Why content must be a core element of any brand’s business strategy

By Alan Porter, Director of Product Marketing at Nuxeo

For many consumers, content is right at the heart of the brand experience. Relevant, meaningful and impactful content can go a long to fostering loyalty, encouraging word of mouth recommendations and cementing the relationship between that consumer and a favoured brand.

The flipside is also true. If brands fail to deliver the type and style of content that will truly resonate with their audience, then there is a risk that those consumers will look elsewhere. The experience increasingly expected by consumers has become more important than ever, and content plays a significant role within that. 

Recent research from Nuxeo revealed that more than half of consumers (54%) say they would switch to a competitor if the digital customer experience did not measure up. This digital experience includes the right product info (21% said this was their biggest shopping challenge); personalised content (28% said this would encourage them to buy again); and good product photography (50% would buy elsewhere if this was lacking). 

More than ever, retailers and brands must deliver relevant personalised content to their customers. How important is it for content to be part of a brand’s business strategy and what can brands do to ensure they deliver the right digital experience to consumers?

Content and customer experience

The nature and essence of a brand will mean different things to different people. A brand is informed and represented by many different influences and touchpoints, sometimes over a period of years. But the content of some form or another will always have been involved in that process, even more so in the digital era.

Whether it’s a consumer searching for a pair of trainers endorsed by a favourite singer or sports star, someone finding the perfect sunglasses but in the wrong colour or size and having to find the store that has the right pair in stock, or a vinyl lover finding a replacement part for their record player and getting instructions on how to fix it – content is at the heart of all these experiences.

When a brand can deliver an exceptional experience, it helps build and develop customer loyalty. Content needs to be accurate, relevant, timely, intelligent and engaging, so it can be a challenge for brands to deliver such an experience across a range of different platforms. But it’s a challenge that must be addressed – consumers can be fickle and if their desired experience is not met then they are only too happy to go elsewhere. 

If a brand struggles to bring new product innovations to market quickly, or to respond in a timely way to new trends, they risk losing valued customers to rivals. Yet too often this is the reality for suppliers: the inability to quickly and efficiently generate and distribute relevant product information, and enticing visual experiences which help to contextualise or personalise content for target customers, means they are not ready for consumers as their latest desires and demands are forming. 

In many cases, it can take brands many months to bring a new product to market, with all the positioning and promotional materials required to support the launch and subsequent sales. This means that strong content is not something that matters just to marketing or sales, but rather should be an essential component of a brand’s business strategy.

The power of good content

The Nuxeo research revealed that 41% of consumers said they engaged at least once a week with a brand or retailer’s mobile app; 42% via a retailer’s website and 28% via a brand’s web site. Around a quarter of respondents aged under 44 said they engaged with a retailer or brand’s mobile app daily.

Social media is of course a popular way for consumers to engage with a brand’s content. 24% of respondents said they engage with a favoured brand’s content via Facebook every day, with 15% doing so via Instagram and 10% via Twitter. Just 5% of consumers overall engage with retailers and brands via TikTok every day, but in the youngest age category, this rises to 14 per cent.

Relevance, personalisation and value of content clearly matter to consumers. More than four in 10 of research respondents say they have recommended a retailer because of the quality of the content they share, rising to almost six in 10 of 16-to-24-year-olds. 29% of respondents said personalised content from a retailer makes them feel more valued (29 per cent) and more likely to buy again (28 per cent), while a quarter (24 per cent) said it made them more loyal and more than a fifth (22 per cent) said they would be more likely to recommend that retailer as a result.

Maximising the value of content

Brands need to do all they can to maximise the value they get from content, and a big part of this is managing it in the most effective way. Digital Asset Management (DAM) has long been an important technology in terms of marketing, but in recent years has become invaluable when looking at the larger product lifecycle and has evolved into Product Asset Management (PAM) approach. PAM is a strategy to leverage enterprise digital asset management technology across the product lifecycle. 

By providing a common platform for critical product information (both assets and data) at key points in the product lifecycle (design, packaging, campaign development, etc.). The result is that the role that digital assets and data play in helping retailers and brands bring new products to market more quickly has grown and will continue to do so as consumers demand this.

With consumer demands growing around digital experience, PAM becomes an even more important strategy moving forward. It takes content beyond the marketing department, connecting it to data and other assets across the entire organisation. This connection means that PAM informs the digital experience across different business functions and at multiple touchpoints, making it easier to be more consistent in message and tone, and better meeting consumer requirements regarding the digital customer experience.

Content is such an important part of the customer experience in the digital age and brands cannot afford a half-hearted approach. It needs to be a central component of overall business strategy and that requires investment in the right tools and systems to manage content effectively.