First, a few definitions; in a previous post I talked about repurposing as a way that organisations can re-use material for multiple channels. By channel, I mean any means by which goods or services are marketed, sold, distributed or delivered to the Customer or End User. This is a big topic to be covered by its own IT element, but here is a simple example to get us started…
Imagine a widget (any thing) sold and distributed directly from your website to the end Customer, that is your Business-to-Consumer channel ‘B2C’. You may also sell to a wholesaler or other intermediary in a Business-to-Business channel (‘B2B’), Depending on the nature of the widget it could also be sold with a ‘white label’ for someone else to provide custom branding, or some other affinity, licence, resale or commission basis. These are all channels for selling essentially the same thing.
I have assumed that the widget is a physical thing, but what if it is paper-based or some other intangible service, digital-only or intellectual product, such as a book, an insurance contract, a website service agreement, or some training material? The variety of channels increases, but most organisations can’t afford to create and maintain different versions of the same artefact to serve all existing and future unknown markets.
Closer to home, you may find that you re-use marketing material and other ‘content’ in different forms to reach Customers on different social media platforms. The essence of the message should be the same but packaged appropriately for the target audience and the medium. See this excellent post from My Social Double.
In the world of education there is a similar idea that utilises Learning Objects, re-usable self-contained ‘chunks’ of learning material. A Learning Object encapsulates the content itself as well as practice and assessment items and metadata (data about data!), such as Learning Objectives, difficulty level, expected length/duration, keywords etc.
Before I started this 30-day blogging challenge I created my first IT Elements to explain to a non-IT learner in 500’ish words two of the most significant concepts in software and technology, Projects and Requirements.
These articles started life as longer eLearning and paper-based (Portable Data Format) modules, created as part of some post-graduate research into the effectiveness of learning materials in these different modes (‘modalities’). Irrespective of what you are re-using or repurposing it is important to know why (the purpose!), and the relative costs, benefits and effectiveness of so doing. In terms of learning material my measures of success are knowledge acquisition and retention (a post-stimulus test), and feedback from participants/learners on levels of engagement and interest in the subject matter. Elsewhere, other measures of success may be website traffic or lead generation, sales volumes, gross or net profitability, brand awareness, repeat buying behaviour etc.
In future I hope to re-purpose IT elements to provide richer interactive learning materials from the IT elementary school.
As always thank you for your feedback and comments.
(c) 2015 Antony Lawrence CBA Ltd.