What’s the Difference Between a PIM System and PCM, PXM, PLM, and MDM Systems?

PIM – Product Information Management

The purpose of a PIM system is to organize product data in a central and media-independent way. Product data includes description texts, images, and technical specifications such as height, length, and width. From data acquisition to data enrichment for products and, finally, to the distribution of data into the various sales channels — all product data processes are maintained in one and the same system.

In-depth information on PIM and the answer to the question “Why is Product Data so Important for Companies?” are provided on our page What is PIM.

PCM – Product Content Management

The concept PCM is, more often than not, used as a synonym to PIM. Others see it as ‘nothing more than a mere tool’ for enriching product data such as description texts, properties, and media. Which is why they identify PCM with the process step “data enrichment” of PIM. Accordingly, the remaining functions such as data acquisition from multiple sources, data quality assurance, and exports into multiple sales channels are not at all featured in a PCM system. In short, PCM is a subset of PIM.

PXM – Product Experience Management

Today’s product sales divisions aim at maximizing Customer Experience (that is, the customer’s lived experience when purchasing a product) in order to increase conversion rates. One building block which contributes to what it is like to purchasing products is Product Experience, laying the foundation for a high-quality Customer Experience. This is where PXM comes into play: Product Experience Management is a relatively novel concept, expanding the PIM process by a fourth, core process step — namely, data contextualization. In this process step which is to be situated in between data enrichment and data distribution, the product data is expanded with context-sensitive content. For example, a context may be the customer’s use case or the specific purchasing phase she is currently in. By using individualized product information for specific use cases, for example, you communicate with your customers on a decisively more target-group-oriented level — which may, in the best-case scenario, translate into yet another satisfied customer.

Further details on PXM and why it is indispensable can be found on our page What is PXM.

PLM – Product Lifecycle Management

PLM stands for software solutions managing the process of the development of your products, saving all data created throughout the entire process. This is why PLM systems are, in particular, important for all manufacturers which have their own product development division. The data gathered can then serve as the foundation for the product information which is saved in a PIM system for the purpose of marketing and sales etc.

MDM – Master Data Management

While a PIM system only covers the field of products, MDM systems take it one level higher insofar as they allow you to also manage other business objects. The goal is to unify a company’s various data sources to make well-informed corporate decisions. Typical objects managed in a so-called “Multi-Domain Master Data Management system” include not only products but also customers, target groups, suppliers, partners, employees, and tasks. By combining these objects with one another, the user is provided with a kind of 360° view over all customers and products.

More intel on MDM and examples of when the implementation of a Master Data Management system is profitable are presented to you on our page What is MDM.


Author: Sebastian Faber
Sebastian Faber studied business administration at the age of 22 and has been working in marketing at eggheads for over 5 years. He dedicates himself with enthusiasm to the identification of target group relevant topics. The delimitation plays an important role with this topic area, to the offered software. Every day he deals with the different approaches of software-based product management.
"For me, a PIM system is an essential building block in the product data process of any manufacturer or retailer and the indispensable heart of an omnichannel strategy."

Sebastian Faber



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