We live in a multi-channel world, and in 2021, no one deals with just one eCommerce channel. Even the simplest digital businesses will likely connect with their customers through social media as well as their traditional sales channel.
Some businesses are savvy with social media and email newsletters or employ multiple avenues of engagement for their employees and customers via mobile apps. Some retail outlets take advantage of digital signage or multiple marketing based channels. With these different touchpoints in play, content in different formats, sizes, and styles adds up. Naturally, managing this diverse content across all of these channels can get really complex, really fast.
Yet, this is not a 'nice-to-have' initiative—it is imperative as it directly relates to an optimized digital customer experience. According to research from PWC, 90% of consumers expect consistent interactions across multiple channels and 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great and consistent customer experience. Thankfully, there’s a solution to help marketers streamline content across multiple channels in order to deliver a consistent customer experience.
The Importance of Multi-Channel Content Management
Because of this, users expect content and feature parity across all channels at all times. And for the team responsible for authoring any content, the challenge is to consider all the channels, whether you’re creating, formatting or distributing.
For example, if you are running a marketing campaign for a new product line, you will create imagery for it: photos, gifs, animations, videos, etc. Then you will need to format this imagery for each prospective channel it will be utilized in—think social, email, web, mobile, POS touchscreen, apps, billboards, etc.
To do this efficiently, consistently, quickly, and accurately, you need to integrate the process, after all, siloed operations create room for human error.
AEM at a Glance
To solve this, you need a tool that can manage both authoring and publishing across all channels while respecting the unique, inherent technical constraints of each. However, very few tools can actually do this. That’s because most CMS platforms are built for web-based content only, and most asset management systems are not well integrated into a CMS. This is not true for Adobe Experience Manager (AEM).
AEM’s comprehensive toolsets are used for building websites, creating mobile apps, and drafting up forms. The tools are channel-agnostic and allow for an easier and more efficient means to scale content creation across both—channels and platforms.
AEM accomplishes this with two key components: content fragments and experience fragments.
What is a Content Fragment?
A content fragment is structured content based on customizable models for re-use across any page or app with API delivery (HTML or JSON). They allow content to be re-usable, presentation-agnostic, and are composed of structured data elements (text, dates, references, etc.). Content fragments are characterized by the following:
- Defined by a structured form-based content data model that is customizable
- Allows for creation variations of master fragments for use on specific scenarios and channels like social media
- Allows for synchronization changes across variations
- Allows for intelligent summarization of multi-line text elements
- Supports translation & localization
A few common use cases would be for text-heavy, structured content such as biographies, blogs, regulatory terms and conditions.
What is an Experience Fragment?
Just as it sounds, an experience fragment is a smaller part of a larger customer experience that can include text, images and video. These fragments include style and layout instructions for use across web pages and mobile apps, to provide consistency. They can even be delivered to other endpoints using APIs (though not necessarily with the same style or layout). Once the master is updated, all the variations will instantly reflect those changes. Some common use cases include multi-channel promotional collateral and banners used across multiple pages on websites.
Additionally, experience fragment can:
- Group together content and layouts within a cohesive experience
- Use “as is” on multiple pages across web, mobile, IoT and more for consistency
- Make changes once and update across all pages where experience fragments are referenced
- Reuse, reorder or resize to allow for variable design across different channels
- Support for translation & localization
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The Inner Workings of AEM
AEM architecture consists of four component parts:
- Assets—content management area of AEM: manage, store, and access a variety of digital assets such as images, videos, documents, audio clips, 3D files, and rich media for use on the web, in print, and for digital distribution
- Sites—web experience management of AEM: create, manage and deliver digital experiences to web, mobile, and other channels in a unified way to improve consistency and content reuse
- Forms—communications management within AEM: capture and process information, deliver personalized communications and protect and track sensitive information
- Screens—digital signage solution within AEM: author, publish and play dynamic and interactive digital experiences involving different types of in-venue display
These component parts of AEM are integrated and built with smart technologies, leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence to improve all user experiences. It is built on a scalable, agile, and secure cloud-native foundation. The robust features and flexible tools allow users to create and deploy personalized experiences for any customer audience target, maximized for their channel. Users can leverage templates and pre-existing content blocks to edit and update web pages easily. Minimal edits can be made to tailor the content to key customer segments. Master editing ensures that attributes such as discounts or pricing are updated on every webpage where it appears.
While the content may start on the website, it can go omnichannel. It appears everywhere customers go: mobile devices, wearables, menu screens, and anywhere else they might come across one of your channels.
The AEM integrations ensure accuracy on every site, on every page, and in every country using geolocation. The embedded AI ensures that smart layout changes are made automatically, ensuring that each customer has an optimized experience.
How AEM Streamlines Multiple Channels
Increase speed to market
AEM removes complexity from workflows by simply making the process of managing, creating, and distributing content easier with built-in workflows that connect Adobe's Creative Cloud to Adobe Experience Manager. It also allows users to move newly created items right into their campaign—it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Improve team effectiveness
AEM enables users to access data related to assets, templates, pages, projects, and more. Not to mention, AEM’s ability to update all channels at once frees up a valuable amount of time for marketing teams who might have been updating everything manually in the past. That’s not even considering the possibility of human error that may occur, which can prolong the process of updating channel by channel instead of all at once with AEM.
Optimize customer experiences
AEM ensures that customers will have consistent experiences across all touchpoints (web, mobile, billboard, etc.). Since it is channel-agnostic, AEM allows the re-use of structured content while maintaining parity such as consistent messaging, crisp visuals with high-resolution, engaging videos, etc. This consistency is imperative as it builds consumer trust and loyalty.
Streamline global presence
AEM targets customers locally while managing them globally. It helps manage all content and campaigns from your global team to local sites with greater ease and control. The automated translation workflows streamline content creation in multiple languages. This facilitates easier localization of documents while maintaining consistency of your brand and image.
At Vaimo, we have the expertise to help you harness the power of AEM. Our team can provide strategic insight to help you increase your success in a multi-channel world. There will never be a one-size-fits-all solution to managing content across multiple channels—it’s why our approach will always be unique to you and you alone, involving a thorough analysis of your current channels and collaborative dialogue about how to best implement AEM for your business.