December 31, 2021 | 4 Min

How Agile Content Production Can Help Your Retail Brand Thrive in 2022 and Beyond

Nick Sibley
AuthorNick Sibley
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So you’re looking to grow?

Whether it’s increasing share of voice or category sales, the approach is still the same: you’ll need to squeeze more out of your content production. And in the wake of Covid-driven change, consumers now expect more from their online experience.

75% of customers are willing to spend more from a company with a good digital experience. 50% will switch to a competitor after a bad one - ZenDesk

Companies have been forced to innovate beyond their comfort zone and consumers have quickly adapted. Anything less than a great experience will frustrate and turn them away.

To meet that need your content teams will have to work more efficiently and effectively than ever before to capitalize on new channels, trends and opportunities before your competitors do.

Getting out in front

Content is a key strategic tool for building brand equity and awareness, while establishing your brand personality in the minds of your target audiences.

In this age of content marketing you need the agility to react to social trends and stay relevant, evolving and optimizing your digital shopping experiences to capitalize on every consumer that visits your site.

How? By taking a leaf out of the software development book and getting agile.

ECommerce and marketing have historically followed a waterfall process. Campaigns are separated out by team specialisms, with each team delivering their component before passing it on to the next team.

To increase the volume of content your team delivers, however, you’ll need to increase the speed of delivery.

This is where the waterfall approach fails and agile excels. The waterfall approach was made for a time when marketing and cultural trends were slower and there was more time to react and hone the messaging.

A waterfall approach promotes siloes. Teams operate independently, leaving space for briefs to be misunderstood, brand guidelines neglected and time wasted. Campaigns take weeks – even months – to go from concept to launch and everyone wants to have their say, in their own time.

All of this can result in people focussing on their specific part of the digital shopping experience rather than looking at it as a whole.

Success metrics end up being focussed on individual specialisms rather than promoting cross-functional collaboration. Teams can end up being inwards-looking, neglecting to keep the customer at the heart of all they do.

In the worst scenario it can establish a tribal mentality. Relationships and collaborations between departments break down and people develop content in isolation.

The net result? Slower content delivery, a lower volume of content and an inconsistent experience for your customers.

How to make agile happen

Agile methodology breaks down siloes and places the consumer at the heart of your content creation.

Rather than passing content from one department to the other you build teams dedicated to content production, comprised with all the subject matter experts you need, with the power to act and make decisions.

We call these Content eXperience Operation teams (CXOps).

CXOps follow the process of war-rooms (a process championed by Amazon): small teams comprised of subject matter experts dedicated to achieving a particular goal over a set timeframe – in this case the customer experience, with a particular focus on content.

The next step is to make sure all your different CXOps teams are fully joined up in the way they think and work. To do this we recommend setting up a specialized content oversight and operations team (SCOOT) to ensure the separate CXOps do not result in a disjointed customer experience. The CXOps focus on the strategy, vision and objectives while the SCOOT focuses on execution.

A SCOOT should be comprised of the business and technical resources required to bring the CXOps objectives to fruition: copywriters, graphic designers, CMS/eCommerce platform experts and so on. SCOOTs should be at the heart of all content decisions, with oversight into what each CXOps team is doing to make sure everything stays consistent.

All this means you can make decisions and progress content faster and more effectively, paving the way for a digital experience that exceeds your customers’ expectations in 2022 and beyond.

Want to learn how to implement an agile content production process?

Download our latest whitepaper, from resident eCommerce expert Mike Badamo