Content Authoring principles

The content authoring approach in Dynamic Content is based on three main principles:

  1. Content is Data
  2. Join Content and Commerce
  3. Create Once, Publish Everywhere

We'll go through each of these in more detail below.

Principle 1: Content is Data

The old way of working with content presented a complex set of challenges:

  • Content Types: lots of different content to support a rich e-commerce journey, but often encoded as presentation- specific HTML that could not be reused across systems or devices.
  • Channels: multiple silos with multiple builds of the same content, resulting in inconsistencies and increasing costs of updating.
  • Internationalization: serving completely different translated content for multiple locales.

In contrast, our "new world" approach:

  • focuses on channel-neutral content data.
  • separates the rendering from the content storage and serving.
  • manages channels and internationalization programmatically, returning only the requested / required content via an API.

In order to create content as data with no presentation information, we build a content graph to represent the relationships between the pieces of content, as shown in the image below:

Content as data
Content as data

Principle 2: Join content and commerce

The reason for joining content and commerce is to ensure that the content always tells the brand story, and so that this is delivered throughout the entire shopping experience including the homepage, landing pages, category pages, search results pages, product pages, store locators, and checkout.

This means that all content should be "shoppable" (e.g. lookbook, shoppable videos, images with hotspots) and that the editorial and product pages of a web site should always be inter-referencing... so that customers can really traverse, explore and discover your brand.

Besides improving the customer experience, the idea here is that combined content and asset stores can facilitate cross- team working between the marketing / brand and commerce / sales teams.

Principle 3: Create Once, Publish Everywhere

There are a plethora of possible publishing channels and devices including the web (desktop, console, tablet, mobile), native apps (TV, tablet, mobile, console), broadcast (social and email), in-store (kiosks, point-of-sale, customer service), advertising and search, print, syndication, and other channels such as wearables and internet of things devices.

The amount of work required to push pieces of content to all channels and devices can be huge, forcing sacrifices in quality or frequency of update, and it gets worse each time a new channel or device is added. Teams are so swamped with the day-to-day work of getting content out that it leaves less time to focus on the brand and content strategy. In short, it's not scalable.

The Amplience approach is to create quality content once for publishing across all channels, and to free-up people to focus on the bigger picture. Because the content is separated from the presentation, it is possible to publish content to all channels from a single source of truth.

In our approach:

  • the front-end decides how best to display the content on the device(s).
  • the CMS back-end simply serves structured content in the form of the content graph described earlier.
  • the Dynamic Media (DM) back-end serves single image assets (identified in the content graph) in the size and shape requested by the front-end, with no duplication of stored images or other assets.

As a concrete example, consider a series of slides. You could render them differently on different devices: in a grid, a banner, or a carousel on a mobile, tablet or desktop. A key component of this capability is the Amplience dynamic imaging capabilities that make it possible to resize / refit the rich content to any display dimensions.

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