How marketers are exceeding customer content needs in 2023

Dave O’Flanagan, chief product officer at Sitecore, explores how businesses can shake up their content marketing strategy and meet evolving customer needs.


Brands have had to adapt in recent years, prompted by the pandemic and economic crisis. This has largely followed shifts in consumer behaviour. Marketers that stand still or respond poorly will fail.

But, even in the face of continuous change, there’s one thing brands can be sure of: consumer demand for content.

Content is the key to unlocking customer loyalty for brands. Increasingly, it plays a central role in delivering a positive, rewarding customer experience (CX). After the ongoing uncertainty of the last year, consumers are more insecure than ever. And while we’re now seeing the signs of recovered consumer confidence , investing in personalised experiences will be vital if brands want this to continue and win over customers.

Although content reigns king, our research suggests only 5% of content gets the vast majority of customer attention. More so, content is booming and set to grow by 20% by 2030 . This leaves a small margin for brands to make a true impression on customers and to stand out from the crowd.

But help is at hand. For marketers there is a growing number of technologies available, allowing teams to more efficiently manage content and improve customer engagement through enhanced customer experiences.

So, where should brands begin? Here’s what they can do to stay on top of customer needs and deliver experiences that make an impact.

1. Build a CX foundation

For many small and medium-sized organisations, the prospect of implementing a fully integrated marketing tech stack may be intimidating. Misconceptions of the IT and marketing resources required to implement and maintain customer services across multiple digital channels can cause teams to opt for the status quo.

For these organisations, a single content platform can serve as the nerve centre for all content production and distribution, allowing developers to build CX frameworks and content creators to simultaneously produce and design the assets that will populate them. This provides marketing teams a low-risk way to begin delivering digital experiences.

When paired with a cloud-based content management system (CMS), this can equip an organisation with the tools to create assets, manage them and deliver content to consumers in a simple and agile way. This powerful combination not only enables consumers to locate the information they seek easily, but also ensures that they are served the most current and accurate content available for them.

For the customers that are being served this continuous stream of content, marketers also need the tools to ensure they’re delivering content that captures their attention. In fact, research shows that poor or outdated content lowers the likelihood of closing a sale by 40%.

2. Stay on the pulse of consumer needs

Even the best content in the world, however, is worthless if a consumer cannot find what they are looking for almost instantly. It’s one of the reasons brands spend around 10% of their marketing budgets on search engine optimization (SEO).

In fact, global spending on SEO is forecast to exceed $122bn in just five years.​

While marketers invest heavily in making sure that their site and pages organically rise to the top of the first page of results, many still overlook the results returned via their own site’s search function.

Search and the discovery of content has never been more important for brands. Consumers have notoriously short attention spans; customers will jump to another site within an average of 45 seconds if they are unable to find what they are looking for.

Increasingly, brands are using the power of AI to keep users on their sites. This has been demonstrated by Microsoft launching a new version of its search engine Bing , which incorporates AI to deliver consumers the most relevant and timely content. Search capabilities that are powered by AI support the search and discovery of a wide array of content. This helps consumers to find exactly what they need whilst empowering marketing teams with an intelligent solution that personalises how content is matched, presented and promoted.

3. Respond with agility

Organisations with limited IT resources can benefit from the trend toward low-code and no-code solutions that enable the integration of different platforms all into their existing technology stack.

With simple drag-and-drop user interfaces, this vastly simplifies the deployment of new solutions and makes it easy for even the IT novice to connect products to their customer relationship management, digital commerce, customer support, security and other IT solutions.

The CDP Institute found that when considering a martech solution, ease of integration was the leading criterion. And for businesses looking to build a tech stack that works specifically for their business, it’s clear that having this flexibility is key.

Not only does this mean they can adapt and react to changing consumer demands without being trapped into a vendor’s ecosystem, but also helps them overcome the challenges associated with today’s digital skills shortage.

Stand out from the crowd

Content is only becoming more important to the customer experience. For those looking to stand out from the crowd, investing in this area will be essential. That means staying on top of the latest trends and innovations in content marketing, and the management of digital brand assets. Whether that’s delivering short-form videos to Gen-Z’s or purpose-driven content to the morally minded consumer. Cloud content management systems will allow brands to do this strategically and at scale.

Once brands adopt the right tools and platforms to seamlessly manage and deliver content, they can create truly personalised experiences for customers. Then, having the flexibility to add on and adapt capabilities, they can react to changing needs in real time, ensuring they’re always one step ahead.

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