The chaos of the last several years created a special urgency for brands to accelerate their move to digital so they could maintain, strengthen and forge new customer connections.
But finding success in the digital-first economy depends on the ability of companies to deliver experiences that feel personal—tailored, easy and sometimes even entertaining. In this high-speed, high-stakes environment, brands must create and deliver these deeply personal and effective experiences to millions of customers, and in milliseconds.
The heart of effective personalization is great content. Companies that personalize customers’ experiences with meaningful content not only increase engagement and order value, but also build trust with customers. A recent study by Adobe of more than 12,000 global consumers found that 72% say that relevant content delivered at the right time and place boosts their trust with a brand. And more than a quarter of Gen Z and millennials say it increases their trust “a lot.”
While the benefits are clear, it’s challenging to create enough impactful content at the velocity required to deliver millions of meaningful interactions quickly.
The need for intelligent, automated content solutions
Today, virtually all organizations’ content operations are fragmented across siloed systems, disparate teams and tools. This results in inefficient workflows and content that’s not aligned to strategy or real data insights, slowing time to market for content delivery and personalization.
Every company can achieve content velocity and personalization at scale by building these three critical capabilities into their content creation and delivery processes:
1. Effortless collaboration
The content lifecycle is a maze of people, processes and technologies located inside and outside of an organization, and across different offices (personal and professional) and geographies. The process is inherently complex, and scaling up increases the challenges. As a result, creative, marketers and merchandisers are caught in the middle, and often spend much of their time on tactical to-dos instead of high-value creative and strategic activities. Marketing and merchandizing workflow tools help teams manage this daunting process in a single workstream across the entire content lifecycle.
A common challenge is keeping up with creative changes and project updates from various teams. Standardizing workflows in one solution allows creatives to edit assets within their own creative tools, stakeholders to review those assets, and marketers and merchandisers to ensure they’re approved—all on-brand and delivered on time to the appropriate marketing campaign.
“Consolidating teams and project data into a single source of truth streamlines workflows by allowing stakeholders to collaborate in real time,” said Ed Gibson, managing director at Deloitte Digital. “Having a longitudinal view of a brand’s workflows also allows companies to identify and resolve bottlenecks early on in the process and gain confidence that work is being done how and when it should be.”
Actively managing and connecting the full spectrum of content activity helps unify creative, product and asset management, increasing brand consistency and revenue growth, and accelerating content velocity.
2. Intelligent automation
Building a powerful content engine that can scale asset production and delivery can’t happen without intelligent automation. Built-in, cutting-edge intelligence allows brands to create, manage and publish rich media for content across every step of the personalized customer journey.
Without intelligence, an internal creative charged with generating and publishing thousands of personalized banners for an upcoming marketing campaign would likely be mired in mundane tasks such as removing backgrounds, replacing objects and cropping and creating web renditions, so each asset can be delivered for different screen sizes.
Similar content creation challenges are faced when launching a new product line as consumers demand more visual information before purchase. Adding more resources like an outside agency racks up hours and budget, and adds complications.
With intelligent digital asset management, one file can be personalized during the last mile of the content journey, making delivery and iteration much easier and faster.
3. Thoughtful architecture
Creating the right architecture from workflows, permissions and authoring models is a crucial part of the infrastructure required to support content velocity. As brands build large ecosystem where content travels, defining the foundation through metadata and creating bridges between various systems expedites workflows. With today’s (and tomorrow’s) distributed and hybrid workforce, it’s paramount to ensure that the people within your organization can work independently while also collaborating with both internal and external teams.
When this capability is in place, brands can leverage reusability. Reuse of assets comes in two forms—content creation and content distribution. Content creation can stem from generating metadata through a creative brief or structuring a digital asset management solution to provide the right content. This scenario supports the reuse of assets through different channels or audiences. Understanding the elements of content architecture that make up a digital ecosystem allows brands to build the right foundation to help drive velocity and ensure effective collaboration.
Companies that invest in content velocity reap a range of benefits in return, including more balanced workloads for marketers and creatives, visibility for managers and the ability of the C-suite to measure creative efforts. Most importantly, brands can leverage a plentiful variety of rich content to animate the personal customer experiences that will give them a competitive edge in the digital economy.