SEMA DATA CO-OP

SEMA News—August 2014

BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY
By Jon Wyly

SEMA DATA CO-OP

Are you Setting the Bar or Doing the Bare Minimum?
 

Building out and managing your product data is not an event. It’s a journey. The sooner you get started on the journey, the further ahead of your competition you will be.
Building out and managing your product data is not an event. It’s a journey. The sooner you get started on the journey, the further ahead of your competition you will be.

   

Chotchkie’s Manager: We need to talk about your product data.

Joanna: Really? I have 15 fields….

Chotchkie’s Manager: Well, okay. Fifteen is the minimum, okay?

Joanna: Okay.

Chotchkie’s Manager: Now, you know it’s up to you whether or not you want to just do the bare minimum. Or, well, like your competitor, for example, has 37 data fields, okay? And great digital assets, too.

Joanna: Okay. So you want me to have more?

Chotchkie’s Manager: Look, Joanna, people can get a basic data set anywhere, okay? They come to the SEMA Data Co-op for something more. Okay? That’s what the data’s about. It’s about sales.

Joanna: Yeah. Okay. So more then, yeah?

Chotchkie’s Manager: Look, we want you to present your products well, okay? Now, if you feel that the bare minimum is enough, then okay. But some suppliers choose to do more, and we encourage that, okay? You do want to improve your sales, don’t you?

Joanna: Yeah, yeah.

Chotchkie’s Manager: Okay. Great. Let’s get started!

Those of you who get the reference to the movie Office Space are probably smiling right now, and the rest of you are wondering what the heck I’m talking about. Either way, the message is clear. Whatever we do in life, we can choose to do the bare minimum and call it done, or we can consider the minimum requirement just that—a starting place from which to build a competitive advantage.

Building out and managing your product data is not an event. It’s a journey. And beyond that, data requirements for your customers (receivers) are in a constant state of evolution as business systems and in-store/online marketing become more sophisticated. Staying on top of this evolution is critical to maintaining a competitive position in the marketplace. It is worth learning about; it is worth developing internal capabilities for; and it is definitely worth investing in.

This can all sound intimidating, but the good news is that the SEMA Data Co-op is here to help you through that next journey. We have already worked with many of you to get your initial data sets loaded,
validated, published and distributed through our extensive online tools and live Help Desk. We’ll call that a bronze level. Now it’s time to leverage our next level of help to build out your data to silver, gold and platinum levels of quality and content—enabling retailers both in brick and mortar and on the Internet to do the best job possible in presenting your products for sale. If you are already managing your product data at a high level, congratulations! Let’s get to work on your product videos, instruction sheets, enhanced content, expanded product attributes
and more.

As I said: It’s a journey, not an event. The sooner you get started on the journey, the further ahead of your competition you will be.

To learn more about how you can take control of your product data and manage it at the lowest possible cost, contact SEMA Data Co-op Director of Membership Jim Graven at jimg@semadatacoop.org or 888-958-6698 x4.

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