The world has moved from a brand-centric broadcast mentality to a customer-centric content marketing strategy. That means you have to create content even more customized to the needs of your audience, and you need to be able to distribute that content across any channel, fully acknowledging that the number of possible channels is always increasing.
The third dimension of complication is that it’s not all about advertising -- it’s about any means of engaging in conversation with your audience.
These multiple dimensions of engagement can be overwhelming to brands, many of which simply aren’t set up to manage this volume and complexity.
Traditional publishers are certainly more equipped to meet these demands because they invested in content management solutions early on. In recent years, many marketers have started to do the same in order to fulfill the demands of their initiatives.
In hearing from some of the brands in this space, I recently had my own epiphany: Too often, marketers are gauging the effectiveness of content management the wrong way. Marketers are trained to look at ROI against investment, but content management solutions are not about ROI – they are about efficiency. It’s the difference between an above-the-line vs. below-the-line analysis, and most marketers aren’t trained to do both.
Marketers typically evaluate their investments to determine if the expenditure will deliver a positive return. When you spend a dollar, you hope to make more than a dollar back from the conversion to a customer. In the case of content management, you have to acknowledge that the management and distribution of content are “table stakes,” meaning you have no choice but to use them. You were going to be distributing content no matter what, so it becomes more a matter of efficiency.
Are you able to do more with the resources you have? Are you able to reach more people with fewer headcount? Are you able to provide fresher, better performing content in a faster, more cost-effective way? This is more of an operational evaluation, the kind of thing that IT is more used to handling than marketing, so it’s an area where these two groups can partner to push the business forward.
These kinds of content management solutions are becoming more widely acknowledged than in previous years because the landscape of distribution has settled in quite nicely. Marketers have their owned, earned and paid channels and the number of partners they are working with in each of these channels has started to settle down.
On average, marketers probably have between 12-15 primary channels to work with, but each channel can have multiple formats and executional elements. Each one can leverage content and has an opportunity to advance the prospect down the customer journey. At each stage of those interaction,s new content is required and that content is leveraged across the board. Why invent the wheel when you have a perfectly good wheel on another platform?
Have you invested in content management solutions? If so, which which ones are working best for you?