Content as Data: Contextualize Your Customer Experience

One thing the most innovative marketers are learning is that mere personalization isn’t always enough to send messaging campaigns that truly resonate with your customer. You need to go beyond the behavior and understand the why. In our latest webinar, Michele Grant (CEO, co-founder of Block + Tackle) joined us to discuss the future of content as data, and why it’s essential that you contextualize the customer experience in order to send the types of messaging campaigns that really deliver results.

Level 0: Scattered Data

At this level, data is stored in various places throughout the organization, and owned by different teams throughout. There’s no relationship between content and the customer, and the data that you have often can’t be accessed to do what you need to do with it. This is the bottom floor, where you really do believe that just adding someone’s name to the top of an email is effective personalization because that’s all you’re capable of doing.

And as long as you don’t put the time and resources toward bringing all that together, years will go by and nothing will change about the way you can communicate with the customer.

“So when we think about content, what do we think about?” Grant said. “We think about assets and images and videos and blog posts and offers and banners. Where are all of those things in your ecosystem today? They’re in the same place your customer data was 10 years ago: scattered all over. They live in a bunch of different systems, and you have a bunch of different teams and capabilities and people in charge of managing and adding metadata to those assets.”

Level 1: Campaign Tracking

As you move out of Level 0 and start to progress toward looking at content as data, the next step involves adding a little more detail and a little more depth. Simple augmentation can add a level of detail about the content and create so much more relevancy to your analysis. This is where you really start to gain valuable — and actionable — insights about your customers.

Level 1 is where you really build out those foundational parts of your data organization so you can understand the value of doing even more.

“You’re also starting to map out how your organization understands content,” Grant said. “You’re laying the groundwork for your content data model, with what the content is and where it lives. You’re exploring the sources within the ecosystem where content originates and beginning to think about further layers of metadata that can be added based on available source systems.”

Level 2: Content Model

Level 2 is about automated integration. This is where you have the source systems, your CMS, your email platform, other sources of assets. You’re integrating that data and driving it into the model you’ve created. You’re starting to look at how you interpret content and how you utilize tactics to create campaigns. You’re really starting to build a sophisticated “Content as data” operation now, and your customers will most certainly notice.

“You’re no longer manually aggregating things on a tactic-by-tactic basis,” Grant said. “You have all that data flowing in from a variety of data sources, and you’re starting to use it to analyze and to test your assumptions about the why. You’re able to iteratively make hypotheses about how content will impact a certain specific customer and either prove or disprove that hypothesis programmatically straight from the database. No PowerPoints, no PDFs of the creative are needed.”

Level 3: Magic Marketing Engine

From there, you can step into the highest level, the Magic Marketing Engine. This is where you have the ability to press a button and get the right message to the right customer at the right time on the right channel. Or not press a button. Just set it and forget it, if you can. With AI content creation and algorithmic orchestration, you’re starting to consider how you can automate the relationship between you and your customer.

“We’re talking about the intersection of AI-generated content and having all of this data as a baseline to being successful at that level,” Grant said. “So when you start to think about making that investment, think about what you have in your ecosystem today to feed the machine, to train the algorithm, you can go ahead with your who’s and your what’s.”

Watch the full webinar to get even more insights into the “Content as Data” concept, including a first-hand example from a big brand that will bring the concept to life in a new way for you. And if you want to dig even deeper, sign up for Block + Tackle’s upcoming workshop, where you’ll learn everything you need to know to get to Level 4 maturity.