December 12, 2017

Is Your Content and Message Strategy Slowing Down Omni-Channel Personalization?

Omni-Channel Personalization is top of mind for companies and often a high priority when it comes to delivering an exceptional customer experience.  Today we find most companies focused on customer analytics and segmentation to drive personalized campaigns, yet this is only one piece of the puzzle.  On the other side of the equation is personalizing content and messaging to support your targeting efforts.  It’s the latter that is becoming a growing challenge in a company’s ability to deliver a personalized customer experience and here is why:


Content is Sitting in Each Channel
Marketers need to start thinking about content the same way they thought about centralizing campaign management. Most companies have their campaigns managed and executed from a single marketing platform like IBM Watson Campaign Automation or Adobe.  The issue content presents are that multiple sources use content and thus, live there; marketing platforms, web content management tools, mobile apps, and several other customer facing systems. Distributed content makes it difficult to operationally deliver seamlessly across your channels and devices.


Content and Messaging are Treated One in the Same
Personalization comes in various forms to create an experience for your customers, but often we are seeing content and messaging lumped together with the same definition. Content and messaging are different!  Content is something expressed through mediums as writing, speech, or visual art.  Messages are a form of communication defined by its intent and/or purpose that can be best described as an offer, informational message, or benefit statement.  Both content and messaging need to work independently but in some cases they do have a relationship to each other. For example, marketers may only want to personalize a piece of content on a website solely based on the customer profile – like showing an image of a family at a beach resort vs a couple at a mountain retreat.  However, in a different example a marketer may want to deliver a targeted offer for 20% off room rates at the beach resort.  In this example, the 20% off is the Message (offer), yet the content supporting it may vary based on what we know about the customer.  What marketers want is the ability to test and measure content and message separately, and together.


Marketers should rethink their approach to managing content and messages to improve their ability to deliver a personalized omni-channel experience.  We need to get our content out of the channel and into a central content management platform by which each channel and device sources in real time.  And to support my case even further, Richard Hearn, IBM GM for Watson Customer Engagement has coined the term “headless CMS” which he describes as:

“A good headless CMS capitalizes on the cloud to give you immediate, centralized access to all the content across your organization. It makes your content work dynamically, for whatever channel you need it to, so you can break free from the template-for-every-platform approach.”

You can read more about his thinking in a blog post he wrote here.

It’s time to for you to tackle the quiet, yet rather large challenge that just might be holding back your omni-channel personalization strategy.  Bets anyone?