, accelerates time-to-market for products, and improves productivity through clean, complete product data and automated data management processes.

The customer experience as the most important currency for brands and retailers

Customers and prospects can use the Internet to research products, compare them and ultimately have them delivered quickly at the lowest price. This results in a power shift between suppliers and consumers. In order to differentiate better and generate more attention, companies must offer their target group experiences that are remembered. They must create environments where their customers and prospects are comfortable spending time on their platforms, such as websites and online stores, to engage more intensively with their products. In this context, manufacturers and retailers must ensure that their products are presented properly on all channels.

Businesses in the B2B and B2C sectors need to innovate to keep up with the way buyers interact on different channels. They are keen to provide their customers with relevant and useful information throughout their customer journey – at any time, in any place. The increasing merging of different channels and touchpoints makes this a complex challenge.

Each channel offers customers different ways to interact with a product. In this context, buyers are rapidly adapting their purchasing behavior to new sales channels and technologies. For example, they are increasingly turning to voice assistants and social media (social commerce) in their information procurement and purchase decision process.

 

The challenge of providing a matching product experience for each channel has a huge impact on how product information is prepared and delivered. This main task is addressed by the overarching theme of PXM, which combines technologies such as product information management (PIM), digital asset management (DAM), cross media publishing, supplier portals, content syndication, and content analytics into one system. PXM platforms therefore generally have an open architecture and offer numerous add-ons and connectors for third-party applications and peripheral systems. This is intended to ensure that all departments in the value chain access the same database and collaborate more efficiently.

Product Information Management (PIM)

Product Information Management in general aims at organizing all types of product information in a single source. A PIM system thus facilitates the collection, enrichment, updating, and distribution of product data such as SKUs, product categories, product descriptions, translations, etc. PIM systems ensure that product information distributed to numerous channels (websites, online stores, marketplaces, B2B portals, catalogs, point of sale, etc.) is consistent and accurate.

A PIM system helps to ensure that all stakeholders such as customers, partners, suppliers, external agencies and the company’s own employees have access to complete and up-to-date product information, regardless of location. This should also optimize and accelerate cross-organizational collaboration.

You can find a detailed definition on the topic of PIM and its benefits in our articles “PIM simply explained” and “At what point do companies need a PIM system?“.

Digital Asset Management (DAM)

„DAM stores, manages and renders rich media, including text, graphics, photos, video and audio. DAM can be sold as a software license or hosted service. Typically, DAM systems are intended to support a wide range of actors – from specialized creative to generalist production to more operational and administrative roles – both inside and outside an organization, often including agencies and channel partners.“

Source: Gartner Glossary, 2021

Digital Asset Management makes it possible to easily structure and manage digital content (assets). Especially in marketing and e-commerce, DAM systems are used to organize corporate and product communication more quickly and easily. The fact that all assets are orchestrated and controlled in a central location means that there is no data chaos, as is often the case with decentralized data management. DAM systems thus support the consistent design of the various brand touchpoints along the customer journey, which improves branding in particular. At the same time, a DAM system accelerates the content creation process by improving collaboration between internal and external stakeholders and by automating and standardizing work processes

PIM vs. PXM

While the PIM system helps to centralize product data and streamline workflows, PXM unites the various systems and tools as a holistic approach. PXM thus focuses on the primary corporate goals of increasing sales, customer loyalty, and customer satisfaction. It is especially aimed at omnichannel commerce players, where customers and prospects expect a contemporary customer experience across channels.

A PIM system is the central component of PXM to bring product information to the level that today’s consumers expect in their purchase decision process. Meeting this requirement is increasingly critical to business success as retail sales become more digitally influenced, the customer journey becomes more complex, and disparate brand touchpoints become more intertwined.

“By 2023, 58% of U.S. retail sales, roughly $2.9 trillion, will be digitally influenced.”

Source: Forrester Analytics: Digital influenced retail sales forecast, 2018 to 2023

Manufacturers and retailers will notice that some sales and communication channels are better for their products and consumers than others. Therefore, content should be regularly analyzed and updated based on customer preferences to continuously optimize the customer experience. In this context, personalization and contextualization of product content represent the most important tasks of PXM. The goal is to provide relevant product data that takes into account customer and channel-specific requirements. This includes, for example, the device used, the language, the market segment, and the customer’s demographic data.

PIM vs. DAM

While a PIM system enables the organization and management of product data such as descriptions, texts or simple visuals, a DAM system is a repository where images, logos, videos, 3D models, audio files and other media files are stored and managed. DAM solutions are also useful for companies that are not involved in retail or e-commerce, but may need to manage a lot of media content for other purposes, such as industrial companies, banks and insurance companies, or companies in the energy industry. 

A PIM solution, in turn, enables the digital assets from the DAM system to be distributed across all relevant channels with the associated product information. In this case, both systems complement each other and work best together to achieve the best possible product content management.

Conclusion

PXM solutions take a holistic approach to optimizing the customer experience and bring together different tools, including PIM and DAM systems. PIM and DAM systems, on the other hand, are more specific and data-driven. Depending on the industry and business model, they can be decoupled and used independently. Strong PIM systems usually come with their own DAM system or, alternatively, integrate seamlessly with external DAM systems. 

If you would like more information on which data management system makes the most sense for your business model, please feel free to arrange a no-obligation online demo with our specialists. Our team will be happy to show you examples of the differences between the various disciplines and explain which systems best match your individual requirements.

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Was ist der Return of Experience Werden Sie zum ROX-Star!

What is the return of experience?

In addition to ROI (Return of Investment), ROX (Return of Experience) is a metric that should play a big role in e-commerce. Customer experience determines up-selling or cross-selling and also post-purchase reviews. The direct link between customer perception, customer experience and actual behavioral changes is quantified by ROX. The engagement of the employees in the service departments of the companies is also included in the consideration of the ROX. A PIM helps deliver the best quality data across all touchpoints.

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