Adobe Digital Dialogue

February 1, 2012 /Digital Marketing /

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.

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