Editor’s Note: This post is based on a presentation that Acrolinx founder and CEO Dr. Andrew Bredenkamp recently gave at Content Connections, Acrolinx’s online, virtual conference. Held in November 2016, the event attracted thousands of content professionals from around the world. You’ll also find a recording of Andrew’s full presentation embedded in the post below.

Over the past year or so I’ve heard a lot of people talking about content-driven customer experiences. Many of the companies I’ve met with spend a lot of time talking about how they use personalized content to engage their customers, and how they often juggle a variety of content initiatives to try to move their business forward. And, while that’s all well and good, the problem is that in most of these conversations, the actual content creation piece of the puzzle usually gets overlooked. It’s as if most people think that content gets created automatically out of thin air. Of course, that’s just not the case.

This is something that Erin Provey from SiriusDecisions has been looking at. What she’s found is that although most B2B companies allocate more than 50 percent of their marketing budgets to content creation, very few of them actually have a plan for those budget dollars. In other words, rather than figuring out how they’re going to create their content, most companies are far more preoccupied with what they’ll do with it after the fact.

At a time when content has become such a critical component of customer experience, that’s a problem.

Taking a Closer Look at Customer Experience

A new report from Accenture, called “Managing B2B Customer Experience Strategy,” sheds some light on customer experience. Among its findings, it notes that:

  • Overall customer experience is critical to B2B companies’ ability to grow and differentiate themselves.
  • And yet, fewer than one quarter of companies excel at delivering experiences that their customers notice and that deliver significant value.
  • Meanwhile, those who do get it right enjoy higher than average revenue growth.

Effectively, what this and other research points to is that being good at customer experience gives companies a significant competitive advantage.

Historically, customer experience has often been thought of in terms of the customer journey — typically represented by a funnel — with customers going through various stages from awareness through to advocacy. These days there are lots of other different ways of looking at it, all of which are focused on putting the customer in the middle of everything, and giving customers the right content at each stage of their journey to help move them to the next.

The challenge, of course, is that customer journeys are never linear. They’re chaotic and the way that customers consume your content can be as well. That’s important because it means that every piece of content you create is a potential point of failure in terms of moving the customer forward. So every piece of content has to be really good.

How Acrolinx Helps: Goals, Guidance, and Governance

At Acrolinx, we’re focused on trying to help companies create better, more consistent content to help them create better customer experiences. We do this by offering Acrolinx users three main things:

  • Goals. Acrolinx gives you the ability to set goals for your content’s quality and consistency in terms of its use of style, terminology, and tone of voice. You can then optimize the guidance that Acrolinx provides your writers by fine-tuning it to give them the help they need to create content that aligns with your goals.
  • Guidance. Acrolinx gives your writers nuanced feedback on their content based on your goals to help them create engaging content that aligns with your brand standards. It’s this guidance that helps ensure that you and your writers are all speaking with one voice.
  • Governance. Scoring gives you the ability to understand what issues a piece of content has and how to fix them. When you aggregate content scores across your team or even your entire company, you can get visibility into your content at both a macro and micro level.

We know that creating great content is critically important for creating better customer experiences. We also know just how big of an impact content that isn’t up to par can have on your business’s overall effectiveness. In my view, the case for creating better content to help improve the customer experience couldn’t be clearer.

Watch my full presentation to learn more.