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As with many business approaches that prove to be far more influential and useful than first imagined, the omnichannel concept has its roots in the world of sales. Specifically, businesses were rightfully concerned that their customers – especially online, though in brick and mortar environments as well — were encountering too much friction on their journey from new prospect to raving fan. And so to prevent this, businesses elevated “seamless” and “one-stop” into guiding principles for everything from user experience to sales funnels, and watched as both sales results and customer satisfaction numbers climbed. Everyone went home a winner.
For companies with numerous product lines, multiple target markets, and overall complex product documentation needs, the shift towards intelligent content is clearly a step in the right direction – regardless of whether they are using DITA, HTML or proprietary solutions (e.g. Framemaker, Flare, etc.). Not only does it dramatically reduce development, review, translation and maintenance costs, but it is a major win for technical writers who can invest their time adding value – and less time rewriting content.
While there is no shortage of guidance on how organizations can engage employees in creating marketing content – such as blogs, social media posts, LinkedIn updates, and so on – there is a surprising lack of practical advice on how to engage Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) in the product documentation process.