In the third of our five-part series on adaptive content, Noz Urbina asks what is the driver for businesses to invest in adaptive content.
Adaptive content in a business context
Adaptive content is a type of intelligent content. It has the internal smarts for automatic publishing out to the various devices and channels that modern business needs to support with far less manual effort (ie, costs and delays) required. Simultaneously, it allows the brand to deliver highly nuanced and specific experiences to its customers.
Let’s look at how this plays out in the world of things like medical devices, microchips, pharmaceuticals, and other B2B industries, where adaptive content is seeing early adoption.
For this type of enterprise, it is compelling to have the ability to create and manage a single product overview, procedure, reference, or myriad other content types, while still being able to vary it according to multiple audience parameters. In large-scale e-commerce in either B2B or B2C, the same applies.
The commercial advantage
The advantage to business is that enterprises can adapt their customer content delivery, based on such things as:
- Industry / application – eg, those customers using products for industrial versus domestic use.
- Region – eg, different regional options or regulations.
- Point in the client’s maintenance cycle – eg, they should be paying special attention because this module is free under their current contract.
- Purchase history – eg, customer already owns compatible or related products.
- Point in their lifecycle – eg, project start, evaluation, growing business, active users.
- Audience persona – eg, procurement staff, users of various kinds, influencer, technical evaluator, commercial evaluator, your own in-house sales, service, training or support staff.
These days, with customers more and more defensive about their time and more accustomed to systems delivering for or even anticipating their interests, personalisation is big business.
Why personalisation isn’t enough
Being able to be more useful and relevant is a key market differentiator today, as research shows. Contexual personalisation with adaptive content – delivering content in a way that is optimised specifically for the user and their particular situation – is the next logical step. For now, the research has focused on personalisation in general.
On the B2B presales side:
- “Leads who are nurtured with personalised content produce a 20% increase in sales opportunities” (source: DemandGen Report of B2B marketers).
- According to CMI’s2014 B2B Content Marketing research report, nearly all B2B organisations (95%) make some attempt to segment their content based on their audience.
In the market in general:
- eConsultancy surveyed its contact base and found that 94% of businesses say personalisation is key to success.
- Again, the CMI tells us 90% of customers find custom content useful.
Unfortunately, large-scale studies on the full benefits of adaptive content, distinct from simple personalisation, are yet to be done.
These numbers are nevertheless clearly compelling – if you ask just about anyone out in the field, the demand is huge. However, there’s a lack of sufficiently skilled talent to implement it and only a few available tools to support it.
Adaptive content isn’t where the market’s at but it’s where it is very clearly and rapidly going. Adopting it takes training, skills, and time so companies are getting on board now to avoid starting multi-year transitions when the wave has already crashed.
Your next steps
In our next penultimate post, Noz will be asking how does adaptive content change the way content professionals work? Or you can read all five adaptive content posts in the series.
For a deeper understanding of adaptive content for content creators, Noz is also holding a series of training workshops in the UK and the USA this autumn on Content Personalisation Workshop: Adaptive Content Modeling – to explain the trend, and why it is increasingly on the radar of both businesses and content professionals alike.
Firehead readers can get a a 10% discount offer for any Urbina Consulting-run workshop (this doesn’t include workshops run in conjunction with conferences or third parties). Register with the code ‘UCNW10’ and you’ll get an extra 10% off entry (right now that means London but not New Orleans).
Noz Urbina is an author, content strategist and founder of Urbina Consulting.