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Congratulations. Your organization is moving down the digital transformation road with content and mobile strategies. There’s no turning back.

But are you exceeding audience expectations with a variety of digital, human and hybrid touches? If you’re unsure, your organization’s content engine -- or a more advanced stage known as a Culture of Content (CoC) -- might need oil or an overhaul.

According to research from the Altimeter Group (registration required), a culture of content exists when:

  • content importance is evangelized organization wide
  • content is shared and made accessible
  • content creation and creativity are encouraged
  • content flows up and downstream, as well as across various divisions

Altimeter initially defined a culture of content in the 2012 report, "Content: The New Marketing Equation." CoC is the most realistically achievable maturity level for most organizations. As content strategy gains traction in the enterprise, good research will examine and illustrate how teams create and foster cultures of content as part of digital transformation and customer experience execution.

People Are Increasingly Mobile

Mobile gives us significant opportunities for customer experience innovation and ROI. According to comScore data from May 2014, mobile platforms (smartphones and tablets) accounted for 60 percent of total digital media time spent. And a recent IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark reported that mobile spending is increasingly corresponding with customer behavior, with mobile devices accounting for one in four of all online purchases in November 2014.

Although business leaders acknowledge the importance of mobile strategies and emerging best practices, Altimeter’s Jan. 2015 research (registration required), "The Inevitability of a Mobile-Only Customer Experience" conveys that many organizations underestimate and underinvest in mobile’s value proposition.

What happens when increasing demand for mobile experiences collides with people's growing appetite for a variety of content? Organizations either meet expectations, delight or disappoint. Investing in a culture of content and mobile experiences is key to attract, engage, serve and retain connected customers.

Reach the People with Human to Human Content

Are you seeing the link between a culture of content and mobile-first approach to create powerful, unique customer experiences? Let’s go from a broad point of view to a focused one with an example of these ideas working together. We’ll also view this through the Human to Human (#H2H) lens that Bryan Kramer created last year.

During International CES 2015 in January, Play.it® was announced by CBS. Play.it is a new podcast network that brings together digital-exclusive programming from major brands and publishers as well as content from CBS Radio shows on demand.

Jeffrey Hayzlett and I discussed on camera why Play.it is interesting in relation to digital business and customer experience topics. "All Business with Jeffrey Hayzlett" debuts on Feb. 5 with guest Gene Simmons of KISS. Upcoming guests will include Kevin Jonas, Piers Morgan, Daymond John, Barbara Corcoran and other business notables:

At launch, Play.it offers more than 300 premium content podcasts, including podcasts from well-known CBS Radio personalities like Boomer Esiason & Craig Carton, Carson Daly, and Kevin & Bean, as well as content from leading news, lifestyle, sports and media brands including 48 Hours, 60 Minutes, CBS Sports Radio, Vox, Deadspin, Simon & Schuster and Foursquare, among others.

Ezra Kucharz, president of CBS Local Digital Media, shared that

the demand for on-demand audio content is huge, with tens of millions of people and growing listening to podcasts each month. CBS aims to bring listeners a unified, easy-to-use platform featuring the best podcasts from not only CBS brands but other major brands, personalities and publishers, as well.”

Kucharz told us that CBS created a platform for people to embed audio content in their Twitter feeds and websites. By design, Play.it content is simple to discover, experience and share. Regarding podcaster selection, CBS has a content green light process that resembles traditional broadcast. There’s a team of people who review content and inbound requests, meetings occur, demos are shot and decisions are made by CBS to green-light or not.

CBS relies on tools and metrics to understand weekly traffic. And podcasters have the ability to assess how their content is performing and the audience is responding. Further, the Play.it ad insertion platform enables CBS to sell ads on a national level that cross all podcasts, or target geographies and special interests.

Podcasting: Culture of Content and Mobile Experiences Mesh

While at CES, I evaluated onsite brand experiences, new products and services with user experience design in mind. Jesse Maula, Chief Design Officer at Idean, told us “when creating content and mobile experiences like podcasting, it’s all about storytelling. The number one thing is to have a great story that is packaged in an interesting way. Responsiveness is a commodity and a must-have from an end-user's perspective. With new capabilities in devices, it’s more about how to simplify and personalize experiences -- to make them relevant and create positive surprises.”

With so much happening in the content marketing space, I talked with Robert Rose, Chief Strategy Officer for the Content Marketing Institute, to get another perspective. He shared “there’s no doubt that podcasts are now to marketing what 'Let it Go' is to music; a huge hit that can seem overwhelmingly annoying. But, done right, I’ve seen them elevate a brand and create real results. I’ve seen them work both as a differentiating education platform, as well as create real emotional bonds with customers. Like everything related to content marketing -- they need real time, effort and (most of all) consistency.”

Podcasting is going through a growth spurt because people can easily listen to content they’re missing on other channels. Organizations with cultures of content and advanced mobile strategies can engage customers and grow their communities with podcasting.

Are you ready to get up to speed?

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License Title image by  DanDeChiaro