Content Marketing Revolution


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Content Marketing Revolution

  1. 1. CATEGORY: MARKETING STRATEGY Content Operations: The Hub for the B-to-B Content Process On a factory floor, the foreman is responsible dedicated content operations role rather B-to-b organizations often for managing the end-to-end production line to than one of the participating functions. The struggle with the cross- help the business create the best product in the changes cannot appear to be a land grab or functional alignment and most efficient way. In most factories, foremen political ploy. Content operations must part- shared vision required act as operational coordinators and analysts, ner with the leadership of each function to for an enterprise-wide overseeing complex processes and constantly communicate internally the enterprise-wide approach to content ideation, looking for opportunities for improvement. and function-specific value of the optimized activation and curation In the brief “Introducing the SiriusDecisions content production process. Content Model,” we introduced a best-in-class No single function can cross-functional workflow process to guide b-to-b • Interlock. A process void within many own the end-to-end content content production. However, many b-to-b or- organizations is the absence of formal, process, but organizations ganizations implementing an enterprise-wide cross-functional interlock processes to sup- must appoint a foreman approach to optimized content production fail port shared content initiatives. Content who acts as the operational because their content factories lack a foreman. In operations leads the effort to remove hub for process optimization this brief, we define the four key responsibilities redundant processes and define interlock and measurement of the content operations role, which acts as the processes at key stages to indicate joint foreman on the content factory floor. ownership and delineate how and when each function will participate. Formalizing Content operations is an emerging role within best- ONE: PROCESS these processes not only ensures that con- in-class b-to-b organizations Most b-to-b content roles are dedicated to tent interlock will happen, but also provides seeking to increase content managing content within their own functions, clarity and transparency to stakeholders. quality and efficiency while which can lead to redundant and wasteful saving money by reducing content siloes. Content operations is an emerg- • Optimization. Once the enterprise-wide content waste ing role that implements and socializes an en- content process becomes standard oper- terprise-wide content production process, sup- ating procedure, the process component porting functional content strategies while of the content operations role shifts into reducing waste. Content operations should lead maintenance mode. Conduct annual audits the following process implementation areas: to ensure process compliance and gather feedback from participating functions. Day- • Audit. Content operations is responsible to-day operations should focus on iden- for auditing existing processes and resources, tifying process breakdowns, areas of rela- mapping them to an interlocked cross-func- tive strength and weakness, potential tional process and making recommendations improvements for a phased approach to improvements. process optimization. and requirements for • Internal marketing. Enterprise-wide con- TWO: INSIGHT tent process changes can be painful, partic- The worst gap in most organization’s content ularly when they involve assigning new process exists between front-line content users responsibilities, mandating new skills or (e.g. field marketing, sales) and content origina- removing sole process ownership. Because tors. While originators often lack reliable meth- of these sensitive issues, the process changes ods for understanding front-line content should be led and communicated by a requirements, users are desperate for someone © Copyright SiriusDecisions. All Rights Protected and Reserved. 1
  2. 2. CATEGORY: MARKETING STRATEGY to pay attention to their requests. This disconnect can be resolved by ing, and field marketing. Although content operations does not content operations acting as a repository and delivery mechanism for own the infrastructure, it must track internal content performance feedback, insights and requests from the front line. Key considerations to guide analysis of the reasons for content underutilization (e.g. for gathering this insight include: low content quality, poor categorization). • Personas. Many portfolio marketing functions are shifting from • Content workflow management. For organizations that have exclusively product-centric content development to a combination implemented a workflow management tool to support content of product-centric and buyer-centric content – a necessary change ideation, activation and curation, content operations should own that relies on the insights gathered from buyer persona research. this tool. The workflow system acts as the nerve center for the However, portfolio marketing functions frequently lack insight into enterprise-wide content process and ensures that clear roles and personas’ content consumption habits (e.g. information needs, responsibilities are assigned based on areas of expertise and content asset preferences, tactic preferences). Content operations requirements for content completion. This system also provides should collect this insight from content users on the field market- transparency and visibility into content-related activities and ing, sales and Web teams and feed it to content originators in port- ensures that content assets are distributed to all potential users folio marketing and campaigns or programs. within the organization. • Localization. Almost every large, global b-to-b organization faces • Sales portal. Like the content management system, the sales enormous content localization challenges, including translation portal or sales asset management (SAM) system should reflect a logistics, delivery timing, sequencing of complex campaign compo- common content architecture so that content assets support the nents, and adjusting imagery and color palettes to suit local sales process and sales methodology. Content assets can then be cultural differences. Problems such as a discrepancy in market archived intuitively in the SAM system to give sales insight into maturity or industry focus can render a content asset unusable. The their use cases. Content operations does not own this technology, most common underlying problem is a lack of visibility into the but should work with the SAM system owners to ensure alignment realities of local content adoption. Global campaign and program between all systems supporting content adoption. teams cannot optimize content for localization until they understand regional requirements and the current state of content adop- FOUR: MEASUREMENT tion (and waste). Content operations must establish a consistent Most organizations struggle to measure content performance, typically process for the delivery of feedback and requests from far-flung resulting in sporadic, one-dimensional content measurement (e.g. leads content activation outposts to centralized campaign or program created, views generated). Content operations must implement and planning functions. manage an ongoing, multi-dimensional approach to content performance measurement. Consider the following indicators: THREE: TECHNOLOGY Poorly architected content portals that fail to support the requirements • Utilization. For most organizations, the first step toward a better of all functional participants in the content process are a major contrib- enterprise-wide content approach is gaining a comprehensive utor to content waste. Organizations can fix this problem by re-engi- understanding of how, when and why content is – or is not – being neering content repositories to reflect use cases for content creators as used internally and externally. Content operations should lead this well as content activators (e.g. buyer needs, sales stages). Content oper- utilization audit and use the findings to guide optimization and ations should work with content technology owners (e.g. marketing benchmark future improvement. operations, sales operations, information technology, marketing technology) to architect the following systems to support the cross-func- • Quality. Leading organizations have implemented a rating tional content process: system that encourages content users to rate the quality of content assets through a ranking/review system in the content • Content management system. In many organizations, internal repository or qualitative surveys and interviews. However, getting content transactions take place in a content management system. content users to engage in rating activities can be a challenge, The organization’s content creators use this system to offer content particularly for groups such as sales or field marketing, who may that is either adopted or ignored by sales, digital and social market- believe the global marketing team does not listen to them. © Copyright SiriusDecisions. All Rights Protected and Reserved. 2
  3. 3. CATEGORY: MARKETING STRATEGY Content operations must work with sales management to and when specific content assets and asset types are particularly overcome this reluctance, demonstrating marketing’s responses to effective or ineffective. sales’ operational feedback. THE SIRIUS DECISION • Process. Content operations must measure process adherence Many organizations have created the role of demand creation content and optimization, and success in influencing and optimizing the strategist (see the brief “The Emerging Role of the Content Strategist”). content process is a key performance indicator for the role. Although this role helps align and create content to support the buyer’s Measurement is typically based on short- and long-term planning journey and fuel specific marketing programs, enterprise-wide content objectives established at the role’s inception, based on current-state problems persist. The role required to fill this gap is an operational leader analysis and the organization’s specific requirements. and center of excellence. Content operations leads process, infrastructure and measurement for all functions with a stake in content creation, • Impact. Content should support the business, and content meas- from ideation to activation and curation. Without a content operations urement should identify which assets are connected to successful role, organizations will continue to struggle with siloed content deals and any patterns of content consumption associated with processes, and they will fail to fully leverage the cross-functional expert- success. Examine content usage by buyer personas at different ise required to bring organizational insights to life through content that points in the buying and selling process in order to understand how supports buyers, sellers and customers. © Copyright SiriusDecisions. All Rights Protected and Reserved. 3