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Published on April 8th, 2009 | by Rahel Bailie


5 Top Business Benefits of Content Re-Use

How do you know if a component content management system (CCMS) is right for you? Consultants may have sophisticated formulas for calculating the ROI of a CCMS, but here are some simple questions that you can answer as a self-test:

  • Do you re-use a lot of the same content in difference manuals, or in different types of material?
  • If so, do you cut and paste the content to get the content from one place to another?
  • Do you translate the content into at least a couple of languages?
  • Do you have diverse groups of end users that could benefit from personalized content?
  • Are you in a regulated industry where audit trails matter?
  • Are you susceptible to lawsuits if your content doesn’t remain accurate across all content channels?

If you’ve answered yes to two or more of these questions, you should be wondering if a component content management is right for you.

5 Top Business Benefits of Content Re-Use

  1. Process Efficiency.Content developers are knowledge workers, and an efficiency goal is to create more time that can be spent on the important tasks associated with content creation. Using a CCMS to produce content supports efficient processes by reducing, and sometimes eliminating, rote tasks such as searching, cutting and pasting, checking for identical changes in multiple places, and repetitive set-ups for generating content output.
  2. Scope Extension. When staff isn’t spending time on the rote tasks, they can concentrate on the activities that add value to the organization. The gain in process efficiency allows staff to re-allocate their efforts, perhaps creating material that had previously been beyond their reach, or responding to requests for materials that didn’t fit within the product schedule. Or, it could mean the difference between having the resources to enter a new market. or taking a pass.
  3. Risk Management . Inaccurate content, or content that inconsistent across publishing media – documents, websites, and product packaging – can lead to lawsuits. One content developer estimated that her company successfully avoided one lawsuit per year, at approximately $1 million per lawsuit, by demonstrating content accuracy. The only way they could maintain accuracy across all their product lines, given the amount of content and time-pressured publishing schedule, was through a CCMS.
  4. Customer Trust. In markets where the difference between you and competitors is a better user experience, getting good information out to your customers quickly can be a distinct advantage. With a CCMS , you can publish content sooner, be confident of its accuracy, and, when it makes business sense, easily create more variations of your material for specific audiences. When customers have better instructions, more personalized content, or targeted translations, it all adds up to increased consumer confidence in your products and your organization.
  5. Increased Revenue . Whether the support takes the form of better material for sales reps, better training material, more translated material to allow your product into a new market, or real-time sharing of content with other groups such as customer support, the ability to manipulate content quickly, easily, and accurately translates into more sales.

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About the Author

Rahel Anne Bailie is a synthesizer of content strategy, requirements analysis, information architecture, and content management to increase the ROI of content. She has consulted for clients in a range of industries, and on several continents, whose aim is to better leverage their content as business assets. Founder of Intentional Design, she is now the Chief Knowledge Officer of London-based Scroll. She is a Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication, she has worked in the content business for over two decades. She is co-author of Content Strategy: Connecting the dots between business, brand, and benefits, and co-editor of The Language of Content Strategy, and is working on her third content strategy book,

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