What is the difference between MDM, PIM & PXM?

MDM. PIM. PXM. …. WTF are all these acronyms and why do they matter? I though it is time to write down my view on the terms used in the data management world. Especially when nowadays digital transformation or getting ready for the digital business era has taken the importance of (master) data to new heights.

Why does this matter? Companies who are in control of their data can realize new business models and revenue streams and create the next level of customer experience every CEO is dreaming of. Business models like Amazon, Spotify, Netflix, Uber or AirBnB would not exist without data.

In my view some vendors have put out word and claimed Product Experience Management (PXM) as a marketing strategy to position themselves as innovators over Product Information Management (PIM) vendors. When you search for definitions you find many high-level blogs or websites without real details. In the meantime PXM has started to evolve and Simon Walker from Gartner Research will try to define this market, as he told me.

I think the difference and correlation of Master Data Management (MDM) and PIM is established a bit more, but still companies and business and IT people struggle to understand why they need what.

In the past hybris (today SAP) made a successful move by positioning Product Content Management (PCM) to get better traction with marketing and e-commerce people. In the MDM world, Reltio attacked Informatica and others by calling out MDM as “modern” data management.

With this blog I am trying to simplify this discussion and contribute my view. I invite you all to leave your comments and experience.


You may argue that some things need to be in the other box, or some things are missing. Please let me know.

My conclusion and recommendation is to look behind the scenes who can really do what. Select a solution which is flexible to grow with your business need across all the three dimensions, because your business needs all of it to be successful. Just be careful that you don’t lock yourself down into a tool that cannot take you to the other levels because it is old generation platform technology, or too light-weight app-style. I am sure you may have the desire to have all of this.

*** Footnote ***

In research for this blog I found these two very helpful articles from Simon Walker (Gartner) and Productsup. Nadim Wardé publishes his view on definition here, by adding PLM and DAM to the list.

Find more about Riversand, my employer who addresses MDM, PIM & PXM with one cloud platform for mid size and large enterprises. Riversand just announced the strategic integration with Venzee for better Syndication & PXM.

There is also my German version of this blog, if you are intersted.

Discuss with me on this topics via Twitter or Linkedin, if you want.

One thought on “What is the difference between MDM, PIM & PXM?

  1. Hi Ben. As you state you could argue that some of the bullets you have in your list could belong to different sections (either MDM / PIM or PXM. I believe that you actually should do that and also break your list up in different topics/process that we do in the system (Enrichment, integration, Workflow/governance)

    The most valuable clue you give on the blog is in your conclusion. Only thing is that it requires a lot of effort for companies to make that investigation, but we actually have an offer for that here at Avensia and at a fixed price 🙂


    Actually a conclusion of why have an MDM and connecting the dots is to be able to:

    Make a search that get you a specific person with a set of specific skills to do a specific set of work in a specific location with specific spareparts on a specific product.

    That search is only available in MDM and can’t be done in a PIM or PXM 🙂

    You could possibly create some more fun versions of above in different sectors and that could actually be vital information for why have an MDM.

    I’m also missing the IoT, we are aiming, if not already there, at systems / products having the ability to state
    “i need service” and what technician do i need to call in order to get that service… Only with a good solid data structure with MDM (and only MDM) would be able to help doing this.

    Have a great summer


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