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