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Tuesday 2¢: Content Silos Serve the Market not the Marketer

Tuesday 2¢: Content Silos Serve the Market not the Marketer

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 reflects on the nature of content silos and who's interests they actually serve.


Once again, I make my way to the pulpit that is the Tuesday 2 cents column and dip into the Book of Silos for today’s sermon. But this time I ponder who this industry is serving, the marketplace or the marketer?

As we all know the Content Management Systems (CMS) industry is fragmented along the very blurry lines of specialist functionalities, from Web Content Management (WCM or I guess the cool kids call this DXP now), Digital Asset Management (DAM), Product Information Management (PIM), Content Marketing Platforms, Marketing Asset Management (MAM), maybe even bit of Marketing Resource Management (MRM), and it goes on and on - we love our tribes and acronyms.

That’s not to mention various social tools, platforms and other 100 bucks a month thingamebobs that we marketers love to play with which also manage and distribute content in some form.

And yet, all of these solutions fundamentally do the same thing: manage content, allowing you to put stuff in, fiddle with it, approve it and share it in the format of the consumer's choosing.

Yes, there used to be some differentiation. Specialist capabilities which each platform could lay claim to with PIM enjoying a reputation for complex content modeling and metadata management, DAM for managing those big files and digital rights, WCM (or DXP) for digital publishing, and the old timer ECM (Enterprise Content Management) loved documents, workflows and print publishing systems have a reputation for ummm… publishing to print.

Industry observers, analysts, consultants and specialists which feed off the transaction between buyer and vendor LOVE fragmentation, love the acronyms, love to champion a new thing. It is in their interest to stake a claim around their little piece of the Klondike, to be the world expert, to write books and be the champion of the silo-du-jour.

I am being simplistic for the purposes of brevity, but suffice to say that it’s a fragmented marketplace which has quite understandably grown up around yesterday’s industrial age thinking.

Yet, in many cases today, if you scribble out the word PIM, DAM or WCM at the top of an RFP, you have decent set of content management requirements which can be fulfilled by a range of solutions as these hard and fast points of differentiation have blurred - a PIM has to manage video, a WCM needs to respect digital rights, a DAM has to deliver to social (and on and on).

Today, of course, the world has changed. The flow of content and information is no longer so regulated, the real-time, digitally empowered consumer no longer hops between the predetermined stepping stones of marketing, sales and service.

The importance of content marketing, the story a brand or organizations tells, the amount of content which is needed to deliver relevance to this content hungry consumer all means that content is a vital second business for every organization.

Therefore, the requirements have changed. A digitally enlightened business should not fit itself into one of the straightjackets being offered by the marketplace, deciding that its project is purely a PIM, DAM, MAM, WCM, DXP or WTF project. They should be free to choose a system which offers digital freedom, a space to breathe and move, to explore new possibilities.

Marketers facing this challenge are therefore poorly served by the content management market today. The transformation of industrial age organizations to be truly digital requires a different approach, with a networked, holistic view of content operations .

So, I hope have answered my own question: content silos serve the market not the marketer.

Ian Truscott Ian Truscott

Ian Truscott has the unofficial and honory title of the “Träger des Firmen-Megaphons” for censhare, bringing 20 years of B2B software experience to our company (surely starting as a child) to lead marketing here. Luckily for us in the Munich office, he’s found the kettle and some tea bags – look at him, he’s happy.

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