Blog 4.0

3 steps towards contextual content delivery

by mgirard on 4 January 2018 No comments

Information 4.0 is offered. So you need to make sure your content is available on offer when your customers need it. How do you build an understanding of your customers context and define what content should be offered for that context?

Step 1. Design journeys and identify opportunities

While agile is becoming the main methodology for software development teams, it proves difficult to scale and apply to other groups that work with development: marketing, design, support, training, and to some extent tech writing, seem to require different paces to deliver a service. How do you align these different timelines and get to the right level of agility in delivering content?

You can start by designing customer journeys. For a given persona, you lay out the end-to-end experience (actions, thoughts, and feelings), and how content supports that experience. You can map that journey for international audiences too.

Experience map

You can also make an audit of existing content and what persona and stage of experience it serves best.

From the journey mapping and audit you can start identifying gaps or problems in the end-to-end content experience.

Step 2. Integrate opportunities into a backlog of user stories

You can then shape these opportunities for improvement into content user stories. So that these stories remain strategic, you must clearly identify the context in which the content is needed (persona, stage of experience, system configuration), and who should be involved in shaping that content (it could be a cross-team effort).

Step 3. Automate content delivery with business rules

Analyzing the customer journey, involving customers in the process, is similar to user research – we could call it contextual research. This analysis requires a deep understanding of where your customers are at each stage of their journey, and what their needs are – and you need to plan to keep that at the core of your projects.

But for the delivery of content based on recurring context patterns, you can rely on a mix of dynamic publishing and decision management system, and use business rules to deciding what content should be published based on profile, environment, and events. The rules can also depend on country and language.

If you model those contextual rules and manage them separately from algorithms, you can trace decisions for what information what published and why, and possibly address ethical concerns more efficiently.

How do you manage contextual content delivery? Share your experience in the comments.


I manage digital customer experience projects. With a background in technical communication and information architecture, I develop scalable content strategies and organizational frameworks to deliver the right content at each stage of the customer experience.To me, content and organizations are living systems. I leverage collective intelligence and design thinking methodologies to deliver meaningful innovation.Outside of Software as a Service, I continue to investigate holistic practices through yoga, and I teach content strategy and design at university.I speak about enterprise content strategy at international conferences, and I am an active member of professional associations.

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