The Content Wrangler: Delivering Consistent Content Experiences Across Digital Touchpoints
Whether looking to buy a new pair of running shoes or advanced industrial equipment, consumers have more choices than ever. They look for information about products and services across a variety of digital touchpoints. And they do so using a mix of devices—computers, smartphones, tablets, TVs and more. Unfortunately for consumers, most organizations fail at delivering consistent content experiences across all touchpoints.
Failing to produce consistent content experiences negatively impacts business. Research from Deloitte illustrates the problem: 90 percent of customers expect a consistently excellent experience across all touchpoints.
What Prevents Us From Delivering Consistent Content Experiences?
These factors cause content inconsistencies:
- Lack of knowledge
- how to produce and deliver dynamic content
- how to optimize content for findability
- Lack of a unified content strategy
- touchpoints are owned by different departments, and managed in different ways
- content has different output requirements
- each department uses different key performance indicators (KPI)
- Lack of feasibility
- existing homegrown applications—or ad hoc mix of systems—don’t work together to make multi-channel content delivery scaleable or cost-effective
And the implications of inconsistency aren’t minor, either. Forty-seven percent of customers say—even if they’re satisfied with the level of service received—they will nevertheless switch to a competitor that does a better job of connecting with them through their preferred touchpoints (McKinsey & Company). Furthermore, some consumers say they will pay more for better content experiences.
Creating Consistent Content Experiences: The Need For A Unified Content Strategy
In a perfect world, everyone involved in the creation of customer-facing content would work in a unified way—using the same approach and the same production and management tools. But in the imperfect world of business, companies are organized in silos. Each department or domain has its own methods of creating content.
Fortunately, companies can deliver a seamless and consistent content experience at each touchpoint in the customer journey. What’s needed is a unified content strategy designed to provide both prospects and customers with rapid access to the answers and information they need, when and where they need it, on the device of their choosing.
To gain support for a unified content strategy, transform management’s view of content creation, management, and delivery from a necessary expense into an investment that enables engagement and drives sales.
Delivering Consistent Content Experiences: The Road Ahead
Here are some suggestions about creating consistent content experiences:
- Stop making customers hunt for content. Content should be available wherever customers interact with the brand, regardless of which department is responsible for its creation.
- Stop thinking in terms of deliverables. (e.g. new manual, user guide, website, etc.). Instead, craft componentized content for reuse across multiple deliverables. Reusing content helps ensure accuracy and consistency, improves usability, reduces cost, and supports the delivery of personalized content.
- Adopt content creation tools that guide authors, editors, and other content contributors (across various departments) toward the creation of content that is consistent in structure and terminology.
- Classify and semantically tag all product content, regardless of which department created it, and do so in a consistent manner using a unified taxonomy. Semantically rich content can be automatically delivered to those who need it.
- Map content to the customer journey. Create content designed to guide and serve prospects and customers alike. Leverage the power of metadata to assist in the automatic delivery of the right content to the right prospects—and customers—when and where they need it.
- Capture the right metrics. Analyze website and call center data to gain a better understanding of how prospects and customers are interacting with content. Focus on collecting relevant metrics designed to help you make informed business decisions quickly. Meaningful metrics can uncover hidden opportunities to fine-tune and prioritize content production, spot inefficiencies, and assist in pinpointing costly and time-consuming product development challenges.
The Bottom Line
As Robert Rose and Carla Johnson say in their best-selling business book, Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing:
We should be creating a balanced portfolio of appropriate, relevant, and high-impact experiences at ONLY the stages of the buyer’s journey where we can be most influential and deliver the most value.
Delivering consistent content experiences is challenging. There is no magic wand to wave, nor easy button to press. However, with the right strategy, planning, and tools, optimizing content production for today’s multi-touchpoint world is not only possible, but it’s also practical and profitable.
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