Personalization strategies and strategies to drive alignment across the customer journey vary significantly from company to company and from industry to industry. The right content strategy for a beauty product retailer won't work for an auto parts supplier.  

What companies of all types should have in common is omnichannel content readiness. 

What Does Omnichannel Content Readiness Mean?

Omnichannel implies that companies have the ability to span all channels at all times with the perfect content. The reality is no one can do this. 

Don't get hung up on labels like omni or multi. Instead, focus on whether you have the ability to deliver the right content through the right channels as dictated by your marketing strategies. And since strategies are fluid as market needs or competition changes, content readiness means you have the ability to shift gears quickly and easily. 

Omnichannel readiness gives you the ability to realistically choose where to be strategically. Marketers need the freedom to add whatever channels may come next, in an integrated way that supports a holistic, mutually reinforcing content strategy. 

Blending the Online and Offline

Customers today choose how they engage with brands. They choose the context, channel and device — which means that the customer journey no longer follows a linear path. In response, businesses are going beyond the multichannel digital experience of mobile, social and web and creating interactive experiences that permeate touchpoints and blur the line between the physical and digital.

Businesses that embrace an omnichannel strategy recognize that they cannot dictate their customers' digital experiences. What they can do is enhance the experience with relevant content that serves the customer across touchpoints. By blending the physical and digital customer experience, omnichannel reinforces both contexts.  

Omnichannel approaches benefit not only e-commerce and retail but can offer significant opportunities for sectors such as services, finance and higher education.

Regardless of the industry, content is central to an effective omnichannel strategy. Companies need technology that supports the integration of online and offline customer experiences. This requires an agile and flexible infrastructure for web content management.

Creating Alignment, on the Customer Side and the Business Side

Creating an all-encompassing, seamless and innovative customer experiences involves significant collaboration across teams and departments. 

An effective omnichannel strategy relies on a content platform on the back end that integrates with a broad set of business processes and is supported by the right people, tools and processes. A highly scalable web content management system that integrates easily with whatever tools the evolving content strategy demands — whether e-commerce platforms, marketing automation tools or customer support systems — will act as the backbone of your omnichannel strategy.

Simple content management systems built around page editing tools can no longer keep pace with the growing number of channels. Manually uploading and editing content for specific channels is slow, cumbersome and prone to errors. Decoupled architecture, which separates content from presentation, allows you to edit and publish content across channels instantaneously. Real-time channel management and the ability to add channels as needed offers the agility needed.

Personalization also plays a big role in creating seamless experiences. Without personalization, customers detect the transitions between touchpoints, which ruins the effects of the omnichannel experience you worked so hard to deliver. Personalization should happen in real time. Having the right tools in place, that allow you to create content in advance and apply it to as many personas as you need facilitates a range of personalization approaches.  

And finally, omnichannel readiness depends on constant feedback on content performance across all channels to continuously refine your strategy. With this feedback you can steadily optimize your customer experiences and prepare for whatever the future may bring.