A content strategist laying out his plan on a whiteboard with sticky notes - content strategy concept
PHOTO: Adobe

The Importance of Upstream Processes

Customer experience (CX) is paramount today. According to one study, companies that invest in CX can expect to see a ~70% increase in revenue over 3 years. In today’s digital-first world, every experience requires content — content raises brand awareness, drives online traffic, solves customer’s problems, and much more.

But because content is essential to CX, there’s one question every marketer needs to answer: how effective is my content strategy?

Understanding the effectiveness of your content strategy requires measuring two phases of your content operations, but many of us only focus on one: whether or not content is driving the right experience(s) and response(s). We can call these the downstream results. The other, often neglected, phase is just as important: how efficiently you create, manage, deliver, reuse, and repurpose content. We can call these the upstream processes.

Downstream Results and Upstream Efficiency — You Need Both

Understanding content effectiveness can help you identify what content you should be producing – and what you shouldn’t spend time on – based on an understanding of what’s moving the needle with customers. But if you’re not measuring the upstream processes, chances are that you’re spending unnecessary time and resources.

We’ve been working on streamlining our own upstream processes with the help of one of our products. While the right solution can enable the right processes grounded in cross-team collaboration, defined workflows, etc., it won’t create them. Consider how we changed the upstream processes for publishing blogs.

Streamlining Blog Creation and Publication

In the past, a writer wrote the blog in Word, posted it to Box, and shared with an editor. Once reviewed, the editor uploaded it to a project management solution, and a designer added a photo. Then Marketing Operations put it on staging and created a proof for review. Once the relevant team members reviewed it and provided feedback in (hopefully) the proof, Marketing Operations made updates, sent it out for final approval, and published it.

This process left room for error, confusion, and redundancy. Various versions in Word inevitably got uploaded, creating confusion around which file to use. Some team members offered feedback on the proof during review, while others did so by tracking changes within the document. Occasionally, emails even came through from someone who had been given the staging link at the last minute. Marketing Operations, which has plenty else to do, was stuck making constant updates.

Contrast this with today. We write the blog, complete edits and approvals, and publish directly to our site, all from Sitecore Content Hub. The correct team members are tagged, given access, and alerted when it’s time to complete their task. No more rogue comments, lost Box files, or last-minute email chains. The built-in visibility creates accountability. Reusing and repurposing content is a breeze.

Discover the Benefits of Efficient Processes

From the Microsoft Partner Network to a European car manufacturer, brands across the globe are realizing the benefits of streamlining both their upstream and downstream processes for CX. By unifying their content supply chains, connecting content creation with digital experience, and breaking down silos between people, data, and processes, they’re able to offer the digital experiences we’ve all come to expect. You can explore customer success stories, learn more about Content Hub, and more here.