We’re in a brave new world. Markets have shifted, and so have consumer priorities and expectations. Gone are the days of traditional marketing and sales approaches to drive profit. Flashy, multi-million dollar campaigns have been replaced by personalized, consumer targeted marketing tactics.
With this shift from the general to the specific, more and more businesses are leaning into personalization to capture market share. Few know how to do this effectively, but those who do know that it can only be achieved by understanding and leveraging as much organizational data as possible.
The fact is, leveraging an organization’s content is no longer a record or IT manager’s dream, but a business imperative. To make experiences personalized, businesses need access to organized and accurate information about their customers, their own products, and any and all information in-between – including the unstructured, dark stuff.
Not only is a more data driven personalized customer experience a key differentiator, it’s now expected.
We saw a massive shift in customer expectations during the pandemic. Suddenly there was a demand for convenience, speed and availability unlike ever before. And, the normalizing of personalization. Based on a recent 2021 McKinsey report 71% of consumers expect personalization, and 76% of customers are frustrated when they don’t get it.
And we know this first hand, from seeing our name on our Starbucks order to personally addressed emails from Jon at The Atlantic sharing an article he thought we’d like.
In order to create a tailored, bespoke experience, companies need access to insights housed within their organizations. But sorting through and organizing content and information is, in a word, painful. Where do companies even start – legacy repositories house information from decades ago, multiple content management applications exist with minimal employee adoption or adherence, and don’t get us started on the databases with so many versions of a document no one knows which one is most accurate or up-to-date. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Projects Won’t Save You
To attempt to address this painful, messy, disorganized content problem, businesses often jump to the one-and-done data organization project as a solution. Many assume that a singular project will do the job. All that needs to be done is simply organize and make data accessible. Then the business will be able to pull wisdom from all of their information to differentiate offerings and experience. But this misses the point.
We now live in a world that generates more data then we know what to do with. Once one content clean up project is approved, launched and completed, insights generated are already redundant because data grows faster than what can be managed within the confines of a project.
Though it may be tempting to view a content cleanup project through the lens of a timeboxed project, this limited perspective no longer serves larger business objectives. We need to start thinking of data as a long term investment.
Programs > Projects
There is no way to beat the sheer volume and never ending growth of information. Our societies have been designed to produce data at every turn, from our phones and cars to everything in our home. Its growth will continue, which means we need to change the way we approach data.
Ultimately, the challenge of sorting through and organizing ever expanding information won’t be solved by a finite, or traditionally manual, project. In our data driven world, businesses have to start thinking about their content as something to invest in continuously and leverage over time.
By continuously assessing content that’s generated through a more streamlined and automated way – keeping what’s needed and removing what isn’t – organizations become more efficient and responsive. They also have better access to the insights needed to improve processes, enhance products, and create more personalized experiences for customers.
Not to mention, in a reality where organizational content is cleaned and organized it creates a more complete picture of the business, and results in more informed decision making.
Though it might seem like an impossible content management outcome, software solutions do exist to support businesses in achieving “cleaned” content through automated programs. By understanding the true value of your content, you’re able to harness this information to differentiate their approach, reduce redundancies and grow their business.
The key to personalization, better customer outcomes, increased profit, improved employee job satisfaction all stems from a healthy data environment. One in which all content is accessible. And the best way to achieve this is by changing how we think about data, from burden to differentiator, and implementing programs and processes to help drive personalization and profit.