January 29, 2018
In 2017, we began exploring the exciting world of content-driven commerce. The strategy is relatively new, but with personalization now top priority for brands, marketers can incorporate content-driven commerce to build personal and valuable experiences that take into account consumers’ individual likes and dislikes.
Like most technologies, however, content-driven commerce’s long-term success hinges on how well brands implement it today.
Implementation Conversations Should Involve All Users
When was the last time you had a Starbucks coffee? If you’re like me, there’s actually a Starbucks cup next to your computer right now. But why do we constantly pay Starbucks $5 for coffee that we could get other places?
It’s for the experience. Maybe you regularly visit Starbucks because you enjoy seeing the same baristas every day. Or, perhaps Starbucks has earned your loyalty because of its continued attention to convenience (like its mobile order, in-store pickup). Regardless, your motivation likely has more to do with an experience and less with an actual purchase.
Starbucks is a great example of what’s possible when organizations prioritize delighting consumers with enjoyable personalized experiences over winning transactions. Increased sales are certainly the goal, but marketers that cannot also engage shoppers will get pushed entirely toward the realm of commodity.
Inviting more people to the conversation is the best way to avoid such an outcome. Implementing newer strategies like content-driven commerce involves a number of important players, some of whom are not found in traditional commerce environments. Marketers must develop empathy for these groups and engineer experiences with them in mind, ensuring all experience-related desires are heard and addressed.
Two parties to pay special attention to during content-driven commerce implementation are:
In a content-driven commerce strategy, content authors are responsible for modifying and updating website content to drive unique experiences for users. These team members often work with user experience (UX) designers and graphic design experts to develop and upload content that shoppers actually want to engage with. Engineers and designers make the content easy to access and enjoyable to navigate, and analytics personnel add intelligence and trends information to make the content relevant. Then, content authors create, upload and manage the content, building out taxonomy systems to boost their programs’ sophistication over time.
Sustaining this type of collaborative content creation requires all parties to have a seat at the table during implementation (and even prior to that during the purchasing process). If these groups cannot find common ground or fail to properly use technologies like the CMS, brands will miss out on major opportunities to make internal operations more efficient.
Consumers remain an important part of the content-driven commerce strategy. Marketers must ask – how is this strategy enhancing customer engagement?
It’s nearly impossible to answer this question without well-established strategies for learning more about consumers. This includes both qualitative and quantitative research such as 1-on-1 interviews, surveys, test groups, persona mapping and more.
As marketers better understand the context within which shoppers are looking for products, as well as what’s motivating them to purchase, they can create personalized and relevant digital content. This content incorporates known demographic information like age and name, as well as branded insights like past purchasing histories. Businesses can even natively target larger customer segments with slices of content that people of that demographic are more likely to warmly receive. However, no level of targeting can happen if brands don’t first double down on customer research before, during and after implementation.
Focusing on internal and external users encourages a customer-centric company mindset and operational approach. By talking to both the people who create content and the people who consume it, marketers will organically begin to create better content experiences that improve the lives of real people. Over time, businesses can ensure this is happening across all channels.
The Future of Content-Driven Commerce
Strategies like content-driven commerce will only grow more popular as fewer brands are able to compete on price. Engaging shoppers and standing out in the age of Amazon may be tough, but it’s encouraged businesses to develop better experiences for shoppers.
And that’s really what it’s all about – experiences. Content-driven commerce will become more high-tech as businesses incorporate emerging solutions like natural language processing, artificial intelligence and voice-activated devices. But no matter how advanced and powerful content-driven commerce strategies grow, marketers will always be responsible for keeping personalized and enjoyable experiences at the forefront of all decision making.
Contact one of our digital transformation specialists to learn more about how content-driven commerce can lead to better experiences for your customers.