Combatting Content Marketing’s Conundrum

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Content creation and distribution have become a mature market, but the management of content still lingers in an awkward, immature phase.

Even before the crisis, most marketers just weren’t ready to produce this much content at scale. The sheer volume of administrative tasks, the silos between departments and regions as well as a lack of integration between systems have all proven problematic, per a study of 700 brand marketers, business professionals and their agencies conducted by London Research.

The majority (63%) of businesses say they do not have a centralized content management hub, making it difficult to pivot quickly. An even greater number (68%) of businesses, and 87% of agencies, say they are unable to integrate digital and print workflows for the best possible customer experience. This is troublesome, given that customer experience is the end-all—especially now that people are so finely attuned to brand communications.

Yet, many businesses have had no choice but to quickly shift budgets away from events and other real-world channels into a digital frenzy of reports, webinars and the like. This has put an additional strain on people already under pressure.

More than half (53%) of respondents say they waste too much time trying to find content assets that may or may not exist. This has an impact on morale as nearly 9-in-10 marketers said marketing should be about the freedom to create and implement game-changing ideas, instead of getting bogged down in administrative tasks.

 Here are five action steps for businesses looking to adapt quickly:

  1. Create a Single Source of Truth. Work to centralize content governance and management through one integrated hub. There must be one place for teams to go to find assets in order to create a streamlined and consistent approach. 
  1. Banish Silos. Don’t manage content per channel. Content is often handled by separate teams and separate systems in separate regions—for print, social and the Web. This destroys agility and creates danger.
  1. Pick an Approach. Make it Mandatory. Organizations have different approaches regarding whether content should be run globally and customized locally versus offering outright local autonomy. More than a quarter (27%) of large organizations allow local teams to control their content. Whatever the decision is, the plan must be clear, KPIs established and measurement in place.
  2. Audit the Admin Tasks. Administrative tasks create bottlenecks and a resource drain if not assessed and managed. Eliminating the mundane is essential because it directly impacts morale and effectiveness—especially now that staffs are smaller.

Amid this complicated and difficult moment, leaders have quickly recognized that communicating effectively to their valued customers requires attention and orchestration. Content marketing is no longer a bolt-on tactic. For many, it’s the front line of how they engage with customers.

Not being synced up from message-to-message and region-to-region only creates doubt and lack of trust in a businesses’ products and services. Making the necessary changes is going to take work structurally, politically, and financially. But in the end, the result will be very well worth it because once these changes have been implemented; it will relieve a great deal of the burden in the short-term and set businesses up for success for the long-term.

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