Inside Marketing: Content Is Key

August 2018: Vol 41 No 8
Patrick Kehoe
A high-quality omnichannel experience depends on valuable messaging.
hand reaching up to touch a digital screen featuring icons representing omnichannel delivery

Spending Wisely”, a CU Management article by Richard H. Gamble, noted that CU leaders are facing a long list of technology needs in 2018 and beyond. As the article explains, this technology spending will likely include investments to keep pace with the growing member expectation that their CU will provide a true omnichannel experience—the ability to seamlessly interact with the credit union whether the customer is engaged in transactions online from a desktop or mobile device, by phone, at an ATM or in a branch location.

Adopting a communications management platform that will enable your credit union to interact with members through every channel is a critical component of any omnichannel strategy. According to CUES member Christopher Goodman, CCE, $1 billion G&F Financial Group’s VP/information technology, “We need member service to move seamlessly from one channel to another. We have the services, but they happen now in discrete channels. The solution has to be API-driven and cloud-based.”
    
Finding the right technologies to support your CU’s omnichannel strategy is without question an important task, but it is essential to remember that technology is only one piece of the omnichannel puzzle. It is equally imperative to recognize the importance of creating and effectively using the best content to achieve the customer experience you are trying to deliver over each channel. Your CU will also need the ability to manage that content to ensure consistency in message and tone when engaging with members. A holistic omnichannel strategy addresses all of these critical content considerations in addition to the technology employed to deliver the content.

In other words, your CU can invest in technologies that will ensure a true omnichannel experience for your members, but whether it is a high-quality omnichannel experience will ultimately depend on the value of the content—the messaging—you share with them.

In many organizations, the difficulty in developing a comprehensive content strategy stems from the fact that relevant content is scattered across numerous systems. As Goodman points out, these systems are often organized around discrete channels and may be implemented independently by different functional areas, such as marketing, compliance and customer support. Strategies and technology choices for one aspect of member communications, such as monthly statements, are often put in place without any capability to integrate content stored elsewhere in the organization. Without a holistic strategy that enables coordination of content across the CU, consistent messaging is not possible.

Many credit unions are finding an efficient way to move toward such a content strategy is to leverage a cloud-based solution that supports the creation of and collaboration on messaging content and rules, along with a decisioning engine that interacts with your relevant member data, wherever located, and existing document composition tools. With this hybrid cloud approach, content and rules can be created, proofed, tested and approved by business users in the cloud, following your CU’s preferred workflow. Once approved, the on-premise decisioning engine determines what content each recipient should receive and sends that content along for communication production.

The potential benefits of a cloud-based approach of this kind include:

  • lower operating costs and faster time-to-market with content tailored appropriately for different demographic audiences;
  • the ability to share content between business units, communications and channels; 
  • streamlined rules and workflows that better ensure brand and regulatory requirements; 
  • the security of keeping member data on-premise; and 
  • the ability to organize and simplify content across the organization to speak with one voice to members. 

An important consideration is whether it is feasible to tackle an omnichannel strategy organization-wide or better to start with a more limited—and potentially more manageable—set of communications. For example, customer service correspondence may be an easy place to start for the initial focus of your omnichannel strategy. This approach holds the potential to deliver a quick win for your CU that will serve as a catalyst for additional projects. 

Whatever strategy your CU decides upon, delivering a high-quality omnichannel experience for your members will require more than an investment in a set of customer communication management tools. It will also require a strategy for ensuring consistent and relevant content is sent to your members at every touchpoint, as it is the content that will have the greatest influence over their experience with your organization.

Patrick Kehoe is EVP/product management for Messagepoint Inc. Kehoe has more than 25 years of experience delivering business solutions for document processing, customer communications and content management.

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