Five ways to make it easier to manage the content supply chain in retail

Marketing and creative professionals know managing retail content is complicated. There’s a never-ending stream of new products that need content, changing product prices and information to keep consistent, as well as emerging platforms and opportunities to explore.

Yes, retail content management can be challenging. And that’s why the last thing you need is inefficient processes for creating, editing, approving, and publishing your content. These make a hard job even harder – and cost you time, money and competitive edge.

Fortunately, retail marketers can improve the efficiency and productivity of their content supply chain if they have the right tools, people and processes in alignment… Here’s five steps to building a more efficient content supply chain for your retail, ecommerce or CPG business.

5 steps to a more efficient retail content supply chain

1. Make efficiency a priority

Unless you make efficiency a strategic priority, you’re likely to limp along with legacy systems and not-fit-for-purpose processes. This can result in unnecessarily manual processes, bottlenecks, wasted effort and inefficiencies. These reduce productivity, cut time for creativity, and mean you can’t exploit opportunities that arise.

But when you make efficiency in your retail content supply chain a priority – and invest in appropriate systems and software[1]  – you can save hours every week in lost time. And that time can be redirected to more value-adding endeavours. Whether that’s jumping fast on the latest social media trend making headlines, putting more time into brand building and storytelling, or creating content for additional platforms.

2. Consider your processes 

Next, you need to consider the PPT framework. That stands for People, Processes and Technology. Let’s start with processes…

Often, processes evolve over time. Old employees leave, new employees join. And no-one thinks to question ‘Why do we do it like this?’ because that’s just the way it has always been done.

But you need to question your processes regularly. Otherwise you could be doing things a certain way – when it no longer makes sense to do so.

If you haven’t reviewed your processes in a while, now’s the time to do it. Sit down with your team and ask them:

Why do we do things like this? Is this the best way to do things? What are your pain points and bottlenecks? What works well? What doesn’t work at all? What would ‘better’ look like?

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3. Consider your people

Next on your review list should be your people. Have you got the right people in the right places for the work your team do today? Or are there legacy team structures causing inefficiencies?

Poor team structures might look like siloed teams that are duplicating effort and work. Or having some teams – or individuals – that are constantly over- or under-utilized.

Could you restructure your teams for enhanced collaboration and a more even spread of workload? Do you need to recruit new skills and staff members? Could you usefully outsource work to freelancers or agencies?

4. Consider your technology

Different organizations have different technology challenges. Some organizations are only just coming around to digitizing their processes. Others have embraced digitization but now find themselves with an unyielding slew of unconnected tools.

According to Hubspot, software integration is one of the biggest challenges for companies today. Martech pro’s use between 5 and 10 tools – some up to 21. Organizations need to integrate their disparate software into a seamless system if they want to get the best out of their staff, open up operational efficiencies and facilitate semi-automated workflows.

To achieve that, you need to question how your software stack stacks up.

Have the right technology to support your retail content supply chain? Are you using flexible cloud-based tech or on-premise tools?

Have you discovered the applications of Digital Asset Management and Product Information Management systems in the retail content supply chain? What about editorial workflow software, multichannel publishing software, messaging automation and orchestration tools? These can all help you create more efficient workflows and more engaging content.

Is your martech integrated into a seamless end-to-end workflow that makes it easier for people to collaborate on content?

5. Align your digital assets and product information

The content creation process is complex – lots of products, platforms, content collaborators. It can be challenging to ensure that marketing content is always accurate, up-to-date and consistent across all your customer touchpoints.

If you suffer from siloed teams and disconnected software, you might be wasting a lot of time on checking and cross-referencing product information, as well as duplicating data entry into different systems.

The right software integrations can help solve this problem – ensuring product data and digital assets in your content are always effortlessly in sync and up-to-date.

By integrating your Digital Asset Management software and Product Information Management system, you’ll be able to make sure employees have access to the latest product images and video – for example – all with the most up-to-date product information attached – for example, price, ingredients or availability.

This doesn’t just deliver consistency across every omnichannel customer touchpoint. It can also drive automated processes – such as automating catalog design in Adobe Creative Suite, or ecommerce content, by populating templates with data and assets pulled directly from the PIM-DAM system. Publication Organiser is such an application that allows you to plan product content direct into an online InDesign template.

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Read more about the key financial and operational benefits of integrating PIM with DAM.

One of the greatest challenges in retail marketing is the content supply chain. But it doesn’t have to be. By considering your people, processes and technology, you can build an efficient workflow that is fit-for-purpose in the new omnichannel retail landscape. PIM-DAM integration is often integral to this process – saving time and money, and reducing risk.

If you’d like help unlocking operational efficiencies in your retail content supply chain, Qonqord are the experts. We’ve helped dozens of retailers to orchestrate their content creation and publication processes. Contact us to start a conversation today.

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