Heightened expectations and demands are transforming the way customers engage with brands. Add in unprecedented global challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic and economic fluctuations that are accelerating digital transformation, and brands are feeling the pressure.
Marketers, in particular, are working quickly to transform their entire ecosystem into a seamless customer journey. Personalization is a centerpiece of their strategy, and that makes content a key differentiator because it’s the essential element for providing meaningful moments that keep customers moving toward the path to purchase. To keep up with ever-heightened customer demands, you need to support an agile content life cycle.
The role of content for your organization
Increasing the agility of your content life cycle can affect every aspect of your organization. The brands that have already embarked on the journey are seeing early success, building on three pillars:
1. Content creation and management.
Consumers want experiences that offer value and relevancy to their in-the-moment needs and intent, and they’re willing to pay for them. Recent global research reveals that 73% of people say experience is an important factor in their purchasing decisions and over 40% would pay more for great experiences. But what makes a great experience?
It’s a human touch.
That touch starts with data, and customer data management tools make it easier than ever to build individual profiles from the historical transactional and behavioral data your customers provide as they engage with you.
For most companies, though, customer insight isn’t the biggest hurdle—it’s the bottleneck created by disjointed content production processes. Marketing departments are using multiple tools and disconnected systems, teams are operating in silos, and duplicated efforts are common. What’s needed is a reassessment of the people, processes and technology supporting content creation efforts.
Technology isn’t a cure-all, but it can galvanize people and process changes that will streamline content creation and management. In particular, a content hub can improve collaboration across teams during content planning and creation, centralize content storage and make it easier to organize modular content assets that can be combined like building blocks and reused across channels. As a result, the entire marketing organization can know what is being created, for what purpose, and when and where it will be used.
2. Content delivery.
The next step is delivering content across all of the channels where your customers connect with you—from traditional websites and mobile applications to voice assistants and in-store experiences to name a few.
More than ever, an agile content life cycle recognizes that omnichannel delivery requires collaboration between the marketing and IT teams. However, a traditional content marketing system, or CMS, provides marketer-focused tools to create engaging experiences but doesn’t offer the flexibility for IT teams to easily distribute content beyond the world of web and email. Meanwhile, “headless” CMS solutions have the same problems, just in reverse.
This reinforces the importance of a content hub. With its unified digital asset management and content marketing capabilities, a content hub offers marketer-friendly tools for centralized content planning, creation, collaboration and management. That frees IT teams to integrate best-in-class headless CMS tools to deliver content anywhere.
3. Content measurement and optimization.
The final pillar of an agile content life cycle involves understanding what works, what doesn’t and where to continue investing your budget. The goal of measurement is to avoid building a content machine purely for the sake of quantity. Research has shown that just 5% of branded content accounts for 90% of engagement, and that means it’s important to assess what’s moving the needle to continuously optimize both content creation and delivery.
Customer data and insight again factor in here because the same systems that help you know who your customers are and what they care about also provide the data to know what content is resonating most.
As you can see, we’ve returned to where we started, and that’s because an agile content life cycle is a virtuous loop. These three pillars are closely interlinked and, as a result, it’s critical to invest in all three areas. Weakness in one area will impede progress in the others, but building strength in all becomes a force multiplier.
Through it all, agile technology will increase your resiliency during a time of disruptive change.
To learn more about content maturity, including assessing where you are in your journey toward it and your next steps, review the collection of resources from Sitecore here.