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Guide: Deliver flawless rich content experiences with master data governance

David Lyon | April 11, 2024 | 6 minute read

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Guide: Deliver flawless rich content experiences with master data governance

Master Data Management Blog by Stibo Systems logo
| 6 minute read
April 11 2024
Guide: Deliver flawless rich content experiences with master data governance
11:25

When a chief data officer achieves excellence in master data governance, they’re transformed from someone who spends their time reactively fixing things when data gets messy or breaks a system, to a proactive, all-seeing business enabler. This series explores why master data governance is vital for: data modelling, data quality, rich content, industry standards and data enrichment.  


Series introduction

Take a moment to think about the smoothest online ecommerce experience you’ve ever had.  

Maybe it’s on Amazon, where product pages—and the kind of information and imagery they provide to customers—are consistent across millions of products and over a million sellers.  

Or how about IKEA, where its online room planner gives you a 3D model of what a kitchen or bedroom of your exact dimensions and layout could look like using IKEA furniture.  

So, how can you make these kinds of rich content experiences possible when you’re selling products through 100 different retailers, across multiple markets, in multiple languages and contexts, to different audiences? 

Whether your rich context experiences involve photo and video, or even 360-degree views and virtual reality (VR), it’s all made possible by the data that you assign to your products and parts.  

Continue reading this guide to learn how you can ensure your data is always right, using master data governance.  

 

Where is your product data used? 

Information and data on your product will generally be used either above the fold or below the fold: 

  • Above the fold includes information like the hero image and a high-level product description. 
  • Below the fold includes the more enhanced content, like technical information, images, video, 360-degree views, etc. 

All this data will need to be validated by category owners, to ensure it fits the specs of the different websites where it’ll appear, so it maintains the UX and quality of the site.  

Launching new products without a hitch 

 As an example of how complex it can be to launch a new product globally, just think about images. You can’t just send out one set of them. “Shop 1” might require a certain dots-per-inch (DPI) for their website, whereas “Shop 2” requires a different DPI. If it’s not up to spec, the shop will reject them, because it’ll impact the quality of their website.  

And then, of course, there’s all the localizations you’ll need to do, such as different languages for different countries and regions.  

The scramble to edit the images means you’ll slow down your launch.   

Getting up to spec when working with new types of partners 

And these days, your category owners need to conform to more than just basic product images and descriptions.  

Think about those fancy 360-degree or animated experiences you see online, that give a more immersive view of products. If an online retailer, or “etailer,” wants to do something like this to sell your product, you’ll need things like dimensions too, as well as high-res imagery.   

They often have very specific standards for publishing rich content, and they must me adhered to before your product can be listed.  

Being a real contender in online sales 

In the multimedia world we live in, not providing a rich content experience for your products is a sure way to lose out on sales.  

No product description? No sale. No image? No sale. No FAQ? No sale. No book preview when every other book has one? No sale. No 360-degree rotating model of your sofa when every other sofa has one?  

You get the idea.   

Giving a DAM about supporting marketing and brand teams 

Without things like product descriptions, sales copy, imagery and video, your sales and marketing teams are going in blind when it comes to promoting, and communicating about, your products to different audiences.  

Those assets may also need to be managed across many languages, in many different sizes, with words having to fit different character counts for different purposes, etc.  

So, your rich content will need to integrate with and flow into their Digital Asset Management (DAM) platform, as well as the DAM of any relevant third parties.  

>>Your step change in rich content Management checklist<<

 

What’s causing all your rich content headaches? 

There are several things that could be causing you issues when it comes to rich content experiences.  

Images could be in the wrong sizes or shapes across different channels—which is a big problem if it’s at volume. 

You also might not have the right image for the right geography and language. For example, your Chinese audiences might know what a sauna is, but try to market to them using Finnish, and you probably won’t make a sale. 

Manual intervention can also cause all sorts of errors—everyone makes mistakes, after all.  

But make robots do all the work for you, and those mistakes are just as likely. If you don’t have guardrails in place when using AI-generated content, people are going to publish the wrong thing in the wrong place because they haven’t checked everything’s mapped correctly. 

What product are you selling? Who knows?  

How will your customers know what your product is supposed to be if the people inside your business aren’t even sure? That’s what happens when the wrong information and imagery is associated with a product.  

With everyone confused, your sales and marketing processes slow down, and these kinds of errors are a huge hassle to fix, especially when they’re made at scale.  

You’re throwing your advertising budget straight in the bin 

Everyone’s experienced that thing online where you’re reading something but it just… Read more. 

… when it just cuts off because there are too many characters for the ad platform to display.   

If you’ve got truncated headlines and poorly cropped imagery, your ads are going to get fewer clicks. And that, of course, means fewer sales. 

You’re damaging your brand image and equity 

It shouldn’t be any surprise that shoddy marketing and product placement will lead to shoddy brand reputation.  

Consumers will see you as a lesser brand if you can’t get this stuff right when every other brand they engage with can.  

Since our brains are hardwired to look for differences, any errors are glaringly obvious.  

You’re losing sales 

If you’re not competing and optimizing in online sales, you’re losing sales. 

If your marketing is ineffective, you’re losing sales. 

If your brand reputation is poor, you’re losing sales. 

It all means that, when it comes to rich content, your ambition must match your ability to execute. 

And if you’re doing really badly, ecommerce channels might even reject your products—what’s the point of them listing them if they’re not making any money?  

>>Your step change in rich content Management checklist.<<

 

Getting it right with master data governance  

Okay, now that we’ve scared you with all the bad things that can happen when your data isn’t fit for rich content experiences, here’s what you can do about it.  

It’s time to rise to the challenge as a chief data officer, using master data governance.  

With the right master data governance platform in place, you’ll be able to properly govern the alignment between people and the sources that are being fed into your rich content—you want everyone to play by the same rules and processes, not all going off doing their own thing.  

The same goes for validation and sign-off. The product owner shouldn’t just be cobbling stuff together and whacking it over to Amazon without any oversight.  

By putting a proper internal approvals process in place, you’ll have the right checks and balances ensuring everything is the right format for the right platform.  

Futureproofing with AI 

 

Generative AI is already helping people to create product descriptions that can match the language and tone of their business—and even enabling more personalization at scale.  

 

But there are so many things that could go wrong if nobody’s checking the AI’s work before it goes out into the world. That’s why you need the right guardrails and governance to make AI-generated content safe to use. 

 

The benefits of strong master data governance  

With master data governance being used to improve your rich content experiences, you’ll save time, reduce headaches, and deliver more engaging customer experiences.  

Plus, it’s easy to map and transform your data to match the unique needs of any retailer or channel—with processes in place to ensure everything is validated to achieve compliance before it’s shared outside of your business.  

Here are some of the ways your rich content experiences will really benefit from strong master data governance:  

  • Improve accuracy of product listings: Ensuring information about sizes, colors and ingredients are correct can help improve the customer experience, increase loyalty and prevent product returns. 
  • Enhance the depth and transparency of product information: Give consumers easy access to the information they care about, including sustainability, social benefits and manufacturing processes and origins. 
  • Increase customer engagement with lifestyle pictures: Multiple images providing a 360-degree perspective convey more product detail and are faster to consume than lines of product copy, helping to remove any barriers along the path to purchase. 
  • Onboard product data quickly, efficiently and consistently: Ensure that product listings are always complete and consistent, even if you’re dealing with thousands of SKUs.  
  • Improve personalization through relevant customer communications: Expand your customer touchpoints to include social media, apps, online loyalty programs and digital newsletters. 
  • Ensure consistency of information across stores, sales channels, markets and languages: Standardize high-quality retail/ecommerce experiences anywhere in the world, regardless of language.  

 

How Marks & Spencer knows that data for 20,000 products is always correct 

The British retail giant Marks & Spencer (M&S) has over seven million registered website users. However, they needed to migrate to a new iteration of the website, without losing users or sales—while also keeping track of 20,000 products. On top of this, they’d had problems with data quality and unnecessary double keying.  

By implementing Stibo Systems’ Product Master Data Management solution, the company gained structured attributes that gave more consistent data while reducing manual keying. Product information now appears in a consistent manner across the 585 different product attributes covering their inventory.  

Read the full case study to discover how M&S:  

  • Moved from two systems for managing product data to a single system 
  • Created efficiencies through a significantly streamlined process 
  • Automated processes for launching products on their website 
  • Substantially reduced errors and time to market 
  • Gained the ability to tailor the product range for each country it operates in 

What to look out for in a master data management platform 

When you have the right master data management platform, that supports excellence in rich content data practices, these are just some of the things you’ll be able to achieve: 

  • Multi-level approval that lets you validate content coming from manufacturers and product owners—via brand and compliance teams—before it goes to retail channels and DAMs. 
  • Easier rich content creation and submission using templates. 
  • Custom channel setup for rich content specs and requirements, that can be pre-configured for when your business begins selling with a new etailer or other partner. 
  • Language translations for different markets, that also consider different channel and regulatory requirements for different regions.  

Get a head start on with your data model, by downloading our handy checklist here.  

 


Master Data Management Blog by Stibo Systems logo

David a plus de 25 ans d'expérience dans les logiciels et la gestion de données B2B, les normes GS1 et le réseau mondial de synchronisation des données. Il a occupé des postes de direction en marketing de produits dans les domaines de la fintech, de l'agritech et de la HRtech, avec la responsabilité du lancement de nouveaux produits majeurs sur les marchés des PME et des entreprises. David est le responsable du marketing produit pour le portefeuille de gestion des données de base des produits de Stibo Systems.

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