In today’s omnichannel environment, customers expect to seamlessly move through one—connected—buying experience that meets their experiential needs. That means marketers need to deliver personalized content that meets each customer when, where, and how they need it.
It also means reaching them on an emotional level.
After all, our buying behaviors are fueled by feelings, and all of us want to be seen as a person with desires and goals, not just another customer. And if today’s empowered customers don’t receive that kind of personal experience from a company, they are likely to go to a competitor.
That’s why delivering a meaningful, customer-focused digital experience is a top priority for nearly every brand and company.
CEOs have identified customer experience (CX) as the No. 1 source of competitive advantage, and significant efforts have been put into getting it right. Moreover, 66% of consumers say they care more about experience than price when making a brand decision, and that’s pushing organizations to improve their digital experience capabilities that will place them ahead of the competition.
Many brands think they are succeeding in their attempts: 48% of US marketers say their brand delivers an exceptional customer experience. Unfortunately, only 22% of consumers agree.
A key reason for this discrepancy is that consumers aren’t satisfied with basic personalization efforts: Making simple product recommendations and putting their name at the top of an email isn’t enough; customers expect brands to truly understand their needs and wants.
The Creation of a Content Crisis
In the days when traditional websites were the only game in town, companies could rely on a content management system (CMS) to manage a digital experience that was, in many respects, constrained to a single channel.
Fast-forward to today’s environment, where customers engage with brands across a myriad of channels and devices: A CMS alone isn’t enough to create, manage, and deliver the volume of content that fuels impactful personalized experiences, much less at the speed required by today’s fast-changing customer demands.
To overcome that constraint, companies have tried to cope with various tools to support content planning, creation, collaboration, and management. But many of those tools aren’t designed for the needs of the modern marketer, and they aren’t connected to each other. The result: even further diminished efficiency and efficacy.
Consequently, marketing teams are overwhelmed. They have little time to learn what the customer really wants, let alone produce the content that really speaks to people on an emotional level.
The current situation is, in every respect, a content crisis.
Some brands, though, have differentiated themselves by optimizing the content lifecycle: connecting every aspect of the planning, creation, delivery, and measurement elements that drive their customers’ journeys.
And those are the brands that are delivering the very best in personalized digital experiences, for every type of customer, every single time.
You could join them.
Overcoming the Content Crisis
Authentic human experiences are built on three pillars:
- Intelligence that tells you who your customers are and what they care about
- The ability to connect with customers on all the channels (e.g., Web, mobile, email, voice assistants…) where they engage with you
- Content that speaks to customers’ particular needs, wants, and aspirations
And make no mistake about it: Content is the most important of the three. Without the right content, it’s impossible to speak to what your customers really care about.
With that in mind, the first step to solving the content crisis is to build a content supply chain that allows you to do the following:
- Follow a clear, structured process that breaks down the content lifecycle into tangible steps.
- Acknowledge the omnichannel nature of content so that rather than building content designed for a website, or a specific email, or a mobile app, you create granular content assets that can be assembled to create personalized experiences in any channel.
- Connect the entire marketing organization with workflows that provide full visibility into what content is being created and where it is in the process.
Once you’ve built your content supply chain, it’s time to connect it to your systems for customer intelligence and experience delivery.
Doing that will enable you to manage content as a connected lifecycle that flows seamlessly from creation to delivery—nurturing your customers toward a purchase or other goal—and finally to performance measurement so you can continually optimize the content you create and how you deliver experiences to each customer.
And as your content programs become more sophisticated, you can begin to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) in your marketing—such as auto-personalizing content for individual customers—to automate routine tasks. And that will free up time and resources to add the human touch that comes from genuine understanding.
Connect Each Stage to Truly Connect With Customers
When you get this step right, you will have turned a crisis into a competitive advantage.
To help pave the way, it’s important to treat the many elements of the content lifecycle—and the many tasks and processes that lie within them—like the components of a well-tuned engine.
To ensure those tasks and processes are connected, marketers need a full content lifecycle solution, a holistic platform, such as Sitecore, to manage the complete content lifecycle:
- To truly connect with your customers
- To deliver personalized, contextualized content at scale
- To stand out from the competition by making digital your difference
Find out how to get started with Sitecore content lifecycle resources.