Is COVID-19 sending us back to basics – Customer, Content and Context? *edited

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* This post was originally published in Dec 2020 and updated Jan 2022

Covid-19 has brought about a sea change in human behavior. The way we work, travel, eat, shop and play has suddenly changed. Some of the changes in behavior are temporary while others could be more permanent. A lot of it remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure – this once in a generation pandemic has made us take a hard look at the basics of life.

Consumer behavior and preferences have always followed significant historical events. What we once considered nice-to-have conveniences a few weeks ago are now considered mainstream because of the pandemic. Digital services, driven by real content are now powering the new rules of human interaction. Drone delivery is no longer just fancy but considered almost essential for some businesses. UberEats, GrubHub, Doordash, Instacart have quickly enabled brick and mortar restaurants to prevent total closure and survive.

New rules for the new economy:

Goldman Sachs predicts a 15% unemployment rate and a contraction in GDP through the rest of 2020. With tightening consumer budgets it is natural to expect your users to expect more from their digital services. And that means, every brand – not just the big brands, including the mom and pop shops, will need to show-case their products more prominently with more relevant content, in a more contextual way. A powerful digital management ecosystem is needed to keep up with the new challenges. For example, on March 31, 2020 Adobe released an insightful tool called Adobe Digital Engagement IndexDEI, that allows multi-national companies to analyze user trends. This allows organizations to analyze user trends and behavior as it happens, and appropriately adjust their supply chains, marketing and other efforts.

Update, Jan 2022: It’s two years since we wrote the above comments. The US unemployment is at historic low levels, below 5%. At the same time, more people have also quit the US Workforce. With the pandemic causing pent-up demand for products, coupled with the global supply-chain issues, the problem for American organizations – big brands and government alike has been exasperated. The question for all is – how do we do more for our customers with less? In that vein, the above comments about having a powerful digital presence is more relevant than ever before.

Adobe DEI Dashboard

Insight is great, but it’s not everything a brand needs to succeed. These economically difficult times call for a deep look at the end to end eco system, or what we call the supply-chain of content. And in this article we will talk about all the other essential tools you will need in this new world we are in.

Essential Content Management tools for the post Covid-19 economy

The tools can be summarized by this Content Funnel picture

autowoven content management funnel
  • Content sources:
    • Is the content served to your customers sources from across your organization or is it too narrowly centralized?
  • Digital Managers
    • Are your digital managers or content authors appropriately empowered both organizationally as well as technologically? How long does it take for them to curate and author content within your content management system(s)?
  • Content Categorization/ Taxonomy
    • Do you have a platform to create and manage a rich taxonomy for your content? If you are dealing with SKUs and product lines, is your content management system appropriately integrated with your PIM (Product Information Management) and/or e-commerce systems?
  • Organizational content search
    • How easy is it for your digital managers to search through large volumes of content within your CMS system(s)?
    • Is this internal search fast and does it provide relevant results?
  • Content governance
    • Does your platform have the maturity for content approvals and scheduling? Is your workflow sophisticated to handle employee time-offs and attritions without disrupting your content “supply chain”?
  • Content re-use across channels
    • Separating content from presentation is key to re-use. Does your system provide capabilities to author once and reuse multiple times?
  • User Segmentation & Targeting
    • One size does not fit all, and that is even more true in a tough market. Your CMS needs to have the capabilities for segmenting your audiences, creating profile groups and also leverage your vast content to properly target your user audiences. Is your Customer Targeting strategy meeting industry standards?
  • Analytics across channels
    • Almost every marketer today is familiar with web and mobile analytics. However, unifying data across analytis channels – for example web channel, mobile apps, facebook dashboard, etc., is a whole different ball game. Aggregating profile data from across analytics platforms requires a Data Management Platform like Adobe Audience Manager. We talked about this in our article related on Single Customer View here. Do you have the tools and the talent?
  • Content Syndication
    • Do you have the “Easy” button that can simultaneously publish time sensitive content across all your channels like websites, mobile apps, social media and Content Delivery Networks like Akamai?

Is your content marketing team ready for this new world?

Autowoven has transformed digital systems in the Finance, HealthCare, Insurance, Education and Media industries among others. Autowoven is an Adobe Solutions partner and provides digital transformation services using Adobe tools of Adobe Marketing Cloud – AEM, Analytics and Target. Talk to us today on how we can partner to provide a compelling digital experience for your customer – an experience that does not leave you behind?

More importantly, stay safe and see you on the other side of the pandemic.