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[Slides] Content Marketing Software RFP, by Altimeter Group


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Why a content marketing software request for proposal (RFP)?

Against a backdrop of hundreds of content marketing vendors, with new ones emerging all the time, brands are challenged to articulate their content marketing needs. This makes creating an RFP and asking the right questions both of internal stakeholders as well as vendors incredibly difficult from the start.

In this 45-minute webinar, analyst Rebecca Lieb shares best practices for your content marketing software selection process, including her research on the content marketing software landscape.

Watch the webinar on-demand at:

Download Altimeter's Content Marketing Software RFP template at:

Published in: Technology

[Slides] Content Marketing Software RFP, by Altimeter Group

  1. 1. Webinar Content Marketing Software RFP: A Framework to Determine Marketer Needs & Solicit Proposals Rebecca Lieb, Industry Analyst Jessica Groopman, Sr. Researcher September 11, 2014 #ContentRFP
  2. 2. Welcome Turn on computer audio. Today’s hashtag: #ContentRFP Use the Readytalk control panel to submit questions at any time Slides and this recording will be emailed to you after the webinar. Rebecca Lieb Industry Analyst @lieblink Jessica Groopman Senior Researcher @jessgroopman
  3. 3. Growing channel and media complexity + increasing adoption of content marketing
  4. 4. This has created a complex, disparate content marketing software ecosystem
  5. 5. Investment & Acquisition Have Not Yet Peaked
  6. 6. Bigger doesn’t mean better– and vice versa
  7. 7. Content Marketing Vendors Most Frequently Cited as Competitive Altimeter Group asked all Content Marketing Vendors surveyed to list their top three competitors. These 10 vendors received the highest number of mentions. The size of the cloud correlates with the total number of mentions for that vendor. Source: Altimeter Group Content Marketing Survey Q2 2014 Base: n=80
  8. 8. Agenda ∙ Welcome ∙ Why a Content Marketing RFP? ∙ Seven Steps of Content Marketing Software Selection ∙ Best Practices ∙ Altimeter’s Content Marketing Software RFP Template
  9. 9. Why a Content Marketing RFP?
  10. 10. Content Marketing is relatively new… And therefore, poorly understood
  11. 11. Content is also bigger than any single department
  12. 12. Tangled and Emerging Vendor Landscape adds to the complexity • Solution proliferation • The landscape is bifurcated • Content marketing evolution is driving consolidation
  13. 13. RESULT Brands cannot yet clearly articulate their content marketing needs to the hundreds of content marketing vendors competing for their business, with new vendors emerging all the time.
  14. 14. Content Marketing presents specific challenges to the typical RFP process Establishing content governance Matching needs to planned investments Finding solutions that scale towards future Scoping cross-functional software integration reqs Accommodating existing workflows Winnowing down vendor shortlist
  15. 15. Buyers’ Needs Don’t Match Planned Investments
  16. 16. Altimeter’s Content Marketing Software RFP Template
  17. 17. The goal of any RFP is to bring structure to the procurement process.
  18. 18. The RFP Template reflects the two parts of our recommended process: Conduct an internal assessment of use cases and requirements by asking key stakeholders about their needs and priorities. Create an RFP to be used externally with vendors based on these needs. It should include an RFP Background (completed by the marketer) and an RFP Vendor Response sheet. Finally, combine vendor responses to cross reference.
  19. 19. Access the full template here:
  20. 20. The Seven Steps of Content Marketing Software Selection
  21. 21. Step 1: Determine Goals & Provide Background ∙ Align the organizational and RFP process ∙ Create a brief including:  Project goals & Objectives Deployment approach Competitive landscape  Implementation timeline
  22. 22. Reference RFP tab “Stakeholder Feedback” Once developed, add the goals and any additional background to the “Stakeholder Feedback” tab, which you will use to solicit feedback from key stakeholders.
  23. 23. Step 2: Determine & Prioritize Content Marketing Use Cases ∙ Reduce the complexity of your internal and external evaluation process ∙ Determine priority use cases and sub-category features  Creation  Curation & Aggregation  Optimization  Analytics  Audience & Targeting  Distribution  Workflow  Legal & Compliance
  24. 24. Reference RFP Tab “Stakeholder Feedback” In the “Stakeholder Feedback” tab of the RFP Template, you have the option of including all or just some of the use cases, asking stakeholders to rate how important each area is to help determine prioritization for the organization.
  25. 25. Step 3: Gather Cross-Functional Requirements ∙ Identify stakeholders and end users across multiple functions and workflows ∙ Solicit the following:  Requirements  Input, pain points, needs  Collaboration  Facilitate a sense of ownership, adoption
  26. 26. Reference RFP tab “Consolidated Stakeholder Feedback” Circulate the “Stakeholder Feedback” tab, then aggregate all stakeholders’ responses in the “Consolidated Feedback” tab so that it’s in one place and easy to review.
  27. 27. 40% of the content marketers we surveyed report that the lack of inter-departmental coordination is leading to disparate tools used.
  28. 28. “We did a series of workshops with the content creators and manipulators… So much came down to workflow, particularly around transparency and the ability to understand what’s happening with content at any given point.” — Meg Walsh, Senior Director of Digital Strategy & Distribution at Marriott International
  29. 29. Step 4: Plan for Integration & Evolution ∙ Consider converged media and content stack evolution when planning for integrations ∙ Identifying integration priorities can help shortlist prospective vendors o Integration with Marketing Systems o Integration with Enterprise Systems o Future Integrations
  30. 30. Consider the organization’s IT roadmap, external forces, emerging technology platforms, changing capabilities, and device types. Integration Needs Integration with Marketing Systems Integration with Enterprise Systems Future Integrations Integration requirements with other marketing systems are critical and typically comprise the most immediate integration needs. Depending on organizational needs, enterprise system integration may be an immediate or a longer-term priority.
  31. 31. Content Marketing Needs Checklist
  32. 32. Chart integration requirements in the “Stakeholder Feedback” and “Vendor Response” tabs It’s worth noting that steps 3 & 4 are often conducted in tandem; cross- functional requirements help build out integration needs unforeseen by marketing functions.
  33. 33. Step 5: Create RFP Background & Vendor Response Documents ∙ Build as realistic and complete a picture of current and future needs  Strategy  Business objectives  Program needs  Use cases & subcategory features  Current tools  Integration needs  DM timeline  Evaluation criteria  Budget information
  34. 34. Reference “RFP Background” & “Vendor Response” tabs for RFP submission The RFP Background sheet provides details about the strategy and approach to content marketing. The RFP Vendor Response sheet contains specific requirements and questions o be answered by identified vendors
  35. 35. Step 6: Identify & Prioritize Vendors ∙ Having gathered requirements & background, submit RFPs to selected vendors  Match vendor priorities (see Appendix) with your organization’s use cases ∙ Consider multiple point solutions in addition (or instead of) full suite providers
  36. 36. Reference our Vendor Matrix to assess Individual Vendor Strengths
  37. 37. Step 7: Gather & Compare Responses ∙ Compare options & create a shortlist. ∙ Follow up with all vendors with your feedback. You want to work with them in the future
  38. 38. Reference the “Combined Vendor Responses” tab
  39. 39. Content Tool Best Practices
  40. 40. Content Tool Best Practices ∙ Train staff ∙ Avoid redundancies ∙ Build for speed ∙ Consider IT support (or lack thereof) ∙ Scale towards the future
  41. 41. I. Train staff ∙ Educate staff on content strategy, and train to leverage tools 24% of the marketers we surveyed say employees are formally trained and empowered to publish on behalf of the brand.
  42. 42. II. Avoid redundancies ∙ Eliminate redundant toolsets with overlapping secondary or tertiary features ∙ Integration helps drive “one version of the truth” vs. “multiple realities that don’t align when viewed in aggregate.”
  43. 43. III. Build for speed ∙ Real-time Marketing requirements require speedy deployment ∙ Rapid personalization, delivery, and the ability to build content based on buzz are primary considerations • Speedy implementation, set-up, training, and ease of use are key to adoption
  44. 44. IV. Consider IT support (or lack thereof) ∙ Assess the level of support needed for software implementation and ongoing support ∙ Many solutions today bypass IT for day-to-day publishing needs
  45. 45. V. Scale towards the future ∙ Monitor emerging technologies and potential integration needs ∙ Mobile ∙ Real-time marketing ∙ Localization in international markets ∙ Native advertising ∙ Sensors, beacons, etc. ∙ Adopt a test and learn approach
  46. 46. uestions?
  47. 47. Thank You Rebecca Lieb Industry Analyst @lieblink Jessica Groopman Senior Researcher @jessgroopman Altimeter Group provides research and advisory for companies challenged by business disruptions, enabling them to pursue new opportunities and business models. Disclaimer: Although the information and data used in this report have been produced and processed from sources believed to be reliable, no warranty eXpressed or implied is made regarding the completeness, accuracy, adequacy or use of the information. The authors and contributors of the information and data shall have no liability for errors or omissions contained herein or for interpretations thereof. Reference herein to any specific product or vendor by trade name, trademark or otherwise does not constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation or favoring by the authors or contributors and shall not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes. The opinions eXpressed herein are subject to change without notice.