The Content Evolution: How content can change your business for the better


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Presented at the You Have a Website, Now What? conference in Sioux Falls, SD in April 2013.

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  • Chascar
  • Cometstarmoon
  • Copyright © 2013 Visual News. All Rights Reserved
  • Machine room
  • Gbaku
  • Flexible – allow for trial and error Integrated into daily life Canon sought to be beat xeroxHonda strove to be the second FordCoke: Put a bottle within arms reach of every possible customer Be the digital reference guide for medical professionals Amazon: Start with the customer and work backwards.
  • Jkeiser at en.wikipedia
  • Journalism is a service industry. —David Brinkley
  • Slow content
  • 1892 to showcase the rich soil of South Dakota and encourage people to settle in the areaIkeaMichelinHub and Spoke
  • 237 embellished concrete sculptures and other objects built by the retired lumberjack Fred SmithThank you for “loggin on”
  • Whether your b2b or b2c
  • Whether your b2b or b2c
  • America’s Sistine Chapel
  • With a whole new breed of exceptional new brands living by the rules of Business 3.0, consumers are now attracted to unproven and unknown brands the way they were attracted to established brands in the past. The whole concept of ‘brands’ rests on the idea that consumers need recognizable, trusted symbols, honed over many years, to help them navigate the wealth of available choices. However this idea is being swept aside in a business arena* now characterized by INSTANT TRUST.
  • Chaos theory
  • Reach consituents betterAttract customersMore prepared in times of crisis
  • The Content Evolution: How content can change your business for the better

    1. 1. The Content EvolutionHow content can change your business for the betterMelissa Rach | @melissarach
    2. 2. “The information superhighway!”
    3. 3. 3The goal
    4. 4. 4The result
    5. 5. Common comments• “Our website is embarrassing”• “We’re so far behind”• “We don’t get any traffic/ROI”• “Nobody’s updated this content since Clinton was in office”• “What are we going to do about mobile?”• “We’ve built dozens of microsites to avoid the CMS”• “This website is a garbage dump”• “The CEO is hot on Facebook”• “Legal is being ridiculous on approvals”• “We have so many PDFs”• “There’s so much to do, I just can’t keep up”5
    6. 6. 6Web content is hardflickr user: cometstarmoon
    7. 7. Nobody was prepared for this …7
    8. 8. Or this …8© 2013 Visual News
    9. 9. 9What a mess
    10. 10. 10We are in a transition from aneconomy based on material goodsto one based on knowledge.—Peter Drucker,The Landmarks of Tomorrow (1959)
    11. 11. 11Things have changed
    12. 12. Industrial economy• Strategy as planning• One-way communication• Brand consistency• Hierarchy• Profit (quarterly)12
    13. 13. Today’s communities• Distrust in authority• Unlimited information access• Participatory communication channels• Multi-channel use• Culture of research13
    14. 14. 14In todays environment,traditional marketing and salesdoesnt make sense.— Bill Lee, Harvard Business Review(paraphrased)
    15. 15. 15We are clearly entering a periodwhere the extinction of the slow,the inflexible, and thebureaucratic is about to happenin record numbers.—Chris Zook, Harvard Business Review
    16. 16. 16Extinction!?!
    17. 17. It’s time to breakall the old rules.
    18. 18. Rethink Strategy
    19. 19. 19Focus on the long-term vision
    20. 20. Strategy vs. planning20STRATEGYStrategyPlanningDay-to-day work
    21. 21. 21[Employees] want to be part ofsomething larger than themselves.They want to be part of somethingtheyre really proud of, that theyllfight for, sacrifice for.—Howard Schulz, Starbucks
    22. 22. Strategic intent• Constant• Flexible• Repeatable• Aspirational• Inspiring• BelievableHamel and Prahalad, “Strategic Intent”Harvard Business Review22
    23. 23. Examples• Apple: Think different• Coke: Put a bottle within arms reach of everypossible customer• Honda: Be the second Ford• Amazon: Start with the customer and workbackwards23
    24. 24. 24They might think you’re nuts
    25. 25. 25We are willing to bemisunderstood for longperiods of time.—Jeff Bezos, Amazon
    26. 26. Rethink Communications
    27. 27. 27Goal: A true relationship
    28. 28. 28[People] learn what they care about,From people they care aboutand who, they know, cares about them.—Barbara Harrell Carson,Thirty Years of Stories
    29. 29. 29Reciprocal, respectful conversations
    30. 30. Let conversation lead content• Listen• Speak with customers (not to customers)• Give consistently, take once in awhile• Make channel/format a secondaryconsideration30
    31. 31. 31Go beyond product specs
    32. 32. Map the entire customer journeyNot just online tasks, not just your “jurisdiction”• What’s the “big task”?• Where are the conversation points?• What kinds of content do they need at eachpoint?• What content exists?Where are the gaps?32
    33. 33. 33Brands that simplify customerdecision-making are 115% morelikely to be recommended.—Corporate Executive Board (2012)
    34. 34. Examples34Images from Dove,Amazon, and Patagonia
    35. 35. 35For all the American peopleeverywhere… they needsomething like this.—Fred Smith,Creator, Wisconsin Concrete Park
    36. 36. 36Why?Wisconsin Concrete ParkPhillips, WIflickr user: dakota kingfisher
    37. 37. Every piece of content needs to:• Support a your vision/strategy• Fulfill a customer need• Have a person assigned to maintain it(maintainable content only)37
    38. 38. Rethink Consistency
    39. 39. 39They’re on to us
    40. 40. The old brand rulesBuild the brand over time• Speak B2B or B2C• Use repeatable messages• Require militant consistency• Control information• Be polished and perfect at all times40
    41. 41. The new rulesBuild relationships over time by:• Speak P2P• Create adaptable messages• Develop organic consistency• Allow radical transparency41
    42. 42. Example: Fluevog42
    43. 43. 43It’s bit scary
    44. 44. 44But, not this scary
    45. 45. 45Consumers don’t expect brands to beflawless; they will even embrace brandsthat are FLAWSOME…Brands that are honest about their flaws,that show some empathy, generosity,humility, flexibility, maturity, humor, anddare we say it, some character andhumanity.—
    46. 46. Examples46Images from Miracle Whip, Johnson & Johnson, and American Red Cross via
    47. 47. 47‘Established is now often justanother word for tired if not tainted.—
    48. 48. Rethink Hierarchy
    49. 49. 49Nobody’s smarter than everybody
    50. 50. 50Don’t plan your future, plan yourpeople. Outstanding people who fityour broad vision will tend to makethe right decisions along the way;not by following a plan but byusing their skill.—Harry BeckwithSelling the Invisible
    51. 51. Chaos theoryEnough structure to allow for patterndevelopment, but flexible enough to allow forcreativity.51
    52. 52. Strategic routines• Strategic routines, not rules• Support instead of strictness• Encourage innovation• Invite participation52
    53. 53. 53Don’t stay tied to old habits
    54. 54. 54To reach our [strategic] goals, we mustfirst change our lifestyle and our dailyhabits now.Then we must summon the courage tokeep up the new habits and not yield to allthe old familiar temptations. Then, andonly then, we get the benefits later.—David MaisterStrategy and the Fat Smoker
    55. 55. Redefine Success
    56. 56. 56Success metrics are a bit fishy
    57. 57. Long-term success• Make budgets customer-centric, not productor channel centric• Not always immediate• Not always exact57
    58. 58. Measurements that matterTraditional• Short timeframes• Isolated pieces ofcontent• Easily accessibleanalytics• Measuring what existsTry instead• Longer timeframes• Content systems• Mix of measurementtechniques• Predictive monitoring58
    59. 59. 59Research shows companies whoinvest in communications aremore profitable and keepexecutives longer.—Paul A. Argenti,Dartmouth
    60. 60. Summary
    61. 61. 61Remember…You can redefine:• Strategy• Communications• Consistency• Hierarchy• Success
    62. 62. 62When we look at the presentthrough a rear-view mirror. Wemarch backwards into the future.—Marshall McLuhan
    63. 63. Thanks!Melissa Rach@melissarachmelissa@dialogstudios.comwww.dialogstudios.com63