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2021 CONTENT
MANAGEMENT
& STRATEGY
SURVEY
2
Introduction................................................................................................................................................................. 3
Key Findings................................................................................................................................................................6
Methodology/Demographics.............................................................................................................................. 8
Use of Strategic Approach................................................................................................................................. 10
Strategic Management of Content..................................................................................................................12
Opinions About Content Management.........................................................................................................15
Content Management Technology..................................................................................................................16
Strategic Content Creation................................................................................................................................22
Overall Success........................................................................................................................................................24
Strategic Content Management Challenges..............................................................................................25
About............................................................................................................................................................................29
TABLE OF CONTENTS
3
INTRODUCTION
Welcome to our fifth annual Content Management &
Strategy Survey report.
As they reported in 2020, many content professionals are
working hard on internal processes that improve their ability
to connect with customers. At the same time, silos continue
to get in the way (58% said communication among teams is a
challenge, as did 60% last year).
Nevertheless, content professionals have made strides in
working to create consistent experiences throughout the
customer journey. However, they faced challenges with
content production workflow and using UX design to improve
customer experiences (not surprising, as teams have had to
adjust to shifts brought on by the pandemic and work-from-
home world).
•	 49% agreed their organization creates consistent
experiences throughout the customer journey (up from
39% the previous year).
•	 Those who cited content production workflow as a
challenge increased to 45% from 27%.
•	 Those who cited using UX design to improve the overall
experience a customer has with the organization as a
challenge increased to 50% from 43%.
CONTENT AS A CORE BUSINESS STRATEGY
More respondents this year reported that their business
views content as a core business strategy (81% vs. 72% last
year). In addition:
•	 The level of proficiency with using technology to manage
content increased (31% reported that their organization is
expert/advanced vs. 25% last year).
•	 Fewer reported that having enough skilled staff is a
challenge (53% vs. 63% last year).
•	 About the same percentage reported that their
organization is extremely/very successful with content
management (22%), and fewer reported minimal/no
success (13% vs. 21% last year).
However, fewer respondents agreed their organization
extracts meaningful insights from data and analytics (56% vs.
69% last year). In addition, 21% indicated a neutral position
4
INTRODUCTION
here (neither agree nor disagree) vs. 12% last year. This
struggle makes sense, considering the massive shifts in
online behavior coupled with the sheer volume of data
generated in 2020.
IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON INTERNAL
CONTENT MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGIES
Like last year, around 40% of respondents said their
organization isn’t using its existing content technology
to potential. The top three reasons cited for this:
integration issues (56%), lack of training (55%), and lack of
communication about capabilities (50%).
A new question in the survey asked about changes to
content management technology due to work-from-home
shifts caused by COVID-19:
•	 67% reported few/no changes and 33% reported
drastic/moderate changes.
•	 57% indicated their organization has a strong/moderate
desire to add new content management technology as
it adapts to a post-COVID-19 world; 43% indicated little/
no desire.
The desire to add new technology wasn’t surprising. Last
year, we predicted a much greater need for collaborative
technologies and solutions, as working remotely in many
ways becomes a new normal, requiring technology that
enables collaboration, sharing, and agility.
CONTENT OPERATING MODEL FOCUSES ON
CONTENT PRODUCTS/PLATFORMS
Another finding suggests that teams became more
focused on their owned content marketing platforms (e.g.,
websites, blogs) versus spending so much time in reactive
mode, responding to internal ad hoc requests. Consider
the following:
In 2020, when we asked respondents to: Indicate the typical
approach taken by content creators in your organization:
•	 43% selected “project focused” (creating content in
response to internal requests), whereas only 14%
selected “platform focused” (creating specific types of
content such as blogs or videos).
5
INTRODUCTION
In 2021, when we changed the question to: Which one of
the following most closely describes your organization’s
current content operating model (i.e., where the content
team spends most of its time, effort, budget)?
•	 50% indicated a “content products” model (focused
on content marketing platforms such as website, blog,
magazine, resource center), followed by 32% who
indicated a “projects/campaign” model (operating
like an internal agency, responding to ad hoc internal
requests).
THE SEVENTH WAVE IS HERE
Surfers say that waves travel in groups of seven as a “set.”
Having the patience to wait for the biggest, most powerful
seventh wave is the key to a great day in the water.
In reality, there is no seventh wave. There are bigger waves,
and smaller waves, and patterns. Even so, good surfers can
sense when that big wave is imminent.
It’s like that for content practitioners, too. Executives
are more convinced than ever that content is a strategic
function in business. But they don’t quite have a feel for
how it all works yet. The waves pass by.
Content production workflow has become an even bigger
bottleneck, because marketing leaders know they need
more content assets, but the business can’t quite count
the waves yet. More waves pass by.
Owned media properties (e.g., websites, blogs, magazines,
resource centers) are important for enhancing customer
experience. But we don’t quite have the hang of managing
them as products yet.
But content practitioners know that 2021 is different …
there’s a swell coming.
Put simply, it’s time for us to wax up the boards and
teach our companies how to surf content strategy and
management. The waves aren’t new, but we can sense
that the one we’re in now is going to be massive.
Time to shoot the curl.
6
KEY FINDINGS
Content continues
to become more
strategic.
Eighty-one percent of
respondents indicated
their organization views
content as a business
strategy, up from 72%
last year. In addition,
there was an uptick in
those describing their
organization’s proficiency
with using technology
to manage content as
“expert/advanced” (31%
vs. 25% last year). See
pages 15 and 16.
There is greater
emphasis on
customer experience
during the content
planning phase.
Content professionals
have made strides
in working to create
consistent experiences
throughout the customer
journey (49% agreed their
organization is focused
on this, vs. 39% last year).
See page 22.
Extracting insights
from data is tougher
now than one year ago.
Slightly more than half
(56%) of respondents
strongly/somewhat
agreed their organization
extracts meaningful
insights from data and
analytics, down from 69%
last year. Furthermore,
21% were neutral here
(neither agree nor
disagree) vs. 12% last
year, suggesting teams
are readjusting the ways
they work with data. See
page 15.
Integration, training,
and communication
issues are the top
barriers to using
content management
technologies to
potential.
Similar to last year,
around 40% said their
organization isn’t using
its content technology to
potential. The top three
reasons cited for this:
integration issues (56%),
lack of training (55%), and
lack of communication
about capabilities (50%).
See page 19.
Continued on next page
7
KEY FINDINGS
More than half
reported a
strong/moderate
desire to add new
content management
technology.
When asked about
the changes their
organizations made to
content management
technology due to work-
from-home shifts during
the pandemic, 67%
reported few/no changes.
However, 57% felt their
organization has a strong/
moderate desire to add
new content management
technology as it adapts
to a post-COVID-19 world.
See page 17.
Challenges have
shifted.
While communication
among teams remained
a top challenge, fewer
respondents this year
reported that finding
enough staff skilled in
content strategy was a
challenge (53% vs. 63%
last year). However,
more reported being
challenged with content
production workflow
and using UX design
to improve customer
experiences. See page 25.
Content products/
platforms are the
major area of content
operations focus.
Half of respondents
indicated they operate
within a “content
products” model (focused
on content marketing
platforms such as
website, blog, magazine,
resource center), followed
by 32% who indicated
a “projects/campaign”
model (operating like
an internal agency,
responding to ad hoc
internal requests). See
page 23.
8
METHODOLOGY/DEMOGRAPHICS
To better understand the approach content professionals are taking to strategically manage content,
Content Marketing Institute (CMI) surveyed a portion of its subscriber database as follows:
Nature of Organization’s Business (Agencies and Consultants were excluded)
©	For-profit
©	Nonprofit
Organization’s Employee Size
©	 50+ Employees
CMI’s research team designed, programmed, and hosted the online survey, and collected and tabulated the data.
CMI emailed the survey invitations on April 7, 2021, and sent a reminder email on April 21, 2021. By April 29, 2021,
respondents had returned 263 surveys. Seventy-eight percent (78%) indicated their organization takes a strategic
approach to managing content; of those, 99% indicated they are involved (directly or indirectly) with some
aspect of strategic content management in their organization.
To encourage prompt response and optimize the response rate, a random drawing was held for two $50 Amazon
gift cards, a link was included in the invitation to route respondents directly to the online survey, and the
invitation and survey were branded with the CMI and ContentTECH Summit names and logos to capitalize on
affinity for the brands.
 
9
SURVEY DEFINITIONS
Strategic approach to managing content—an approach that involves setting up processes, people, and technology to
better scale and deliver content with the intent to improve the overall customer experience.
A content management strategy—a strategy that addresses issues such as how your organization plans, develops,
organizes, distributes, manages, and governs content.
Success—achieving your organization’s overall desired/targeted results for its content strategy.
Nature of Organization
53%
7%
29%
6% 5%
■ For-profit B2B
■ For-profit B2C
■ For-profit B2B+B2C
■ Nonprofit
■ Other
Size of Organization Location of Organization
40%
43%
17%
■ 1,000+ employees
■ 100 - 999 employees
■ 1 - 99 employees
Industry Classification
32%
14%
11%
10%
7%
4%
22%
■ Technology/IT/Software/Hardware
■ Financial services
■ Manufacturing
■ Healthcare/Medical/Pharmaceuticals
■ Professional services
■ Publishing/Media
■ Other
■ North America
■ EMEA
■ APAC
■ South America
79%
10%
9%
2%
METHODOLOGY/DEMOGRAPHICS
10
78% said their organization takes a strategic approach to managing content.
Strategic Approach
to Managing Content
78%
22%
■ Yes
■ No
Involvement in Strategic
Content Management
99%
1%
■ Yes
■ No
Documented Content
Management Strategy
53%
39%
8%
■ Yes
■ No
■ Unsure
Areas of Involvement with
Strategic Content Management
0 20 40 60 80 100
Content creation
(e.g., editorial, video, design)
Content marketing strategy (e.g., thought leadership,
owned media management, distribution channels)
Content strategy (e.g., governance,
content management, audits, taxonomies)
General marketing
Communications (e.g., PR,
corporate communications)
Information technology
Other
90%
91%
80%
66%
61%
10%
6%
Base: Respondents involved with strategic
content management in their organization.
Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
Content Marketing Institute 2021 Content
Management & Strategy Survey
USE OF STRATEGIC APPROACH
Base: All respondents. Base: Those who are involved in strategic
content management in their organization.
Base: Respondents whose organization takes a
strategic approach to managing content.
11
Respondents said the top two reasons why their organizations don’t take a strategic
approach to managing content are lack of processes (68%) and leadership hasn’t made
it a priority (61%).
Reasons Why Organizations Don’t Take
a Strategic Approach to Managing Content
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
Lack of processes
Leadership hasn’t made it a priority
Lack of financial investment in resources
Organizational culture
Leadership doesn’t view content as something that needs to be strategically managed
Management changes
Other
68%
61%
47%
47%
41%
12%
8%
Base: Respondents whose organizations do not take a strategic approach to managing content. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
Content Marketing Institute 2021 Content Management & Strategy Survey
USE OF STRATEGIC APPROACH
12
Fewer reported undertaking the following content-related activities when compared with the
previous year:
	
Content audit (60% vs. 71%)
	
Content gap analysis (48% vs. 57%)
	
Research to better understand user experience to inform content strategy (39% vs. 52%).
Base: Respondents involved with strategic content management in their organization. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
Content Marketing Institute 2021 Content Management & Strategy Survey
STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT OF CONTENT
Content-Related Activities Undertaken
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
A content audit (an evaluation
of your existing content)
None of the above
Unsure
A content inventory
(a list of your content assets)
Research to better understand potential
audiences to inform content strategy
A content gap analysis (identification of areas
where you need additional content)
Research to better understand user experience
to inform content strategy (e.g., the experience a
person has while interacting with your content
at your website)
63%
60%
55%
48%
39%
6%
3%
STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT OF CONTENT
13
65% reported that their organization has content governance guidelines in place.
STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT OF CONTENT
Content-Related Structures in Place
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
Content taxonomy
Content governance guidelines
Structured content
Unsure
65%
60%
59%
5%
Base: Respondents involved with strategic content management in their organization. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
Content Marketing Institute 2021 Content Management & Strategy Survey
14
88% said their organization has style and brand guidelines in place.
Content Development Aids Currently in Use
88%
80%
79%
73%
68%
66%
59%
50%
41%
1%
Style and brand guidelines
SEO/keyword research
Editorial calendar
Editorial guidelines (e.g., style, tone)
Content performance analytics
Customer personas
Formal workflow process(es)
Brand messaging architecture
Customer journey map(s)
Unsure
0 20 40 60 80 100
Base: Respondents involved with strategic content management in their organization. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
Content Marketing Institute 2021 Content Management & Strategy Survey
STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT OF CONTENT
15
81% agreed their organization views content as a core business strategy, up from 72% the
previous year.
	
56% agreed their organization extracts meaningful insights from data and analytics 			
	 derived from the consumption of content, down from 69% the previous year. Those
	 indicating a neutral position increased to 21% from 12% the previous year.
Opinions About Content Management
■ Strongly agree ■ Somewhat agree ■ Neither agree nor disagree
■ Somewhat disagree ■ Strongly disagree
Our organization views content as a core business
strategy (appropriate staffing, budget, processes, etc.).
Our organization can easily re-use and re-purpose
content across multiple channels.
Our organization extracts meaningful insights from data and
analytics derived from the consumption of content.
34% 47%
36%
15% 41% 21% 17%
44% 8% 11%
6% 10% 3%
1%
6%
Base: Respondents involved with strategic content management in their organization who answered each statement. Aided list.
Content Marketing Institute 2021 Content Management & Strategy Survey
OPINIONS ABOUT CONTENT MANAGEMENT
16
31% described their organization’s level of proficiency with using technology to manage
content across the enterprise as expert/advanced vs. 25% the previous year.
Level of Proficiency With Using Technology
to Manage Content Across the Organization
0 10 20 30 40 50
Expert
Advanced
Intermediate
Novice
Beginner
Do not use technology to manage content
30%
1%
38%
21%
4%
6%
Base: Respondents involved with strategic content management in their organization. Aided list.
Content Marketing Institute 2021 Content Management & Strategy Survey
Descriptors used for each level
of proficiency:
EXPERT
Content fully automated across the business;
scaling across the organization; experiencing
the benefits
ADVANCED
Finding success, yet challenged with fully
integrating content technology into our
business culture and operations
INTERMEDIATE
Have developed a business case for using
technology to manage content; identified or
are using a content management platform;
seeing early success
NOVICE
Growing pains; building a team and business
case for using technology to manage content,
yet challenged with the changes required
BEGINNER
Starting to address aspects of using technology
to manage content
CONTENT MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY
17
CONTENT MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY
67% of respondents said their organization made few/no changes to content management
technology due to the work-from-home shifts caused by COVID-19. However, 57% felt that
their organization has a strong/moderate desire to add new content management technology
as it adapts to business in a post-COVID-19 environment.
Changes Made to Content Management
Technology Due to Work-from-Home
Shifts Caused by COVID-19
31%
41%
26%
2%
■ Drastic changes
■ Moderate changes
■ Few changes
■ No changes
Organization’s Desire to Add New Content
Management Technology as It Adapts to
a Post-COVID-19 Environment
20%
14%
37%
29%
■ Strong desire
■ Moderate desire
■ Little desire
■ No desire
Base: Respondents involved with strategic content management at organizations that use
technology to manage content. Aided list.
Content Marketing Institute 2021 Content Management & Strategy Survey
Base: Respondents involved with strategic content management at organizations that use
technology to manage content. Aided list.
Content Marketing Institute 2021 Content Management & Strategy Survey
18
The top two content technologies respondents said their organizations have in place are
email marketing software and social media publishing/analytics.
Content Technologies in Place
85%
84%
73%
72%
42%
51%
45%
40%
31%
22%
9%
0 20 40 60 80 100
Email marketing software
Social media publishing/analytics
Customer relationship management (CRM) platform
Content management system (management and publishing)
Content distribution platform(s)
Marketing automation system (MAS)
Digital asset management (DAM) system/file storage
Content performance/recommendation analytics
Sales enablement platform
Content optimization software (e.g., personalization, content targeting)
Other content technologies
Base: Respondents involved with strategic content management at organizations that use technology to manage content. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
Content Marketing Institute 2021 Content Management & Strategy Survey
CONTENT MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY
19
42% said their organization doesn’t use its technology to full potential, which is nearly
identical to last year’s finding. This year, we also asked what is standing in the way. The top
three answers were integration issues, lack of training, and lack of communication.
CONTENT MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY
Base: Respondents involved with strategic content management at organizations
that use technology to manage content. Aided list.
Content Marketing Institute 2021 Content Management & Strategy Survey
NOTE: The fill-in responses to the “other, please specify” option often referred to a lack
of time and/or budget.
Base: Respondents who indicated their organization has technology but isn’t using
it to its potential. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
Content Marketing Institute 2021 Content Management & Strategy Survey
The Right Technology in Place to Manage
Content Across the Organization
25%
42%
33%
■ Yes
■ No — we have the technology,
but aren’t using it to its potential
■ No — we haven’t acquired the
right technology
Reasons Why Organizations Aren’t Using
Technology to Its Potential
Integration issues (e.g., challenges
making it work with other systems)
Lack of training
Lack of communication about capabilities
Implementation issues (e.g., awaiting
completion, not functional)
Technology is outdated
0 20 40 60
56%
55%
50%
42%
8%
Other 17%
20
What capability is your organization most lacking that you
feel technology would help with?
This was a fill-in question we asked respondents who said their organization had not yet acquired the
right technology to manage content across the organization (33%). Several respondents mentioned
organization/communication tools, the customer journey, and analytics. Some of the verbatim
responses are shown on this page and the next.
CONTENT MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY
	
A centralized view of content, related assets, and
	 performance across different channels.
	 A project management tool to manage workflows.
	 Ability to see publishing across channels and project 		
	 manage.
	 Being able to measure content-influenced revenues and 	
	 tracking content usage and effectiveness.
	 Orchestrate a digital customer journey per industry (we 	
	 serve several).
	 Consistency and organization. Our salespeople are
	 often using outdated documents in their work while
	 those of us in marketing have been using the latest for
	 some time. Even though we have a content
	 management and storage system, it doesn't alert
	 people when things are updated. A system better
	 prepared for that could improve our workplace
	 communication overall.
	 Marketing stack is still not giving us a clear view of the 		
	 customer experience.
Continued on next page
21
CONTENT MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY
	 Omni-channel product(s) and strategy.
	 Auditing and proper personalization.
	 Taxonomy, better understanding of personalization and 	
	 how to use tech to aid in that.
	 Content distribution and analytics.
	 We need an enterprise editorial calendaring and
	 management system that can be used across the
	 organization as well as by outside vendors and writers. 	
	 We are still at the Excel stage and it is painful.
	 Integrated full-journey analytics from anonymous to 		
	 known, on gated/ungated interactions, DAM, CMP.
	 Tracking user interaction with our content.
	 It's more of an organizational culture — siloed, no
	 C-suite support for content quality and standards. If
	 there's technology that can help that, please let me know!
	 Interactive content creation to improve engagement 		
	 and personalization on-the-fly; better tracking analytics.
	 Being able to create leads and keep them organized 	
	 where it is beneficial for both the sales team and the
	 client.
22
49% of respondents said they always/frequently take creating consistent experiences throughout the customer
journey into account during the content planning process, up from 39% last year.
	
Those indicating they always/frequently drive personalized experiences stayed about the same compared 		
	 with the previous year.
	
This was the first time we asked about using structured, repeatable content production processes.
Factors Taken Into Account During
Content Planning Process
■ Always ■ Frequently ■ Sometimes ■ Rarely ■ Never
Use structured, repeatable content
production processes
Create consistent experiences
throughout the customer journey
Drive personalized experiences
16% 45% 29% 8%
15%
5% 41%
21% 31%
34% 41% 10%
2%
0%
2%
Base: Respondents involved with strategic content management in their organization. Aided list.
Content Marketing Institute 2021 Content Management & Strategy Survey
STRATEGIC CONTENT CREATION
23
50% of respondents said their current content operating model is focused on content
products (e.g., owned content marketing platforms such as websites, blogs, magazines,
and resource centers).
Base: Respondents involved with strategic content management in their organization. Aided list; select one.
Content Marketing Institute 2021 Content Management & Strategy Survey
Current Content Operating
Model/Place Where Content Team
Spends Most of Its Time
50%
32%
11%
3% 4%
■ Content products
■ Projects/campaigns
■ Self-contained
■ Standards
■ None
STRATEGIC CONTENT CREATION
CONTENT PRODUTS
Our operating model is focused on owned content
marketing platforms, e.g., our website, blog,
magazine, resource center.
PROJECTS/CAMPAIGNS
Our operating model looks like an internal agency,
responding to ad hoc internal requests.
SELF-CONTAINED
Our operating model is completely self-contained;
we operate as a separate team within the business.
STANDARDS
Our operating model is focused on providing
standards and guidelines, e.g., SEO keywords,
translation, CMS management, and other technical
or structural assistance.
NONE
We have no defined operating model; we’re just
trying to keep up with doing what we can.
24
22% said their organization is extremely/very successful with strategically managing content across
the enterprise.
	
The percentage of those indicating moderate success increased to 65% from 56% the previous year.
Note: The survey defined success as “achieving your organization’s overall desired/targeted results for its content strategy.”
Base: Respondents involved with strategic content management in their organization. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
Content Marketing Institute 2021 Content Management & Strategy Survey
OVERALL SUCCESS
Overall Success With Strategically Managing
Content Across the Organization
Extremely successful
Very successful
Moderately successful
Minimally successful
2%
20%
22%
65%
56%
12%
19%
1%
1%
2%
Not at all successful
2021
2020
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
25
Like last year, respondents said their top two challenges were communication among teams and having enough skilled
staff. However, the percentage of those who said skilled staff was a challenge decreased to 53% from 63%. In addition:
	
Far more cited content production workflow as a challenge this year compared with last year (45% vs. 27%).
	
The percentage of those challenged with using UX design to improve the customer’s overall experience increased to 		
	 50% from 43%.
	
Three new challenges were added to the list this year (understanding the customer journey, implementing the right 		
	 technology(ies), and ensuring that content creators across the organization follow the same guidelines).
STRATEGIC CONTENT MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES
Strategic Content Management Challenges
58%
53%
50%
45%
41%
38%
34%
32%
2%
0 20 40 60
Communication among teams so everyone is on the same page
(e.g., content, marketing, IT, creative, sales)
Enough staff skilled in content strategy
Using user experience (UX) design to improve the overall
experience a customer has with our organization
Content production workflow
Understanding the customer journey
Implementing the right technology(ies)
Lack of budget
Ensuring that content creators across the
organization follow the same guidelines
Other
Base: Respondents involved with strategic content management in their organization. Aided list; multiple responses permitted.
Content Marketing Institute 2021 Content Management & Strategy Survey
26
STRATEGIC CONTENT MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES
If there was one thing you could do to improve your organization's
success with managing content across the entire organization,
what would it be?
This was a fill-in question. Recurrent themes included process issues, ROI, and the customer journey.
Here are some of the verbatim responses:
	
An understanding of priorities and a comprehensive
	 strategy, together with improved communication across
	 all marketing activities (remove all silos).
	
Have a content platform to keep everything organized.
	
A singular content management system across the
	 organization that would provide transparency and
	 collaboration, and an editorial platform for planning.
	
Implement a content editorial process and ensure all 		
	 content is archived/tagged in the DAM for easier access
	 across the organization.
	
Have a visible dashboard into our content queue that
	 anyone across the organization could access. While we
	 have a Google doc and asana to track it, these views are
	 too in the weeds for people in different departments.
	
Repeatable content structures for repurposing existing
	 content.
	
Bring AI capabilities to augment our creative resources.
	
More automated publishing of content and integration 	
	 between our work management tool and our content
	 system of record. The ability to automatically port
	 taxonomy tags from creation, to cataloging, to 			
	 publishing would be amazing!
Continued on next page
27
STRATEGIC CONTENT MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES
	
Ensure that everyone is using consistent information
	 and formatting. It's a bit like the Wild West at my
	 workplace currently. While many within the organization
	 do a lot of good work, it's not always on the same
	 page with others and can lead to messaging issues that
	 marketing has to work around and fix.
	
I wish we would include personalization and automation
	 as part of our strategy. Everything is done "by hand"
	 and it is sometimes difficult to manage without massive
	 spreadsheets and long hours of analysis.
	
Consistent martech systems that work together and 		
	 don't require so much manual data entry or analysis.
	
We currently have underdeveloped tech with inaccurate 	
	 data on content engagement. Looking forward to
	 improving this.
	
	
An understanding of the end-to-end customer journey.
	
Customer journey tracking respective to our owned
	 properties and self-promoted content. I'd like to utilize
	 UX tools, backed by a robust CRM system, to better
	 understand content consumption in an effort to
	 calculate a more actionable content ROI.
	
Be able to quickly and easily show ROI on our content 		
	 program.
	
Currently our organization is very siloed—working
	 together and communicating so we are on the same
	 page would help to improve the content management.
	 Also, training on the systems we have and how to use
	 them more productively.
28
Assess your content operating
model. There’s a good chance that your
content team has been operating in
triage mode over the last 12 months—
or maybe it has been all along. If
you’re suffering from too many demands, bottlenecks
of asset production, or the inability to measure content
effectiveness, you probably lack a clear charter and
operating model for your content team.
Put simply, in a world without standards, there can be no
improvement.
So, assess your content team’s current operating
model and create a road map for how to get where you
believe you should be. The gaps that appear in where
you are now and where you want to be are the priority
initiatives to focus on.
De-silo the customer’s journey. When and where you
can, start using technology to connect digital experiences
for your customers. De-siloing the marketing organization
may be impossible. But exploring how your content
technology can begin to connect and create one “source
of the truth” for your audience/marketing database will
pay huge dividends—it’s also the first step toward having
groups like sales, marketing, demand gen, and brand
teams work together.
Manage your owned-media properties like products.
Your website, blog, resource center, or digital magazine is
as important to your customer’s journey as the products
and services you put into the marketplace—treat it as
such. Each owned property deserves a managing editor,
and to be budgeted and measured as a digital product.
Action Steps
By Robert Rose, Chief Strategy Advisor, Content Marketing Institute
TAKEAWAYS
29
ABOUT
Thanks to all the survey respondents and everyone who disseminates these findings to professionals
concerned with the effective use of technology that helps create, manage, deliver, and scale
enterprise content and marketing.
About Content Marketing Institute (CMI)
Content Marketing Institute is the leading global content marketing education and training organization, teaching
Technology brands how to attract and retain customers through compelling, multichannel storytelling. CMI’s
Content Marketing World event, the largest content marketing-focused event, is held every fall in Cleveland, Ohio,
and ContentTECH Summit event is held every spring in San Diego, California. CMI publishes Chief Content Officer for
executives and provides strategic consulting and content marketing research for some of the best-known brands in the
world. Content Marketing Institute is organized by Informa Connect. Learn more at ContentMarketingInstitute.com.
About Informa Connect
Informa Connect is a specialist in content-driven events and digital communities that allow professionals to meet, connect,
learn, and share knowledge. We operate major branded events in Marketing, Global Finance, Life Sciences and Pharma,
Construction and Real Estate, and other specialist markets, and connect communities online year-round.

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2021 Content Management & Strategy Survey

  • 2. 2 Introduction................................................................................................................................................................. 3 Key Findings................................................................................................................................................................6 Methodology/Demographics.............................................................................................................................. 8 Use of Strategic Approach................................................................................................................................. 10 Strategic Management of Content..................................................................................................................12 Opinions About Content Management.........................................................................................................15 Content Management Technology..................................................................................................................16 Strategic Content Creation................................................................................................................................22 Overall Success........................................................................................................................................................24 Strategic Content Management Challenges..............................................................................................25 About............................................................................................................................................................................29 TABLE OF CONTENTS
  • 3. 3 INTRODUCTION Welcome to our fifth annual Content Management & Strategy Survey report. As they reported in 2020, many content professionals are working hard on internal processes that improve their ability to connect with customers. At the same time, silos continue to get in the way (58% said communication among teams is a challenge, as did 60% last year). Nevertheless, content professionals have made strides in working to create consistent experiences throughout the customer journey. However, they faced challenges with content production workflow and using UX design to improve customer experiences (not surprising, as teams have had to adjust to shifts brought on by the pandemic and work-from- home world). • 49% agreed their organization creates consistent experiences throughout the customer journey (up from 39% the previous year). • Those who cited content production workflow as a challenge increased to 45% from 27%. • Those who cited using UX design to improve the overall experience a customer has with the organization as a challenge increased to 50% from 43%. CONTENT AS A CORE BUSINESS STRATEGY More respondents this year reported that their business views content as a core business strategy (81% vs. 72% last year). In addition: • The level of proficiency with using technology to manage content increased (31% reported that their organization is expert/advanced vs. 25% last year). • Fewer reported that having enough skilled staff is a challenge (53% vs. 63% last year). • About the same percentage reported that their organization is extremely/very successful with content management (22%), and fewer reported minimal/no success (13% vs. 21% last year). However, fewer respondents agreed their organization extracts meaningful insights from data and analytics (56% vs. 69% last year). In addition, 21% indicated a neutral position
  • 4. 4 INTRODUCTION here (neither agree nor disagree) vs. 12% last year. This struggle makes sense, considering the massive shifts in online behavior coupled with the sheer volume of data generated in 2020. IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON INTERNAL CONTENT MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGIES Like last year, around 40% of respondents said their organization isn’t using its existing content technology to potential. The top three reasons cited for this: integration issues (56%), lack of training (55%), and lack of communication about capabilities (50%). A new question in the survey asked about changes to content management technology due to work-from-home shifts caused by COVID-19: • 67% reported few/no changes and 33% reported drastic/moderate changes. • 57% indicated their organization has a strong/moderate desire to add new content management technology as it adapts to a post-COVID-19 world; 43% indicated little/ no desire. The desire to add new technology wasn’t surprising. Last year, we predicted a much greater need for collaborative technologies and solutions, as working remotely in many ways becomes a new normal, requiring technology that enables collaboration, sharing, and agility. CONTENT OPERATING MODEL FOCUSES ON CONTENT PRODUCTS/PLATFORMS Another finding suggests that teams became more focused on their owned content marketing platforms (e.g., websites, blogs) versus spending so much time in reactive mode, responding to internal ad hoc requests. Consider the following: In 2020, when we asked respondents to: Indicate the typical approach taken by content creators in your organization: • 43% selected “project focused” (creating content in response to internal requests), whereas only 14% selected “platform focused” (creating specific types of content such as blogs or videos).
  • 5. 5 INTRODUCTION In 2021, when we changed the question to: Which one of the following most closely describes your organization’s current content operating model (i.e., where the content team spends most of its time, effort, budget)? • 50% indicated a “content products” model (focused on content marketing platforms such as website, blog, magazine, resource center), followed by 32% who indicated a “projects/campaign” model (operating like an internal agency, responding to ad hoc internal requests). THE SEVENTH WAVE IS HERE Surfers say that waves travel in groups of seven as a “set.” Having the patience to wait for the biggest, most powerful seventh wave is the key to a great day in the water. In reality, there is no seventh wave. There are bigger waves, and smaller waves, and patterns. Even so, good surfers can sense when that big wave is imminent. It’s like that for content practitioners, too. Executives are more convinced than ever that content is a strategic function in business. But they don’t quite have a feel for how it all works yet. The waves pass by. Content production workflow has become an even bigger bottleneck, because marketing leaders know they need more content assets, but the business can’t quite count the waves yet. More waves pass by. Owned media properties (e.g., websites, blogs, magazines, resource centers) are important for enhancing customer experience. But we don’t quite have the hang of managing them as products yet. But content practitioners know that 2021 is different … there’s a swell coming. Put simply, it’s time for us to wax up the boards and teach our companies how to surf content strategy and management. The waves aren’t new, but we can sense that the one we’re in now is going to be massive. Time to shoot the curl.
  • 6. 6 KEY FINDINGS Content continues to become more strategic. Eighty-one percent of respondents indicated their organization views content as a business strategy, up from 72% last year. In addition, there was an uptick in those describing their organization’s proficiency with using technology to manage content as “expert/advanced” (31% vs. 25% last year). See pages 15 and 16. There is greater emphasis on customer experience during the content planning phase. Content professionals have made strides in working to create consistent experiences throughout the customer journey (49% agreed their organization is focused on this, vs. 39% last year). See page 22. Extracting insights from data is tougher now than one year ago. Slightly more than half (56%) of respondents strongly/somewhat agreed their organization extracts meaningful insights from data and analytics, down from 69% last year. Furthermore, 21% were neutral here (neither agree nor disagree) vs. 12% last year, suggesting teams are readjusting the ways they work with data. See page 15. Integration, training, and communication issues are the top barriers to using content management technologies to potential. Similar to last year, around 40% said their organization isn’t using its content technology to potential. The top three reasons cited for this: integration issues (56%), lack of training (55%), and lack of communication about capabilities (50%). See page 19. Continued on next page
  • 7. 7 KEY FINDINGS More than half reported a strong/moderate desire to add new content management technology. When asked about the changes their organizations made to content management technology due to work- from-home shifts during the pandemic, 67% reported few/no changes. However, 57% felt their organization has a strong/ moderate desire to add new content management technology as it adapts to a post-COVID-19 world. See page 17. Challenges have shifted. While communication among teams remained a top challenge, fewer respondents this year reported that finding enough staff skilled in content strategy was a challenge (53% vs. 63% last year). However, more reported being challenged with content production workflow and using UX design to improve customer experiences. See page 25. Content products/ platforms are the major area of content operations focus. Half of respondents indicated they operate within a “content products” model (focused on content marketing platforms such as website, blog, magazine, resource center), followed by 32% who indicated a “projects/campaign” model (operating like an internal agency, responding to ad hoc internal requests). See page 23.
  • 8. 8 METHODOLOGY/DEMOGRAPHICS To better understand the approach content professionals are taking to strategically manage content, Content Marketing Institute (CMI) surveyed a portion of its subscriber database as follows: Nature of Organization’s Business (Agencies and Consultants were excluded) © For-profit © Nonprofit Organization’s Employee Size © 50+ Employees CMI’s research team designed, programmed, and hosted the online survey, and collected and tabulated the data. CMI emailed the survey invitations on April 7, 2021, and sent a reminder email on April 21, 2021. By April 29, 2021, respondents had returned 263 surveys. Seventy-eight percent (78%) indicated their organization takes a strategic approach to managing content; of those, 99% indicated they are involved (directly or indirectly) with some aspect of strategic content management in their organization. To encourage prompt response and optimize the response rate, a random drawing was held for two $50 Amazon gift cards, a link was included in the invitation to route respondents directly to the online survey, and the invitation and survey were branded with the CMI and ContentTECH Summit names and logos to capitalize on affinity for the brands.  
  • 9. 9 SURVEY DEFINITIONS Strategic approach to managing content—an approach that involves setting up processes, people, and technology to better scale and deliver content with the intent to improve the overall customer experience. A content management strategy—a strategy that addresses issues such as how your organization plans, develops, organizes, distributes, manages, and governs content. Success—achieving your organization’s overall desired/targeted results for its content strategy. Nature of Organization 53% 7% 29% 6% 5% ■ For-profit B2B ■ For-profit B2C ■ For-profit B2B+B2C ■ Nonprofit ■ Other Size of Organization Location of Organization 40% 43% 17% ■ 1,000+ employees ■ 100 - 999 employees ■ 1 - 99 employees Industry Classification 32% 14% 11% 10% 7% 4% 22% ■ Technology/IT/Software/Hardware ■ Financial services ■ Manufacturing ■ Healthcare/Medical/Pharmaceuticals ■ Professional services ■ Publishing/Media ■ Other ■ North America ■ EMEA ■ APAC ■ South America 79% 10% 9% 2% METHODOLOGY/DEMOGRAPHICS
  • 10. 10 78% said their organization takes a strategic approach to managing content. Strategic Approach to Managing Content 78% 22% ■ Yes ■ No Involvement in Strategic Content Management 99% 1% ■ Yes ■ No Documented Content Management Strategy 53% 39% 8% ■ Yes ■ No ■ Unsure Areas of Involvement with Strategic Content Management 0 20 40 60 80 100 Content creation (e.g., editorial, video, design) Content marketing strategy (e.g., thought leadership, owned media management, distribution channels) Content strategy (e.g., governance, content management, audits, taxonomies) General marketing Communications (e.g., PR, corporate communications) Information technology Other 90% 91% 80% 66% 61% 10% 6% Base: Respondents involved with strategic content management in their organization. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. Content Marketing Institute 2021 Content Management & Strategy Survey USE OF STRATEGIC APPROACH Base: All respondents. Base: Those who are involved in strategic content management in their organization. Base: Respondents whose organization takes a strategic approach to managing content.
  • 11. 11 Respondents said the top two reasons why their organizations don’t take a strategic approach to managing content are lack of processes (68%) and leadership hasn’t made it a priority (61%). Reasons Why Organizations Don’t Take a Strategic Approach to Managing Content 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Lack of processes Leadership hasn’t made it a priority Lack of financial investment in resources Organizational culture Leadership doesn’t view content as something that needs to be strategically managed Management changes Other 68% 61% 47% 47% 41% 12% 8% Base: Respondents whose organizations do not take a strategic approach to managing content. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. Content Marketing Institute 2021 Content Management & Strategy Survey USE OF STRATEGIC APPROACH
  • 12. 12 Fewer reported undertaking the following content-related activities when compared with the previous year:  Content audit (60% vs. 71%)  Content gap analysis (48% vs. 57%)  Research to better understand user experience to inform content strategy (39% vs. 52%). Base: Respondents involved with strategic content management in their organization. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. Content Marketing Institute 2021 Content Management & Strategy Survey STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT OF CONTENT Content-Related Activities Undertaken 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 A content audit (an evaluation of your existing content) None of the above Unsure A content inventory (a list of your content assets) Research to better understand potential audiences to inform content strategy A content gap analysis (identification of areas where you need additional content) Research to better understand user experience to inform content strategy (e.g., the experience a person has while interacting with your content at your website) 63% 60% 55% 48% 39% 6% 3% STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT OF CONTENT
  • 13. 13 65% reported that their organization has content governance guidelines in place. STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT OF CONTENT Content-Related Structures in Place 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Content taxonomy Content governance guidelines Structured content Unsure 65% 60% 59% 5% Base: Respondents involved with strategic content management in their organization. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. Content Marketing Institute 2021 Content Management & Strategy Survey
  • 14. 14 88% said their organization has style and brand guidelines in place. Content Development Aids Currently in Use 88% 80% 79% 73% 68% 66% 59% 50% 41% 1% Style and brand guidelines SEO/keyword research Editorial calendar Editorial guidelines (e.g., style, tone) Content performance analytics Customer personas Formal workflow process(es) Brand messaging architecture Customer journey map(s) Unsure 0 20 40 60 80 100 Base: Respondents involved with strategic content management in their organization. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. Content Marketing Institute 2021 Content Management & Strategy Survey STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT OF CONTENT
  • 15. 15 81% agreed their organization views content as a core business strategy, up from 72% the previous year.  56% agreed their organization extracts meaningful insights from data and analytics derived from the consumption of content, down from 69% the previous year. Those indicating a neutral position increased to 21% from 12% the previous year. Opinions About Content Management ■ Strongly agree ■ Somewhat agree ■ Neither agree nor disagree ■ Somewhat disagree ■ Strongly disagree Our organization views content as a core business strategy (appropriate staffing, budget, processes, etc.). Our organization can easily re-use and re-purpose content across multiple channels. Our organization extracts meaningful insights from data and analytics derived from the consumption of content. 34% 47% 36% 15% 41% 21% 17% 44% 8% 11% 6% 10% 3% 1% 6% Base: Respondents involved with strategic content management in their organization who answered each statement. Aided list. Content Marketing Institute 2021 Content Management & Strategy Survey OPINIONS ABOUT CONTENT MANAGEMENT
  • 16. 16 31% described their organization’s level of proficiency with using technology to manage content across the enterprise as expert/advanced vs. 25% the previous year. Level of Proficiency With Using Technology to Manage Content Across the Organization 0 10 20 30 40 50 Expert Advanced Intermediate Novice Beginner Do not use technology to manage content 30% 1% 38% 21% 4% 6% Base: Respondents involved with strategic content management in their organization. Aided list. Content Marketing Institute 2021 Content Management & Strategy Survey Descriptors used for each level of proficiency: EXPERT Content fully automated across the business; scaling across the organization; experiencing the benefits ADVANCED Finding success, yet challenged with fully integrating content technology into our business culture and operations INTERMEDIATE Have developed a business case for using technology to manage content; identified or are using a content management platform; seeing early success NOVICE Growing pains; building a team and business case for using technology to manage content, yet challenged with the changes required BEGINNER Starting to address aspects of using technology to manage content CONTENT MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY
  • 17. 17 CONTENT MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY 67% of respondents said their organization made few/no changes to content management technology due to the work-from-home shifts caused by COVID-19. However, 57% felt that their organization has a strong/moderate desire to add new content management technology as it adapts to business in a post-COVID-19 environment. Changes Made to Content Management Technology Due to Work-from-Home Shifts Caused by COVID-19 31% 41% 26% 2% ■ Drastic changes ■ Moderate changes ■ Few changes ■ No changes Organization’s Desire to Add New Content Management Technology as It Adapts to a Post-COVID-19 Environment 20% 14% 37% 29% ■ Strong desire ■ Moderate desire ■ Little desire ■ No desire Base: Respondents involved with strategic content management at organizations that use technology to manage content. Aided list. Content Marketing Institute 2021 Content Management & Strategy Survey Base: Respondents involved with strategic content management at organizations that use technology to manage content. Aided list. Content Marketing Institute 2021 Content Management & Strategy Survey
  • 18. 18 The top two content technologies respondents said their organizations have in place are email marketing software and social media publishing/analytics. Content Technologies in Place 85% 84% 73% 72% 42% 51% 45% 40% 31% 22% 9% 0 20 40 60 80 100 Email marketing software Social media publishing/analytics Customer relationship management (CRM) platform Content management system (management and publishing) Content distribution platform(s) Marketing automation system (MAS) Digital asset management (DAM) system/file storage Content performance/recommendation analytics Sales enablement platform Content optimization software (e.g., personalization, content targeting) Other content technologies Base: Respondents involved with strategic content management at organizations that use technology to manage content. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. Content Marketing Institute 2021 Content Management & Strategy Survey CONTENT MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY
  • 19. 19 42% said their organization doesn’t use its technology to full potential, which is nearly identical to last year’s finding. This year, we also asked what is standing in the way. The top three answers were integration issues, lack of training, and lack of communication. CONTENT MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY Base: Respondents involved with strategic content management at organizations that use technology to manage content. Aided list. Content Marketing Institute 2021 Content Management & Strategy Survey NOTE: The fill-in responses to the “other, please specify” option often referred to a lack of time and/or budget. Base: Respondents who indicated their organization has technology but isn’t using it to its potential. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. Content Marketing Institute 2021 Content Management & Strategy Survey The Right Technology in Place to Manage Content Across the Organization 25% 42% 33% ■ Yes ■ No — we have the technology, but aren’t using it to its potential ■ No — we haven’t acquired the right technology Reasons Why Organizations Aren’t Using Technology to Its Potential Integration issues (e.g., challenges making it work with other systems) Lack of training Lack of communication about capabilities Implementation issues (e.g., awaiting completion, not functional) Technology is outdated 0 20 40 60 56% 55% 50% 42% 8% Other 17%
  • 20. 20 What capability is your organization most lacking that you feel technology would help with? This was a fill-in question we asked respondents who said their organization had not yet acquired the right technology to manage content across the organization (33%). Several respondents mentioned organization/communication tools, the customer journey, and analytics. Some of the verbatim responses are shown on this page and the next. CONTENT MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY  A centralized view of content, related assets, and performance across different channels.  A project management tool to manage workflows.  Ability to see publishing across channels and project manage.  Being able to measure content-influenced revenues and tracking content usage and effectiveness.  Orchestrate a digital customer journey per industry (we serve several).  Consistency and organization. Our salespeople are often using outdated documents in their work while those of us in marketing have been using the latest for some time. Even though we have a content management and storage system, it doesn't alert people when things are updated. A system better prepared for that could improve our workplace communication overall.  Marketing stack is still not giving us a clear view of the customer experience. Continued on next page
  • 21. 21 CONTENT MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY  Omni-channel product(s) and strategy.  Auditing and proper personalization.  Taxonomy, better understanding of personalization and how to use tech to aid in that.  Content distribution and analytics.  We need an enterprise editorial calendaring and management system that can be used across the organization as well as by outside vendors and writers. We are still at the Excel stage and it is painful.  Integrated full-journey analytics from anonymous to known, on gated/ungated interactions, DAM, CMP.  Tracking user interaction with our content.  It's more of an organizational culture — siloed, no C-suite support for content quality and standards. If there's technology that can help that, please let me know!  Interactive content creation to improve engagement and personalization on-the-fly; better tracking analytics.  Being able to create leads and keep them organized where it is beneficial for both the sales team and the client.
  • 22. 22 49% of respondents said they always/frequently take creating consistent experiences throughout the customer journey into account during the content planning process, up from 39% last year.  Those indicating they always/frequently drive personalized experiences stayed about the same compared with the previous year.  This was the first time we asked about using structured, repeatable content production processes. Factors Taken Into Account During Content Planning Process ■ Always ■ Frequently ■ Sometimes ■ Rarely ■ Never Use structured, repeatable content production processes Create consistent experiences throughout the customer journey Drive personalized experiences 16% 45% 29% 8% 15% 5% 41% 21% 31% 34% 41% 10% 2% 0% 2% Base: Respondents involved with strategic content management in their organization. Aided list. Content Marketing Institute 2021 Content Management & Strategy Survey STRATEGIC CONTENT CREATION
  • 23. 23 50% of respondents said their current content operating model is focused on content products (e.g., owned content marketing platforms such as websites, blogs, magazines, and resource centers). Base: Respondents involved with strategic content management in their organization. Aided list; select one. Content Marketing Institute 2021 Content Management & Strategy Survey Current Content Operating Model/Place Where Content Team Spends Most of Its Time 50% 32% 11% 3% 4% ■ Content products ■ Projects/campaigns ■ Self-contained ■ Standards ■ None STRATEGIC CONTENT CREATION CONTENT PRODUTS Our operating model is focused on owned content marketing platforms, e.g., our website, blog, magazine, resource center. PROJECTS/CAMPAIGNS Our operating model looks like an internal agency, responding to ad hoc internal requests. SELF-CONTAINED Our operating model is completely self-contained; we operate as a separate team within the business. STANDARDS Our operating model is focused on providing standards and guidelines, e.g., SEO keywords, translation, CMS management, and other technical or structural assistance. NONE We have no defined operating model; we’re just trying to keep up with doing what we can.
  • 24. 24 22% said their organization is extremely/very successful with strategically managing content across the enterprise.  The percentage of those indicating moderate success increased to 65% from 56% the previous year. Note: The survey defined success as “achieving your organization’s overall desired/targeted results for its content strategy.” Base: Respondents involved with strategic content management in their organization. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. Content Marketing Institute 2021 Content Management & Strategy Survey OVERALL SUCCESS Overall Success With Strategically Managing Content Across the Organization Extremely successful Very successful Moderately successful Minimally successful 2% 20% 22% 65% 56% 12% 19% 1% 1% 2% Not at all successful 2021 2020 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
  • 25. 25 Like last year, respondents said their top two challenges were communication among teams and having enough skilled staff. However, the percentage of those who said skilled staff was a challenge decreased to 53% from 63%. In addition:  Far more cited content production workflow as a challenge this year compared with last year (45% vs. 27%).  The percentage of those challenged with using UX design to improve the customer’s overall experience increased to 50% from 43%.  Three new challenges were added to the list this year (understanding the customer journey, implementing the right technology(ies), and ensuring that content creators across the organization follow the same guidelines). STRATEGIC CONTENT MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES Strategic Content Management Challenges 58% 53% 50% 45% 41% 38% 34% 32% 2% 0 20 40 60 Communication among teams so everyone is on the same page (e.g., content, marketing, IT, creative, sales) Enough staff skilled in content strategy Using user experience (UX) design to improve the overall experience a customer has with our organization Content production workflow Understanding the customer journey Implementing the right technology(ies) Lack of budget Ensuring that content creators across the organization follow the same guidelines Other Base: Respondents involved with strategic content management in their organization. Aided list; multiple responses permitted. Content Marketing Institute 2021 Content Management & Strategy Survey
  • 26. 26 STRATEGIC CONTENT MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES If there was one thing you could do to improve your organization's success with managing content across the entire organization, what would it be? This was a fill-in question. Recurrent themes included process issues, ROI, and the customer journey. Here are some of the verbatim responses:  An understanding of priorities and a comprehensive strategy, together with improved communication across all marketing activities (remove all silos).  Have a content platform to keep everything organized.  A singular content management system across the organization that would provide transparency and collaboration, and an editorial platform for planning.  Implement a content editorial process and ensure all content is archived/tagged in the DAM for easier access across the organization.  Have a visible dashboard into our content queue that anyone across the organization could access. While we have a Google doc and asana to track it, these views are too in the weeds for people in different departments.  Repeatable content structures for repurposing existing content.  Bring AI capabilities to augment our creative resources.  More automated publishing of content and integration between our work management tool and our content system of record. The ability to automatically port taxonomy tags from creation, to cataloging, to publishing would be amazing! Continued on next page
  • 27. 27 STRATEGIC CONTENT MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES  Ensure that everyone is using consistent information and formatting. It's a bit like the Wild West at my workplace currently. While many within the organization do a lot of good work, it's not always on the same page with others and can lead to messaging issues that marketing has to work around and fix.  I wish we would include personalization and automation as part of our strategy. Everything is done "by hand" and it is sometimes difficult to manage without massive spreadsheets and long hours of analysis.  Consistent martech systems that work together and don't require so much manual data entry or analysis.  We currently have underdeveloped tech with inaccurate data on content engagement. Looking forward to improving this.  An understanding of the end-to-end customer journey.  Customer journey tracking respective to our owned properties and self-promoted content. I'd like to utilize UX tools, backed by a robust CRM system, to better understand content consumption in an effort to calculate a more actionable content ROI.  Be able to quickly and easily show ROI on our content program.  Currently our organization is very siloed—working together and communicating so we are on the same page would help to improve the content management. Also, training on the systems we have and how to use them more productively.
  • 28. 28 Assess your content operating model. There’s a good chance that your content team has been operating in triage mode over the last 12 months— or maybe it has been all along. If you’re suffering from too many demands, bottlenecks of asset production, or the inability to measure content effectiveness, you probably lack a clear charter and operating model for your content team. Put simply, in a world without standards, there can be no improvement. So, assess your content team’s current operating model and create a road map for how to get where you believe you should be. The gaps that appear in where you are now and where you want to be are the priority initiatives to focus on. De-silo the customer’s journey. When and where you can, start using technology to connect digital experiences for your customers. De-siloing the marketing organization may be impossible. But exploring how your content technology can begin to connect and create one “source of the truth” for your audience/marketing database will pay huge dividends—it’s also the first step toward having groups like sales, marketing, demand gen, and brand teams work together. Manage your owned-media properties like products. Your website, blog, resource center, or digital magazine is as important to your customer’s journey as the products and services you put into the marketplace—treat it as such. Each owned property deserves a managing editor, and to be budgeted and measured as a digital product. Action Steps By Robert Rose, Chief Strategy Advisor, Content Marketing Institute TAKEAWAYS
  • 29. 29 ABOUT Thanks to all the survey respondents and everyone who disseminates these findings to professionals concerned with the effective use of technology that helps create, manage, deliver, and scale enterprise content and marketing. About Content Marketing Institute (CMI) Content Marketing Institute is the leading global content marketing education and training organization, teaching Technology brands how to attract and retain customers through compelling, multichannel storytelling. CMI’s Content Marketing World event, the largest content marketing-focused event, is held every fall in Cleveland, Ohio, and ContentTECH Summit event is held every spring in San Diego, California. CMI publishes Chief Content Officer for executives and provides strategic consulting and content marketing research for some of the best-known brands in the world. Content Marketing Institute is organized by Informa Connect. Learn more at ContentMarketingInstitute.com. About Informa Connect Informa Connect is a specialist in content-driven events and digital communities that allow professionals to meet, connect, learn, and share knowledge. We operate major branded events in Marketing, Global Finance, Life Sciences and Pharma, Construction and Real Estate, and other specialist markets, and connect communities online year-round.