Content ROI Spans the Enterprise

    By | Small Business

    Whether I’m speaking with marketers, technologists, product management or sales, one topic is constantly top of mind: the importance of understanding and communicating content ROI. And, equally importantly: responding to content ROI quickly, and efficiently.

    Content ROI is not just marketing’s problem

    Content ROI concerns the entire organization. The importance of content’s success goes beyond the marketing department. When we talk about maximizing value from content marketing, mapping the customer journey, understanding customer personas or turning visitors into leads, we’re using marketing vocabulary– but we’re discussing business critical processes that span the organization.

    Online content is not the compartmentalized concern of any particular department. Sure, Marketing or Communications may be in charge of strategy or content creation, but the importance of content’s performance in supporting business goals transcends individual departments.

    Content serves business goals across the organization

    Online content, while crucial to top of funnel inbound marketing efforts, serves a much more expansive set of business goals which altogether comprise the “digital experience.” From serving as the first touchpoint for an unknown visitor, to nurturing leads through marketing automation, to supporting customer retention, customer service or community management– relevant, contextually-appropriate content plays a role in a diverse set of business processes and can support diverse business goals.

    There is no singular answer to who owns the customer experience in the enterprise. What is clear, though, is that a holistic, consistent and relevant digital customer experience is a shared goal of the organization– because the stakes are just too high to remain siloed.

    Content failure is not an option

    Online touchpoints are now the primary touchpoints for businesses. As I recently wrote on MarketingProfs, the more channels emerge for customer engagement, the more crucial content becomes to securing business goals online. The mobile mindshift is well underway, and it’s more crucial than ever for businesses to support and nurture customer relationships in their visitors’ mobile moments. This means relevant online content that serves the underlying needs of visitors– at any point in the customer journey, in any context, on any device.

    Actionable insights are non-negotiable

    Understanding and monitoring the impact of online content is business critical. As organizations invest more money and resources into the creation and curation of online content across channels, content development can’t be a shot in the dark. According to the Content Marketing Institute, “58% of B2B marketers plan to increase their content marketing budgets over the coming year, and of this group, 10% plan to increase it significantly.” It’s crucial that these organizations have a feedback mechanism informing their decisions.

    Understanding Content Performance fuels organizational agility

    When the majority of contact with the customer occurs online, digital channels– and the content served on them– become much more than megaphones for brand communications. They become a constant barometer for the customer experience–providing a wealth of information on customer personas and intent as well as the organization’s success in catering to visitors’ needs.

    This sort of feedback on content performance in supporting business goals enables the business to keep a finger on the pulse of its success beyond marketing, and can inform organizational priorities across departments. Content performance metrics help the business address editorial gaps, effectively assign editors or topics for content creation, and discover emerging customer personas. These insights on customer interests, demographics and intent have implications for customer service, sales, social media strategy and product development. The customer journey, after all, is not solely for guiding content strategy.

    Insights on content performance, though crucial, bring their true value when they become actionable: providing a constant feedback loop that the organization can respond to. As Hippo’s CTO Arjé Cahn wrote in Wired Insights, “data availability is only as strong as the conclusions you can draw from it– which in turn, are only as useful as the change you can affect based on those conclusions.”

    Content “Management” is Not Enough

    To remain agile and responsive to content ROI, the enterprise needs agile, intelligent tools to support the underlying goals of content strategy. To achieve business objectives, managing content is not sufficient– content must perform, and address diverse audiences across the customer journey. A passive system that’s little more than a productivity tools falls short. An intelligent web content management system that tests and optimizes personalized content is a must.

    Leveraging an ecosystem of data

    Just as content supports a range of business processes spanning the enterprise, web content management is just one tool in an ecosystem of software the enterprise relies on. To truly optimize, personalize and meaningfully measure the impact of the customer experience, the enterprise needs a cohesive, well integrated source of data informing strategic decision making. It’s here that a best of breed philosophy, enabling the scalable integration of software and its respective data sources becomes crucial. As I’ve previously written, “to truly enable agile business strategy, a Web CMS should be scalable and easy to integrate with whichever tools the evolving brand experience demands: whether an e-commerce, a CRM, or a sentiment analysis tool.”

    The enterprise is learning to listen

    The wealth of data available to marketers is changing their discipline. As Arjé Cahn rightly points out, “now that digital marketing has become increasingly about listening, reliance on data and analytics is as much a concern for marketing as for IT. Marketing technology divides the tasks to facilitate innovation for each: IT ingests data into the data lake, having orchestrated the ideal architecture for its collection, while marketing analyzes data, and adjusts strategy accordingly.” But it’s not just marketing that’s being reshaped by data. The entire enterprise is learning to listen, and apply data to streamline and optimize business process. Software is central to this across-the-board business agility, ultimately leading to greater collaboration and innovation.

    This blog appears originally on the Hippo CMS blog

    This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: Content ROI Spans the Enterprise

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