On the quest for the perfect digital experience platform, organizations find that content is still the cornerstone of their digital experience and will remain so for the foreseeable future.
In the early noughties, I observed a workshop on how to improve customer engagement and the table of a dozen or so attendees were asked for the top three things to consider when creating a good website and the ideal customer experience. Not one person cited ‘content’ in their list. Not one. Yet all these people read content every day and must have been aware that what kept their interest on a site was well-crafted prose. I guess it was just taken for granted.
Over the past twenty years, organizations across every imaginable vertical have found that they have become ‘unintentional’ publishers in addition to their core offering. Whether it’s steel producers or glass manufacturers, big supermarkets or specialist grocery stores, five-star hotel chains or individual pubs offering bread and breakfast, whatever the nature of their business, everyone has become a publisher of content.
Finding your voice
These days, each brand needs to find its voice and articulate it clearly to its target audiences via multiple channels to be consumed on different devices. The one goal they all need to have in common is to deliver an impeccable customer experience from the very first touchpoint to the end…well, not really the end, but a repeatable cycle where customers come back for more time and again.
Roll back 15 to 20 years – content was important to communicate the brand offering at a fairly narrow stage of the user journey – the good old storefront. Contrast that with today where content is required at every stage, from the initial contact a user has, introducing them to your brand, all along the journey to where they want insight as they research more about your products and services and beyond, when they have become a customer and need support or want to buy more from you.
It’s said that when a potential customer contacts a supplier, 57% of their purchase decision is already complete. Couple that with another statistic, from Sirius Decisions which declares “67% of the buyer’s journey is now done digitally”, like never before content matters, and different content is required for different stages of that journey. Buying decisions, especially regarding the business-to-business markets can involve multiple stakeholders. So, in this new reality, as customers spend so much time online, the type of information they access matters.
They want content that is available on myriad devices and platforms. No longer is the customer journey separated into siloes – it’s complex, across multiple channels where customers consume content on a host of different devices. It also needs to be easily shareable, consistent and targeted to them.
Decoupling content from the technology equals future-proof publishing
Today there’s a multitude of technology solutions, services and options that help enhance and build these experiences. And as countless organizations have undergone or are undergoing digital transformation to transact more online and reinvent the way they communicate with their customers and partners they have to have core content management capabilities to deliver the right digital experiences for their audiences via websites, apps, email, social channels etc.
As the axis of power has now shifted to the customer, organizations selling products or services, or public sector providers wanting greater adoption of their online services, have had to become consumer centric. Customers and citizens alike want intuitive experiences to quickly find the content they’re after. They expect the same level of service and customer experience from a brand regardless of location and device they are accessing the content on.
For organizations, managing content that is to be published across different channels – websites, apps, email campaigns, smart TVs etc., a digital experience platform (offering integrated content management, e-commerce and personalization services) hosts all content in one place and makes it available to these different channels, in different contexts and formats.
Investing in a platform with a strong content engine at its core enables you to derive the maximum value from that content and, an added benefit is that the content is effectively future-proofed, as it can be reused on platforms that have yet to even be imagined.
To learn more about how to future proof your digital content, request a consultation with one of our experts.
Roland Benedetti, chief product and marketing officer, eZ