The Path Forward Is Clear, If We Look To The Past

Content as a corporate strategic asset is at a similar stage to that of where factorization of goods production was during the maturity of the industrial revolution. What do I mean by this? Look at the way content was created in commercial entities just a couple of decades ago versus now. There is a parallel with pre- Industrial Revolution goods production in which manufacturing moved from a single craftsman building -producing one good at a time in a cottage industry- to large factories using machine automation to increase volume.

Let’s take a closer look

I remember the miracle of MultiMate and PageMaker. I was liberated to create content that I could edit and reuse. This was low hanging fruit of productivity gains. Other Authoring and Desktop Publishing packages came along, but content was still mostly hand crafted. Document Management systems started to popularize content Automation and workflow. SGML, XML and Component Content Management Systems furthered us down this path.

Most commercial entities build content with efficiency in mind, so lowering language translation costs to service a greater number of markets is a popular driver. There are many solutions for managing Language Translation and Memory efficiently. Most executives get excited about expanding markets and revenue, this is an easy concept to sell.

Anything Can Flow Through Plumbing

We have done a fairly good job at building the plumbing to deliver content as needed. We now have the automation to build content similar to the way we built factory goods before the introduction of the Japanese and German quality movements.

There are some enterprises that have moved past the mere creation of content for content sake, to “How do we use Linguistic Rules Based automation solutions to target prospect personas, brand alignment and content repurposing across silos and disciplines.”

The Content Era

We are at the beginning stage of “The Content Era”, where content is a strategic asset that can differentiate brands, increase margins and build customer loyalty. Look to the past and see the trending future.

Now we need to communicate the path forward to Executives that control the fate of their enterprises. Changing times expose huge opportunities.

Being an Executive in the Content Era

Are you responsible for profit and loss (P&L) for your group? Do Engineering, Sales, Marketing, and Support report to you? If so, then you know that driving revenue growth while simultaneously controlling expenses is the true path to the Promised Land.

I’m sure you also hear over and over again that customer satisfaction and overall experience is the key to retaining your customer base. You’ve probably also seen the statistics about how much it costs to acquire new customers.

One simple way to drive all of these goals effectively is to utilize already existing, cost-side processes to create a delightful customer experience – but where to start?

You may not know this, but you most likely also have a documentation group that reports through to you. Why is this important though? Are they a cost that should be trimmed? Well, not exactly.

As an executive, you’re charged with the success of the goods you create and the services you provide. But if we flip things around, you’re also a consumer of various products and services in your private life as well. You probably have a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop, and access to high speed internet on all of these devices. Before making a personal purchase, do you do your own research about a product or service before speaking with a salesperson? I know I do – and we’re certainly not alone. According to Forrester Research, 60 to 90 percent of a consumer’s buying decision is already made before engaging with a vendor. Buyers are looking at blogs, company websites, and post-sales content such as user manuals and support documentation.

As a result, it’s important to ensure a seamless experience across all touch points a prospect could encounter. Some of the ways you can ensure this is by having your documentation group curate blogs, align content with your brand’s personality, and create high-value, relevant content that stands out from the rest of the noise. Leverage your content creators in new ways across all content within your scope.

Being an executive in the Content Era means understanding that content is a valuable strategic asset that should be managed and taken advantage of.