Digital and social media – friends or foes of Government?
Paul Robson, Managing Director, Adobe ANZ
You often hear the phrase “the customer is always right”. It may be old but in government, as in business, it contains more than a grain of truth. Citizens are the customers of today’s government officials, and we are more connected and tech-literate than ever before. The opinions we form have always been part of the political process – and now we also have a host of media channels through which to express ourselves – loudly.
With more data at our fingertips, we increasingly seek a more personal experience that is tailored to our needs, and responsive to our feedback. Giving this level of service is a challenge for government as they move to address us in an appropriate and effective way. The explosion in media channels and information means that governments have to work even harder to stay relevant and retain public support for their policies, and these policies often relate to critical national issues like health, public safety and our quality of living.
This is where Citizen Experience Management comes in. Citizen Experience Management involves governments giving citizens the content most relevant to them, in the most effective way possible. So, how do they do that?
Governments need to measure two things:
- First of all, they need to measure the reach of their messages, to find out whether they’re actually getting through to us
- Second, they need to measure the impact of these messages. Advanced analytics can track granular data such as how long we spend on a webpage; how we interact with content and links; and even how we access content, whether that’s through a PC, smartphone, tablet or some other media device.
Then they need to use that information to develop better content. To build better experiences for us, governments need to not only measure how we respond to information, but also analyse what these measurements mean.
Ultimately, governments need to address our values if they are to effectively serve and maintain their constituencies. They need to provide information and services which are contextually relevant to us, and tailored to the precise needs of each individual citizen. They need to sort and filter information so that the message which gets to us is in its clearest, most pared-down form. Most of all, they need to figure out what content works, when, where and why it does so, then act on this knowledge and adapt as quickly as possible. Governments are in the business of supporting their citizens. Providing us with memorable and affecting experiences is an essential part of achieving this.