Presented as part of the panel discussion: The OmniChannel Challenge at the 2014 Content Strategy Applied: USA conferences. Co-presenters: Kevin Nichols (SapientNitro), Miguel Lunaparra (Sony Corporation of America).
Content Strategy Applied USA 2014 November 17, 2014
o President, Azzard Consulting
• Content Strategy Services & Staffing Firm
o 19 Years experience in Information Management
o Industries: Retail, Auto Manufacturing, Financial Services,
Telecommunications, Luxury Goods
o Twitter: #azzardconsult
My Topics for Today . . .
Content Strategy Approach & Omni
o 10,000 Foot Overview
o Content Prioritization
o Value Proposition for Content
o Cross-Team Planning
o Internal & External (buy vs. build)
o Content Production Systems
o Taxonomy & Tagging
Social & SEO
Strategies for Success
o Keep in mind . . .
CS Approach - Overview
Where do you start?
o Define overall marketing strategy (largely channel independent)
• Describe your customer
• Define your business goals
• Create personas (or similar mechanism)
• Describe the customer journey and what channels will resonate
• What are your content priorities? Channel priorities?
• Who needs to be involved?
• Externally (e.g. agencies, content creators)
• Internally (e.g. business units, IT)
• Who needs to buy in? What are the political ramifications?
• What else is going on? (IT initiatives, budget cycles, marketing campaigns)
• Is this effort dove-tailing with a website redesign or CMS implementation?
• What is a realistic high-level timeline for rollout (staggered is best)?
• How will you measure results (positive or negative)
How do you prioritize?
To give everything a high priority is to give it no priority at all.
o Remember the Customer
• Who they are
• How they shop
• How they consume information
o Single View of Customer
• Customer purchase data
• Customer-entered profile
• 3rd party data (e.g. household information)
o Different approaches may be necessary for different types of
• Affects planning and prioritization
• May require different kinds of resources
Content Priorities (cont.)
o Prioritize Your Channels
• What channels do your customers use?
• Some channels may be tightly bound (e.g. store and desktop web –
o Small Successes
• Small successes can yield broad returns
• The Big Bang approach can be difficult
• Focus on the key Channels and bring additional channels later.
• Even reducing the number of times a call center has to ask for
identification number (or other) would be a bonus
• Integration with systems and collaboration with IT will be important
• What sounds great in theory, may not work in real life
o Define Metrics and Benchmarks
• Data can assist in future planning
Value Proposition for Content
Why should the customer engage?
o Who needs to know it and for what purpose?
o What do they value the most?
o What is the customer context?
• What is the primary entry into the omni-channel experience?
• What content needs to exists in all channels?
o What is the company or organization offering?
• Why would a customer purchase or consume goods/services?
o How can customer find, understand and navigate these offerings
throughout the customer journey?
o Are there alternatives elsewhere?
o What evidence is available to validate the value proposition?
How will you create/manage content on a day-to-day basis?
o How will content and content production be managed and
• Roles and responsibilities
• Charting content across channels; Content triggers
o Who will be involved?
• Content creators
• Stakeholders (business units, IT, etc.)
o Will you engage external content providers?
o What is your content production calendar (beyond campaigns)?
o What are the measures of success that can be used for each
Internal & External Providers
Who will create and maintain content?
o Conduct evaluation of your current content (keep/kill/edit)
• Content inventories and audits
• Gap analysis
o Evaluate future content needs against resources.
o External providers may be an option if:
• Internal resources cannot be expanded
• Subject matter expertise is not readily available in-house
Stale content will undermine the omni-channel experience.
Content Production Systems
What systems will be used to maintain content?
o Do these systems already exist?
o Can these systems talk to one another (either directly or through a
o Do these systems use the same language (taxonomy)?
• Business Address
• Address of Business Customer
• Work Address of Customer
o How will the triggers and/or customer data be communicated from
one system to another?
• Point of Sale > CRM > Web Profile
Taxonomy & Tagging
How will taxonomy and tagging be used to support the omni-channel
o Do taxonomies already exist?
o Are taxonomies governed across the organization?
o Is terminology and tagging consistent across systems?
o Is tagging leveraged for cross-sell and upsell?
o How is tagging used for analytics and terminology used to inform
SEO and Social (e.g. microformats and associated descriptive
Content & SEO
How do you help people find out about your goods/services?
If you want to rank higher in Google you need to have good unique
content and plenty of it.
Matt Cutts, Google
April 16, 2014
o Good Content = Good SEO
o Focus on original content
o Be cautious of over-optimization (don’t try so hard)
o Optimize for external and internal search
o Seek out opportunities to support omni channel, including social
Content & Social
How can you leverage social channels?
o Prioritize specific social channels
o Robust content needs to support social triggers.
• Myriad of content types (video, imagery, text, etc.)
o Consider how taxonomy can support social
• Color Terms in Rich Pins (Pinterest)
o Social needs to be part of content planning (beyond campaigns)
and content production
o Use social listening to help identify communities and content ideas
o Focus on social outlets that resonate with your customers.
How do you know if you’ve been successful?
o Channel interactions: is the journey effective?
• Trending content
• Conversion rates post-content interaction.
o User satisfaction: is the customer satisfied with the Omni
• Sharing on social
• Downloaded content
• Survey data
• Bounce & exit rates
Metrics by Platform
• Orientation changes
• Use of social media
• Acceptance of location awareness prompts
• Location of use (in-store?)
• Use of specialized app vs. website
• Conversion rates
• What is sold in an app vs. website (mobile or
o Cross Platform
• Use of content between platforms
• Switching from mobile to desktop to app experience
• Commodity content – preferred method of ingestion
Keep in mind . . .
o Your customers and their context
o Small successes are the foundation for arriving at long-term goals
o Do not underestimate technical implications of strategic decisions
o Organizational acceptance of omni-channel can be difficult due to
company incentive structure; redefinition of revenue attribution
may be required
o Measure and (re) Measure
• Course correct based on metrics analysis
o Plan, Plan, Plan
• And execute!