The ongoing disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic means that more and more of us are relying on digital to go about our lives. Content agility for B2B companies has proved to be crucial as sales situations change dramatically, requiring rapid responses to the customer as both sellers and buyers become accustomed to remote and digital interactions. The focus of B2B marketers has shifted to using online to build and maintain relationships with potential customers. So what is content agility and how can it be utilised to grow your B2B company?
Agile doesn’t just mean adopting iterative and responsive ways of working. It means an approach that calls for a new operating model, one that is customer-centric and supported by the right processes and management.
According to McKinsey ,the best B2B sales organisations exhibit five trademarks that make them truly agile:
- Common aspiration across the sales organisation
- Network of empowered sales teams (supported by digital capabilities)
- Rapid decisions and dynamic pipeline management
- Dynamic people support to foster customer-centric sales capabilities
- Next-generation-enabling technology
All of these brands possess both stable and dynamic practices that combine to create an agile sales operations model. For instance, an agile sales organisation will continuously prioritise accounts and deals and make rapid decisions about where to invest. Yet this approach can only be effective when it is underpinned by a clear, detailed growth plan developed by a cross-functional team that has shared sales goals. And for the local sales and global business teams to be able to make rapid decisions, both units need to be using the same robust pipeline management system.
What is content agility?
This agile business model can also be applied to content. Content agility is a term used to describe the scalable capacity to optimise the end-to-end process of delivering customer experiences. Becoming more agile means eliminating the technical bottlenecks that often occur with delivery and focusing on the authoring experience so that content creators and agencies can respond rapidly and provide fast deliveries and updates of online experiences.
How can a B2B Company ensure content agility?
Our expertise at Word and Pixel has led us to identify three key factors in getting content agility right to drive your B2B sales. Technically, your business needs to make sure that the author experience and tool stack are spot on. The third factor is the human aspect, that’s to say making sure that your teams are onboard with a comprehensive business enablement plan in place.
Aim for an outstanding author experience
You won’t succeed in building a great customer experience if you don’t have a great author experience behind it. Authoring refers to the management part of content management, where your teams can implement changes to improve the consumer experience.
The authoring workload has increased exponentially in recent years, driven by consumer expectations for a personalised, smooth and consistent experience across all platforms and devices. And that demand has risen yet again with the move towards content-driven ecommerce experiences and the impact of Covid-19 on the online landscape. This has required brands to push out more content faster than ever and to be able to respond rapidly to data that can help improve and personalise the consumer experience.
Technology providers are responding with new, intuitive tools. For instance, it’s now possible to create a single page application (SPA) for a website that works like a dream for the customer while the back end writes like a normal CMS. Don’t underestimate the importance of equipping your teams with an authoring experience they can navigate quickly and easily.
Identify and build the right stack
For B2B marketers, identifying the right tools and technologies to support their efforts to deliver relevant and timely content to their target audience might seem like a daunting task. After all, there are a variety of options and it may not be immediately obvious which ones are needed to establish new best practices and improve agility.
As a starting point, we recommend reviewing your existing platforms to determine where the gaps are in your capabilities and what needs to be added to achieve your business strategy and goals.
Then, when adding fresh technology features, you can establish new best practices that lead to more agility. Every tool in the stack creates, analyses, or consumes data and for efficient execution they must be effectively integrated to serve a common purpose.
When you add new tools, context is critical. If you just need to get to market quickly and support the core business commercially, a single commerce engine is probably still the right place to start. If you’re more advanced with ecommerce, you’ll likely opt for a headless ecommerce approach that allows you to deliver even richer and more relevant content across all platforms and devices without having to sacrifice speed and immediacy. For a more relevant experience, you can add targeting and decisioning tools to dynamically personalise the content. Your data and context should drive your technology investment decisions.
Onboard and empower your teams
What could go wrong when the right technology is available? With statistics stating that up to 70% of digital transformation projects fail, the answer is: quite a lot, actually. The term enablement is often used interchangeably with training. However, this is far too simplistic a comparison. Effective digital enablement manages all the adjustment, communication and training required to drive business value through a digital platform, bringing together operational knowledge, best practices and management.
Overall, the benefits of content agility for your B2B company are clear in terms of cost and effort savings. The resulting revenue growth that the right experiences delivered to the right customers at the right time and at scale could bring is certainly a goal for any business to focus on in 2021. And Word and Pixel is here to make sure you achieve it.