Marc Benioff was quoted as saying “Companies now, more than ever, have an urgency to connect with their customers in a deeper way. But there is a problem, shared Benioff. All of the data and all the devices are not bringing us closer to customers.” Organizations are swamped with data and it has separated them from their customers. Less than 1% of customer data has been analyzed, while 77% of customers are not engaged with companies. “That’s what we are here to fill,” said Benioff. “Get ready for a new kind of customer success.” ” (Blog post, Salesforce blog, 9/16/2015)

This makes me wonder why more companies don’t value information for what it can do for them. Further, I wonder why reuse of information is not a higher priority.

Reuse of information has the following value:

  1. Saves time – when a document is reused, time is saved, because, at minimum, the basic information does not have to be duplicated. Maximum, a document can be created much more efficiently and the ultimate goal achieved that much more quickly.
  2. Branding is preserved – If templates are not set up, then the creation of documents that fit the branding and style of the organization can be a chore to create. By reusing documents, branding can be preserved. Of course, there are other considerations when using save as.
  3. Efficiency – time is a valuable commodity. How many people can the organization use more efficiently if documents are reused.
  4. Content created by an organization is an asset.

Information and documents are often not reused because they cannot be found. This is a content management problem that feeds into a knowledge management problem.

I was recently told by some friends that when they turned 50, suddenly a well known social media company was feeding them ads for Plus sized clothing and laxatives. Nothing had changed except their birthday. This proves Benioff’s point that 1% of customer data has been analyzed and 77% of customers are not engaged with companies. My slim, active friends sneer at the social media giant for stereotyping them and getting it so wrong when the company has the money to analyze the mounds of data they are collecting. Worse for the companies that buy ads: my friends don’t click on those links because they are not relevant.

Content created by someone in an organization is an asset and must be managed with the same efficiency as desks and chairs. Knowledge management programs must be tailored to each organization. Both of these tasks can be achieved with the assistance of a professional with experience in information organization and management.