Paid, owned and earned – it’s a very neat wrap up of how brands should organize their content. If only it were that simple.
The fact is: content is chaotic. It comes at you from all angles, from all sources. It’s not limited to customer communications, social media posts, or webpages. Content comes from all corners of your business: the supply chain, inventory, CRM and user generated content (UGC), marketing, sales, and more.
Content is flowing into businesses through departments that barely know the other exists, let alone collaborate with. And yet it is an increasingly important resource for delivering on customer experience and achieving competitive advantage. It is a raging bull whose horns are very much in need of being grasped.
In Five Truths About Real Time Content , we explore why companies need to approach their content strategies armed with investment and purpose, if they’re to get a handle on this unruly yet highly valuable resource.
The first truth in the paper is that there might have been a content explosion, but like all big bangs, it’s just the start of the process. We’re not looking to limit the volume of content out there, just organize it into a more productive resource.
Content hasn’t exploded because it’s run out of control, it has exploded because it is very much needed. See the example of BMW whose agency produces over 600 variants of its catalogue every year. A single brochure, weakly translated into a handful of languages just wouldn’t match the brand promise.
Secondly, we have to acknowledge that we’re all in publishing now. If we don’t have the skills to make content work for us, we have to hire or acquire people who can. It’s not for nothing that there is a fresh trend for consumer goods businesses to buy up content agencies, for example Whirlpool acquiring Yummly.
With the question of size in the first truth and expertise in the second, it comes as no surprise that the third truth is about taking content seriously – dabbling just won’t do it. If it feels as if you’re starting to manage your content strategy like a second business unit, you’re on the right track. Content is a product in itself, needing promotion, curation and management as much as anything else.
This holy trinity is laying the foundations for the final two truths which prepare companies to meet future challenges (that’s right, the first three truths were only getting you as far as up to speed today!).
When it comes to customer experience, there is no such thing as ‘good enough’. A blog is a good thing but every man jack has one. It’s table stakes. How can you delight and surprise your customer? A picture of product is a given, but what about how that product looks in the customer’s home/on their body? A photo of a jacket is so so, a virtual reality changing room is interesting.
To keep up with innovation and continue delighting and surprising customers, companies really have to have their asset house in order. All those departments we mentioned at the start? They must collaborate. There’s no point engaging with virtual changing rooms if the jacket customers keep playing with is actually out of stock. Being able to temporarily remove an image from every channel until it’s back in stock seems a simple thing but for most companies on legacy asset management systems, it’s the stuff of science fiction.
And it really shouldn’t be. We are long past the days where companies couldn’t bolt on solutions because incumbent technologies would reject the pairing. APIs and cloud technology make centralized, organized content management available to all. For example, our flexible CMS platform that manages content across multi site portals, microsites and communities can be hosted remotely and scaled according to need. It’s not about taking the big – and potentially disastrous – plunge any more.
For more information on what the Five Truths will mean for content management and how best to manage an ever growing flow of information, read the full paper here .