Master Atomic Content Marketing

Deliver better customer experiences with dynamic content.

When Jane received an email with the latest fall lineup for a new boutique retailer she followed, along with a trial offer for 25% savings, she felt like the email and its curated lookbook was crafted just for her. It contained only hard-to-find women’s fashion and accessories appropriate to the season. Because she had followed the brand for a few weeks and was ready to make her first purchase, the coupon made it an easy decision. The email was an example of relevant, dynamic, targeted atomic content designed with the customer experience in mind.

“Marketing leaders who master and implement atomic content concepts can improve customer experience and strengthen customer relationships,” noted Chris Ross, Research Director, Gartner for Marketers.

Marketing leaders who master and implement atomic content concepts can improve customer experience and strengthen customer relationships.

An atomic content strategy drives the creation and customization of small content elements (atoms), such as copy and imagery, dynamically assembled to create videos, emails, web pages or other marketing assets. A defining characteristic of atomic content is its dynamic nature.

Atomic content in this sense does not refer to “atomizing” a large asset like an e-book into smaller pieces such as blog posts for reuse elsewhere in the customer experience. Atomic content refers to dynamically, and often in real time, combining different content “atoms” to create a more relevant overall marketing asset and experience that specifically meets the needs of the recipient based on where they are on the customer journey.

The email that Jane viewed on her mobile phone was an intentional combination of atoms — images, copy, headlines, promotional offers and calls to action. When combined, the atoms delivered a seamless and engaging experience. The back end of the email contained dozens of content “blocks,” or areas to be populated with atomic content, based on rules or logic determined by the marketer.

Put your atomic content strategy into motion

Delivering a tailored, relevant experience requires the integration of technologies, customer needs and content into a cohesive, atomic content strategy.

Dig into your data

Atomic content experiences are built with data. Assess available data for insights and to determine which data is capable of driving dynamic experiences. Consider data indicating customer status, persona type, transaction history, potential lifetime value or other sources. Data sources must have a viable method of integration to the marketing technologies used to deliver atomic content experiences.

Prioritize personas

Building on your existing data and insights, prioritize core buyer personas based on customer value, strategic priority or other criteria that align with current organizational objectives. The purpose is to identify and focus on a handful of key personas.

Understand where content customization could be most relevant for each one. Not all buyer personas are of equal business value. Prioritize initial atomic content efforts to focus on the most significant audiences.

Leverage your existing marketing technology stack

Embrace out-of-the-box capabilities of your tools and technologies to make a meaningful impact without introducing new complexity. Marketing automation, email marketing and content management solutions often have standard features that support atomic content capabilities. Audit current vendors to be clear on the extent of their existing dynamic content functions, and then make the most of those features.

Atomic content requires marketing leaders to explore new ways of creating and delivering content. “Your ultimate aim,” said Mr. Ross “is to create a customized, highly relevant customer experience.”

Get Smarter

Client Research
Gartner for Marketers clients can read more in Master Atomic Content to Access the Power of Dynamic Content Marketing by Christopher Ross.

CX Playbook
Improve your customer’s experience further with tips in our CX playbook “On Target: Three Actions to Guide Customer Experience Excellence.”

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