At Wednesday’s OpenText Content Day, a recurring theme was heard: today’s customer is setting new expectations and businesses need to respond.

The materials that enterprises can use to meet the challenge often already exist, only they are inaccessible or ferreted away on too many desktops or shared drives. By breaking down the information silos and managing these assets in a single repository instead of fragments, organizations can unleash the power of their own intelligence and make it work for them.

At a breakout session titled “Behind the Scenes Look at the New Digital Media World,” Marci Maddox, Director of Global Product Marketing at OpenText, thinks she knows a way tomeet these new expectations of customers while utilizing the rich assets within your organization: captivate your audiences with digital media.

Digital Natives Have Different Expectations

Maddox has discussed the importance rich media plays in customer experience before. In this breakout session, she emphasized its importance in creating the kind of experiences that today’s digital natives have come to know and expect.

The criteria for this engagement? Make it enjoyable, make it easy and make it useful. Just as social media is a tool and not an end in itself, digital assets needs to be used in a thoughtful way to truly engage the end user and add value rather than acting as more bells and whistles to call for their attention.

Citing examples from banks using gamification to teach young people to save, to a fast food product launch driven by a tweet off and resulting video of the winner, Maddox points to campaigns like these as the wave of the future.

Using Your Past to Engage the Future

Enterprises can highlight their history in order to gain new audiences. Citing examples of century old organizations such as John Deere re-imagining itself through thoughtful (and sometimes not so thoughtful) digital media campaigns, Maddox highlighted the potential of the rich media assets that sit unused in many organizations’ archives.

Learning Opportunities

Before putting these assets into the social media realm, Maddox urges enterprises to take into account the following criteria: consider the context in which you will use them, consider the consumer you are trying to reach and consider the source. Aligning all campaigns with preexisting enterprise goals and strategy for consistent messaging can go far to avoid future embarrassments, or as Maddox put it:

I wish there was a think twice button before publishing social media to the world."

If You Can't Find It, You Can't Use It

But all this discusses potential final results. Too often organizations can't make use of existing digital assets or recreate existing at great expense due to poorly managed or siloed information. Creating a clear digital strategy and making sure that it is known by all and followed is key.

A central storage repository, which can still be controlled with permissions, can cut down on the time spent hunting for items or the money wasted recreating items because you didn't know they existed. If a photo is tucked away on someone's flash drive, it isn't doing anyone any good.

Maddox emphasizes that it’s not enough to set these assets out into the world and hope for the best -- follow up is required to assess how the messaging resonates or doesn't. The reactions created by the assets are just as powerful tools as the assets themselves. Through analysis of responses, by truly listening to your audience, the message can be honed to create the personal experiences that today's customer demands.