Make digital the crown jewel of your personalisation strategy.

As a marketing officer, you want to provide continuous, effective, and personalised content. Even in an increasingly complex digital landscape. For this new digital reality, dynamic digital-centric content and data-driven content distribution are key. But how do you get to the digital top?

Marco Fredriksen
Marco Fredriksen
Founding partner

Content personalisation is the future. But how do you bring that to life within your organisation? How do you prepare business processes for deep personalisation and an always-on strategy? Start at the core: tackle digital transformation from strategy. So start with business goals and then translate them into your marketing goals, communication goals, and digital strategy. 

Handling content more efficiently and effectively 

To achieve great digital performance, a logical starting step for many organisations is making sure they have a good Digital Asset Management (DAM) system in place. Work more efficiently by layering and combining content. Use a single source of truth: this makes content easier to find and search. It also allows you to use it dynamically – and thus faster – in various applications and combinations, increasingly targeting a specific audience. In an earlier article, we wrote in that context about the impact of digital twins

Digital reality allows you to handle content more efficiently and effectively. From briefing to production and publication: use data to constantly enrich findability, usability, and destination throughout each step in the process. Thanks to tagging and metadata, content becomes intelligent and able to present itself to the right audiences, at the right time, and in the right context. This is now often done manually or driven by business rules but is something that is becoming increasingly dynamic and AI-driven. 

Marketer: from creative to conductor of reach and impact 

This new way of thinking has a major impact on the role of marketers. Our work is becoming increasingly data-driven. Marketing messaging is becoming increasingly automated, and there is an interaction between the marketer's workflow and the people and systems that generate data points. Together, they continuously enrich that dataset. 

Based on content and data, a marketer decides which message lands when and with whom, and what happens to the external data points gathered. What content is effective? And how can we use data to further optimise it? AI plays an accelerating role in this. Marketers can now surf the data waves and take direction from there. This allows them to serve each customer with the exact content that is relevant to their context and mindset. 

Transformation is needed at multiple levels 

Adopting a digital-centric approach requires a transformation of content creation processes and distribution in several areas: from skills to technology and processes. 

  • Skills 

In process-driven and data-driven work, standardisation of briefings, quality criteria, and content specifications is important. Also crucial: modeling customer engagement in a data model and content strategy. As a marketer, you still set the ambitions and goals. With a structured model, you make sure you can keep measuring and comparing. You are the one who determines which data points are relevant here. The trick is not to capture as much as possible, but to store the right, guiding data at the core. Define success in order to enable automated optimisation. 

To facilitate and manage the required change, you need to identify internal skills and clear roles and responsibilities. A reliable, flexible, consistent, and complementary partner network helps with the integrated deployment of content across all touchpoints. This way, customer service agents can also use content from the marketing department, and customer data from the sales department can in turn be used to enrich content or support customer service. 

  • Technology 

Technology is the foundation that enables a seamless customer journey: across all channels and devices, from briefing to content creation and publication, to measurement and optimisation. Think digital asset management, product information management, content distribution, workflow, and content analysis. With technology, you create a situation where rich content is the basis for an endless variety of combinations, to meet every content need in real-time. 

  • Processes 

A digital-centric approach often requires a rearrangement of the content operation as well. Usually, the initial return is in more efficient content production, reuse of content, and a more efficient process. Simply put: the benefits of a cleaned-up picture bin. Make existing content findable. This often requires investment but also produces immediate and clear returns. Once the foundation for content and data is in place, we see the returns shifting to the optimised customer conversation and relationship. Then the benefit is in impact, relevance, brand consistency, and more qualitative engagement. 

This can also impact the role and skills required of a marketing team. The key prerequisites for bringing this process to fruition are internal maturity and setting up the necessary skills. You can design these based on a so-called capability framework. This maps out what skills you need to grow to the next stage of maturity. 

In addition, you need someone to take the helm: someone who strategically understands the complexity and multifaceted nature of such a programme, who can manage operationally, and who has the budget and mandate to deliver the change. Whereas marcom specialists could still make the change from a touchpoint mindset to a journey mindset, an entirely different type of role is now required. Marketers of the future measure more, manage more, and 'make' less. 

Sail with the winds of change 

Never before have we seen technological growth in terms of capabilities on this scale. The role of AI, the massive emergence of new technologies and channels: to adapt to this change and maintain a rich content connection with the customer, your organisation must not be afraid to upend its operations and ride these innovation streams. Organise the new digital reality well and enjoy the impact you can have on all your different customers as a modern marketer. 

About the author: Marco Fredriksen is a Founding Partner & digital accelerator at FULL FORCE DIGITAL. 

This article was originally published by (in Dutch)