Presales Information

Providing high-quality product information for the complete product portfolio – prepared specifically for more and more target groups and markets, localized for relevant target languages and made available in necessarily short update cycles – that is the task of product information management and the daily business of many marketing and product communication departments.

Whether B2C or B2B – success factors in presales include reacting quickly to ever-changing customer and purchasing behavior and moving away from classic sales channels, focusing instead on addressing target groups dynamically and personally.

The integration of these channels into one comprehensive customer experience is becoming more and more important: unified strategies and solutions are required.

To help you set the course for your company, we offer aligned, coordinated consulting services to help you effectively managing your presales information. We use proven methods and procedure models that we tailor to your needs. That means you get exactly the services that you need:

  • Content consultation
    Correct, current, and consistent product information in the required structures and formats
  • Process consultation
    Efficient, effective information processes, both in the company and in customer communications
  • System consultation
    Professional product information management (PIM) systems that are embedded into your system landscape

Presales media: analysis and optimization

The various communication types and requirements for your presales media, such as catalogs, often call for a variety of target-group oriented output channels for product information.

During our analysis we find potential areas of improvement for your media and information, and thus your customer contact and communication. We work together with you to determine the most appropriate and necessary actions to optimize and increase your quality.

Catalog analysis with problem typology

The analysis includes both the print catalog and your digital and dynamic media. For this type of analysis, we’ve expanded our tried and tested problem typology method for precise, classified evaluation of information quality to include the specific requirements of presales content:

  • Transparent structure of the entire product portfolio, standardized structures and display of product data
  • Clear navigation from product search to ordering, optimum display of elements for product comparison and buying decisions 
  • Appropriate range of alternative navigation paths for the various user types (such as searching, browsing, exploring, and scanning)
  • Display of product relationships, for example, spare parts, accessories “can be combined with…”
  • Consistent terminology, clear language, taking synonyms and alternate names used by customers into account
  • Functional layout, target group oriented structure, optimal use of digital and dynamic media functionality

Usability test in a usability lab

A usability test provides insights into the expectations and actual user behavior in relation to presales media. Usability testing is an ideal complement to problem-typological analysis. For more information about usability tests, see: Document analysis.

Media-neutral product data structures

Defining a media-neutral product data structure establishes the foundation of effective data administration and forms the basis of efficient publication and distribution of your product information.

We analyze your requirements for data administration, processing, publication, and distribution of your product information and combine those requirements with the internal hierarchies of your product portfolio. The result is a media-neutral product data structure as the basis for efficient product information management.

This consulting service includes the following steps:

  • Defining an optimal hierarchy depth and an efficient, easily accessible product structure
  • Mapping of product relationships, such as spare parts, accessories, and more
  • Specifying consistent properties and characteristics/lists of values
  • Media-neutral coverage of prefixes, tolerances, min/max values, units, and so on

We include standards for product classification such as eCl@ss or ETIM in our analysis. That way we can ensure that your data and hierarchies can be mapped to the standards that are relevant for you.

Taking product configurators into account

Product configurators place particular demands on the granularity and media neutrality of your product information. We make sure that your data fulfills all of the necessary requirements.

Product classification and exchange formats

No matter whether you are providing your product information for wholesalers or market platforms, or integrating supplier data into your own systems and processes – standards for product classification and data exchange play an important role in the standardization of your internal and external communication interfaces.

Product classifications (standards for product classification) enable summarizing, selecting and comparing product information across manufacturers. That’s why they are vital to the implementation of market platforms and in e-procurement. Product classifications might include:

  • Cross-industry parametric classification systems, such as eCl@ss and GPC
  • Branch-specific parametric classification systems, such as ETIM, proficl@ss
  • Non-parametric classification systems, such as UNSPSC

We help you find the best classification system for your needs and work with you to map your product structures, lists of attributes, and lists of values. We find the correct tools and systems to automate the creation and distribution of your classified product information.

Exchange formats (standards for exchanging product information) ensure seamless communication between different systems and/or companies.

Typical applications include integrating supplier data, providing product information to DIY stores, wholesalers, tradespeople and feeding electronic shop systems. Not only do electronic exchange formats define the file and storage formats of the data, they also include the complete hierarchical structure, detailed product information (e.g., article master data, technical data, and prices) and digital assets (e.g., images and data sheets). Exchange formats can include the following:

  • General exchange formats for electronic product information, such as BMEcat
  • Exchange formats for electronic procurement systems, such as xCBL, cXML, and ebXML
  • Exchange formats for tendering data, such as GAEB
  • Basic exchange formats, such as comma-separated value files (csv) and Excel data sheets

We help you both find the right standard for your requirements and integrate the standard into your processes, system landscape, and interfaces.