When will the Technical Author become the Customer Engagement Manager?

Rahal Baillie posted on Twitter a link to an article which, in passing, made reference to “Customer Engagement Management“.

Julie Hunt described it as:

The activity of monitoring of brand and customer conversations on corporate websites, as well as bi-directional communication extensions to external social sites.

In essence, it’s about creating and managing content that may appear on Web sites, forums, social media sites and similar places. Some of this content may not have been originally posted onto your company’s Web site. It’s sometimes described as Web Engagement Management as well.

In another article on CMSWire, Barb Mosher outlined her five pillars of Web Engagement Management:

1. Content Optimization

  • Analytics
  • Content and experience personalization
  • Search Engine Optimisation.

2. Multi-channel Management

  • Delivering same message/experience to customers across devices and channels, both online and offline

3. Conversational Engagement

  • Corporate Web site-based communities
  • User Generated Content
  • Commenting and managing trackbacks
  • Micro-blogging
  • Social media integration
  • Analytics
  • Social media monitoring.

4. Demand Generation

  • Customer engagement/experience through targeted marketing
  • Increasing the number and quality of relationships, through need recognition, relevancy enhancements and engagement triggers.

5. Sales Automation

So could the organisation’s Technical Author become the Customer Experience Manager or the Web Experience Manager? They have many of the skills needed to do this role, particularly in content curation, content strategy and the creation of content.

The biggest leap for a Technical Author would be in adapting to conversational content, instead of monologue content.  It’s more likely this role will fall to someone with a marketing background (as that’s the department that would probably drive such an initiative), but we could well see some sort of hybrid role emerge: part Marketing Manager, part Information Developer.


Larry Kunz

This overlaps two roles: The content strategist as described by Rahel Bailie, and the “community manager” that Anne Gentle describes in “Conversation and Community.”

Anne’s community manager builds, nurtures, and helps guide the community of people who generate the content. The community includes customers, but it also includes marketing staff and others within the organization.

I think you’re right in saying the role can be filled either by a technical author with an interest in marketing or by a marketer with an interest in content creation. Opportunities abound!

Tristan Bishop

Great stuff, Ellis! Thanks for your insight, once again.

I’m not sure how it will unfold exactly, but the pace of engagement innovation is blinding. I’m wondering if there won’t be entire teams of folks handling engagement within just a few years. If so, I think many of the team members will be the Information Developers who are currently taking the time to proactively build their social media skills.

I’m guessing it will become quite difficult for brands to keep pace with the volume of valuable User-Generated content coming from the social web. The number of external authors will soon dwarf the number of internal authors, right? Figuring out the ideal forward path will be somewhat exhilarating. This is an exciting time to be in our field.

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