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Driving a Multichannel Experience From a Single Message

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E pluribus unum? Better yet, out of one, create many—many channels within a multifaceted but unified experience. That’s the challenge of experience design among constrained budgets, tight timelines, and unlimited interaction expectations. Content strategy’s communication foundation, the message architecture, can help you answer that challenge. First, we’ll discuss how to prioritize communication goals and develop a message architecture with a hands-on exercise—ideal whether you’re designing for the web, a mobile app, social media, or an offline experience. Then learn how to create consistency between long-form web copy, action-oriented forms, and pointed Tweets. Discover how to prioritize features and content types across platforms by looking at examples that do this well, and those that don’t. Finally, respond to responsive design with a strategy to adapt content across platforms but still stay true to the brand.

Presented at IA Summit, #IAS12 and #singlemsg, March 23, 2012.

Published in: Technology
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Driving a Multichannel Experience From a Single Message

  1. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012© 2012 Margot Bloomstein IA Summit March 2012 @mbloomstein #singlemsg DRIVING A MULTICHANNEL EXPERIENCE FROM A SINGLE MESSAGE
  2. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 Why content strategy?
  3. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 Why content strategy? Because we all want the same thing, but content keeps getting in the way.
  4. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 Deliver on time, on budget
  5. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 Maintain a consistent vision
  6. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 Support a holistic user experience
  7. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 Keep the voice in microcopy
  8. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 Ensure cross-channel consistency
  9. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 Ensure cross-channel consistency …among multiple bloggers
  10. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 Ensure cross-channel consistency …among print and web and phone
  11. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 Ensure cross-channel consistency …between Twitter and Facebook
  12. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 Ensure cross-platform consistency (and contextual relevance)
  13. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 First things first. What do you need to communicate?
  14. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 First things first. Why even redesign this website,
  15. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 First things first. Why even redesign this website, let the CEO start blogging,
  16. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 First things first. Why even redesign this website, let the CEO start blogging, audit the content,
  17. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 First things first. Why even redesign this website, let the CEO start blogging, audit the content, start engaging on Twitter,
  18. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 First things first. Why even redesign this website, let the CEO start blogging, audit the content, start engaging on Twitter, consolidate the current site architecture,
  19. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 First things first. Why even redesign this website, let the CEO start blogging, audit the content, start engaging on Twitter, consolidate the current site architecture, add video testimonials,
  20. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 First things first. Why even redesign this website, let the CEO start blogging, audit the content, start engaging on Twitter, consolidate the current site architecture, add video testimonials, incorporate user reviews,
  21. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 First things first. Why even redesign this website, let the CEO start blogging, audit the content, start engaging on Twitter, consolidate the current site architecture, add video testimonials, incorporate user reviews, develop new brand guidelines…
  22. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 First things first. Why even redesign this website, let the CEO start blogging, audit the content, start engaging on Twitter, consolidate the current site architecture, add video testimonials, incorporate user reviews, develop new brand guidelines… if you don’t know what you need to communicate?
  23. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 If you don’t know what you need to communicate, how will you know if you succeed?
  24. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 If you don’t know what you need to communicate, how will you the right channels for your message?
  25. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 Establish the message architecture.
  26. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 Establish the message architecture.
  27. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 Establish the message architecture.
  28. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 What’s a message architecture? A hierarchy of communication goals that reflects a common vocabulary.
  29. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 What’s a message architecture? Concrete, shared terminology, not abstract concepts.
  30. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 Make us look innovative, but not risky.
  31. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 It should say traditional, but edgy.
  32. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 ©Warby Parker
  33. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 Words are valuable, but meaningless without context and priority.
  34. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 How? • Engage in a tangible, hands-on way • Encourage debate and conversation • Identify points of disagreement • Prevent seagulling • Force prioritization • Encourage ownership & investment
  35. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 Cardsorting Step one: • Who we are • Who we’re not • Who we’d like to be
  36. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 proactive trusted cool narrow slick value-oriented actionable tailored down-to-earth practical custom innovative hip conservative diverse elite relationship-oriented driven leading edge experienced urban customer-oriented market-driven professional technological aggressive visionary white collar tactical responsive consistent traditional savvy eclectic formal fair trendy simple serious regional broad high-quality friendly fun the thought leader current approachable welcoming blue collar strategic premium classic cutting edge reactive expensive authentic flexible international reliable efficient national detail-oriented timeless elegant accessible responsible sexy high-level bleeding edge tried-and-true rural in touch wise empowering assertive informal progressive modern casual historic
  37. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012
  38. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 Cardsorting Step two: • Who we are  Who we’d like to be
  39. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012
  40. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 Cardsorting Step three: • Prioritize the goals • Tell the story of those aspirations
  41. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 Why do this?
  42. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012
  43. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 Why do this? Words are cheaper than comps.
  44. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 Why do this? Let creative colleagues refine the concept, rather than confirm the purpose.
  45. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 Why do this? Gain standards by which to conduct a qualitative audit. (What is “good” anyway?)
  46. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 Why do this? Sell new content types to manifest the message architecture—not just because they’re trendy.
  47. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 Why do this? Life in the fast lane is for rock stars (and not sustainable)
  48. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012EVERYTHING, ALL THE TIME?
  49. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 Content strategy: Strategy is just using limited resources to accomplish a goal.” John Eckman (@jeckman) “
  50. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 A little thing with big impact.
  51. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 A little thing with big impact. How could we prove this is a car not like anything else out there? It’s a small car, but it’s premium. You get a Porsche 911 ride for a fifth of the cost. It’s got history… but in Europe. You need to give people content to give them history.” “
  52. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 A little thing with big impact.
  53. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 Message architecture Premium technology • Assertive; ready to perform as a driver’s car • Proactive and supportive of spontaneity Classic design • Experienced and savvy Cheekiness • Smart,“punny,” hip • Fun, gleeful
  54. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012
  55. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012
  56. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012
  57. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012
  58. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 If these emails are boring you and you don’t mind missing out on all the lip-smackin’ stuff we’ll be sending in the future, simply send a message to owner- unsubscribe@insiders.miniusa.com and include “Unsubscribe” and your favorite fruit in the subject field.
  59. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 Message architecture drives the user experience
  60. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 Nomenclature Calls to action Instructional content Sentence structure Diction …in content
  61. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 Photographic angles Dark backgrounds Bold headlines Thick stroke weights …and in design
  62. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 …and in the choice of features and content types
  63. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 Here’s an example… Cheeky • Witty and fun • Young without being childish Customer oriented and responsive • Approachable, friendly • Championing and empowering Helpful • Accessible
  64. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012
  65. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 From: Little MOO | Print Robot <noreply@moo.com> Subject: MOO | Order 0629312615 | Confirmed Hello I'm Little MOO - the bit of software that will be managing your order with moo.com. It will shortly be sent to Big MOO, our print machine who will print it for you in the next few days. I'll let you know when it's done and on its way to you. Remember, I'm just a bit of software. So, if you have any questions regarding your order please first read our Frequently Asked Questions or contact customer services (who are real people!) Thanks, Little MOO, Print Robot
  66. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 Message architecture… Cheeky Customer oriented and responsive Helpful
  67. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 So where to from here? Content audit: measure quality against the aspirational attributes in the message architecture.
  68. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 So where to from here? New content types: prioritize features against the new communication goals. Experience? Portfolio. Trust and responsiveness? Testimonials.
  69. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 So where to from here? Editorial style guidelines: determine diction, sentence structure, formality, etc. Traditional? Longer sentences, more Latinate verbs, pragmatic use of passive voice, etc.
  70. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 But your message architecture comes first.
  71. #singlemsg | @mbloomstein © 2012 Thank you! Margot Bloomstein @mbloomstein margot@appropriateinc.com slideshare.net/mbloomstein http://amzn.to/CSatWork Title image: http://flickr.com/KandyJaxx All other images property of their respective owners or public domain.

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