Why content agility matters for B2B marketers
The ongoing disruption and lockdown caused by the pandemic means that more and more of us are relying on digital to manage our lives. B2B marketers are therefore laser focused on the use of online to build and maintain relationships with potential customers, and it’s no surprise that this was the only channel that saw growth in the recent IPA Bellwether Report.
In fact, our recent ‘Experiences Customers Want’ report found that 74% of businesses have accelerated their investment in online experiences as a result of the pandemic, with 76% claiming their online offerings saved their business. We expect these trends to continue in 2021.
High on the priority list when it comes to online is adaptable content that can be structured and organised to create customised and personalised experiences. In a world where marketers are constantly pivoting their strategies due to the ever-changing COVID-19 situation, they need to be able to surface new products and get to market quickly with relevant offers and having an agile content strategy in place is imperative to achieving this.
Defining ‘content agility’
The term content agility describes a brand or organisation’s capability to optimise the end-to-end process of delivering customer experiences at scale. To become more agile, brands must remove the technical bottlenecks often associated with delivering content at speed.
This will mean getting several things right – from having the right tools and technologies in place to building a great author experience, so that content authors and agencies can deliver and update online experiences fast.
Focus on the author experience
The author experience refers to the processes and tools in place for authors to make content management simple, scalable and speedy.
The pandemic has raised the expectation for brands, meaning they’re now expected to deliver a personal, seamless and consistent experience across channels and devices. And B2B brands are no exception to this. This means that the authoring workload is higher than ever before – and marketing teams are expected to push out more content, more swiftly and respond ever faster to data that can help to improve and personalise that experience.
Technology vendors are responding with new tools. For instance, it’s now possible to create a single page application (SPA) – a single page where a lot of information stays the same and only a few pieces need to be updated at a time – alongside a back end that authors just like a regular content management system (CMS). This allows marketing teams to create engaging and unique experiences more easily for their website users.
Don’t underestimate the importance of arming your teams with an authoring experience that they can easily and speedily navigate and enjoy.
Tools and technologies
It can seem daunting for B2B marketers to identify the right tools and technologies to support them in their quest to deliver relevant and timely content to their audience. After all, there are a myriad of options out there and it may not be immediately clear which are needed to help establish new best practices and improve agility.
As a starting point, we recommend auditing your existing platforms to determine where the gaps are in your capabilities and what needs to be added to help meet your business strategy and goals. It’s important to remember that each new tool will create, analyse or consume data in some way, so to run these efficiently they will need to be effectively integrated to serve a common purpose.
From there, marketers need to consider context when adding new tools. As the B2B landscape is forced to shift away from any traditional offline territory, many brands may need to get to market quickly with online offerings. Some may be considering ecommerce for the first time. For these marketers, a single B2B commerce platform is likely the right starting point.
Most B2B brand marketers will likely already have access to a CMS or digital experience platform (DXP), but they may benefit from other tools and automation that can be baked into these to improve content agility. For example, AI and machine learning tools can help brands in heavily regulated industries avoid governance problems or help marketers to personalise experiences at scale, in real time.
Be patient, and ensure your teams are onboard
Once you’ve got the right technology in place, you need to ensure that your team are fully enabled to use it in the right way to drive revenue and build brand equity. Effective digital enablement goes beyond training and manages all the change, communication, and upskilling required to deliver business value through a digital platform, amalgamating the operational knowledge, best practices, and governance.
As well as training, we’ve identified five other key phases of enablement – technology adoption, onboarding, operational alignment, communications, and optimisation/ROI. Businesses will need to take a holistic approach to all of these to ensure teams are fully equipped to achieve greater agility.
The benefits for any business of delivering the right experiences, to the right customers, at the right time are clear to see. B2B marketers need to ensure that their content is really working for them to engage existing customers and convert prospects. They’ll need to get people, processes, data and technology working together to ensure that, when it really matters, they are agile enough to respond quickly to change.