Managing the supply chain of consumer content

The experience of GS1 Italy

Sirma Kurtulmaz
Project Manager @GS1 Italy

Once advertising alone, made of posters and packaging with attractive graphics and slogans, a few seconds of commercials presenting a product’s context with funny sketches on the notes of a catchy jingle, could lead the consumer to the purchase.

Nowadays, a good claim is certainly an excellent starting point, but the proliferation of touchpoints requires the consumer goods sector to build an advanced customer experience.

Companies feel an increasing need to put the consumer at the center of all their business processes, including digital content management. What does this mean? The shopping experience in the physical world implies a sensory activity: think of a supermarket, a customer has a complete, interactive experience with the food on display there, using his or her five senses as receptors of information.

In the traditional supply chain, packaging plays a key role in the presentation of a product in store. But what about e-commerce? It is crucial to also guarantee a sensory experience on digital channels, and this can be done through content: the product’s "packaging" is made of multimedia materials (audio, video, banners, images, etc.) that can tell its story, its context of use and its attractive features.

 

Digital content, how to manage it

 

Brand owners and retailers have to handle hundreds of thousands of products in their assortments and catalogs, so they potentially need to govern a supply chain of several million pieces of content. This complexity is impossible to manage manually, or with tools that are not integrated with one another.

As the research "Intelligent Content Management" carried out by Forrester in collaboration with THRON has confirmed, 50% of companies face difficulties at different stages of the content life cycle due to uncoordinated approaches and tools, and this means a significant waste of time and resources, both human and economic.

For example, a brand that wants to share a video on various e-commerce websites should use many tools, wasting time that could be used in activities with higher added value. That’s why a centralized system for content distribution would be the best solution for all the actors involved:

  • Brands which previously shared content with retailers through dozens of different tools (e-mail, FTP, custom portals of the retailer, etc.) can now use a single platform from which to maintain control over the entire content supply chain, monitoring the shares and measuring the use of digital assets by users.
  • Retailers, on the other hand, would benefit from a single solution that allows them to automate the reception of content and its distribution across online channels.

 

The experience of GS1 Italy in services

 

GS1 Italy is an association that brings together 35,000 consumer goods companies and offers its members two services for content management:

_immagino_gs1

This web service for corporate content management was launched in 2014 to allow producers and distributors to exchange product information and images online. It does so by creating their "digital twins" in a structured way. GS1 Italy in a first step creates a complete kit of high quality images of the product sent by the brand, then in a second step all the information on the label and packaging are digitized.

Once the product sheet has been completed and validated, the data in it can be shared with extreme ease by a single system to all business partners. With over 100,000 digitized products and 1,700 manufacturers and retailers that have adopted the service, Immagino feeds most Italian e-commerce websites.
 

_condivido_gs1

As we said before, digital requires a sensory experience based on content. Condivido was born for this: a DAM (Digital Asset Management) platform created together with THRON to manage and organize marketing content (images, video, banners, audio, etc..) that are often fragmented and scattered in different silos.

Thanks to the classification made by AI algorithms, the files are present on the system in a single copy, always updated and directly linked to the product and its bar code (certified by Immagino), ready to be distributed and shared with customers, suppliers and colleagues. Digital metadata identifies content, informing you about which assets, and how many times have been viewed and downloaded, providing feedback on their appreciation by users.

We are confident that Condivido will become a system solution like Immagino and will allow companies to share digital content from a single point of access, providing an efficient and effective process and becoming a common language between business partners. In addition, having THRON, one of the most popular DAM platforms on the market, as our technology partner, allows us to offer a 360-degree service that meets all needs related to digital asset management.