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Building a foundation for digital success at KMWorld 2019

At KMWorld 2019, Jason Hein, director, delivery services, Earley Information Science, presented a session titled "Building Strong Foundations for Digital Success."

There is a whirlwind of new opportunities and new potential directions for companies planning for the next step in their digital maturity. Concepts such as conversational commerce, product configurators, recommendation engines, and mass personalization may be new now, but they may quickly become table stakes for digitally savvy firms.

Videos of KMWorld 2019 awards presentations,  keynotes, and sessions can be found here.

But what about firms that are behind on the transformation curve?  Hein laid out the basics of content rulebooks and why they are critical in digital transformation. Content rulebooks are a collection of tools that document the details about your products and they exist to capture (and institutionalize) an organization's “tribal knowledge” of its products. Rulebooks capture behind the "what" to cover what products you sell, how your products are grouped, how your products are defined, how your products are related, and how your products are described.

Each rulebook component documents different aspects of content

  • Taxonomy—How your products are grouped
  • Attribution—How your products are defined
  • Relationships—How your products are related
  • Enrichments—How your products are described, including stories, text, images

In the digital world, physical comparisons are impossible or impractical so implicit characteristics must be made explicit through comprehensive lists of attributes, said Hein.

Key challenges of content rulebooks include the following:

  • Keeping them current with selection
  • Maintaining SKU compliance
  • Matching optimization to metrics
  • Balancing internal and market perspective
  • Aligning with channel partner rulebooks

The bottom line, said Hein, is that content strategy is difficult because it is a complex problem

  • Organizations should be prepared to “Manage, not Solve”
  • Adopt the philosophy of “Try, Learn, Adapt”

Content Rulebooks “carve out” parts of complexity and make them complicated

  • Segment and narrow focus as you mature
  • Control what you can—when it becomes necessary
  • Analytics is critical to prioritizing
  • Technology scales capabilities—it doesn’t write rules

Manage the complexity by controlling what you can and managing the rest, advised Hein, and be sure to let rulebooks evolve over time—constantly test them and improve them (and use data). In addition, he said, organizations should be practical about technology—it will not write the rulebooks, rather it will help you scale the rulebooks.

Just having a rulebook doesn't solve all problems. Organizations need to make sure that rulebooks are alive and current because the minute that you stop updating them people will stop using them.

KMWorld 2019 is a part of a unique program of five co-located conferences, which also includes Enterprise Search & Discovery, Office 365 Symposium, Taxonomy Boot Camp, and Text Analytics Forum.

Many speakers at KMWorld 2019 are making their presentations available at www.kmworld.com/Conference/2019/Presentations.aspx.

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