Being "customer first" is no longer a nice-to-have, but an imperative for everyone. We must create holistic, relevant, enjoyable digital experiences for our customers – and ship them faster than ever.
These experiences drive customer delight, which propels our ability to grow, increase revenue, and capture market share. And ultimately, remarkable experiences are powered by rich, interactive content that adapts to whatever channel or device our audience chooses, across their entire journey.
We’re moving from a focus on “content management” to “experience management” to “building engaged relationships.” We’ve come a long way in making our websites, apps, and software products more convenient for users and customers. But there are still many unexplored opportunities for us to wow our customers, exceed their expectations, and win their trust and loyalty.
We need carefully crafted, audience-specific content to nurture a deeper connection with people as they shop, learn, try new products, and do everyday things online. But to ship the right words, images, video, product information, and promotions to the right people – at the right time – our digital teams need to move faster, together.
And this is where the challenges begin. Creating remarkable experiences with rich content is too hard today. We’re still using outdated and rigid tools that hold us back. There’s too much hacking and copying and pasting. Our teams face too many barriers to doing their best work.
It’s challenging to design and build an engine that can produce remarkable experiences on demand. It’s challenging to create and orchestrate the content to power them, and it requires too much work to go beyond a cookie-cutter approach. There are too many content systems that are set up tactically, rather than strategically. Our organizations need holistic ecosystems that operate from a single source of (content) truth.
There are so many challenges that our industry is grappling with right now. But these are problems we can solve. How do we:
- Set our content free to be expressed properly in any channel and many channels?
- Unify teams so content, design, engineering, product, and more can work harmoniously together instead of in silos?
- Give developers tools to empower the rest of the organization to work more efficiently?
- Break content out of silos and into decoupled, interoperable systems that make it easier and faster to create and deliver new experiences?
- Decrease the feedback-to-launch time loop as we learn what excites and works for our audience?
- Convince leadership that a strategic approach to content is existentially important to the future of a business, so we have the runway to invest in new systems and workflows?
At Sanity, we believe that Structured Content and treating “content as data” within an emerging ecosystem of web and product technologies is how we win the war for our customers’ attention, as they engage with us on their own terms. We believe that the rigid and tangled web of CMSes today will yield to more elegant, developer-friendly ways to ship innovative experiences fast.
Our ability to act quickly, tune in to our audiences, and create repeatable systems that serve users requires a new era of unity across departments. Starting down the path of practicing Structured Content, treating content as data, and building highly interoperable, composable systems requires strategic focus. But getting started is half the battle. It's time to put strategy into action, and go faster.
This is why next month, from May 24-26, we are hosting Sanity's inaugural Structured Content conference with an exciting lineup of speakers, including folks from AT&T, Shopify, New York Times Kids, and Spotify. You can join us in person in San Francisco, London, and Oslo, or tune in virtually.
We must rely on and learn from each other to achieve our ambitious goals. We are not alone: we're a community of like-minded people who share this vision for the future of content, and coming together to collaborate and share best practices is how we get better, faster.
I hope you'll join us. We need your perspective and presence. For more background on the program and to register, check out https://structuredcontent.live/.