Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Three recommendations for meeting changing customer content needs in 2023

By Dave O’Flanagan, Chief Product Officer at Sitecore

The world is constantly changing, and with it, consumer behaviour. But, despite this continuous change, one thing remains a constant: consumer desire for engaging and relevant content.

For brands looking to build relationships and secure customer loyalty, personalised and engaging content is key. Increasingly, it plays a central role in delivering a positive, rewarding customer experience (CX). And more so than ever. In the face of a looming economic crisis, consumer confidence continues to plummet. As a result, for brands looking to win over customers insecure around where they’re spending their money, investing in these experiences will be vital.

However, although content is king, our research suggests only 5% of content gets the vast majority of customer attention. At the same time, content is booming and set to grow by 20% by 2030. Presenting a growing challenge for businesses to manage the volume of output, and also to stand out from the crowd.

In response to this challenge, there is a growing number of technologies available, helping marketing teams to more efficiently manage their content while also boosting their customer engagement through elevated customer experiences.

So, let’s take a look at the options available for brands looking to stay ahead of the curve and deliver what customers want.

1. Establish a CX backbone and build from there

For many small and medium-sized organisations, the prospect of implementing a fully integrated marketing tech stack may be intimidating. Misconceptions of the IT and marketing resources required to implement and maintain customer services across multiple digital channels can cause teams to opt for the status quo.

For these organisations, a single content platform can serve as the nerve centre for all content production and distribution, allowing developers to build CX frameworks and content creators to simultaneously produce and design the assets that will populate them. This provides marketing teams a low-risk way to begin delivering digital experiences.

When paired with a cloud-based content management system (CMS), this can equip an organisation with the tools to create assets, manage them and deliver content to consumers in a simple and agile way. This powerful combination not only enables consumers to locate the information they seek easily, but also ensures that they are served the most current and accurate content available for them.

For the customers that are being served this continuous stream of content, marketers also need the tools to ensure they’re delivering content that captures their attention. In fact, research shows that poor or outdated content lowers the likelihood of closing a sale by 40%.

2. Deliver content consumers want, when and where they want it

Even the best content in the world, however, is worthless if a consumer cannot find what they are looking for almost instantly. It’s one of the reasons brands spend around 10% of their marketing budgets on search engine optimization (SEO). In fact, global spending on SEO is forecast to exceed $122bn in just five years.

While marketers invest heavily in making sure that their site and pages organically rise to the top of the first page of results, many still overlook the results returned via their own site’s search function. Search and the discovery of content has never been more important for brands. Consumers have notoriously short attention spans; customers will jump to another site within an average of 45 seconds if they are unable to find what they are looking for.

Increasingly, brands are using the power of AI to keep users on their sites. This has been demonstrated by Microsoft launching a new version of its search engine Bing, which incorporates AI to deliver consumers the most relevant and timely content. Search capabilities that are powered by AI support the search and discovery of a wide array of content. This helps consumers to find exactly what they need whilst empowering marketing teams with an intelligent solution that personalises how content is matched, presented and promoted.

3. Put flexibility at the core

Organisations with limited IT resources can benefit from the trend toward low-code and no-code solutions that enable the integration of different platforms all into their existing technology stack. With simple drag-and-drop user interfaces, this vastly simplifies the deployment of new solutions and makes it easy for even the IT novice to connect products to their customer relationship management, digital commerce, customer support, security and other IT solutions.

The CDP Institute found that when considering a martech solution, ease of integration was the leading criterion. And for businesses looking to build a tech stack that works specifically for their business, it’s clear that having this flexibility is key. Not only does this mean they can adapt and react to changing consumer demands without being trapped into a vendor’s ecosystem, but also helps them overcome the challenges associated with today’s digital skills shortage.  

Staying on the pulse of consumer demand

Staying on top of the trends and innovations in content marketing, and the management of digital brand assets is a continuous process. But for brands looking to truly transform customer experiences, it’s the differentiator between those that deliver what customers are looking for and those that don’t.

If brands have the right tools and platforms to seamlessly deploy and manage content, while also having the flexibility to add on and adapt capabilities, they can begin to build experiences that customers won’t forget.