Connect with us

MARKETING

Content Skills or Subject Matter Expertise?

Published

on

Content Skills or Subject Matter Expertise?

Whenever I hear someone use the term SME (pronounced “smee”) for subject matter expert, I imagine a Dr. Seuss-like character and accompanying verse:

On the 25th day of March, in the jungle of sales,
In the pall of the calls, the in of the bound,
He yelled, “Data! Information!” and other leadership sounds.
Then the SME stopped and turned slightly away.
He was out. Simply out. No more thoughts came his way.

Yes, the story of a thought leader who runs out of thoughts. I should write that.

But content teams typically face a slightly different problem. They struggle to decide who should express those thoughts.

Specifically, they wonder: “Should we bring in SMEs and teach them to write? Or should we hire writers and teach them the industry?”

Advertisement

Should you bring SMEs into your #ContentMarketing plans and teach them to write? Or hire writers and build their subject matter expertise? asks @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

That question reminds me of a great story about UPS that might be an urban legend (but I like it anyway). As the story goes, someone asked a UPS CEO how they encourage such excellent customer service from their drivers. The CEO answered, “We don’t hire drivers and teach them customer service. We hire friendly customer service reps and teach them to drive.”

Which comes first: Content skills or subject matter expertise?

Does that approach work in content marketing? Does it make more sense to try to get more content from subject matter experts or to try to instill subject matter expertise into content creators?

I’ve found the latter is almost always the better strategy.

When I was a CMO, the software company I worked for operated in a niche market that required a good amount of subject matter expertise and technical knowledge. I knew from my days as a writer in the entertainment business how rare content creation talent is.

My philosophy was to hire the best writers (often journalists) and designers I could find. I felt I could teach them enough of the subject matter to create great content. Interestingly, I also ended up teaching them marketing. In other words, I hired fantastic content creators and taught them the industry and marketing.

Advertisement

Spoiler alert: It worked.

But this philosophy works best when two fundamental things are true:

1. The business agrees to invest time and resources to help great content creators develop subject matter expertise. Developing expertise isn’t an overnight thing – it’s an ongoing process. SMEs usually aren’t great content creators because they’re so busy keeping up their knowledge that they don’t have the time to hone their content creation skills.

2. The content creators want to become at least basic-level SMEs. In my work with consulting clients, I’ve encountered content marketing teams made up of journalists and talented writers who don’t have any interest in the topics important to the business. They say things like, “Yeah, we’ve got thought leaders for that. I’m just here to make sure that the content is sound.” Those creators feel their job is simply to make sure the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed while earning better pay than they could as journalists. I tell these folks to start looking now – because they won’t be with the company for long.

How to build expertise on your content team

Assuming your company meets these two requirements, you need three elements to start balancing subject matter expertise and content creation skills.

1. Create an education program

I often recommend to my consulting clients that they create ongoing knowledge-sharing opportunities. For example, I ran Pizza and Knowledge Sharing Fridays in my CMO role. We’d invite technical subject matter experts to give an informal class to content creators over pizza. They’d talk about trends in the industry, go into depth about a particular challenge or just provide 101 education on how the technology worked.

Advertisement

You won’t need more thought leaders for your industry if you have content creators who know how to think about your industry. Investing in training about your topics and industry pays off.

Of course, you can do the reverse – hold classes to teach subject matter experts how to create content. Somehow those are never as well attended. I wonder why.

You won’t need more thought leaders for your industry if you have #content creators who know how to think about your industry, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

2. Integrate SMEs ride-alongs into your content creation process

Your content writers will never have the expertise of your best SMEs (though I’ve seen exceptions to this rule). But they don’t need it. Think about the best journalists in finance, for example. They aren’t necessarily expert money managers – but they have deep subject matter knowledge. Make sure these communities get time together to brainstorm and create ideas. Expose your content writers to the SMEs to help both groups amplify their voices (in their limited time).

Your #content writers will never have the expertise of your best SMEs (though I’ve seen exceptions to this rule). But they don’t need it, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

For example, in my CMO job, I wanted our CTO to have a blog. He was a busy guy who didn’t want to write. I encouraged him to leave me voicemails about the things on his mind as he was driving home. I’d have a service transcribe the voicemail, and I’d give the transcript to a writer who would transform it into a blog post with the CTO’s byline. They met once a month to make sure he was happy with the resulting post. This gave our CTO a well-written blog post once a month (or sometimes multiple times).

Advertisement

Try to incorporate interviews, monthly meetings, ride-alongs, or whatever works to give your content writers access to the SME (and the SME to the writer). They’ll build trust and appreciation for each other’s skills.

3. Consider renting as you scale

You only want to invest in people who you believe will hang around. So, most of your education investment should go into employees vs. freelancers. But you don’t be afraid to rent top-level thought leadership occasionally.

Invest in training in-house #content creators, But don’t be afraid to rent top-level thought leaders occasionally, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

As part of your strategy, you can include “renting” subject matter experts (including journalists) in your space. Remember, many people who write for newspapers, magazines, and other publications have their own blogs or content platforms and may be open to freelance opportunities. “Renting” their services helps you fill editorial gaps and (potentially) educate both your SMEs and your in-house content creators.

Over time, you can start to build a strategy that balances subject matter expertise and content creation and hiring employees vs. outsourcing. For example, you might plan to rely on:

  • A level-one expert content creator – an in-house SME who can write and even teach other writers
  • A level-one expert freelancer – an outsourced SME who creates content occasionally
  • A level-two expert creator – an in-house employee who knows enough to write the framework or transform raw SME material into great content
  • A level-three expert creator – a freelance writer who can transform SME material into well-constructed articles with some input
  • A level-four expert – A junior in-house or freelance writer who needs well-formed topics and subject matter support to turn out a decent article

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT: 

When the SME finds me

Perform an audit of where you are now. Then start building your hiring and education and freelance plan to develop your content-team strategy.

Advertisement

You’ll end up with a happy ending for your Dr. Seuss rhyme:

The SME stopped and turned slightly away
He was out. Simply out. No more thoughts came his way.
The SME sighed, then laughed and opened up Slack
Because he knew of a crew that could build those thoughts right back.
It was Me that he found, Me, the creator.
Together we’d scramble and put pen to paper.
Because I knew his world, I’d help him adjust
And put more thoughts in his head that he could just trust.
On the 25th day of March, in the jungle of sales
The SME and Me create content that prevails.

It’s your story. Tell it well.

Get Robert’s take on content marketing industry news in just three minutes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries
Subscribe to workday or weekly CMI emails to get Rose-Colored Glasses in your inbox each week.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute




Source link

Advertisement
Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address

MARKETING

The Role of Enterprise Mobility Management in Modern Businesses

Published

on

The Role of Enterprise Mobility Management in Modern Businesses

In today’s fast-paced business environment, Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) has emerged as a critical facilitator for enhancing operational efficiency and competitiveness. EMM solutions streamline workflows, ensuring that enterprises can adapt to the rapidly changing digital landscape. This blog discusses the indispensable role of EMM in modern businesses, focusing on how it revolutionizes workflows and positions businesses for success.

EMM solutions act as the backbone for securely managing mobile devices, applications, and content that facilitate remote work and on-the-go access to company resources. With a robust EMM platform, businesses can ensure data protection and compliance with regulatory requirements, even in highly dynamic environments. This not only minimizes the risk of data breaches but also reinforces the company’s reputation for reliability and security.

Seamless Integration Across Devices

In today’s digital era, seamless integration across devices is not just a luxury; it’s a necessity for maintaining operational fluency within any organization. Our EMM solutions are designed to ensure that employees have secure and efficient access to the necessary resources, irrespective of the device being used. This cross-platform compatibility significantly enhances productivity by allowing for a unified user experience that supports both the agility and dynamism required in modern business operations. Leveraging cutting-edge technology, our solutions provide a cohesive ecosystem where data flows securely and effortlessly across mobile phones, tablets, and laptops, ensuring that your workforce remains connected and productive, regardless of their physical location. The adoption of our EMM solutions speaks volumes about an organization’s commitment to fostering a technologically forward and secure working environment, echoing its dedication to innovation and excellence.

Enhanced Productivity

EMM facilitates the seamless integration of mobile devices into the corporate environment, enabling employees to access corporate resources from anywhere. This flexibility significantly enhances productivity by allowing tasks to be completed outside of traditional office settings.

Unified Endpoint Management

The incorporation of Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) within EMM solutions ensures that both mobile and fixed devices can be managed from a single console, simplifying IT operations and enhancing security.

Advertisement

Advanced Security Protocols

Where cyber threats loom larger than ever, our EMM solutions incorporate cutting-edge security protocols designed to shield your organization’s data from unauthorized access and breaches. By consistently updating and refining our security measures, we ensure your assets are protected by the most advanced defenses available. This commitment to security not only safeguards your information but also reinforces your company’s reputation as a secure and trustworthy enterprise.

Data Protection

EMM solutions implement robust security measures to protect sensitive corporate data across all mobile devices. This includes encryption, secure VPN connections, and the ability to remotely wipe data from lost or stolen devices, thereby mitigating potential data breaches.

Compliance Management

By enforcing security policies and ensuring compliance with regulatory standards, EMM helps businesses avoid costly fines and reputational damage associated with data breaches.

Driving Operational Efficiency

In the quest to drive operational efficiency, our solutions streamline processes, reduce redundancies, and automate routine tasks. By leveraging cutting-edge technologies, we empower businesses to optimize their workflows, resulting in significant time and cost savings. Our approach not only enhances operational agility but also positions your organization at the forefront of innovation, setting a new standard in your industry.

Automated Workflows

By automating repetitive tasks, EMM reduces manual efforts, increases accuracy, and speeds up business processes. This automation supports operational efficiency and allows employees to focus on more strategic tasks.

Real-time Communication and Collaboration

EMM enhances communication and collaboration among team members by providing tools that facilitate real-time interactions. This immediate exchange of information accelerates decision-making processes and improves project outcomes.

Advertisement

Testimonials from Industry Leaders

Leaders in various industries have witnessed tangible benefits from implementing EMM solutions, including increased productivity, improved security, and enhanced operational efficiency. Testimonials from these leaders underscore the transformative impact of EMM on their businesses, solidifying its vital role in modern operational strategies.

Our commitment to innovation and excellence propels us to continually refine our EMM solutions, ensuring they remain at the cutting edge of technology. This dedication not only solidifies our standing as industry leaders but also guarantees that our clients receive the most advanced and effective operational tools available, tailored specifically to meet their unique business challenges.

Looking Ahead

The evolution of EMM solutions continues at a rapid pace, with advancements in technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and the Internet of Things (IoT) further enhancing their capabilities. These developments promise even greater efficiencies, security measures, and competitive advantages for businesses willing to invest in the future of mobility management.

Our proactive approach to integrating emerging technologies with EMM solutions positions our clients at the forefront of their industries. By leveraging our deep technical expertise and industry insights, we empower businesses to not only adapt to but also lead in an increasingly digital world, ensuring they remain competitive and resilient amidst rapid technological shifts.

In conclusion, the role of Enterprise Mobility Management in modern businesses cannot be overstated. Its ability to revolutionize workflows, enhance security, and drive operational efficiency positions it as a foundational element of digital transformation strategies. We invite businesses to explore the potential of EMM solutions and partner with us to achieve unprecedented levels of success and innovation in the digital era. Together, we can redefine the boundaries of what is possible in business operations and set new benchmarks for excellence in the industry.

Source link

Advertisement
Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

MARKETING

Lessons From Air Canada’s Chatbot Fail

Published

on

Lessons From Air Canada’s Chatbot Fail

Air Canada tried to throw its chatbot under the AI bus.

It didn’t work.

A Canadian court recently ruled Air Canada must compensate a customer who bought a full-price ticket after receiving inaccurate information from the airline’s chatbot.

Air Canada had argued its chatbot made up the answer, so it shouldn’t be liable. As Pepper Brooks from the movie Dodgeball might say, “That’s a bold strategy, Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off for ’em.” 

But what does that chatbot mistake mean for you as your brands add these conversational tools to their websites? What does it mean for the future of search and the impact on you when consumers use tools like Google’s Gemini and OpenAI’s ChatGPT to research your brand?

Advertisement

AI disrupts Air Canada

AI seems like the only topic of conversation these days. Clients expect their agencies to use it as long as they accompany that use with a big discount on their services. “It’s so easy,” they say. “You must be so happy.”

Boards at startup companies pressure their management teams about it. “Where are we on an AI strategy,” they ask. “It’s so easy. Everybody is doing it.” Even Hollywood artists are hedging their bets by looking at the newest generative AI developments and saying, “Hmmm … Do we really want to invest more in humans?  

Let’s all take a breath. Humans are not going anywhere. Let me be super clear, “AI is NOT a strategy. It’s an innovation looking for a strategy.” Last week’s Air Canada decision may be the first real-world distinction of that.

The story starts with a man asking Air Canada’s chatbot if he could get a retroactive refund for a bereavement fare as long as he provided the proper paperwork. The chatbot encouraged him to book his flight to his grandmother’s funeral and then request a refund for the difference between the full-price and bereavement fair within 90 days. The passenger did what the chatbot suggested.

Advertisement

Air Canada refused to give a refund, citing its policy that explicitly states it will not provide refunds for travel after the flight is booked.

When the passenger sued, Air Canada’s refusal to pay got more interesting. It argued it should not be responsible because the chatbot was a “separate legal entity” and, therefore, Air Canada shouldn’t be responsible for its actions.

I remember a similar defense in childhood: “I’m not responsible. My friends made me do it.” To which my mom would respond, “Well, if they told you to jump off a bridge, would you?”

My favorite part of the case was when a member of the tribunal said what my mom would have said, “Air Canada does not explain why it believes …. why its webpage titled ‘bereavement travel’ was inherently more trustworthy than its chatbot.”

The BIG mistake in human thinking about AI

That is the interesting thing as you deal with this AI challenge of the moment. Companies mistake AI as a strategy to deploy rather than an innovation to a strategy that should be deployed. AI is not the answer for your content strategy. AI is simply a way to help an existing strategy be better.

Generative AI is only as good as the content — the data and the training — fed to it.  Generative AI is a fantastic recognizer of patterns and understanding of the probable next word choice. But it’s not doing any critical thinking. It cannot discern what is real and what is fiction.

Advertisement

Think for a moment about your website as a learning model, a brain of sorts. How well could it accurately answer questions about the current state of your company? Think about all the help documents, manuals, and educational and training content. If you put all of that — and only that — into an artificial brain, only then could you trust the answers.

Your chatbot likely would deliver some great results and some bad answers. Air Canada’s case involved a minuscule challenge. But imagine when it’s not a small mistake. And what about the impact of unintended content? Imagine if the AI tool picked up that stray folder in your customer help repository — the one with all the snarky answers and idiotic responses? Or what if it finds the archive that details everything wrong with your product or safety? AI might not know you don’t want it to use that content.

ChatGPT, Gemini, and others present brand challenges, too

Publicly available generative AI solutions may create the biggest challenges.

I tested the problematic potential. I asked ChatGPT to give me the pricing for two of the best-known CRM systems. (I’ll let you guess which two.) I asked it to compare the pricing and features of the two similar packages and tell me which one might be more appropriate.

First, it told me it couldn’t provide pricing for either of them but included the pricing page for each in a footnote. I pressed the citation and asked it to compare the two named packages. For one of them, it proceeded to give me a price 30% too high, failing to note it was now discounted. And it still couldn’t provide the price for the other, saying the company did not disclose pricing but again footnoted the pricing page where the cost is clearly shown.

In another test, I asked ChatGPT, “What’s so great about the digital asset management (DAM) solution from [name of tech company]?” I know this company doesn’t offer a DAM system, but ChatGPT didn’t.

Advertisement

It returned with an answer explaining this company’s DAM solution was a wonderful, single source of truth for digital assets and a great system. It didn’t tell me it paraphrased the answer from content on the company’s webpage that highlighted its ability to integrate into a third-party provider’s DAM system.

Now, these differences are small. I get it. I also should be clear that I got good answers for some of my harder questions in my brief testing. But that’s what’s so insidious. If users expected answers that were always a little wrong, they would check their veracity. But when the answers seem right and impressive, even though they are completely wrong or unintentionally accurate, users trust the whole system.

That’s the lesson from Air Canada and the subsequent challenges coming down the road.

AI is a tool, not a strategy

Remember, AI is not your content strategy. You still need to audit it. Just as you’ve done for over 20 years, you must ensure the entirety of your digital properties reflect the current values, integrity, accuracy, and trust you want to instill.

AI will not do this for you. It cannot know the value of those things unless you give it the value of those things. Think of AI as a way to innovate your human-centered content strategy. It can express your human story in different and possibly faster ways to all your stakeholders.

But only you can know if it’s your story. You have to create it, value it, and manage it, and then perhaps AI can help you tell it well. 

Advertisement
Like what you read here? Get yourself a subscription to daily or weekly updates.  It’s free – and you can change your preferences or unsubscribe anytime.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT:

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

MARKETING

Only 6% of global marketers apply customer insights to product and brand

Published

on

Only 6% of global marketers apply customer insights to product and brand

While many brands talk about focusing on the customer, few do it. Less than a quarter (24%) of global brands are mapping customer behavior and sentiment, according to Braze’s 2024 Customer Engagement Review. What’s worse, only 6% apply customer insights to their product and brand approach.

“At the end of the day, a lot of companies operate based on their structure and not how the consumer interacts with them,” Mariam Asmar, VP of strategic consulting, told MarTech. “And while some companies have done a great job of reorienting that, with roles like the chief customer officer, there are many more that still don’t. Cross-channel doesn’t exist because there are still all these silos. But the customer doesn’t care about your silos. The customer doesn’t see silos. They see a brand.”

Half of all marketers report either depending on multiple, siloed point solutions to cobble together a multi-channel experience manually (33%); or primarily relying on single-channel solutions (17%).  Only 30% have access to a single customer engagement platform capable of creating personalized, seamless experiences across channels. This is a huge problem when it comes to cross-channel, personalization.

The persistence of silos

The persistence of data silos despite decades of explanation about the problems they cause, surprised Asmar the most.

Advertisement
Screenshot 2024 02 27 140015
Source: Braze 2024 Global Customer Engagement Review

“Why are we still talking about this?” she said to MarTech. “One of the themes I see in the report is we’re still getting caught up on some of the same stumbling blocks as before.”

She said silos are indicative of teams working on different goals and “the only way that gets unsolved is if a leader comes in and aligns people towards some of those goals.”

These silos also hinder the use of AI, something 99% of respondents said they were already doing. The top uses of AI by marketers are:

  • Generating creative ideas (48%).
  • Automating repetitive tasks (47%).
  • Optimizing strategies in real-time (47%).
  • Enhancing data analysis (47%).
  • Powering predictive analytics (45%).
  • Personalizing campaigns (44%). 

Despite the high usage numbers, less than half of marketers have any interest in exploring AI’s potential to enhance customer engagement. Asmar believes there are two main reasons for this. First is that many people like the systems they know and understand. The other reason is a lack of training on the part of companies.

Dig deeper: 5 ways CRMs are leveraging AI to automate marketing today

“I think about when I was in advertising and everybody switched to social media,” she told MarTech. “Companies acted like ‘Well, all the marketers will just figure out social media.’ You can’t do that because whenever you’re teaching somebody how to do something new there’s always a level of training them up, even though they’re apps that we use every day, as people using them as a business and how they apply, how we get impact from them.”

The good news is that brands are setting the stage for the data agility they need.

  • 50% export performance feedback to business intelligence platforms to generate advanced analytics.
  • 48% sync performance with insights generated by other platforms in the business.

Also worth noting: Marketers say these are the four main obstacles to creativity and strategy:  

  • Emphasis on KPIs inherently inhibits a focus on creativity (42%).
  • Too much time spent on business-as-usual execution and tasks (42%).
  • Lack of technology to execute creative ideas, (41%).
  • Hard to demonstrate ROI impact of creativity (40%).
Screenshot 2024 02 27 135952Screenshot 2024 02 27 135952

Methodology

The 2024 Global Customer Engagement Review (registration required) is based on insights from 1,900 VP+ marketing decision-makers across 14 countries in three global regions: The Americas (Brazil, Mexico, and the US), APAC (Australia, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea), and EMEA (France, Germany, Spain, the UAE, and the UK).

Advertisement

Get MarTech! Daily. Free. In your inbox.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

Trending

Follow by Email
RSS