Author: Ed Breault
Can you imagine going into a sharp turn at over 200 miles per hour? That’s exactly what’s happening during a NASCAR race. To nail a curve, drivers have to hit the apex or center of the turn perfectly in order to take the straightest line and maintain the highest speed through that corner.
While this may seem to defy the laws of physics, it’s possible when a confluence of factors come together in the right order, at the right moment and within milliseconds:
• How the driver steers, brakes, accelerates, etc.
• How the car’s mechanics perform, e.g. wheels, engine, steering, brakes
• The interplay between speed, force, friction and gravity
• Current and unpredictable weather conditions
• The performance of the other drivers and cars
The same can be said for delivering a great customer experience. Genius brands can hit the apex of every customer interaction because they have fully optimized their content operations. They have the process, agility automation, visibility and intelligence in place to deliver a personalized, relevant and impactful customer experience at the perfect moment and in the perfect way.
Why is this so important? Because customer experience is without a doubt THE greatest competitive advantage for today’s brands, which means your customers are in the driver’s seat. The old standbys of competitive prices, quality, and brand equity are no longer the strongest motivating factors behind why a customer chooses one brand over another.
“86% of buyers will pay more for great customer experience”
–Source: Forbes Survey, 2020
Customers not only expect, but also now demand personalized experiences from brands across the size spectrum—from small mom and pops to the world’s behemoths like Facebook—and across industries. Genius brands like Apple recognized the power shift from the brand to the customer, abandoning decades-old marketing rules and traditional, product-centered models and instead adopting customer-centric models focused on delivering exceptional customer experiences through personalization, convenience, speed, consistency and relevance. While customers hold tremendous power, genius brands have learned how to use digital to disrupt, connect with, influence and motivate customers.
Content operations is so popular right now because it is The Great Disruptor in the digital age, enabling brands to:
Customer expectations are high and getting higher because your brand is now competing against the BEST experience your customer has ever had; think Amazon or Netflix. Sure you don’t have the same resources or budget, but your customers don’t care; they want an exceptional experience with your brand, whether they’re interacting with you via your app, your website, in store, over the phone with customer service, or through social media. If they don’t get that great experience from you, they will find it from your competitors.
32% of customers will walk away from a brand they love after a single bad experience.
– Source: PwC
Customers choose a brand based on their experience with that brand – how well it knows them, how it makes them feel, how well and consistently it reacts to their needs and wants, and how convenient and relevant it is to their lives. Delivering an exceptional customer experience now requires an ongoing flow of personalized content that is:
Every racetrack is unique – some have wider turns where others have hairpin curves, which means the perfect combination and orchestration of all of those factors needed to hit the apex will be different for every curve. The same goes for your customers. The ideal experience for an individual customer is always changing based on numerous variables:
• Previous interactions and history with your brand
• Preferences, likes and dislikes
• Real-time information like location, time and ideal channel
• Unpredictable and unforeseen factors (think COVID-19)
Managing this level of orchestration while cranking out the volume, quality and variety of content required has outpaced any manual-based processes. Content operations gives you the automation, intelligence and speed required to satisfy and delight today’s digital consumer. It is your most powerful tool for connecting, attracting and maintaining customers and growing market share.
Expectations from the business are at an all time high now that marketing’s role has shifted from that of a cost center to revenue-generator. Marketing has never faced more pressure than it does today when it comes to driving business outcomes and being accountable for content performance and associated cost and waste.
Content and customer experience are key competitive differentiators for the brand, during good times and bad, which means marketing must run like a well-oiled machine that’s ready to face whatever the business or markets throw at it. But post-COVID-19, today’s brands are operating in an increasingly complex, multi-dimensional, dynamic and often unpredictable space:
• They’re expected to compete against the best of the best, despite limited resources and budgets
• They must engage customers skillfully both in-store and through online experiences, connecting across an average of 23 different channels, according to Aprimo’s insights.
• Multiple teams across the enterprise are now involved in delivering the customer experience, many disconnected and working within their own silos.
• New technologies, platforms, channels and devices will continue to evolve in ways we can’t begin to predict.
• Unforeseen market shifts and natural disasters can quickly upend business strategy and existing processes
If recent events have taught us anything, it’s that agile brands – the brands that can quickly pivot and evolve, have what it takes to not only thrive in a digital world, but to also adapt, survive and compete during the most challenging of times.
Case in point: within 10 days of postponing its 2020 season due to COVID-19, NASCAR leveraged an online simulator that was already being used by drivers and teams. The organization used the technology to put on an iRacing event at Homestead Miami Speedway that featured multiple drivers, wrecks, interviews and a last-lap battle for the checkered flag between Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin and the all time great Dale Earnhardt Jr. The results from the event astounded the entire sports world: aside from being the top trend on Twitter, NASCAR became the most-watched televised eSports program in history.
Content operations enables marketing teams to be agile – to be able to pivot and adapt to meet opportunities and challenges by fast tracking their ability to create, manage, and share exceptional experiences. Creative and content teams can find, collaborate, share and reuse content to scale customer experience and personalization across the enterprise and drive greater efficiency. With 24×7, anytime, anywhere access to critical information and resources, teams can work faster and make bigger impact – without sacrificing brand consistency or compliance regulations.
“Compared to their Ad Hoc and Traditional counterparts, Agile marketers are far more optimistic about the team’s ability to handle the pace of digital marketing, respond to emerging opportunities, and stay aligned with business objectives.”
– 4th Annual State of Agile Marketing Report
Content operations gives you the ability to understand and demonstrate the return on effort (ROE) for every asset and campaign so you can:
• Identify successes, failures, and best practices
• Make on-the-fly adjustments to optimize in-market campaigns
• Prove marketing’s value using data to show how you’re impacting business outcomes
• Justify budget requests
Content Operations empowers planning through performance:
• Seize opportunities
• Create content more effectively
• Optimize workloads
• Optimize central management, fundability and content usage
• Maintain brand and regulation compliance
• Know exactly how marketing contributes to bottom line
Every NASCAR driver wants to get around a curve as fast as possible, but they also have to be safe. Hitting the apex too soon, too late or too fast can result in disaster, which means they must understand their risks and take the appropriate precautions and actions necessary.
Likewise, it’s critical that you consider risk management as you create, share, reuse and distribute content. Yes, you want to maximize every interaction with a customer, but certainly not at the expense of failing to comply with governance standards. Assets are proliferating at rapid speeds while at the same time becoming more complex with several attributes, multiple restrictions, and multipart structures. At this pace, manually tracking and managing content rights is impossible. And without a well-designed content rights management strategy, brands face tremendous exposure in terms of brand equity damage and huge litigation and settlement costs from potential content misuse.
Content operations empowers your teams to manage content globally, across all potential users, brands, channels, and territories, while ensuring the content is used within regulation and/or according to contracts. By adding a rights verification step during production, monitoring content consumption and tracking against expirations, marketing can still work at the pace of digital while ensuring content compliance that can save millions in litigation costs and protect brand reputation.
There’s no doubt that brand loyalty has been replaced by the brand experience. Content operations is your key to:
1. Creating an ongoing flow of high quality content and personalized customer experiences that set you apart from the competition
2. Empowering teams with the agility to scale customer experience and personalization across the enterprise
3. Maximizing opportunities and business outcomes while minimizing risk to the business
Be on the lookout for our next blog in The Definitive Guide to Content Operations series where we’ll discuss the key differences between content operations solutions and other industry technologies and piecemeal solutions.
Where are you on your content operations journey?
Take a quick assessment of your content ops maturity to find out.
How the rise of iRacing has helped NASCAR and the sports world navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic https://www.cbssports.com/nascar/news/how-the-rise-of-iracing-has-helped-nascar-and-the-sports-world-navigate-through-the-covid-19-pandemic/