PIM vs CRM: A Side-by-Side Comparison

One is exclusively built for managing customers’ data; other is tailormade for products aimed towards customers. One manages products and through that offers customer experience; the other facilitates customer relationships. Both aim towards easing the lives of sales and marketing professionals, and both put customers at the center, while helping businesses scale and grow. Sounds like a riddle? Well, probably. While there can confusion over usages of PIM and CRM software, upon scratching the surface, a clear distinction emerges between both. And there are businesses successfully using both too. This insight aims to clear the air around their uses, benefits, differences and how both have proven to be revolutionary platforms in their own special ways.


What You’ll Learn From This Insight:

I. What CRM does vs. PIM does?

II. The Need for PIM vs. CRM Software?

III. PIM and CRM: The Similarities

IV. PIM and CRM: The Differences

V. The Benefits of PIM and CRM integration?

VI. What does PIM-CRM Alliance mean to eCommerce?

VII. Pimcore PIM Is Compatible with Any CRM Software

VIII. Use Case Where Pimcore PIM Successfully Integrated With CRM

What CRM does vs. PIM does?

What does CRM do?

A CRM is a system that manages detailed information about every customer and meticulously administers customer touchpoints to maximize consumer loyalty. Its advanced functionality and analytical tools combine customer information from all sources, analyze it deeply and apply outcomes to build stronger customer relationships. They integrate everything that an organization’s sales, marketing, and service teams know about specific consumers and offer a unified 360° view of the relationship with the customer.

As a result, CRMs help organizations understand customers better, provide higher levels of customer engagement and forge long-lasting customer relations. Organizations use CRM to pinpoint high-value customers, target them more effectively, cross-sell their products, and create offers tailored to specific customer requirements.

Functions of a CRM System

What does PIM do?

A PIM is a system that aids businesses in managing their product associated information primarily for the purpose of marketing and sales by overseeing the consolidation, enrichment, and completion of product data such as product specifications, digital assets, rich media, technical specifications, product metadata, and product information collected from every internal or external source in the organizational ecosystem.

This correct, consistent, complete, single version of information is then handed to the marketing and sales units and routed to every customer touchpoint. Thus, PIM enables organizations to organize and harmonize product information by making it more compliant and valuable through a continuous flow of trustworthy product data from the supplier-manufacturer chain into customers’ reach.

Functions of a PIM System

2. The Need for PIM vs. CRM Software?

Need for PIM: The need for a PIM system is quite distinctive and can be mainly attributed to the organization’s long-term usage of legacy or homegrown systems that are no more equipped to manage neither the rising number of SKUs nor the increasing variety of selling channels. On top of that, when incorrect product data seeps into other departments’ and adversely affects their performances through flawed processes, and start showing up in the form of inconsistent, inaccurate, or late product updates, leading to higher number of product returns, delivery discrepancies, customer complaints, even abandoned carts. These are some of the signals that a specialized product information management product is needed. Internally, if product managers, marketers, salespeople are clueless about the ‘right’ data and teams at other regional or international locations are having a hard time—it means the time for a PIM has come.

Need for CRM: CRMs are required to build excellent customer relationships, understand their needs and choices, track and trace their behavior. All this arises out of a need to strike a chord, bolster the relationship, and earn their loyalty and trust to retain them for a long and beneficial association. The trigger for bringing a CRM could be as simple as lack of understanding or weak relationships with the customers, resulting in low retention or low repeat sales. It happens due to legacy means of handling customer data, leading to inconsistencies between departments. Marketing and salespeople can’t scale relationships and have to look for new customers every single time— impacting revenue numbers. If that’s the dilemma an organization faces, a CRM is what they need.

3. PIM and CRM: The Similarities

Despite a vast amount of difference, PIM and CRM do share certain similarities, mainly in terms of the end objectives they achieve for businesses:

  • One of the primary purposes that both the PIM system and CRM serve are to support the marketing and sales teams to engage customers better, build trust, and earn a distinct reputation in the eyes of the target consumers. 
  • Another similarity is that both reinforce customer satisfaction and facilitate overall collaboration with other systems like order management, inventory management, warehouse management, customer service, and after-sales support. 
  • Most importantly, PIM and CRM contribute to building brand credibility and consistency while greatly empowering customer facing departments, be it marketers, salespeople, customer service representatives, or field reps.

4. PIM and CRM: The Differences

  Task Data Type Importance
PIM PIM is a specialized software exclusively designed to consolidate, store, enrich product data and digital assets into a single repository from a variety of sources like ERP, CRM, OMS, WMS, internal systems, hard drives, external partners, etc. This data is then distributed to consumer-facing touchpoints for consistent customer experiences. PIM’s data purview consists of every possible element of product-related information, ranging from product details and specifications, technical descriptions, pricing details, product lifecycle information, metadata information, and all kinds of digital assets, for as many regions or geographies as required. This data directly affects the product’s selling performance. Hence, the accuracy, precision, and consistency needed for product data visibility to concerned departments, accurate and timely promotions—avoid time-consuming, ineffective processes and interdepartmental coordination discrepancies, and finally, ensure the best possible customer experience.
CRM The core task of a CRM system is to manage interactions with customers by keeping updated customer information via not just tracking sales and providing customer support services but maintaining 360-degree communication with customers across devices and channels including reminders, feedbacks, apprising customers of latest offers and discounts. They also aid targeted marketing, sales, and entire business management. CRM’s data purview consists of customer’s identity (name, date of birth, identity/nationality proof, physical address), email, social media profiles, job type, family information, lifestyle information, communication history (telephonic, email, in app), help desk support (chats, calls, chatbots), average order size, website or app visits, customer satisfaction index, and customer financial information (mode of purchase), etc. CRMs importance emerges from the fact that entire sales performance hinges on it. They aid in continuous tracking of customer activity and feedback. They also help in accurate sales predictions and assist customer service teams in responding quickly. They keep the complete focus on customers by engaging them relentlessly and improving customer experience. And finally, CRMs help business leaders analyze product performance and sales strategy.


5. The Benefits of PIM and CRM Integration?

As providing exceptional customer experience, higher sales and growth turn into long-term goals of organizations, a PIM and CRM integration can work as an ultimate means to achieve higher customer retention, and brand loyalty. Lowering product data inconsistencies, bolstering customer relations, enhancing product data dissemination, and personalized attention to customers can be a shot in the arm for businesses in more ways than one. A few of the most significant advantages of PIM and CRM integration are:

  • Enhanced Customer Experience (CX): Both aid customer experience immensely—PIM by offering the best product data, CRM by maintaining customer relationships to target their needs. 
  • Analyzing and Aiding Buying: When serving customers well is the main objective, it makes sense to know their buying habits while offering them products in an omnichannel environment.
  • Employee Enablement: As employees across organizations get a comprehensive picture of the customer and the product data from ordering to query resolution, it empowers them to do a better job.
  • Sales Efforts Match Sales Results: Anticipating customer requirements while presenting enriched product data around the latest trends and customer inclinations increases sales success.
  • More Selling Opportunities: Keeping tabs on the complete customer activity along with great product data makes cross-selling, up-selling, and targeted marketing much more effortless.

6. What does PIM-CRM Alliance mean to eCommerce?

A few years back, a Gartner survey claimed that sometimes even costly and talented resources are misaligned in organizations. In this regard, PIM and CRM integration can mean a lot to B2C and B2B commerce, as consolidated, streamlined product data and customer data can contribute to a high degree of efficiency and collaboration. A PIM-CRM association is the best possible solution to that, as every single piece of data about products and every single customer communication is unified at a central place.

  • For B2C Commerce
    • Marketing campaigns: It helps marketers reach out to customers on the ever-increasing number of channels and devices simultaneously through targeted marketing campaigns directed at the customer. This can be automated via social media, native apps, smart devices, paid ads, push notifications, and several other mediums at different times throughout their buying journey.  
    • Personalized selling: It can be a perfect formula to offer personalized shopping. For example, CRM analyzes buying behavior to offer bespoke discounts, incentives and send our communication; a PIM, on the other hand, offers consistent product information across touchpoints, so that customer engagement remains flawless.
  • For B2B Commerce
    • Salesperson’s delight: If B2B salespersons are aided by information about what customers want (with the help of CRM) and product data visibility across ordering and inventory, they can provide product quotes and prices with confidence it can drive better customer relationships. 
    • Customer portals: As B2B sales cycles are quite long, it makes sense for businesses to present accurate, updated, real-time product data on customer portals while keeping tabs on customer interactions. By regularly checking where the customers are in the sales pipeline, and can offer what they need accordingly.

7. Pimcore PIM Is Compatible with Any CRM Software

Pimcore PIM is compatible with every prevailing CRM software and ensures a bidirectional flow of information as well as real-time synchronization of data belonging to products, catalogs, digital assets. It allows for scheduling and batch processing alongside complete automation, including complicated business logic, and saves time and effort. Pimcore PIM, when teamed with a CRM, can help businesses with:

  • Continuous Sales Improvement: Since CRMs are mainly designed for sales functions, teaming Pimcore PIM with it brings marketing automation into their ambit, which boosts sales through better targeting.
  • Accurate Predictions: By mapping the data in CRM with Pimcore PIM, calculated forecasts can be made about which products will perform well. Accordingly, stocks and supply chains can be alerted in advance.
  • Enhanced Customer Experience: By understanding how customers respond to products, engaging customer experience strategies can be developed that focus on nurturing customer journeys with promotions and discounts.
  • Constantly Vigilant: By pairing CRM and Pimcore PIM, enterprises can forever be in the know of things and can never be blindsided, hence avoiding a sudden drop in sales or unpredictable customer behavior.  
  • Helps Set Priorities Right: Uniting Pimcore PIM with CRM removes the guesswork out of the equation for sales managers and replaces it with well-thought-out strategies aimed at achieving tangible results.  

Explore the Features and Benefits of Pimcore PIM Platform

8. Use Case Where Pimcore PIM Successfully Integrated With CRM.

Pimcore helped a Retail major by Integrating Pimcore PIM with their CRM:

The retailing major struggled to get a higher ROI and was facing several challenges in their sales efforts. Their product information was being managed by a legacy software. And though they had a CRM in place, they could not get the best out of it, as whatever customer data and insights they got through the CRM, it could not be utilized in the sales process due to a lack of efficient data management practices.

Pimcore PIM replaced their legacy application. Consolidated product data from various sources and enriched it. This way, PIM extracted customers’ purchase and demographic data from the CRM system, performed customer segmentation, and mapped it with the PIM system. 

Following this, intelligence about customer’s purchase preferences and inclinations were shared with sales and marketing for highly targeted campaigns. By achieving consistency with regards to product information and pairing it with the CRM data, the retail enterprise could unlock a cache of insights earlier hidden from them.

As an Impact, the enterprise ROI saw a significant jump within months. This helped the enterprise streamline many gaps, prepare for the future and build foolproof scalability plans.

Browse all Pimcore PIM Case Studies

Pimcore PIM can assure you that pairing up PIM and CRM can open a flood of possibilities for your enterprise growth.


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