Cleve Gibbon

content management, content modelling, digital ecosystems, technology evangelist.

Going Frictionless

I recently visited Six Flags in Illinois – a massive and totally awesome theme park. The purchase journey presented a number of options to buy the tickets: Mobile, Print, Collect and Post. Everyone one of them was a pain in the ass option with the exception of mobile. Who prints stuff when they’re on holiday? How many foreign travellers have a US address? Who wants to wait in line to collect tickets? However, I do have a mobile. To me, that was the only relevant option. Going frictionless means making it easy for me, the consumer, to engage with your business. What I’m seeing in the market is large scale failure in going frictionless by the majority and insane levels of success by those that are getting it right. And the gap between leaders and laggards is growing.

Going Frictionless: The Story

We are all consumers. You absolutely must create product and services that are simple, accessible and work to deliver frictionless consumer experiences. It’s the new norm.  Consumers expect companies to have their house in order.  Going frictionless is today’s brand challenge.

Know that there are two important audiences going frictionless needs to cater for:

  • The consumer; we must deliver seamless and consistent engagement across all touch points in the journey.
  • The enterprise; we must design systemic and sustainable business processes that craft consumer journeys from frictionless experiences at every touchpoint.

You need both. There is no point striving for frictionless consumer experiences if the enterprise cannot support them in a sustainable way at scale. Equally, the enterprise needs to craft connected experiences that consumers feel are frictionless. These two audiences are two sides of the same going frictionless coin where one informs and is informed by the other.

Going frictionless coin

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Brand Purpose and Loyalty

A brand must have clear purpose and live by it in order to retain loyal customers. Brand purpose and loyalty.  Today I’d like to share a short story about how easy it is to shatter loyalty when a brand’s behaviour does not live up to publicised purpose.  It’s a story about a lost bag, that led to lost loyalty because of the brand’s lost purpose.

Why is this important? Because in 10 years, it’s predicted that 40% of the Fortune 500 companies will no longer exist as things that were once scarce become abundant.   Technology, data and infrastructure are no longer scarce.  They are accessible to the masses.  Tomorrows winners are those that can differentiate on providing customer experiences to live the up to the brand purpose. All day, everyday. Here’s how not to do it.

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Content Engine Operationalisation

Well, thank you for sticking around for the third and final post in the series where we share a few tips on content engine operationalisation.

 

The first post in this content engine series highlighted the top ten content challenges faced by organisations looking to deliver scaleable personalised experiences. We followed up with a second post that outlined a content engine blueprint to address those challenges. We conclude the series with a few practical tips to operationalise your own content engine.

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Content Engine Blueprint

If we can address the content challenges that exist within brands, what opportunities can organisations capitalise on now to deliver personalised experiences?  We asked that question to a mix of agencies, brands and partners that attended a WPP European Summit back in June 2015.  Here’s what our summit delegates prioritised as the three key areas for serious consideration by the business. In this post, we’ve  pulled them together into a draft content engine blueprint:

  • Show tangible business value and success.  Understanding what content exists within the enterprise.  Continually show its value, impact, and return back into the business. What if they was a workable content performance framework that continuously linked and tracked the investment case for content as a practical and pragmatic set of KPIs and objectives that quantified success? Imagine that.
  • Manage content as a product.  Move beyond episodic campaigns and projects.  Focus on assembling brand communications, using blocks of reusable content that’s accessible across the enterprise.  What if content architecture applied end-to-end product management principles to the design of strategic content, from ideation to expiration, based upon transparent and agreed investment cases? Imagine that.
  • Content lifecycle management.  There needs to be clear separation between content products and the services people use to operate them.  What if the content operating model surfaced the processes and overarching governance framework for getting content into and out of the enterprise to drive real-time personalised experiences? Imagine that.

Forrester predicts that the volume of unstructured enterprise content is growing at a rate of 200% annually.  Content is communication.  How well it is designed, managed and measured directly impacts on our ability to engage effectively with customers.  The content engine looks to address our content challenges and turn them into opportunities by consciously stepping up to manage content as an enterprise-level strategic asset that drives competitive advantage.

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Content Engine Explained

What content challenges prevent you from engaging in broader and deeper customer relationships?  Broader with more channels and deeper through personalisation.  It’s 2017 and we continue to fight the good fight to deliver the most basic personalised experiences within a responsive web channel.  Why is that?

Because it’s hard. It’s not easy to create, manage and deliver content in a predictable, repeatable and scalable manner.  However, that’s precisely what we have to do for omni-channel personalised experiences.  So what if we designed a content engine to do just that? What might that look like?  In this three-part blog post series we explore just that.  Starting with the challenges in this post, we move onto a blueprint for a content engine and before operationalising it in the final post.

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Are digital transformation partners transforming?

We are living in a digital world.  Every organisation is going through a digital transformation today to stay relevant and be competitive.  The smartest organisations are not going it alone. They enlist help to fill  expertise gaps and bring in experience to accelerate them on their digital transformation journey.  This help comes in the form of agencies and consultancies that have ‘done it before‘.  However, are digital transformation partners themselves transforming?

It is not the strongest of the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change – Charles Darwin

Late last year I aAll changettended a digital marketing event where a major global brand in the financial sector asked the agencies in the audience, are YOU transforming too?  The presenter went on and listed a few things they look for from an agency to help them.  We’ll get back to those.  But first, his organisation clearly manages a large ecosystem  of agencies and consultancies.  With everyone one of them offering up experience and expertise to do better in a digital world.  How can he differentiate between them?

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The Rise of Enterprise Experience

In today’s experience economy, becoming customer centric is a necessary and well acknowledged transformative organisational challenge. Let’s break that down. We see the customer as the consumer and the organisation as the enterprise.  Over the last few years the focus has largely been on delivering superior consumer experiences.  However, we should also recognise that great enterprise experiences result in better consumer experiences.  With the current  thinking splitting corporate investments 80/20 in favour of consumer experience over enterprise experience, are we missing a trick here?

Enterprise Experience

Consumer experience is the sum of all interactions we have with a brand throughout the consumer lifecycle.  If done right, we advocate for the brand and want to further engage with them.  The enterprise experience is exactly the same but targets audiences inside the organisation rather than outside. These internal audiences – agencies, partners, IT, executives, vendors, business units – follow processes and use technology to create those superior consumer experiences.  The organisational challenge is about empowering these internal audiences with modern tools and techniques that have come to rely on as consumers.

Enterprise Experience

If this is what enterprise experience is about, why are organisations falling short of the mark?

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Summit at Sea

img_5139Last week was the first time I was stateside to witness firsthand a US Presidential Election.  Thankfully, this is not a political post.  Instead, I was there to join a gathering of technologists, musicians, entrepreneurs, writers, athletes, DJs, and so on heading out for the final Summit at Sea in Miami.

Nearly 3000 of us left Miami and headed out to the Bahamas for 3 days on the cruise ship Norwegian Escape. The Summit at Sea sessions ranged from politics to economics, technology to music, film to health,  and so on.  The talks were given by industry leaders in their fields of expertise (e.g. Will.ia.m, Quentin Tarantino, Erin Brochwich, Eric Schmidt, Carl Bernstein) and by seriously progressive thinkers.  The biggest takeaway from Summit, and it was rammed home by everyone, was that you got the power.  Ideas abound.   But to execute, well, that’s on you.

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Realistic Outcome = Outcome + Approach

outcomeWe like outcomes.  They tend to be simple things that we can wrap our heads around.  I need to be more focused. I want to lose weight.  I should listen more. Focus. Weight Loss. Listen.  All outcomes.  But are they a “realistic” outcome? Not quite.

A realistic outcome needs an approach.

The approach details precisely how you’re going to assure that outcome will happen. How exactly are you going to be more focused? Are you going to do less?  Focus on one thing at a time?  Bring in more help? Proactively prioritise? Do more planning? Or a maybe a combination of some or all of these things. A realistic outcome requires you to be clear on the approach as well.

When outcomes are business outcomes, the approach part of the equation is even more critical.  The business never prefixes outcome with realistic. Instead, they just expect every outcome to be realistic.  So, bake in your approach.

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Content Modelling Series – Done

KristinaAndCleveIt’s been fun few years, but my content modelling blog post series has come to an end. I started it to amplify what others were saying about structured content, and to make it accessible. When I started, there was gap: everyone knew structured content was important but there weren’t many places to go to show you how to approach it.

Content modelling is important.  It’s about designing content together, as part of a cross-disciplinary team.  Not from the tech up, or from the business down, but as a joined-up, sustainable team across the organisation.  

A content model is a communication vehicle.  Content modelling is the process to facilitate that communication. Value content modelling over the content model.

As I close out this series, I want to review where we’ve been, what we’ve learned and start to think about what comes next.

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About Cleve Gibbon



I'm Cleve Gibbon, CTO at Cognifide where we are passionate about digital content.

My sort of up-to-date cv tells you my past, linked in shows you my professional network and on twitter you can find out what I'm currently doing.

This year I plan attend a number of events. Hopefully I'll see you there. I'm easy to find as I'm always laughing. Find out more about me and get in touch!
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