This is not a drill! Get your taxonomy straight before it’s too late

Want to know one of the most critical elements that commonly holds up the delivery of great digital experiences? Yup, taxonomy. It may not be sexy (except to those library scientists and classification geeks amongst us), but your taxonomy is essential to the success of a number of your digital marketing efforts, including:

Streamlining and Managing Your Assets

Digital Asset Management (DAM) technology is increasingly being adopted by organizations as the volume of digital content explodes, and the need to streamline its management intensifies. As important as it is to have a robust tool to store and manage assets, it’s equally critical to be able to upload, access and share those assets across the organization, using a consistent enterprise taxonomy. Too often, this is an afterthought in DAM implementations or asset ingestion, and the results can be tough to undo.

Delivering Dynamic, Personalized or Targeted Content

Dynamic, personalized or targeted content display has been possible in most enterprise content management systems for some time, yet few organizations have been able to implement it effectively, often because their content is not appropriately tagged. A taxonomy that identifies related, similar or otherwise relevant content to display is key to the dynamic delivery of content.

Cross Platform Synchronization

The shift to consumer-driven cross-platform digital marketing has necessitated a closer integration between multiple systems within the digital ecosystem – from CRM to Marketing Automation platforms to CMS and beyond. And the key to having these systems map to a common customer profile and journey, is a consistent nomenclature and taxonomy across all of them. We’ve seen everything from multiple variations of industry classifications to conflicting customer journey stages that make it much more difficult to map the information from one system to another.

Measurement and Optimization

After having been on projects where the analytics and content strategy are developed in siloes and teams have not collaborated on taxonomy, I can attest to the frustrating results – a content team asking for custom analytics in order to measure and optimize what they have created, and/or an analytics team that learns too late that alternate classifications have been used.

The list goes on, but I think you get the point – taxonomy is a prerequisite for a number of integrated digital marketing techniques. So why is it that so few organizations have an established (and even fewer actively manage) an enterprise-wide taxonomy?

  1. It ain’t easy – the sheer volume of work entailed in classifying and tagging content can be daunting unless a clear process and plan is defined, whether or not that includes autotagging technology (more to come on that subject)
  2. Too many cooks – taxonomy invariably crosses multiple disciplines and departments, and agreeing on nomenclature and categories can be tough. Facilitating consensus, and buy-in, across the organization is one of the most important steps in establishing an effective taxonomy
  3. It’s nobody’s day job – no one person or group of people has the day-to-day responsibility of managing and governing the use of taxonomy, with the result that the work that is done in establishing the taxonomy is quickly undone as individuals or teams make changes independently

That being said, with the right planning and facilitation, getting started could be easier than you think. Read more about overcoming the challenges of developing a taxonomy or hit us up HERE to learn how we might be able to help.