This blog post is adapted from Stop Thinking ‘Digital Experience’ and Start Thinking ‘Brand Experience’ written by Sam Chapman and appearing at CMSWire.com.
Building a brand that delivers incredible customer experiences takes more than imagination and grit. It takes exceptional content—and exceptional content strategy. Content is the one thing that companies make most of, yet content creation isn’t typically seen as a strategic function of the business. Despite the fact that customers, both potential and current, experience a brand through the content brands put out there, setting processes and technologies in place to streamline content production is often overlooked.
Operationalizing content, as it were, setting rules, guidelines and protocols to the set of processes, people and technologies for strategically planning, producing, distributing and analyzing content helps your team think 10 steps ahead, gives them a data-backed idea of what they should be spending their time on and where the content they create should be distributed to reach the right audience.
All brand experience efforts require an operational model in order to deliver surgical, personalized experiences that capture an audience, turn them into customers, and eventually into advocates. To truly stand out among the competition, brands need to be bold—and a content operations solution that enables a robust content strategy is exactly how to do it.
Here are 7 tips for building a bolder brand experience using content operations:
- Make the case: Getting buy-in to make content a strategic element of your business is like making sure you have running shoes before you enroll in a marathon. Operationalizing marketing through ContentOps helps you immediately start moving towards a more agile way of working that prioritizes speed, quantitative and qualitative data, and customer needs first.
- Don’t try to be everywhere all at once: Know your customers. Do the leg-work to understand where they are. Then work on your distribution model. You don’t have to be on every channel all the time in order to have an effective BrandEx strategy.
- Act like an agency (kind-of): Consider new, leaner operating models, get clear on your approach, start to act like an in-house agency. Don’t have one? Develop one and tie it to your content operations and brand experience objectives. But be sure to re-evaluate your project management workflows and organizational models first.
- Scrutinize the tech stack: Audit what’s working, any overlaps, who in your org benefits, who even knows it’s in the stack? Start by asking hard questions before you start adding more point solutions. Get your core stack in order (marketing ops, DAM, CMS, campaign management, for example) and only then evaluate the gaps.
- Get modular: This is like meal prep for the content operations diet. By operationalizing the use, reuse and repurposing of every piece of content you change the governance model, its creation, its workflows and the valuable time of your creatives. It also gives your content legs, extending the lifecycle of individual pieces and lets you start thinking about ROE (return on effort) rather than ROI.
- Eliminate random acts of marketing: It’s wild how common this is across marketing teams. If tasks, projects, and ideas aren’t in service so something higher, core strategic elements of the business for example, then it’s time to rethink priority and alignment.
- Know your plan, know your spend: Generating an actionable ROE requires diligent cost analysis and reporting, and you’re going to need to explore some tools to help you manage planning, financials, workflows and project management. Again, you don’t need a ton of martech tools, but you do need a backbone for your content operations platform.
Take Control of the Brand Experience
Any good experience-driven journey begins with clear goals, defined by measurable data points. With data in hand, your brand then becomes not only an idea, or a notion, its “why” can be measured—and what can be measured can be improved. Content Operations give transparency to brand experience. And with useful data at their fingertips, marketing leaders can ensure all campaigns are aligned to corporate goals.
Brand experience is a call to action: It’s time to think of how to take end-to-end control of the content that powers your customer experiences that are mission-critical to the health of your brand.