My company, Avitage, has recently updated our point-of-view.
Over fifteen years the core vision has not changed: to enable front line business communicators to assemble and deliver buyer relevant and useful content, tailored to each audience — even an audience of one. We even learned how to do this with video!
But the delivery methods have certainly evolved, expanding the need for, and value of, our approach.
Enabling sales to meet revenue, growth and profitability targets is the responsibility of marketing and sales working in a collaborative effort. How you sell is a primary differentiator and opportunity to create value for customers.
These efforts should also be aligned around the common process of the customer’s buying journey, and the objective of facilitating a faster buying process.
A Communication Requirement
Seeing these objectives through a communications lens is an important distinction.
Communication is a function of:
- Messages — knowing what to say and how to say it – stories
- Content — relevant, compelling, for multiple purposes and in multiple formats
- Delivery — convenient and appropriate engagement of target audiences
More than ever, you ARE your content. People engage your content more than they engage your people.
Delivery opportunities and challenges dictate how content should be created, managed and deployed.
Delivery issues — especially sales conversations — are key drivers on sales productivity and effectiveness.
To be relevant, content must be tailored to the specific interests of each audience, packaged in their preferred content type, and delivered in a convenient and timely manner.
Front line business people — sales, sales support, marketing, training, executives — are responsible for directing communications with their constituents and are best at determining the appropriate message, content types and delivery timeframes.
Enabling front line communicators to access, assemble, personalize and deliver tailored, relevant content in the right format and at the right time for each constituent is a new and critical challenge for organizations.
To be compelling, more content must be available in rich media formats.
A New Content Operations Model
To support these and other requirements associated with new, digital media and web delivery options, requires a new approach to creating content — a structured publishing approach rather than the traditional, project oriented, creative craftsman’s “point production” process.
This must start with a new approach to conversation support, which we formally referred to as “messaging.” But messaging is an “inside out” approach based upon “what I want to tell you.” Conversation is a two way dialog that takes an “outside in,” audience oriented approach. We talk about things that interest our audiences, customers and buyers.
In much the way accounting, manufacturing and software groups have standardized around common process supported by automation, the content creation process must be standardized around a new but common process. We have developed a content supply chain process.
This focuses on creating for multiple purposes, personas, issues, buying stages, industry verticals, and delivery channel formats — all from each creation effort.
Automation is an important enabler. But it’s the process that is essential.
These objectives are best achieved from a well defined program — a structured content publishing program — with clear strategies, plans, process, procedures, standards, templates and support.
Your organization cannot and will not get the most out of your content and content investments, or optimize your content dependent business objectives, using the traditional, ad hoc and point production approaches.