Live from OmniChannelX: Omnichannel content in the wilds of the enterprise

Omnichannel content in the wilds of the enterprise, by Ryan Skinner

Forrester speaks with businesses about how to develop growth strategies. Ryan finds that business’ content problems are like flooding: everywhere. They’re both more complex and more trivial than he would have expected.

Ryan saw a car dealership argue with a consumer about the terminology around a truck: is the back a box or a bed? The consumer actually walked out!

The Age of the Customer

Empowered consumers are demanding a new level of customer experience.

  • 1900: Age of Manufacturing
  • 1960: Age of Distribution
  • 1990: Age of Information
  • Now: Age of the Customer

Benedict Evans says that we are at the end of the digital beginning. We are moving into a place where consumers have control – like Netflix, and order-in groceries. Airbnb gives more autonomy, as does etickets for airlines and trains.

Next up: possibly editing your own DNA or 3D printing medication.

Digital-first

There was a time when even though the research might be online, the purchases were in-store. But today we’re moving to digital-first purchases for clothing, consumer electronics, and even furniture.

Don’t try to become Amazon. But do reimagine your business as though you have a maniacal focus on the customers. That’s what Amazon did.

There’s an investment happening in technology, and alongside it the content. Half a billion dollars is being spent on CMSs. But many organizations see content expense as separate from the product – silo’d.

They want to make the content more efficient, and make it a core part of the rest of the work: thus saving time and money. It’s not ancillary, but packaged right into the value proposition. This comes across in:

  • More in-house content teams
  • More C-level content titles
  • More content centers of excellence
  • A shift in how content is managed – implementing repeatable, measurable processes and systems

Challenges in Systematizing Content

When a business begins to struggle, they remove or de-invest in ancillary elements. The challenge is to determine what the value proposition is, and how the content fits in.

Value propositions are undergoing a transition from hard to soft. Intangible assets such as IP, goodwill, CX, brand, and reputation are what contribute to net worth. It comes down to:

  • Effectiveness: the value you get
  • Ease: how simple the experience feels
  • Emotion: how engaged you are (more important than the other 2 combined!)

We get there through customer journey mapping: understanding what content will support people as they go through the experience.

We can transform our content experiences in 2 ways:

  • Change the customer engagement strategy
  • Change the content management strategy

Either way, we end with personalizing experiences for our consumers. What do we do with our omnichannel content? We need to use it to as a component to create better customer experiences.

Three takeaways:

  1. Start omnichannel content as a discrete component within customer experience.
  2. Address where customers see value. That’s where you’ll win.
  3. Address human to human connections before the technical connections. The technical connections will follow.
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