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by martin owen  |  March 22, 2022

The Role of Content in Digital Transformation


A Wakeup Call for Organizations to Modernize Their Content Ecosystems

Content drives digital transformation and, like data, it is a critical business asset that must be managed and optimized for the greatest possible return. Yet despite this fact, most organizations struggle to create, manage and publish their mission-critical content much less determine how effective it is – or isn’t.

When most people see or hear the word “content,” they tend to think of using it for sales and marketing purposes. But organizations produce a lot of other content besides customer newsletters or brochures, for example. At the end of the day, any data that needs to be visualized, consumed and understood becomes content – from your website and billing statements to your standard operating procedures and various forms.

Creating all your content, making sure it ends up in the right hands or on the right devices at the right time, and ensuring it complies with your unique corporate and industry requirements is a modern-day odyssey. And once it arrives, it must be relevant, accurate and meet the needs and expectations of both internal and external stakeholders.

But audience expectations are outpacing content-engine capabilities, as evidenced by Forrester’s “2022 State of B2B Content Survey.” It shows serious maturity gaps across content planning, creation, activation and operations with organizations rating themselves as “advanced” in each of these stages between only 10% and 30%.

With all the complexity in production and delivery plus meeting high content expectations, what’s an organization to do? A small company might be able to get away with disorganized content assets, slow collaboration and approval processes, and lack of metadata-driven context and insights, but operating this way poses major risks for most enterprises.

That’s why organizations need the right strategy, processes and technology for modern content lifecycle management. A unified approach to content creation, automation and intelligence streamlines every stage – creation, collaboration, assembly, publishing and analysis – to benefit both internal teams and external audiences, including customers and prospects and often regulators.

Today, compliance can and should be engineered into your content operations. You need to ensure that your data is secure and governed properly and that your content, the consumable form of data, meets regulatory requirements that vary by document type, industry and geography. For example, pharmaceutical labels are regulated documents, and being able to make submissions to and receive feedback from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or the European Medicines Agency can be part of a pharmaceutical company’s digital transformation efforts.

We keep emphasizing that data is content, so let’s explore the data-content continuum even further. Think about how investments in data infrastructure transformed data management and governance. Now imagine how an investment in content infrastructure could transform how your business manages its content from creation to consumption to improve productivity, reduce costs and increase effectiveness.

Think of modern content lifecycle management’s value this way: it’s modular so content components can be created, updated easily and reused; it’s rich with metadata to make content components easy to search and assemble; and it’s omnichannel so you can publish it across all print and digital channels as needed. You want the ability to use the same content in an email, a product data sheet and a website for accuracy and consistency.

In addition, modern content lifecycle management has baked-in intelligence and analytics. Dashboards and reports let you know if you’re content is actually working. Was it viewed? How many times? By whom? On what devices and in what context? Which document or document components had the most engagement? Was it shared?

Being able to collect and share valuable insights about your content with your subject-matter experts and design and production teams helps improve the content experience, the digital experience, the customer experience and ultimately your revenue experience.

Quark has a long history in desktop and digital publishing and we also provide content automation and intelligence solutions. We were thrilled to sponsor a recent webinar with KMWorld on “The Role of Content in Digital Transformation” with featured speaker Christine Polewarczy, vice president, research director and expert in content strategy and operations with Forrester.

During the webinar, she talked about content-engine maturity and how it’s time for organizations to evolve their content planning, production, promotion, performance and preparedness. In fact, 46% of respondents to the same Forrester survey referenced above say they do not have a defined approach to content planning. What’s more, 65% report significant content waste issues with internal and external audiences.

It’s a bit of a wakeup call for organizations to modernize their content ecosystems to confront today’s complexity and be ready to scale to meet evolving customer demands, such as personalization, and ensure compliance as new internal and industry mandates are sure to present themselves.

You can watch “The Role of Content in Digital Transformation” here.

And if you’d like to learn about Quark Publishing Platform for end-to-end content lifecycle management, you can request a demo.

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