During a recent American Marketing Association and OpenText™ Hightail webinar, content strategy consultant/expert Noz Urbina outlined one of the biggest marketing challenges today: making content contextually appropriate on any channel.
“Everybody wants relevant content, and they want it across many devices and channels,” Urbina says. “But organizations aren’t really built that way.” Organizations are built in various departments and teams. “But people are jumping across channels, however they choose to accomplish their goals,” he adds. “And wherever they are, they expect more and more personalization.”
Enter adaptive content, which Urbina defines as “a content strategy technique designed to support meaningful, personalized interactions across all channels. It is content that is conceived, planned, and developed around the customers: their context, their mood, their goals …”
Adaptive content works like Lego®: the deliverables are made of smaller content components which can be selected, filtered and presented in many different personalized or context-specific ways. Channel-specific components are added only if they add real value.
According to Urbina, 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences, which can be even more powerful when combined with contextual messaging—tied to a particular time, place or situation. But it’s a struggle for about 60% of marketers and executives, with personalization still acting as a channel-specific solution that is integrated with only some elements of the tech stack.
“It’s not the technology that’s the problem,” Urbina says. “The technology works, but we don’t have the strategy and the collaboration and the processes to actually make it work.”
The 5 Ws of adaptive content
To improve the effort, Urbina says marketers need to look at the “5 Ws of adaptive content”:
- Who are we serving exactly? Marketers can turn to both personas and modern platforms’ rich data and machine-learning functionality to drill down into answering that question.
- What will you adapt? Content itself must change. Each adaptive component needs to have associated guidelines for copy, metadata, structure and processing—but by adhering to a common umbrella strategy, their consistency makes components adaptable, manageable, reusable and automation-ready.
- Where will you display that content? Adaptive content can be managed for all channels, then filtered and processed for the display requirements of each channel or persona. This is where content, user experience (UX), data and design can come together.
- When will you adapt? Think through the process, looking for a journey’s “emotional hotspots” that are of importance to brand and customer. Not all opportunities make business sense. Urbina advises organizations to adapt the minimum possible for the maximum ROI, while avoiding the “creep factor” where people feel they’re being watched too closely.
- Why are you doing this? Urbina pointed out that marketers will want to have a clear and proven business case, even if it means only unifying a few channels at first, or even working carefully in one channel. He encouraces you to “find an ‘in’ that you can realistically handle, and expand out from there.”
Urbina had one final directive for marketers in his closing comments: “Get closer and build better relationships with adaptive, omnichannel content.”
For an in-depth look at the 5 Ws, as well as some tips and tricks on how to work with each of them, watch “The 5 Ws of Adaptive Content: Making Content Contextually Appropriate on Any Channel” webinar on demand.