As companies continue to accelerate their digital transformation capabilities and expand on their use of dynamic digital technologies, cloud-based solutions and SaaS software solutions take an ever more important role. In particular, the management of content has to take on a far more dominant focus.
The value of content has never been more important — particularly when married with data. It is what differentiates communications from merely touchpoints to interactions that are meaningful. Content management and content services have risen in the ranks of importance within enterprises as companies try to find ways to engage with customers in a far more relevant way.
Enterprises are looking for ways in which service providers can help them improve their communication using technology across the broad range of channels. In fact, according to a recent research study produced by Aspire “Understanding the New Digital Reality,” most enterprises are considering organizational changes that will enable them to use new technologies to manage and improve their communications.
Considering content touches every interaction with customers, the value of using new tools and processes to automate, normalize and create consistent experiences is key to providing that consistent experience across channels and applications.
Here are the top 5 reasons content services have to be priority:
1. Journey mapping and moving the customer through the experience — Understanding the journey touchpoints is the first step to creating a better customer experience, but without great content and content mapping outlining the tone, brand and strategy to support the customer journey, it may not provide the experience expected by customers.
This means that content services and analysis should form part of the journey mapping process, which includes a content audit, a content gap analysis and plotting what content works best for each of the customer journey phases.
2. The rise of AI and ML in content — The function of AI in content can vary drastically by intent, be it marketing-related or transactional in nature. Whatever the reason, using AI tools for content optimization and rationalization is an effective way to bring relevant information to the fore, provide customers with content that makes sense to them and avoids the issue of duplication of content across various messages.
Using AI to detect content patterns in existing communications for example, can help companies understand where they can consolidate or optimize their content. Furthermore, AI can be effectively used to understand whether content that exists is at a reading comprehension level for all clients to understand.
The high amount of templates is cited by survey takers as the number one barrier to customer communication transformation and AI/ML is making rapid gains in this area to support template rationalization and semi-automatic migration.
3. Increasing the share of wallet through hyper-personalization — Improving the customer experience has very quickly become the baseline. Content is the base on which to build those experiences, help make things easier for customers and help drive them to increase their spending using that hyper-personalized data.
One of the great use cases for AI and content is around hyper-personalization, which is the practice of utilizing AI tools to marry real-time data in conjunction with customer information to focus on customer wants or needs. This orchestration is a major area of focus for many enterprises, particularly those who are more mature in CX and see an emerging need to bring together marketing, customer service and operational/compliance communications under a single layer of control
Providing customers with content that is relevant to them based on browsing history, life stage or changes in life circumstances can help move them to purchase more and increase that share of wallet, rather than looking to other providers.
4. The diverse ways and channels in which content is used — Content is no longer just about the information that exists across a plethora of templates, it is also about the various channels and applications that a customer uses to interact with companies. Providing a consistent experience is now the focus and that includes managing content consistently across communications sent — mail, email, mobile — but also in applications such as chatbots, video and social media.
Creating that consistent experience cannot be done manually or in isolation. Orchestrating that content requires the marriage of technologies that provides the customer with the best user experience, regardless of how and where they consume that information.
In research conducted last year on “Understanding the New Digital Reality,” Aspire asked enterprises about their plans to use video in their communication channels over the next 12 to 24 months and found that at least 60% of respondents in nearly every industry plan to embrace video as part of their communication focus.
Also observed was a rapid shift toward more bi-directional engagement among consumers, such as those provided by chatbots via the web or mobile messaging, including WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
5. Customers will move for a better experience — The pandemic certainly shifted consumer expectations from brands when it came to communications. Customers are no longer satisfied with the cadence and information provided by many companies, where they had no significant expectation in the past. Relevance and personal understanding rose to the top of the ranks in terms of communication needs.
According to the same research project on “Understanding the New Digital Reality,”millennials and Gen Z are 3x-4x more willing than older generations to move to other brands or even pay more for a service to get relevant and personalized communications. They also value timely communications that are most consistent across channels and relevant and personalized.
We used to say that content was king, but very little of it was truly personalized and meaningful to consumers. With such a variety of content service providers, Artificial Intelligence (AI) for content and a plethora of ways consumers are interacting with brands, now is the time to not only get the tools and processes in place, but put the strategy front and center to augment any customer experience initiatives.
Mia Papanicolaou is General Manager, North and South America at Aspire CC. She works with companies to provide strategy and advice and is a regular speaker on digital customer communication, digital maturity and improving the customer experience. Mia has been named as an email marketing influencer multiple times and is passionate about helping organizations improve their digital communication maturity. Prior to joining Aspire CCS, she worked at Striata for 15 years in South Africa, the UK and then settled in the US as the COO of the company, after which she headed up consulting at Doxim Striata.