Content marketing is changing so fast , it makes your head spin. New technology, shifting customer expectations and regulatory changes – it’s a struggle to work out what to tackle first.
Digital Clarity Group’s ‘Voice of the Marketer’ report sponsored by censhare doesn’t just identify the challenges. Happily, it’s recommends practical steps which marketers can take to overcome them, five of which we highlight below.
Technology is failing marketers. According to DCG’s research, insufficient technology solutions are getting in the way of leveraging content.
35% of respondents said insufficient technology was the most significant barrier to leveraging content. The next most common response (16%) was that budgets were insufficient for the required resources.
Often, the people deciding which tool to buy are not the ones who are actually using it, and so if you’re not careful, you can end up with a technology which ticks the boxes of the RFI but which isn’t solving the problem. But it’s this simple to solve: involve the people who are going to use the software in the purchasing process. And getting them involved in the decision making will also encourage them to take ownership of the final solution. So no more buck-passing.
A great product poorly implemented is usually unfit for purpose. Modern marketing solutions are generally able to satisfy marketers’ needs across multiple industries and regions but they’re not out of the box perfect. It might just be a nip here and a tuck there, but time and budget are needed for proper analysis, configuration and training so that the end solution fits the shape of your business.
Unless you are Google or Amazon, you probably haven’t got the budget to build and maintain the dream marketing team. But companies can’t expect their marketers to increase the speed and volume of content creation with existing tools, knowledge and resources. It’s time to mix and match.
“Marketing leaders therefore need to be ruthlessly efficient regarding where they and their employees focus their energy, time, and budget.”
So DCG suggests the identification of those functions which are most critical to the business, as these are the ones which are most worth ‘owning’ or keeping in-house. For projects or the occasional demand for a specific skill set, ‘renting’ (otherwise known as ‘outsourcing’ to the rest of us) can be the most effective use of resources.
The people creating content are often the creatives in an organization. They’re brilliant at getting the right words in the right order but tend to work in a bubble, surrounded by people doing similar stuff. They can spot an incorrect preposition from a mile off, but they don’t have grip on the practical problems which customers are dealing with.
“89% of content professionals tend to be mostly or entirely in the same business unit”
To solve both these issues, the report recommends building up a network of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and content champions outside of the marketing team. These people break down silos and expose content marketing teams to more valuable customer insights than desk research alone.
The biggest takeaway from Voice of the Marketer is the need for an agile mindset. With modern consumers going off-piste from carefully crafted buying journeys, it’s the marketer who is able to adapt quickly who will reap the rewards.
An agile mindset is all about managing and embracing change. While content will always be required, DCG’s research shows that, without a shadow of a doubt, matching content strategy with business needs is the most important skill that successful marketing organizations should master.
This Digital Clarity Group report focuses on core attitudes towards content management in effective B2B marketing, describes the alignment between attitudes and practices, and concludes with actions to take towards mastering the business practice of content management.Read More in the Report