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Cashing in on Effective Multi-Tiered Content Merchandising

Posted by on December 6, 2011

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We’ve previously explored how a multi-tiered approach to content merchandising can help retailers boost online sales. But apparently some merchandisers were too distracted by those Occupy Wall Street drum circles to follow our advice.

At content26, we recently got a front row seat on how not to approach multi-channel content creation. We would like to share what we learned in order to help your company plan a cost-effective, headache-free content merchandising strategy.

Creating Mixed Messages

Here’s what happened:

A consumer electronics company hired us to create enhanced content for approximately 100 of their products on Amazon, Walmart.com, and Newegg.

"This was a lost opportunity for our client to effectively and efficiently promote its brand across multiple sales platforms.
–Dave McCaul, Project Lead

We routinely create this type of multi-channel content for our clients. But in this particular case, our client did not have a coordinated process to produce and manage the content. In fact, each channel manager owned their respective content; with the Amazon account manager owning the content for Amazon, the Walmart manager owning that channel’s content, and so on.

So even though nearly half of the products were identical across all the sites, we were asked to create three unique pieces of content for each product.

“Everything turned out okay in the end, but this was a lost opportunity for our client to effectively and efficiently promote its brand across multiple sales platforms,” notes says Dave McCaul, the consumer electronics Project Lead for content26.

The result: high costs, duplicated efforts, inconsistent messaging, and a low-grade headache for everyone involved.

Keeping Channel Managers in Check

As we showed in our Westinghouse Lighting Case Study, there is a better way. Westinghouse placed full control over content build for Amazon, Home Depot, and Westinghouselighting.com into the hands of its marketing team.

The marketing team created an efficient, multi-tiered content production process which resulted in streamlined, on-message, attractive content across all Westinghouse Lighting e-commerce platforms. Each content piece was customized for each particular channel to avoid SEO “cannibalization” and to conform with each retailer’s style needs. But because we created the content through a single point of contact with our client, we were able to cut costs by more than 60 percent.

The Takeaway

Don’t let your channel managers march to the beat of their own drum. Assign a team to oversee all content creation in order to ensure consistent, effective content across all channels.

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