Content managers, our time is now.
This is the second in my mini-series of articles on managing the customer experience journey that I have split into three business disciplines: Customer, Content and Control.
In the last article I defined CXM as managing that customer’s perceptive of your business, service or products through their customer journey, from their initial awareness, through a purchase or engagement to them raving about you on Twitter. That was the first C -- Customer.
In that article I also said I’d leave content until last, but I’ve decided to leave Control until next time as it’s the discipline that pulls all three of these together.
Instead, we're going to focus here on what we CMSWire readers love -- Content.
The Rising Value of Content
In my humble opinion the recent evolution of digital marketing from “brochureware” content into this holistic, multi-channel, multi-language, multi-device, socially wired and personalized experience is exactly what our CMS industry was built for.
Our systems have been underutilized, idly publishing static pages. As content management professionals our passion for best practices; of meta-data tagging, the separation of content from its presentation, its componentization and re-use, etcetera, etcetera -- is a passion that our business colleagues have found hard to share.
But now the C suite is listening -- managing the customer experience has a demonstrable impact on the success of our organizations -- just read David Roe’s piece on Forrester’s CX index here on CMSWire, there is a clear correlation between the success in terms of the traditional metrics of share value and profits and an organization's attention to CXM.
So, content management, our time is now.
Customers Want Information
Being relevant means managing multiple variants of the same content, whether its language variants or content targeted at a specific group within your audience -- the techies, the kids or financial analysts. They want your story told differently.
During your customer's engagement with you, they also want different kinds of content, not just the view of the marketer expressed on a website.
They want your content in long form as they read your product manuals before purchase as well as during the adoption of your product or service.
They want to read social commentary about your products and services. We normally think of this social content as reviews from existing customers, but they also want to hear from the people that are “in the know” in your business. Your engineer that comments on a forum, confirming that your product has six HDMI connectors, although he’d recommend using the optical connection for sound.
The form of the content also needs to be adapted and optimized for their chosen device or channel. The language you use with your community on Facebook maybe very different from what you say in a financial PR announcement.
I’m painting a picture of an explosion of content.
The Need for Consistency
Yet in amongst all this, that still has to be consistent. If you said your loan rate was 12 percent in a Facebook campaign, it had better say that in the email promotion, on your website and the nice lady that just answered the phone better know about it, too.
It’s not just fact checking, but do you sound like you on each of these touch points, does it reflect your brand and advance this customer toward your engagement objectives?
Plus any discussion on CXM is often centered on understanding the customer -- yet how can you systemize delivering a relevant content experience if don’t understand your content?
If you can’t find the content or it’s not tagged as being about this product or that it’s aimed at this demographic or community -- you’ve clearly missed an engagement opportunity.
An organization needs to understand all of the content that tells its story, it needs to be published together, with an insight into the publication process and ensure it conforms to all the good governance your industry demands.
This requires all of the good content marketing practices that we’ve been talking about for over a decade and the tools to support them.
A controlled explosion of content.
Control, the subject of my next article.
Image courtesy of Sergey Nivens (Shutterstock)
Editor's Note: While you are waiting for the next installment, why not get some more of Ian's insights into the customer experience in How Context Can Define a Great Online Customer Experience