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Secrets for successful enterprise content management at KMWorld Connect 2021

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An enterprise content strategy (ECS) is the connection between an organization’s business priorities and the internal and external content-driven experiences that support these priorities. An effective ECS guides how every part of the organization creates, shares, and accesses content in support of overall business goals.

Without an ECS, any strategic content management process is like driving without a map. To address this, stakeholders from content, technology, UX, and data governance need to be part of the process.

There are a wide range of editorial and technical components necessary for a successful enterprise-level content strategy.

At KMWorld Connect 2021, Gary Carlson, principal taxonomist, Factor, and Theresa Putkey, content strategist, Key Pointe Consulting, discussed the components of a successful ECS, with an emphasis on governance needs as well as on metadata, taxonomy, and information architecture.

Carlson and Putkey explained that they see ECS as the connection between business priorities and the internal and external content-driven experiences that support them. An effective ECS guides how every part of the organization creates, shares, and accesses content in support of the overall business goals. The processes need to be specific, repeatable, and measurable. The strategy addresses user needs, organizational maturity and readiness, technology, business goals, compliance, etc.

The goal is really to get content from systems and stakeholders to meet the needs of different users, and to do that nimbly to meet business goals in a way that supports and works with a complex environment.

For their discussion, Carlson and Putkey focused on the enterprise implications and dependencies for content strategy, with the content itself and then the technical strategies to support the content.

The ultimate goal, they said, is to act like a school of fish, where things can work independently, but also together, where the website content can support sales and sales enablement, and support content can help in different phases of the customer journey as two examples. Carlson and Putkey showed what a unified enterprise content strategy looks like (what problem is the business solving) and the different elements of it.

They also shared issues that have emerged from their work in the field, problems they have helped clients to overcome, and pitfalls to avoid.

In terms of the enterprise content strategy components, said Putkey, there are the editorial and technical components.

  • Editorial focuses on the creation and curation of the content with which end users interact. Editorial content strategy is focused on the goals and message of the content and how it should be delivered consistently across channels.
  • Technical components focus on orchestrating the content experience infrastructure: the content management, taxonomies, metadata, integrations, search services required to support the editorial strategy and goals

One of the things Carlson and Putkey said they find over and over is that people start with the technology, but really  the technology needs to be subservient to the strategy, the content, and the goals.

And then, in terms of the foundation for enterprise content strategy, there is governance an then the information layer, explained Carlson.

  • Governance focuses on the governance underpinning both the technical and editorial content strategy. This includes the content, metadata, taxonomies, and workflows.
  • The information layer stitches together metadata and taxonomies that describe users, content, and data gathered, to support content delivery and analytics. Ultimately, these analytics feed back into the business initiatives.

Governance and the information layer depend on the maturity of the enterprise and its processes and identifies how these processes need to change to support an enterprise-level effort.

Carlson and Putkey also emphasized that the primary components of a successful enterprise content strategy are people, strategy, organizational alignment, and technology workflows, and, without any one of these, the strategy will not work. Often, they added, companies are ambitious in what they want to achieve, but are not staffed to do the ongoing work that is necessary to keep the components up to date. In these cases, the initial initiative may be launched successfully but ultimately will not hold up for the long run due to inadequate staffing.

KMWorld Connect 2021 is going on this week, November 15-18, with workshops on Friday, November 19.

On-demand replays of sessions will be available for a limited time to registered attendees and many presenters are also making their slide decks available through the conference portal.

For more information about KMWorld Connect 2021, go to www.kmworld.com/conference/2021.

Access to session archives will be available on or about November 29, 2021, so be sure to check back for on-demand replays.

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