How does personalization factor in to your marketing? As part of the content industry we spend a lot of time talking about targeting and personalization, but if personalization is not well thought through, many marketers can end up spending a lot of time personalizing already fragmented journeys. Today’s content is often created within silos across a business, which can often result in misaligned marketing messages resulting in inconsistent content. Taking this into account, it’s fair to say that a continuous journey should be considered even more important than personalization—customers don't care about your organizational structure or who created what. Customers do care if their experiences at different touchpoints are unpredictable or inconsistent—it’s much better to have a continuous, consistent journey and then personalize that once the basics are right.
There's been a lot of hype around the “content supply chain”, what it looks like today, where it needs to go and how machine learning (ML), machine translation (MT), artificial intelligence (AI) and digital experience (DX) will all play a role in the future of content.
The content supply chain itself may not sound all that thrilling, and simply put, it’s doing to content what we've done to physical goods before it. Throughout the second half of the 20th Century, whether it was retail operations, manufacturing or any other industry, there has always been a well-defined and governed supply chain that made businesses successful. Somehow, we moved into the 21st century where all roads lead to content and now we find ourselves faced with ever-increasing touchpoints that rely upon that content—from web pages, product information, social posts, emails, chatbots and more—without properly defined content supply chains. Everyone has been so busy trying to create content that we thought just churning it out would work, and it just doesn't. When the time it would take to download all the information currently on the internet is set to three million years, it’s easy to say now, that content needs a little bit of governance, and it needs a sequence to stand a chance of being read, let alone engaging a customer.
We are seeing that some enterprises are really feeling the impact of a fragmented customer experience. They’re learning that despite the whole organization working to support the customer journey, lack of internal coordination and silos within departments mean they just can’t repurpose, recreate and translate content quick enough. When it comes to extreme cases like industrial companies, they may be having to get content right across websites, videos, campaigns, as well as FAQs, online support content or complex instruction manuals, the list goes on. With misaligned content organization, the product development team, for example, may have no idea they're re-creating content that already exists somewhere in the marketing team. This causes great inefficiencies. And let’s not forget the subsequent translation requirements—the time is right to really start thinking about how all this content is then translated to support true globalization, as well as how it is delivered consistently to the touch points.
According to Common Sense Advisory more and more niche languages will be needed to reach the next billion non-English internet users and projections estimate that by 2027 it will take 52 languages to reach 96% of online population. If we're facing the pressure of expansion and reaching new markets, the ability to scale your content supply chain is coming just in the nick of time.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine translation technology is revolutionizing the way brands understand and engage global audiences. Unlocking access to more languages and multilingual content means companies can now broaden into more markets, even those traditionally difficult to reach, offering an experience that engages every customer in their own language. This is huge when businesses need to scale their content creation. Content proliferation is such that we’ve gone past the threshold where throwing humans at the problem is the solution, and there is no way we're going to solve it with humans alone.
At SDL, we are building real solutions for our customers’ challenges, obstacles and realities. Our Five Future States of Content laid out a blueprint for what is to come and how we are playing a role in enabling content as part of the content supply chain—creating, translating and delivering content—which is addressed further in our Enabling Future States of Content eBook. What our customers demand is a detailed understanding of how to get from today to tomorrow, and how to deliver the personalized content and digital experience that is still missing in a lot of the “vanilla” content we see today. Once we help companies get the basics right then we have to scale it. So in a world where change is a constant, how do you prepare for the future? Find out how in the podcast interview with SDL’s CEO, Adolfo Henandez and Cruce Saunders, founder and principal at [A] (simplea.com).
Both Adolfo Hernandez and Cruce Saunders were keynote speakers at SDL Connect 2018. You can hear more on this at SDL Connect 2019, October 9 -10 2019, where you can learn from content industry influencers, who will be discussing future content challenges, opportunities and solutions, and how we are working to change the very nature of the content problem to support global understanding in what is the intelligent content and translation era. SDL Connect 2019 Registration is now open.