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5 Keys to Orchestrating Your Marketing Content: Keeping the Beat in a Changing Technology Environment

The Bitter End in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, is a classic music venue—one where stars such as Bob Dylan, Sting, and Lady Gaga have played in the early days of their music careers.  Two years ago, my band, The Drops, was fortunate to spend a night playing at the Bitter End. As the drummer, I always have a great seat for the show, and my job, regardless of all the noise and commotion, is to keep the beat strong and steady so that the other band members can stay focused and the audience can have a truly great experience. Likewise, within today’s rapidly evolving marketing technology infrastructure, keeping a steady beat is more important than ever in order to orchestrate marketing content and ensure a meaningful customer experience across a myriad of devices, channels, and customer types.  Achieving this harmony requires that Strategy, Creative, Technology, and Analytics are all in sync. Of course, that’s easier said than done!

With that in mind, here are 5 keys to orchestrating your marketing content and crafting meaningful customer experiences in today’s increasingly complex technology environment.

1). Get in Sync
While the drummer can maintain steady beats per minute, it doesn’t mean that everyone else is going to keep the rhythm. If some parts of your marketing are reaching a crescendo while other parts are off doing a solo jazz riff, the end result is not going to be effective in the marketplace, and customers will be confused, or ignore you, or both. Now that marketing technology spans multiple channels—TV, print, web, social, and mobile—content synchronicity is essential for cross-platform consistency. Cognizant AssetServe, a Digital Asset management solution, does just that—ensuring that all of the content flows from a single source. Combined with Cadient’s Responsive Design approach, brand teams have all the power to ensure synchronicity.

However, great content marketing does not simply arise in a vacuum. In order for your content marketing efforts to maintain a consistently high level, key stakeholders must be aligned, and in sustained communication. Use the power of the SMAC stack (Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud) to keep all of the different stakeholders, internal and external, abreast and aligned. Yes, there’s an app for that!

2). Know What to Accent
A metronome certainly has regular beats, but no one enjoys listening to it! Don’t let your content marketing become monotonous. Content marketing needs accents, with some content played louder than normal in order to spice up the flow. This can be achieved through targeted promotion, unique content, or unexpected channel placements. Adding “marketing syncopation” changes the feel of your campaign by adding accents where and when your customers aren’t expecting it. For example, Social Channels are particularly useful to accent around a live event or in response to news flow about a brand, while Visual Storytelling delivered via infographics can offer fresh insights and understanding for your customers.

3). Adapt to the Venue and Your Audience
If you’re truly focused on a great audience experience, it’s critical to spend time before the show testing your equipment and adjusting your levels. The drummer is usually the first one at the show and the last one to leave, and successful marketers need to have the same level of dedication to their craft. Customer niches each have their own unique sound and “marketing acoustics”—certain types of content will reverberate with power, while other types of content will sound cheap, even painful to the ears. This is where rich analytics comes into play—analytical solutions such as Reveal and One Voice from Cadient, coupled with Cognizant’s market-leading Analytics practice, can help clients truly segment their customers (eg, HCPs, patients), understand the customer journey for each segment, and understand how to best adapt their core messages. Harnessing these all of these analytical insights in concert allows brand teams to deliver great-sounding messages crafted for maximum audience impact. By taking the time to really get in touch with your audience, your brand can deliver rich innovation, combined with tight integration and implementation.

4). Have Your Encore Ready
What do you want the audience talking about after the show? How does your marketing story end? Make sure you’ve given thought to your “marketing encore”. Ultimately, what action do you want your customers to take? The banking industry calls that NBA (Next Best Action).  Other firms focus on NPS(Net Promoter Score), by asking the question “How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?” Regardless of how you measure it, you need to know your brands’ equivalent to having the audience dancing in the aisles, and then determine what actions you must take in order to keep them dancing after every interaction.

5). After the Show, Connect With Your Fans—Anywhere, Anytime
Today’s customers are much less about a physical place, and much more about a virtual community. Ask the audience to join your “fan club” and provide them with special “back stage passes.” New platforms of collaboration—social and mobile computing combined with global reach and scale—allow you to build a global fan base. Ask them to sing along with you. By understanding their “code halo,” the distinct digital footprint that defines their likes and preferences, you have the opportunity to build a scalable, yet intimate fan base like never before!

Conclusion
If you want your marketing content and customer-facing platforms to really rock the house, then you need to do more than simply show up with your instruments and hope for the best. Great modern day drummers like Stewart Copeland or Neil Peart practice their craft day in and day out, experiment and innovate, and most importantly seem to always know when to break out into a gigantic drum solo and when to just “stay in the pocket.” Today’s successful marketing technologists need to get the proper platforms in place, take the time to understand their audience, produce content that will resonate, and make sure to serve it up in interesting ways. Once they’ve attracted an audience, marketers need to drive valuable next steps and ultimately aim to build a legion of loyal fans. Then it’s time to get the band back together and get ready for the next great show!

 

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Shankar Narayanan
Shankar is the Global Head (Markets) of the Life Sciences business unit of Cognizant. In this capacity, he is also a member of the Executive Leadership Team at Cognizant which comprises the top 50 leaders of Cognizant. Shankar joined Cognizant in 2012 to lead Global Strategy for the Life Sciences Business Unit. Prior to Cognizant, Shankar spent 15 years of experience as a Partner and top management consultant at McKinsey & Company in North America and India, counseling CXOs, developing and executing organic and inorganic growth strategies, and architecting and delivering large scale transformation programs.

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