The role of a strategist is chiefly to provide direction. We enable our clients to move forward and combat a challenge they are, or soon will, be facing.
Increasingly they are seeking practical strategies to deliver against rapidly evolving consumer needs, business requirements and technological developments. These approaches effectively combine tools and techniques to enable decision making and push high level strategic requirements forward. Content is a topic that continually raises its head when it comes to practical strategy. It’s considered a complex element to distil neatly, manage and progress.
In order to deliver content more effectively, which has a measurable impact on your organisation, we have developed a framework built on five key building blocks that need to be in place.
1. Strategy – what does content mean for your organisation?
This isn’t a 100-page report but a succinct and aspirational positioning for content. Typically consisting of a vision, purpose and objectives, it joins the dots between the broader business strategy and content.
2. Insight and Analysis – how do you improve?
Insight dictates how your content will develop. It is imperative that there is a clear plan of how it is going to shape your output. Key considerations include identifying your sources (data and people), deciding how it is gathered, analysed and shared.
3. Team – what skills and capability do you have and will you potentially need?
The team is crucial to success. However, it is often the most difficult element to manage, largely down to role sensitivities and prescriptive organisational structures. Begin by assessing your existing skills and capabilities against your strategy and understand where any gaps lie. Don’t shy aware from putting in strong leadership that shapes direction and devolves responsibility to a multi-disciplinary team.
4. Tools and Process – how is content delivered?
What does your team need to enable the optimum creation and management of content? Mapping your organisation’s multitude of tools and process can be a daunting task. Consider creating a ‘service blueprint’. Borrowed from service design methodology, a service blueprint simply maps your internal process with the customer journey, bringing the two much closer together.
5. Technology – how can technology enhance your content?
It has both influence from a strategic and operational perspective. Today, much discussion surrounds ‘headless’ and AI.
• Differing from the traditional model, headless CMSs see the content management backend separated from the front-end delivery layer, broadly meaning content can be sent anywhere and published in any way.
• AI has been touted to revolutionise content by bringing creation and delivery much closer together. Today large media organisations, many in the financial sector, are leading the way with – see Washington Post’s Heliograf, Forbes Bertie and Bloomsberg’s Cyborg.
In all of these cases, each type of tech could be extremely valuable to organisations looking to be ‘truly omni-channel’ and scale quickly.
Content can be unwieldy and difficult to negotiate. There is often a temptation to plough the same furrows, detaching it from business strategy and keeping its production and delivery ringfenced by channel or discipline.
By considering the five building blocks this should ensure there is greater understanding of the direction of travel, alongside an on-going sense of performance and clear delineation of responsibility which embraces greater collaboration.
Common factors that effect the impact and scale of work organisations can undertake include stakeholder involvement and budget. We have therefore designed three programme levels that can flex and scale according to need. The main difference between them is the overall scope and depth of response:
Level 1) Quick wins
A tactically-focused approach that looks to find and identify blockers to progress quickly. Ideally run in cycles, the outputs tend to provide short to mid-term solutions.
Level 2) Refined scope
A content strategy and framework shaped around a specific audience or channel i.e. social.
Level 3) Full scope
The end to end provision of a content strategy and delivery framework that would be rolled out and embedded in conjunction with us.
If you’d like to learn how we can help your business develop and deliver an actionable content strategy, please get in touch.