The Data Decathlon

How LAGO stands out among highly specialized DAM & PIM Systems

Some technology businesses are hard to classify. With its multi-faceted LAGO product, Comosoft embraces DAM, PIM, personalized marketing, publishing automation, and many other, interrelated technologies – in a way that defies easy categorization.

The 2020 Summer Olympics were both a casualty of the pandemic and, like many other traditions, a symbol of hope – assuming their 2021 reboot goes as planned. This time, there will be over 330 events in fifty sports disciplines, from aquatics through wrestling and everything in between.

Of all these sports, the decathlon is one of the more complex, combining ten different running, jumping, and throwing events. There are indeed more disparate-sounding competitions, like the marathon-swimming-biking “iron man” triathlon and the shooting-plus-skiing biathlon. Some of these seem like they were based on a dare. But the decathlon, like its Greek ancestor, the pentathlon, tops the list.

The main point of these combination events is that they defy specialization. Participants must compete in a wide, demanding range of events, each requiring a different set of skills. A decathlete may not out-perform a dedicated sprinter or pole vaulter; instead, they aspire to win in a larger, more complicated arena.

Data “Techathletes”

When it comes to technology, few companies fit the decathlon model. Under the hood, large tech companies like Microsoft and Amazon are actually a collection of smaller business units, united in some ways but mostly focused on doing a specific thing well – or maybe not so well. Data-oriented companies and service providers in particular need to focus on a single, well-defined field of expertise. Disciplines like digital asset management (DAM) and product information management (PIM) are complex and demanding all by themselves.

The challenge was to wrangle vast amounts of interrelated PIM and DAM data, keep it organized, and efficiently render it in dense, versioned, multi-page catalogs—where a single mistake could cost a retailer thousands of dollars.

Occasionally, however, a company or platform achieves a multi-disciplinary level of achievement. System integrators in particular learn to master more than one data process, since their job is literally to make one business system work well with another. One such company, combining its dedicated software with a deep “bench” of integration expertise, is Hamburg and Dallas-based Comosoft.

Founded in 1994, the company developed a multichannel media and data system, originally for an equally complex medium: consumer product and business catalogs. The challenge was to wrangle vast amounts of interrelated PIM and DAM data, keep it organized, and efficiently render it in dense, versioned, multi-page catalogs – where a single mistake could cost a retailer thousands of dollars.

Over the years, Comosoft’s LAGO platform became more versatile, as its staff became more adept at integrating different systems and transitioning from print to online and mobile output. It incorporated direct individualized marketing (DIM) to meet its clients’ need for more direct, one-to-one messaging based on customer preferences. It also had to meet increasing demands for greater automation and efficiency. In other words, the company had become a data decathlete.

Apples and Orchards

With this success came some unique challenges of perception. The company was often compared to specialized DAM and PIM developers, especially in web searches. Following each successful marketing campaign, would-be competitors’ pay-per-click campaigns surged, using keywords that said, in effect, “We’re just as good as Comosoft at DAM (or PIM, or…).” It was a compliment of sorts, but it missed the point. Comosoft and its product compared favorably with developers of DAM, PIM, and other systems, but it was harder to see the company’s full scope. There were plenty of search terms for “apples” but not many for the whole orchard.

For a relatively small firm, this meant it was harder to gain the attention of clients who really needed a wide-spectrum solution. Faced with new challenges like the pandemic, retailers and manufacturers had to find new ways of communicating – turning their enormous, often disjointed piles of data into targeted, effective communication.

This was not only a perception issue. The company could not simply say they covered all the required disciplines. They also had to live up to that rigorous standard. Like actual decathletes, the Comosoft team had to master and keep up with multiple disciplines. This “intensive training” in the field was also reflected in their software platform. LAGO had to grow and change – not just for the sake of adding new features, but to compete in many different “races” at the same time.

Gold Medal Results

Increasingly, Comosoft has been winning the event, and not solely based on its DAM and PIM expertise. Rather, their success was based on their ability to do more than one “event” – to run, jump, and throw, so to speak.

Most of Comosoft’s success stories began as a complex set of needs. Large retailers in particular were not looking for a single-solution DAM or PIM system. In fact, most already had systems in place. The problem was that the systems did not work efficiently together or were encumbered by manual workarounds and legacy systems. In other words, they needed a data decathlete.

Faced with the growing pains of its stores’ success—complicated by many regional variations and a recent merger—the company relies on LAGO and Comosoft’s integration expertise to “transform a mass-market channel into a one-to-one connection.”

The is a case in point. Faced with the growing pains of its stores’ success – complicated by many regional variations and a recent merger – the company relies on LAGO and Comosoft’s integration expertise to “transform a mass-market channel into a one-to-one connection.” Today, Bass Pro automatically manages thousands of individual SKUs in its multichannel marketing efforts, including hundreds of regional variants, using LAGO.

Another striking example is Comosoft’s success with the . The company’s goals—to streamline its complex, in-store flyer program and provide store-specific data to its mobile shopping app was met by the Comosoft team, in tandem with its integration partner, PureRED. Following a series of diverse, successful milestones, Lowe’s had a multichannel marketing approach to be proud of.

The Finish Line

In today’s world of big data “versus” the need to offer personalized marketing communication, there is little room for a single-technology solution. Only an agile, multi-faceted technology company can run all the different “races” necessary to achieve success. Fortunately, for retailers and manufacturers with tons of product and marketing data, Comosoft is the right sort of digital athlete.