The key to customer centricity? According to Forrester it’s intelligent content management

At Netcomm Forum, the preview of the research with THRON, GS1 and Whirlpool


Finding new customers. That’s one of the main wishes of companies, which are always looking for new ways to increase their turnover or, even better, their margin. To increase revenues and reduce costs.

All this can be achieved through a more intelligent management of corporate content. This is what emerged in the survey carried out by Forrester Consulting on behalf of THRON,  and presented for the first time at Netcomm Forum. The research placed a magnifying glass over the strategies adopted by top European brands, identifying a common denominator behind their success.

The basis for this is a content-centric approach: content plays a fundamental role in creating relationships between brands and users, but also between brands and collaborators, internal and external. Although its field of choice is Marketing (67% of the brands use it in Digital Marketing, 58% Social Media, 56% Content Marketing etc.), it is a cross-team asset.

However, most of the companies interviewed admitted they have difficulties in managing it: 32% find it hard to produce the amount of content demanded by users along their customer journey, 41% are unable to acquire actionable user data from it and 40% use non-integrated tools to manage the content life cycle.


The most successful content management strategies

Companies are aware of these critical issues, and in order to fulfill the objectives set for the next 12 months, namely the achievement of brand consistency, of customer centricity and the ability to measure content ROI, two modalities for content management are increasingly taking place: centralized distribution and Content Intelligence. What are they about?

Centralizing and distributing digital content from a single system across platforms (websites, e-commerce, apps) has different benefits: it allows to optimize content production, facilitated by a more streamlined infrastructure, it makes customer experience consistent across all channels, and enables the collection of coherent data about content performance, aggregated into a single dashboard.

Artificial Intelligence can extract the salient features of each piece of content, associating them with the profile of users who have expressed a preference for them. Then, it’s just a short step from measuring content ROI to personalized communication.

20% of companies have already adopted these two strategies, achieving better economic results than the other ones, which are still at the planning stage. The survey shows that early adopters have increased by 23% their ability to acquire new customers, by 21% the revenues per customer and have improved the EBITDA index by 13%.


The road to customer centricity

At the presentation event of the research, Sirma Kurtulmaz, Project Manager at GS1 Italy, confirmed the need to put the consumer at the heart of business processes - including digital content management - for industries dealing with basic commodities.

A product displayed in an e-commerce, in parallel with the traditional supply chain, must be showcased together with digital content (photos, videos, etc.): without this operation, we would miss an important opportunity to tell the story of our product and to create a sensory customer experience.

However, considering the volume of content available (thousands of brand-owners and their products), it is becoming increasingly necessary for retailers to use tools to streamline the entire infrastructure, i.e. automating the reception of content and its delivery across online channels. In addition, companies can benefit from this centralized content distribution because it offers them control over every asset, tracking how it is used and shared.

To meet the needs expressed by both customers and the respondents of the research, GS1 Italy has launched two services: Immagino, a system solution with more than 1700 manufacturers, 25 retailers and over 100,000 digitized products creating the digital twin of the physical product, and Condivido, a Digital Asset Management platform created in collaboration with THRON to store, share and manage digital documents.


Data ownership and ROI

Roberto Ghislanzoni
, Senior Manager Digital Center of Excellence at Whirlpool EMEA, also agrees with this dual objective: centralizing digital content to ensure consistency in its distribution across various channels, while ensuring a coherent data collection on its use.

The focus must be control: brand identity has to be preserved across all channels. For this reason, a centralized solution guarantees full ownership of the content: the data it carries also belongs to the brand, and it undergoes an internal certification process.

It should not be forgotten that digital assets are linked to as many products as possible so, considering the effort its production and delivery requires, the possibility of measuring the return on investment is very welcome.

This step is entrusted to automated algorithms, which are involved in the phases of content enrichment, delivery and analysis of its impact, freeing the hands of employees from the execution of repetitive tasks and making the publishing process faster and more efficient.


The Impact of Artificial Intelligence

Content is increasingly valuable to the business. This is confirmed by Nicola Meneghello, vendor of digital content management software (THRON). The companies that produce content in a customer-centric perspective have the best market performance and the greatest growth prospects.

In fact, the concept of a large cluster, focusing on the product is now outdated. We need to customize content for each individual user; intelligent content management tools help us process the required production volumes by automating distribution and aligning content creation to the needs of the audience, in a data-driven approach.

Artificial Intelligence will not only benefit business performance - as evidenced by research - but also the evolution of professional roles. In fact, we are going to witness an increased demand for technological skills, which will also have to invest the entire school and university system.

A new mindset will therefore be required, starting with a problem-solving attitude: with the support of AI it will be possible to rethink business processes and increase profitability.