When you think of digital transformation, you think devs, UX, business analysts and architects. But when transforming, content is king.
A lot of copywriters probably don't see they have a place in digital transformation. It's easy to make that assumption, as business update and upgrade their steam-powered systems for ones that provide robust solutions for business needs and seamless customer service.
They don't need writers.
And to a degree, they don't. An Agile scrum team (although no one does Agile properly and it's not always the right approach) should consist of:
- Project Manager
- Business Analyst
- User Experience Lead
- Design Lead
- System/information architect
- Product Owner
- Release Manager
In digital, wherever there's a designer or UXer, there must be a copywriter or content strategist.
This is because content is king.
Without someone mapping out the journey from a customer experience head, like do what do we want to tell people and how do we tell them. It's essential this is done holistically, through the journey - taking into account next best action and touchpoints.
A designer may think we need car service descriptions, but a copywriter would ask what it is that we're meant to say in these descriptions, what's the purpose of this copy and what do we want it to achieve.
I go into these meetings interrogating all the elements on the page in terms of its objective.
One UXer I worked with said that systems shouldn't dictate the customer experience, customer experience should dictate systems. If it can't currently do what needs to be done in order to optimise the experience and limit amount of effort in using the site, then change it, not the UX.
So, with that ingrained in my head, I no longer accept, "the system can't do that" or "this is what other people do".
I don't care - this way has too many steps, is too complicated and needs a lot of time, so change it.
Techie people who talk in binary may be reductive in the role of a copywriter, who's only needed at the end to turn their robotic words into human ones, but we need to be involved a lot earlier, as only we can assess what needs to be said and when.
The truth is UX and design can never be as good if you don't know what you're saying, how you're saying it and why.
A designer or UXer won't know we need a rich text component on the homepage to explain what the product is with copy, image and video as we need to educate consumers about a new product. So they won't include it in their designs or factor it into the journey.
They won't take into account that the email may need a video component.
They might think that people need a detailed explanation on what tyre change is in the middle of the buying journey.
A PM or product owner think it might take a copywriter three months to repurpose 15,000 pages of content. Or that updating the content to reflect the new tone of voice or changes is important.
This is why a copywriter in an integral part of a digital transformation team.