Here is an interesting report I received from Forrester, Plan your ECM Strategy For Business, Persuasive, Transactional, And Foundational Needs by Stephen Powers and Alan Weintraub with Matthew Brown and Anjali Yakkundi. They note that enterprises are now struggling under increasing volumes of varying types of content (aka multi-channel information overload).
In the past firms have taken a product-specific approach to their enterprise content management (ECM) strategies: “document management for office docs, web content management for online content, records management for corporate records, and so on.” Now the reports argues when “developing a content strategy, they should consider persuasive, transactional, and foundational content functionality to support specific business use cases.” They suggest taking a content centric approach rather than a tool centric approach to handle this complexity. This makes sense to me.
They discuss three types of content: transactional, business, and persuasive. Transactional content often originates outside the enterprise from customers and partners. It often relies on complex workflows or business process management to drive processes. Formats include scanned e-forms, faxes, print streams from back-office applications, and electronic records.
Business content starts within the enterprise and is part of workers daily tasks. Business content includes office documents, presentations, spreadsheets, e-forms, web content, and mobile content. Persuasive content may originate from many sources. There are many use cases including: “multichannel marketing, lead generation, eCommerce, customer self-service, in-store kiosks, and partner extranets.” Here tools such as web content management come into play.
The authors provide a useful framework that shows how foundational issues go across these three content types. They the look at how the different tool types fit into this matrix. They conclude that you need to remain flexible as you handle the increasing complexity of content types today. I found it a useful way to think beyond traditional approaches to content management that were operating when I helped implement these systems a few years back.