Meaningful Content: Cross-Functional Techniques That Create Impact

Presenters: Bonnie Chase and Sara Feldman

In the last hour of the 2021 Summit, I was exhausted. It had been a very long day, and I was unable to give it my full undivided attention, because I was torn between focusing on ‘must attend’ meetings or preferably, sitting with Bonnie and Sara. I was so happy that I was able to sit in on their session because there was plenty of energy, knowledge, and information in that room. For those who did not attend this session, they missed a treat. Bonnie and Sara discussed the ideology of ‘content’, establishing how it was ‘purposeful’, ‘demand-driven’, and ‘contextually-relevant’. And I immediately thought to myself, “Well how is that?” And explain, they did. Content is ‘purposeful’ because we use it daily on the job in the tools we build and interact with, we use it as inspiration, and we use it as a tool for gratification. Content is ‘demand-driven’ because it is a way of promoting an achievement; or we use it to give customers an easy way of digesting information; and it can be used to collect measurements about a product or service. Additionally, content is ‘contextually-relevant’ because it says we are committed and focused, and it can move customers to a state of anticipation.

What stood out to me most about this presentation is that we should start espousing, reviewing, and thinking about content from our customer's perspective because our customers are driven by their 'emotions'… it is what informs their decision-making. This has been imprinted in my mind. I had knowledge of ‘gamification’, having the customer engage with a product or service, but I did not connect the dots of customer desires with emotion. How can I apply this to consulting on policies and procedures (P&Ps) at my company? How can I change my thinking about content as Bonnie and Sara described, so that I am giving my customers what they yearn from the content? One way that I can certainly apply this new knowledge, when it comes to P&Ps, is to always reexamine the information within the P&P that I question. For example, if I am reading a P&P and an acronym is being used within the content and within the document, and there is no explanation provided to explain it; I can research it and have my subject matter experts (SMEs) confirm whether my data is correct. I’m sure that I can think of other ways to become more engaged in content for my customers. How can you improve your tactics involving the content you deliver? Think about it.