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Tuesday 2¢: Silos Are the Enemy of Content Marketing

Silos Are the Enemy of Content Marketing

Welcome to the Tuesday 2¢ . It’s Tuesday, the weekend is a distant memory and it’s time to let off some steam and give our 2 cents on a hot industry topic. This week Ian Truscott returns to his tirade against organizational and technical silos, this time with prominent support.

Yes, I know I have touched on this rant before, sharing my experience of working with a very silo’d organization in Divide and Cock-Up , but yesterday I had a really good conversation with Ryan Skinner , Senior Analyst at Forrester Research, who seemed to share this point of view and got me all stoked up about this again.

Ryan is well placed to judge, aside from his experience as an analyst, he’s been in the content marketing trenches with one of the early pioneering content agencies and a background in PR, he’s seen the change and his focus on his bio on the Forrester website says it all:

“how marketers should pivot from campaign- and channel-focused strategies to content- and customer-focused ones”


I have expressed this slightly differently, saying that ‘ all marketers need to become publishers ’ - but the pivot is the same; we marketers need to move from the hamster wheel of being campaign, channel and product obsessed to being obsessed by the content and the consumers of our content.

This is easily said, but much harder to implement. We can all agree on being consumer centric, but the real challenge is the organizational change that this requires.

Doing the hard work, of chipping away at the silo’d structures of our organizations that were built on industrial age thinking. Cutting through the fiefdoms, the silos, the vested interests and the way we’ve always done things, to align the business around the consumer.

Oddly enough, while recognizing these challenges, many marketers in these organizations are contributing to the problem by building content and data silos themselves through trying to solve these issues with more niche tools, that all own a little bit of the content and data that are channel and discipline specific.

How do we move forward?

Well, this is more Ryan’s gig, not mine and having spent some time with him, I suggest getting in touch (and please say censhare sent you).

But my experience, as a former analyst and consultant on this stuff myself, the biggest obstacle is just getting started, I mean properly started, not the workshop but making it happen. The best ways to overcome it; get C-Suite buy-in, align on the metrics, create an appetite for change and think ambitiously beyond the buzzwords.

Obvious statements, but when folks get all gung-ho about the trends in marketing today – be it content marketing, digital experience or customer experience, none of these things are going to be achieved with a conference room, a whiteboard and the sprinkling of some software fairy dust. It is, as the quote from Ryan’s bio says “a pivot”, a significant change and that takes some work.

This is also why we as a business talk passionately about content management in a holistic sense, for the whole organization, across these silos – be it PIM, DAM, WCM, MRM or whatever spoon of acronym soup is in your organization, as a foundation for this consumer centric approach. We call it Universal, Smart Content .

Of course, I mention Ryan and Forrester as a hat tip for inspiring this blog post, being mentioned here does not imply an endorsement of us or our software. After all, we’ve only just met…

With censhare at the heart of the article-based production Hearst UK controls all print and digital media and achieves a massive cultural change.

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Ian Truscott Ian Truscott

Ian Truscott has a passion for creating ART (Awareness, Revenue and Trust) for B2B software companies as a marketing leader and is a censhare alumni. Wanting to connect a like minded community and share something useful, he founded Rockstar CMO, a monthly digital publication, and is currently helping B2B companies create ART at appropingo.