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Avoiding content strategy trap: The Case Study
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Avoiding content strategy trap: The Case Study


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In this opening keynote session at Content Strategy Applied EU, March 1, 2012, Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler, explored The Content Strategy Trap and how failing to avoid it often leads …

In this opening keynote session at Content Strategy Applied EU, March 1, 2012, Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler, explored The Content Strategy Trap and how failing to avoid it often leads well-intentioned strategists down the wrong path. Attendees will learn how avoiding the trap led one retailer ( to become a publisher of online repair manuals designed to teach "do-it-yourselfers" how to fix things, while selling them the goods they need to do the job. Sales are driven completely by visually engaging, standardized instructional content delivered to the web, to smartphones and to mobile devices. Return on investment is no longer a wild guess. It's directly tied to individual pieces of content. By thinking outside The Content Strategy Trap, the retailer has become the leader in their market. Their strategy is so successful that other retailers of products that require assembly, sometimes break, or need occasional maintenance are clamoring to replicate it.

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  • 1. AvoidingThe Content Strategy Trapby Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler #CSA12 @ScottAbelContent Strategy Applied EU ~ March 1, 2012 ~ London
  • 2. Scott Abel, The Content Wranglerweb: twitter: @contentwrangler
  • 3. www.thecontentwrangler.comthe online resource for folks who view content as a business asset
  • 4. www.thedynamicpublisher.comsite dedicated to educating people about dynamic delivery of content to customers
  • 5. Content strategists managethe cost of value @ScottAbel#CSA12
  • 6. Everything must track back to value
  • 7. Words alone aren’t enough. Contentstrategists use mathematics to makethe business case for changes thatcreate value @ScottAbel #CSA12
  • 8. Two sides to the content strategyreturn on investment coin savings from optimization; revenue from sales
  • 9. To become indispensable, contentstrategists must help organizationsto reduce waste AND earn revenuefrom sales @ScottAbel #CSA12
  • 10. UnderstandingThe Content Silo Trap‘Managing Enterprise Content: A Unified Content Strategy” (2012) by Ann Rockley and Charles Cooper
  • 11. how do I dry out a wet iPhone? Publishing ‘How To’ Manuals That Sell Products: The Storyhow do I change the fuel filter how do fix a broken iPad screen?on a 2009 Honda Element? how do replace an Xbox power supply? by Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler
  • 12. many don’t recognize itToday, everyone is a publisher! very few organizations do it well
  • 13. New formats, standards, devicesbut there are provide myriadobstacles to overcome opportunities for profit
  • 14. 100% preventable, based onoutdated business practices Problem 1: Organizations are siloed prevents them from adopting a unified publishing strategy
  • 15. Problem 2: WHNDITWH or it’s cousin, WHADITWH
  • 16. Problem 3: Few role models prevents organizations from5 lucky registrants will receive a free copy of “Managing Enterprise Content:A Unified Content Strategy” [Second Edition] by Ann Rockley &of others mimicking successes Charles Cooper
  • 17. they’ve been producing multi- channel content for decadesThere is a roadmap available well-documented, road-tested methods, best practices, standards exist -- just look at technical publishing!
  • 18. Case Study and that’s exactly what the folks at did, but not without learning a few lessons along the way
  • 19. millions of potential customers in the US Challenge/Opportunity to become the largest third-party seller of Apple replacement parts
  • 20. become a proper Round One: First Step identify manufacturers to provide products
  • 21. put it on the web and sell world Round One: Second Step set up an online catalog of replacement parts
  • 22. lather, rinse, Round One: Third Step make sales, earn tremendous profit
  • 23. Round One: Results not really “very poor” but certainly not the excellent results they had hoped for
  • 24. First Lesson Learned build it and they will come (and buy) isn’t an eCommerce strategy
  • 25. instructions provided by manufacturers are of questionable Second Lesson Learned
  • 26. too much creativity andfreedom is a bad Third Lesson Learned consistent, high quality content requires a standardized, repeatable structure
  • 27. when teaching how to repair, maintain or build mechanical things, big images accompanied by a little text often communicates better than many words accompanied by a few Fourth Lesson Learnedimages help consumers believe theycan “fit it” without messing things up
  • 28. old approaches no longer Fourth Lesson Learned Fifth Lesson Learned pdf was not the answer
  • 29. recognize role as publisher adopt mobile-first Round Two: First Steps re-imagine the service repair manual as a high quality, media-rich, socially-enabled, mobile-device-friendly, eCommerce platform
  • 30. create multi-channel, device-and platform-agnostic content Round Two: Second Steps recognize the need for xml authoring environment that supports the separation of content from its formatting information
  • 31. enlist the help of publishers that “get it” Round Two: Third Step create an easy-to-use standard designed to support the needs of readers and make content available on mobile devices of all types, including ones not yet envisioned
  • 32. Round Two: Fourth Step build a community-based software platform allow both writers and community members to create repair manuals
  • 33. Round Two: Fifth Step leverage keyword-rich content to drive traffic and generate sales of repair tools and replacement parts
  • 34. Results: Google Juice users often discover via search
  • 35. Service Manualsrelevant keywords + rich media + simple instructions + social sharing = sales
  • 36. Paradigm shift dominant image plus minimal text
  • 37. Multiple outputs provide various viewing options
  • 38. Multiple outputs if you require a pdf, you can have one
  • 39. Multiple outputs embed code provided for social & blogs
  • 40. Multiple outputs content is marked up in oManual xml
  • 41. iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android content is ‘future-proofed’ Multiple devices content is dynamic published to mobile devices; updated automatically
  • 42. Questions/Answers community / collaboration / co-authoring
  • 43. Patrol users edit and monitor content
  • 44. Badges awards, points, deputizing
  • 45. Users user community, ratings
  • 46. Teams forming groups, consulting firms, niche communities
  • 47. Contribute users encouraged to contribute / form-based entry
  • 48. Contribute behind the form: oManual xml standard
  • 49. eCommerce they sell tools and parts to pay for it!
  • 50. Next steps professional / crowd-sourced translation
  • 51. Next steps create a movement for change
  • 52. Scott Abel, The Content Wranglerweb: twitter: @contentwrangler