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Taming the Content Lifecycle with Automation

As businesses integrate print-centric communications with the multiple digital channels now available, the traditional print-based methods of creating, approving, publishing, distributing, and tracking are evolving. Content automation tools are designed to help the delays in previewing as well as approving content and designs for different media. It also facilitates the efficient creation, updating, and re-use of content across multiple channels.

  • Businesses spend, on average, USD $801.0K a year on content-related technology.
  • Technical documents, training materials, and product data sheets are the top three business-critical types of content for the businesses surveyed (although this does vary by industry).
  • Most respondents feel that they have no understanding or insight into who is consuming their published content, how they are doing so, and on which devices their published content is being consumed.

The Content Publishing Lifecycle and Automation

The content publishing lifecycle includes all components of creating, distributing, and tracking of business critical content (e.g., technical documents, data sheets, and sales collateral). Software and systems that automate any part of these processes are referred to as “content automation” tools. The ultimate objective for content automation is to eliminate as many manual processes as possible to increase productivity, reduce costs, ensure compliance, and increase the effectiveness of content.

Content Strategy and Insights

Providing interactive and engaging content is critical to business initiatives. In an InfoTrends survey of enterprises from various industries, an overwhelming 83% of respondents acknowledged this. The difficulty lies in creating, regulating, and repurposing that content over multiple channels. Over half of respondents regularly deliver content over print, PDF, online, and through mobile channels. Many organizational resources are unfortunately wasted due to a lack of content automation and this is compounded by the siloed nature of the organization where one line of business or department may duplicate the efforts of others. A majority (75%) of respondents agreed that content strategy was fragmented across the organization.

Once the content has been distributed, enterprises are beginning to make use of tracking and/or using analytics to gain insights into how, when, and through what channel content is being consumed. In fact, 58% of respondents are applying analytics to their content and another 16% plan to do so in the future. The marketing (and, to a lesser extent, IT) department is responsible for providing the organization with data and insights regarding any published content.

The challenge, as with any data, is how to best interpret it to gain insights for charting any future initiatives or direction relating to content. This is often a skillset that is not as prevalent in marketing departments as it may be in other departments, such as IT. This might be due to the discrepancy of having the data but lacking the ability to extract useful information from it (as reported by 44% of the respondents). Enterprises need to overcome this challenge (think –new hires, staff training or a partnership with Tukaiz!), considering the acumen derived from data analytics is a critical part of the feedback loop to automate and optimize content.

Despite the advanced technology for content publishing available today, businesses continue to struggle with their digital content capabilities, fractured and isolated content strategies, as well as inefficient reviewing processes. Improving customer engagement and satisfaction requires enterprises to streamline their content processes, and (more importantly) understand the how, by whom, and by what the published content is being consumed. With a full understanding of the entire content lifecycle, enterprises can make more informed decisions in regards to the technology used to create and distribute mission critical information.