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Webinar
A Culture of Content
Rebecca Lieb, Industry Analyst
Jessica Groopman, Sr. Researcher
January 14, 2015
“If you want to learn about a culture, listen
to the stories. If you want to change the
culture, change the stories.”
– Michael Margolis
A Culture of Content exists when the
importance of content is evangelized
enterprise-wide, content is shared and
made accessible, creation and
creativity are encouraged, and content
flows up and downstream as well as
across various divisions.
Agenda
∙ Welcome
∙ Why a Culture of Content is Emergent Now
∙ The Anatomy of a Culture of Content
∙ Seven Success Criteria
∙ Q&A
Why is a Culture of Content is
Emergent Now?
Brands as
publishers
Brands as
publishers
Employees
as
publishers
Employees
as
publishers
Always-on
social
media
Always-on
social
media
Channel
proliferation
Channel
proliferation
Platform
proliferation
Platform
proliferation
Demand
for content
has never
been
HIGHER,
and still
growing…
Content is Everywhere.
Content is also bigger than any
single department
Proliferation of channel,
platform, and media complexity
Media Convergence
The Anatomy of a Culture of
Content
A Culture of Content is a Content Engine
Inspiration:
Intangibles that fuel a
Culture of Content
• Vision
• Creativity
• Risk/Willingness to Fail
Vision
∙ A shared, single purpose, mission, or goal is
paramount for empowering a CoC
∙ Establishes a baseline of understanding, how
day-to-day tasks serve a higher purpose
∙ Most effective when generated, embodied, and
exemplified by leadership
Seattle-based Eastlake Community
church was so inspired by charity:water’s
content and mission…
Creativity
∙ The willingness/drive to think beyond content
and marketing that has worked in the past
∙ Helps differentiate the organization
∙ Grants creators the freedom to flex their creative
muscles
∙ ‘The crowd’ (earned and social listening) can
also inspire creativity
Sony identified a user-submitted troubleshooting
post viewed 42k times in 2 weeks
A phone call costs the brand €7; Viewed 42k times, Sony affixed
a value of €294k (€7 x 42k) to a single piece of content, then
developed more content to address the pain point.
Risk & the Willingness to Fail
∙ Providing permission to fail mitigates fears of failure,
embarrassment, job termination
∙ To differentiate through content, content marketers must
be empowered to take risks
∙ View failure with a spirit of innovation– recognizing the
issue, learning from it and moving on quickly
∙ More content leaders are incorporating risk-taking &
willingness to fail in the hiring process
Inspiration:
The intangibles that fuel
a Culture of Content
• Vision
• Creativity
• Risk/Willingness to Fail
People:
The Human Foundation of a
Culture of Content
• Senior Leadership
• Content Leader
• Business Units
• External Partners
• Employees
Senior Leadership
∙ The critical role of senior leadership is buy-in
and evangelism
∙ When lacking, marketing executives must make
the formal business case
∙ CM leaders cite metrics as common point of entry
∙ CM leaders must constantly reinforce the value of
content initiatives with data (e.g. sales, brand lift)
Content Leader
∙ Chief Content Officer: an elusive, much
vaunted, and still inconsistent role
∙ Key responsibilities:
∙ Constantly evangelizes and demonstrates content’s
value
∙ Creates content strategy
∙ Implements processes and infrastructure
∙ Coordinates across departments, builds ownership
∙ Identifies gaps, needs, and opportunities; nurtures
creative talent and content-centric mindsets
Business Units
∙ Content travels well beyond Marketing, permeating
other divisions (consumer-facing first)
∙ PR, Comms, social media, field marketing teams, sales, HR,
R&D, support, etc.
∙ Legal and IT typically involved in approval, governance,
technology implementation and deployment
∙ Also includes subject matter experts from among senior
executives, researchers, and product groups
A Culture of Content Flows Outward Across the
Organization
External Partners
∙ Equally urgent to the need for external partners
to help create the content is the need for
cultural unity among all parties
∙ Agencies of all kinds
∙ Shopper/marketing insights organizations
∙ Any third-party company aiding in any content
marketing-related use case (e.g. agency and vendor
partners)
“Combining content with data extends its impact.”
-- Julie Fleischer, Director, Data + Content + Media at Kraft Foods Group
Kraft works with several agencies
and shopper insights organizations
To centralize these many
initiatives, Kraft leverages a
social media monitoring center
that examines activity around
individual brands, analyzing for
insights by segment, geo-
location, influencers, etc.
To centralize these many
initiatives, Kraft leverages a
social media monitoring center
that examines activity around
individual brands, analyzing for
insights by segment, geo-
location, influencers, etc.
Employees
∙ Not all employees will be content creators; encourage
and empower identifiers
∙ Evangelizing, training, educating, demonstrating value,
welcoming feedback
∙ Operationalize via
∙ Internal social networks, highlight best (and worst) practices,
case studies, solicit feedback, asset sharing
∙ Centers of Excellence and/or Digital Acceleration teams
∙ Incorporate attitude towards content into hiring process
Process:
Components that Streamline
& Scale a Culture of Content
• Evangelism
• Governance
• Education & Training
• Technology
Evangelism
∙ The key to evangelism is understanding the unique
needs and pain points of each constituency and
tailoring content initiatives to serve their needs and yield
relevant results to drive greater buy-in.
∙ CM leaders must identify and build relationships with
other functional leaders continuously
∙ Evangelism expands to all people, including external partners
∙ Many companies begin evangelism across consumer-
facing depts. first
Governance
∙ Governance empowers employees to act
autonomously while also making decisions in
line with the organization
∙ Defines how content is developed, curated, created,
and reviewed; manages workflows and safeguards
∙ What brand guidelines are; what the standards for
content artifacts are
∙ Who is empowered to make editorial decisions; and
how to manage crises
Education & Training
∙ Training must be both initial (at new program roll-out),
but also ongoing
∙ Best practice sharing, case examples
∙ Updates on programs, tools, workflows
∙ More formal classes or routine sharing (e.g. internal social
networks)
∙ Education must account for global, regional, and local
content programs
∙ Hiring or promoting with an eye for editorial or creative
background can accelerate the learning curve
Technology
∙ Technology’s role is to centralize, streamline, and
optimize
∙ Execution, knowledge sharing, branded assets, approvals,
analysis, reporting, any other priority use case
∙ Shared access across multiple teams to common tools
drives efficiencies across all use cases
∙ Leverage technology to inform more intelligent
investments and activations across paid, owned, and
earned
Remember, tools are only as valuable as
they are integrated
Source: Content Marketing Software Landscape: Marketer Needs & Vendor Solutions
Converged Media Results in
Content Begetting More Content
• Paid
• Owned
• Earned
The Convergence of Paid,
Owned, & Earned
∙ Content is the atomic particle of all marketing,
across paid, owned, and earned media
∙ The mindset of media convergence is a primary
impetus to a culture of content
∙ Designing content for paid, owned, or earned
∙ Breaking down internal barriers and silos
∙ Multi-disciplinary planning, ideation, coordination,
deployment (less about content, more about
seamless CX across devices, channels, media)
Media Convergence Drives
Content Stack Evolution
Media Convergence
Success Criteria
“A culture of content begins
with an obsession of the
customer”
-- Michael Brenner, Head of Strategy, Newscred
1. Customer
Obsession Guides
Content
Listen for consumer insights
across channels.
Design content to unify the
customer–brand experience.
Assess all content for
worthiness.
2. Align Content
with Brand
Crystallize how the content
supports the brand vision.
Incorporate that vision into
training and evangelism.
Only publish content that
supports the brand vision.
3. Drive Content
Leadership from
the Top Down &
Bottom Up
Evangelize and test department-
specific initiatives to drive
bottom-up support.
Leverage cross-functional
results and support to drive top-
down support.
Both C-level and content
leaders must reinforce an
ongoing culture of content.
4. Culture Requires
Constant Evangelism
Content leaders must lead
the content evangelism.
Articulate and
demonstrate WIIFM, both
bottom-up and top-down.
Commit to ongoing cross-
functional evangelism,
support, communication,
and optimization.
5. Test & Learn
Start with small, tightly
scoped, inexpensive pilots.
Listen, analyze, A/B test,
optimize, and repeat.
Take risks, fail forward, and
apply lessons.
6. Global Must
Enable Local
Global must provide strategic
oversight, support, resources,
and direction.
Enable local teams with
appropriate cultural, linguistic,
and contextual resources.
Appoint regional and/or local
content leaders to scale
training and ongoing
evangelism.
7. Integrate Across
All Cultural
Components ∙ sd
Integrate across people:
workflows, tool access,
collaboration, best-practice
sharing
Integrate across technology: data
sets, systems, third-party tools,
analytics
Integrate across media: paid,
earned, owned, local, etc.
• Agency turf wars will continue to escalate.
• Convergence drives the emerging
Marketing Cloud
• As the imperative for content grows,
organizational acceptance, accountability,
and key best practices will be well
defined– across all functions.
Benefits of a culture of content will drive
its adoption amidst an increasingly
complex digital climate
uestions?
Q
Thank You
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.
Altimeter Group provides research and advisory for companies
challenged by business disruptions, enabling them to pursue
new opportunities and business models.
Jessica
Groopman
Senior Researcher
@jessgroopman
Rebecca Lieb
Industry Analyst
@lieblink

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Culture of Content Webinar

  • 1. Webinar A Culture of Content Rebecca Lieb, Industry Analyst Jessica Groopman, Sr. Researcher January 14, 2015
  • 2. “If you want to learn about a culture, listen to the stories. If you want to change the culture, change the stories.” – Michael Margolis
  • 3. A Culture of Content exists when the importance of content is evangelized enterprise-wide, content is shared and made accessible, creation and creativity are encouraged, and content flows up and downstream as well as across various divisions.
  • 4. Agenda ∙ Welcome ∙ Why a Culture of Content is Emergent Now ∙ The Anatomy of a Culture of Content ∙ Seven Success Criteria ∙ Q&A
  • 5. Why is a Culture of Content is Emergent Now?
  • 8. Content is also bigger than any single department
  • 9. Proliferation of channel, platform, and media complexity
  • 11. The Anatomy of a Culture of Content
  • 12. A Culture of Content is a Content Engine
  • 13. Inspiration: Intangibles that fuel a Culture of Content • Vision • Creativity • Risk/Willingness to Fail
  • 14. Vision ∙ A shared, single purpose, mission, or goal is paramount for empowering a CoC ∙ Establishes a baseline of understanding, how day-to-day tasks serve a higher purpose ∙ Most effective when generated, embodied, and exemplified by leadership
  • 15. Seattle-based Eastlake Community church was so inspired by charity:water’s content and mission…
  • 16. Creativity ∙ The willingness/drive to think beyond content and marketing that has worked in the past ∙ Helps differentiate the organization ∙ Grants creators the freedom to flex their creative muscles ∙ ‘The crowd’ (earned and social listening) can also inspire creativity
  • 17. Sony identified a user-submitted troubleshooting post viewed 42k times in 2 weeks A phone call costs the brand €7; Viewed 42k times, Sony affixed a value of €294k (€7 x 42k) to a single piece of content, then developed more content to address the pain point.
  • 18. Risk & the Willingness to Fail ∙ Providing permission to fail mitigates fears of failure, embarrassment, job termination ∙ To differentiate through content, content marketers must be empowered to take risks ∙ View failure with a spirit of innovation– recognizing the issue, learning from it and moving on quickly ∙ More content leaders are incorporating risk-taking & willingness to fail in the hiring process
  • 19.
  • 20. Inspiration: The intangibles that fuel a Culture of Content • Vision • Creativity • Risk/Willingness to Fail People: The Human Foundation of a Culture of Content • Senior Leadership • Content Leader • Business Units • External Partners • Employees
  • 21. Senior Leadership ∙ The critical role of senior leadership is buy-in and evangelism ∙ When lacking, marketing executives must make the formal business case ∙ CM leaders cite metrics as common point of entry ∙ CM leaders must constantly reinforce the value of content initiatives with data (e.g. sales, brand lift)
  • 22. Content Leader ∙ Chief Content Officer: an elusive, much vaunted, and still inconsistent role ∙ Key responsibilities: ∙ Constantly evangelizes and demonstrates content’s value ∙ Creates content strategy ∙ Implements processes and infrastructure ∙ Coordinates across departments, builds ownership ∙ Identifies gaps, needs, and opportunities; nurtures creative talent and content-centric mindsets
  • 23. Business Units ∙ Content travels well beyond Marketing, permeating other divisions (consumer-facing first) ∙ PR, Comms, social media, field marketing teams, sales, HR, R&D, support, etc. ∙ Legal and IT typically involved in approval, governance, technology implementation and deployment ∙ Also includes subject matter experts from among senior executives, researchers, and product groups
  • 24. A Culture of Content Flows Outward Across the Organization
  • 25. External Partners ∙ Equally urgent to the need for external partners to help create the content is the need for cultural unity among all parties ∙ Agencies of all kinds ∙ Shopper/marketing insights organizations ∙ Any third-party company aiding in any content marketing-related use case (e.g. agency and vendor partners)
  • 26. “Combining content with data extends its impact.” -- Julie Fleischer, Director, Data + Content + Media at Kraft Foods Group Kraft works with several agencies and shopper insights organizations To centralize these many initiatives, Kraft leverages a social media monitoring center that examines activity around individual brands, analyzing for insights by segment, geo- location, influencers, etc. To centralize these many initiatives, Kraft leverages a social media monitoring center that examines activity around individual brands, analyzing for insights by segment, geo- location, influencers, etc.
  • 27. Employees ∙ Not all employees will be content creators; encourage and empower identifiers ∙ Evangelizing, training, educating, demonstrating value, welcoming feedback ∙ Operationalize via ∙ Internal social networks, highlight best (and worst) practices, case studies, solicit feedback, asset sharing ∙ Centers of Excellence and/or Digital Acceleration teams ∙ Incorporate attitude towards content into hiring process
  • 28. Process: Components that Streamline & Scale a Culture of Content • Evangelism • Governance • Education & Training • Technology
  • 29. Evangelism ∙ The key to evangelism is understanding the unique needs and pain points of each constituency and tailoring content initiatives to serve their needs and yield relevant results to drive greater buy-in. ∙ CM leaders must identify and build relationships with other functional leaders continuously ∙ Evangelism expands to all people, including external partners ∙ Many companies begin evangelism across consumer- facing depts. first
  • 30. Governance ∙ Governance empowers employees to act autonomously while also making decisions in line with the organization ∙ Defines how content is developed, curated, created, and reviewed; manages workflows and safeguards ∙ What brand guidelines are; what the standards for content artifacts are ∙ Who is empowered to make editorial decisions; and how to manage crises
  • 31. Education & Training ∙ Training must be both initial (at new program roll-out), but also ongoing ∙ Best practice sharing, case examples ∙ Updates on programs, tools, workflows ∙ More formal classes or routine sharing (e.g. internal social networks) ∙ Education must account for global, regional, and local content programs ∙ Hiring or promoting with an eye for editorial or creative background can accelerate the learning curve
  • 32. Technology ∙ Technology’s role is to centralize, streamline, and optimize ∙ Execution, knowledge sharing, branded assets, approvals, analysis, reporting, any other priority use case ∙ Shared access across multiple teams to common tools drives efficiencies across all use cases ∙ Leverage technology to inform more intelligent investments and activations across paid, owned, and earned
  • 33. Remember, tools are only as valuable as they are integrated Source: Content Marketing Software Landscape: Marketer Needs & Vendor Solutions
  • 34. Converged Media Results in Content Begetting More Content • Paid • Owned • Earned
  • 35. The Convergence of Paid, Owned, & Earned ∙ Content is the atomic particle of all marketing, across paid, owned, and earned media ∙ The mindset of media convergence is a primary impetus to a culture of content ∙ Designing content for paid, owned, or earned ∙ Breaking down internal barriers and silos ∙ Multi-disciplinary planning, ideation, coordination, deployment (less about content, more about seamless CX across devices, channels, media)
  • 39. “A culture of content begins with an obsession of the customer” -- Michael Brenner, Head of Strategy, Newscred
  • 40. 1. Customer Obsession Guides Content Listen for consumer insights across channels. Design content to unify the customer–brand experience. Assess all content for worthiness.
  • 41. 2. Align Content with Brand Crystallize how the content supports the brand vision. Incorporate that vision into training and evangelism. Only publish content that supports the brand vision.
  • 42. 3. Drive Content Leadership from the Top Down & Bottom Up Evangelize and test department- specific initiatives to drive bottom-up support. Leverage cross-functional results and support to drive top- down support. Both C-level and content leaders must reinforce an ongoing culture of content.
  • 43. 4. Culture Requires Constant Evangelism Content leaders must lead the content evangelism. Articulate and demonstrate WIIFM, both bottom-up and top-down. Commit to ongoing cross- functional evangelism, support, communication, and optimization.
  • 44. 5. Test & Learn Start with small, tightly scoped, inexpensive pilots. Listen, analyze, A/B test, optimize, and repeat. Take risks, fail forward, and apply lessons.
  • 45. 6. Global Must Enable Local Global must provide strategic oversight, support, resources, and direction. Enable local teams with appropriate cultural, linguistic, and contextual resources. Appoint regional and/or local content leaders to scale training and ongoing evangelism.
  • 46. 7. Integrate Across All Cultural Components ∙ sd Integrate across people: workflows, tool access, collaboration, best-practice sharing Integrate across technology: data sets, systems, third-party tools, analytics Integrate across media: paid, earned, owned, local, etc.
  • 47. • Agency turf wars will continue to escalate. • Convergence drives the emerging Marketing Cloud • As the imperative for content grows, organizational acceptance, accountability, and key best practices will be well defined– across all functions. Benefits of a culture of content will drive its adoption amidst an increasingly complex digital climate
  • 49. Thank You 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. Altimeter Group provides research and advisory for companies challenged by business disruptions, enabling them to pursue new opportunities and business models. Jessica Groopman Senior Researcher @jessgroopman Rebecca Lieb Industry Analyst @lieblink

Editor's Notes

  1. Culture and content are, and always have been, inextricably linked. Just as our understanding of cultures past and present are contingent on the tangible outputs and expressions of those cultures, so too are companies defined by the stories they tell.
  2. CONTENT DEMAND It’s not just because brands are publishers that the culture of content is emerging, it’s that employees are publishers, too. The demand for content has never been higher. Some will dismiss this as noise rather than signal, but channel, platform, and device proliferation, as well as always-on social media, initiatives such as social selling, thought leadership, real-time marketing and customer service, and recruitment demand that content be continually created, refined, repurposed, and reformatted.
  3. Content is EVERYWHERE Subject matter experts don’t solely reside in the marketing department; they come from product, research, senior management, and beyond. A customer service rep knows better than the social media team what problems or complaints customers have. Sales staffs, whether working on the floor at a retailer or peddling a high-tech, long-consideration-cycle product, know what their customers need to learn at various stages of the buying cycle.
  4. Content must be executed correctly for it to be effective across the marketing ecosystem, as well as across the broader enterprise. Yet content marketing in digital channels is relatively new and therefore poorly understood. It also requires that marketers look around the corner to what the future will bring. In addition, content is bigger than one department. It spans multiple functional groups within and outside of marketing, including CRM, IT, HR, and knowledge management. As a 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.
  5. Not only are demand and need for content growing, so too are the forms content can take. Content is no longer limited to whitepapers, blog entries and reports, but is increasingly also video, infographics, billboards, social media posts, GIFs, testimonials, receipts, and connected products, among the ever-growing list of new media form factors. The rapid digitalization of culture through channels such as smartphones, social media, and connectivity is creating an imperative for real-time, dynamic, and highly targeted and contextualized content deployment across channels and audiences.
  6. The convergence of paid, owned, and earned media also creates a need to efficiently transport and transform content across screens, media, and platforms. Content should be part of a well-oiled, well-built, smoothly efficient machine.
  7. When content becomes an ingrained element of an enterprise’s culture, the culture functions like a well-oiled engine, producing, circulating, and begetting content, creating numerous efficiencies in the process.
  8. A culture of content resembles an engine in that it stream- lines content production and workflows, but also a circulatory system in that it is inherently about sharing, ideation, and distributing the value of content across everyone involved. A strategic, systematized culture of content (CoC) results in more than just better marketing, but it requires strong leaders with a clear vision to enact and support it.
  9. Culture in any context is driven by certain intangible but powerful forces. These forces inform, inspire, and reinforce the behaviors that define and embody the culture itself, and a culture of content is no exception.
  10. The idea of a single, shared purpose, mission, or goal is paramount to empowering a CoC because it serves as the baseline of understanding. Establishing a common vision is a critical first step to developing a content strategy and is typically most effective when generated, embodied, and exemplified by leadership. Disseminating vision from the top down helps employees understand how their day-to-day tasks serve a higher purpose and align with organizational and even social or humanitarian objectives.
  11. While not a formalized metric, charity: water’s cites Seattle-based EastLake Community Church as an example. Inspired by charity: water’s content and mission, the church created a content and event series that raised more than $835,407, enough to provide 83,814 Cambodians with access to clean water, well exceeding its fundraising goal. The church now includes clean water as a ministry budget line item and donates $5 to charity: water in honor of every first-time church visitor. http://www.charitywater.org/blog/drinks4drinks/ http://www.drinks4drinks.com/
  12. The willingness and drive to think beyond content and marketing that have worked in the past is another way organizations inspire a CoC. Training organizations to creatively think about and produce content serves two ends. First, it helps differentiate the organization through its content, an increasingly important tactic in a crowded and noisy media environment. Second, it grants the very individuals who create content (e.g., designers, copywriters, bloggers, videographers) the freedom to flex their creative muscles to reach current and new audiences. Creativity flourishes most with multiple perspectives, and as such, customers can serve as an inspirational source for creative content. Content marketers (among other business functions) can leverage both earned media and listening analytics across all media to extract insights on how to evolve existing artifacts and justify new approaches.
  13. Nico Henderijckx, Sony’s European forum and community manager, points to an example. A recent how- to troubleshooting post, written by a volunteer super-user (i.e., at no cost) on Sony’s community site, was viewed by 42,000 visitors within two weeks. Leveraging data around who was interacting with this specific piece of content not only helped Sony identify the need for similar creative content but also helped affix value to it. A call to the call center costs the brand €7. The potential value of this one post, then, in just a fortnight was €294,000 (€7 x 42,000).
  14. Risk and a willingness to fail emerged repeatedly in our research as a critical force for empowering a culture of content. Providing permission to fail and assurance mitigates such fear as fear of failure, embarrassment and job termination, fundamental obstacles to the creative process. Strong content is valuable; it informs, educates, entertains, or solves a problem. To differentiate through any one of these uses, content marketers must be comfortable with, and empowered to take risks, to fail entirely, and to move forward, applying learnings from failure. Even massive, global corporations with multiple lines of business like Nestlé view risk taking as critical to differentiation, employee empowerment, market share growth, and scale. Gurdeep Dhillon, global vice president of marketing at SAP, points to the willingness to fail as a driver of culture. He encourages his team to recognize, learn from, and move on from failures quickly and with a spirit of innovation. Paul Marcum, formerly with General Electric, incorporated this spirit of risk into the hiring process, selecting only content creators who can demonstrate a willingness to take risks and a willingness to fail.4
  15. Coca-Cola bases its content strategy on a 70/20/10 rule, which focuses its investment strategy on driving a culture of content and innovation. In model, 70% of content produced falls under a “now” heading: safe, standard content that appeals to a huge audience created for established and successful programs. Twenty percent of content produced goes under “new or emerging”: moderately risky content that deals with trends beginning to gain traction and that should appeal to new audiences. Finally, 10% of Coke’s content produced under a “next” heading: content that focuses on untested ideas that are complicated and push boundaries.
  16. No tool or technology is as essential to CoC as people are. A culture is, after all, common beliefs, practices, attitudes, and behaviors that are shared by a group. And just like in other types of cultures, in an organization’s culture, some people have more influence than others. In an organization, hierarchies, divisions, and external partners (e.g., agencies and vendors) each play a role in the culture of content.
  17. C-level executives don’t tend to implement a CoC, but their buy-in and evangelism can be critical to driving success and adoption throughout the enterprise. GE and Johnson & Johnson cite CMOs with an expressed passion for content as integral to the entire spectrum of their marketing programs. When that passion is lacking or must be developed, many marketing executives make a formal business case to management to encourage them to adopt and finance content initiatives. Content leaders cite metrics as a frequent point of entry. SAP began its content initiatives by launching small, inexpensive, and carefully monitored and measured programs so the C-suite could be approached with tangible, actionable results. This isn’t a one-time pitch but a constant, ongoing process. Kraft’s Julie Fleischer underscores the need to constantly reinforce the value of content initiatives with data to illustrate benefits, such as increased sales and brand lift.
  18. Whether content and a CoC require a dedicated leader is a still-evolving conversation (see Altimeter Group’s report, Organizing for Content), as is the authority that leader wields, such as global, departmental, and regional. As a result, the much-vaunted chief content officer is a role that exists in precious few organizations. There is a marked preference for a content leader, but whether that person’s authority is limited to a department, location, or region or has a global purview is highly inconsistent. A content leader’s foremost responsibilities include evangelizing and constantly demonstrating content’s value, creating a content strategy, putting processes and infrastructure into place, and driving interdepartmental coordination and awareness. More than any other role, including senior management, the content leader gets everyone on the same page. The content leader also creates a sense of content ownership within specific business units or divisions. The leader articulates the importance of content, detects cross-functional areas where content is needed, spots and nurtures creative talent, and identifies individuals in the organization who share a content-centric mindset.
  19. A defining characteristic of a CoC is that content travels a circulatory system that goes beyond marketing to permeate other divisions. Clearly communications, PR, social media, field marketing teams, and other divisions participate in content initiatives because they rely on content to communicate at scale. What other divisions to include and how to prioritize their inclusion naturally differs from business to business, but not surprisingly, our research found customer-facing groups are cited as mandatory participates. Groups include customer support and sales in B2C organizations, as well as thought leadership and subject matter experts from among senior executives, researchers, and often product groups. Legal is frequently part of the approval and governance process, and IT must advise on software and tools integration and deployment. To motivate these groups, avoid asking them to work for marketing. Instead, tie content to individual or departmental objectives and develop metrics that enable them to track their progress toward these goals.
  20. For larger brands facing issues of scale, however, external partners are a necessity; for some, it can be akin to the necessity of scaling content outside the marketing organization. Equally urgent to the need for external partners to help create the content is the need for cultural unity among all parties. KRAFT example on next page Another brand extending its partnerships is Nestlé, which is using outside relationships to foster more creativity and experimentation. Mondelēz also seeks partners to create enough content to steadily feed to media and social channels, a capacity B. Bonin Bough says doesn’t exist in- house, as well as to distribute it. Bough’s mantra? “Find the thing that works, and operationalize it.”
  21. Kraft works with several agencies, including MXM, Starcom, TBWA, 360i, and McGarryBowen. In addition, it partners with shopper marketing and insights organizations to help retailers better sell their products. Central to these many initiatives and partnerships is a social media monitoring center that examines activity around individual brands with a variety of lenses for insights by segment, geo-location, and influencers. Combining content with data, says Fleisher, extends impact.
  22. There’s no consistent framework for bringing individual employees into a content culture, but there are best practices. Evangelism can help pinpoint hand-raisers and enthusiastic contributors. Not all contributors will be content creators, but employees can be encouraged and empowered to identify content needs or stories worth spreading. If customer support, for example, continually sees people struggle with a setting on a device or if sales sees a knowledge gap that interrupts the funnel, the ability for them to flag a content need for an appropriate leader or team can prove valuable, as well as empowering and profitable, such as in the above Sony example. Training, educating, demonstrating value, and welcoming feedback and input are essential to this flow of input and information. Many organizations are operationalizing this via internal social networks, highlighting best practices, case studies, feedback solicitation, and asset sharing. Digital acceleration teams are another way to inspireand encourage participation in content initiatives, as are centers of excellence. Altimeter Group predicts that companies that foster a strong CoC will increasingly make content part of the hiring process. This will not be based so much on aptitude (e.g., a talent for writing) as attitude—an enthusiasmfor participation, storytelling, sharing, or otherwise contributing to the content process.
  23. Establishing clear processes, roles, and resources helps a culture of content thrive and evolve over time. It’s the oil in the well-oiled engine a CoC embodies. The content’s governing body creates that oil, helping the engine run more efficiently. When the governing body develops strategic alignment, workflow and process clarity, consistent tools, guidelines, and triage protocols, as well as identify stakeholders, it empowers employees to ideate, create, approve, disseminate, measure, optimize, and scale content more efficiently. The fuel for all of this, though, is a relentless crusade to demonstrate the unique value of content to every aspect of the organization.
  24. A culture of content doesn’t just produce content, it truly values it. Thus evangelism, education, and training are foundational to building a CoC because if stakeholders don’t understand a content strategy’s purpose or process, they have little incentive to embrace it. Defining the value content generates across business functions and aligning that value to business objectives are central to gaining buy-in at every level in the organization. Content marketing leaders must identify and build relationships with other functional leaders, and not just once, but continuously, fostering deeper understanding, value, and trust over time. Many organizations begin evangelizing the content’s value at the consumer-facing level, citing marketing, corporate communications, and customer service as primary candidates for buy-in. salesforce.com deems the end user of any specific piece of content as the owner of that content. Thus, most frequent content needs are in customer service, social media, and sales but also extend outward to product development, research and development, HR, IT, and beyond. Content evangelists listen for and leverage department-specific pain points and day-to-day needs as a way to create cross-functional justification and buy-in for content investment. Both B2B and B2C organizations, including SAP, 3M, Salesforce, and Kraft, involve marketing and other consumer-facing roles initially, later pushing into less consumer-facing roles based on frequency of content needs, as outlined above. Companies must also involve external partners, including agencies, vendors, and research organizations. The key to evangelism is understanding the unique needs and pain points of each constituency and tailoring content initiatives to serve their needs and yield relevant results to drive greater buy-in.
  25. Establishing clear guidelines for who does what and when creates structure and clarity in the content marketing program. Specifically, the governing body (e.g., center of excellence, editorial board, steering committee) defines how content is developed, curated, created, and reviewed; what brand guidelines are; what the standards for content artifacts are; who is empowered to make editorial decisions; and how to manage crises. Governance empowers employees to act autonomously while also making decisions in line with the organization, whether acting on behalf of headquarters or across international borders. Governance also helps organizations manage workflows, accountability, safeguards, and the like for distributing content publication responsibilities across multiple departments and levels. To enable a CoC, the governing body must ensure that content is accessible across business functions and represents cross-functional needs.
  26. When new programs are rolled out, initial educational programs are key to access and adoption, but training must be ongoing to share best practices and updates on programs, tools, and workflows. Training can range from formal face-to-face sessions to less formalized programs through the content center of excellence and evangelism by program leaders. While there may be one overarching leader, many brands also designate regional or departmental leaders to support training at scale. Many enterprises also focus on enabling less formal, more routine knowledge sharing through enterprise collaboration tools or internal social networks. Collaboration tools help connect and empower each role in the content marketing chain, from copywriters to legal to agencies, to benefit from and repurpose each other’s efforts. Hiring or promoting with an eye for editorial or creative background, or even just enthusiasm and a willingness to participate in content initiatives, can help accelerate the learning curve. Kraft’s content center of excellence is developing a formal training curriculum to educate marketers on how to create strategy, what great content looks like, what tools are in place, and how they streamline processes, as well as what other resources are available and what measurement methodologies to use. It also conducts annual roadshows, where a core education team travels around, educating marketers on best practices.
  27. The role of technology in a CoC is to centralize, streamline, and optimize. It is to provide a central toolset for execution, knowledge sharing, branded assets, approvals, analysis, and reporting. Successfully leveraging content marketing (and any other) technology is a function of defining the organization’s priority use cases and aligning the tools against those use cases, not the other way around. Stakeholder alignmzent is important to success. Shared access to common tools that serve multiple teams helps streamline creation, curation, measurement, analytics, and deployment. An editorial calendar, for example, is a simple but vital component for keeping stakeholders clear on publishing frequency, media types, and publishing channels, as well as on the alignment of content cadence with the organization’s larger content strategy. Analytics is also critical, as an integrated understanding of how paid, owned, and earned content is performing across channels and platforms helps inform opportunities for optimization, more efficient spend, process effectiveness, and, most importantly, identification of what resonates with specific audiences and in what context. But tools are only as valuable as their level of integration, particularly when it comes to driving behavioral adoption, change, and empowerment. Organizations must recognize the imperative to integrate systems (e.g., content management, digital asset management, social media management, advertising platforms, mobile management, and agency systems) to drive as holistic a view of content performance and customer experience as possible — and not just create another silo.
  28. But tools are only as valuable as their level of integration, particularly when it comes to driving behavioral adoption, change, and empowerment. Organizations must recognize the imperative to integrate systems (e.g., content management, digital asset management, social media management, advertising platforms, mobile management, and agency systems) to drive as holistic a view of content performance and customer experience as possible — and not just create another silo.
  29. The primary impetus for a pervasive, unified CoC is the growing knowledge and acceptance of the fact that content is the atomic particle of all marketing across paid, owned, and earned channels, as addressed in Altimeter’s report The Converged Media Imperative: How Brands Will Combine Paid, Owned, and Earned. Content isn’t just a company blog or newsletter. Instead, it’s myriad forms of media that fuel social, PR, and advertising. This new mindset is changing the makeup and structure of marketing organizations and going far to foster a culture of content in more mature organizations. Nestlé explicitly designs content to function in advertising and social media. Media efficiency, according to Pete Blackshaw, global head of digital and social media at Nestlé, is creating the amount of value from earned media that equals the spend on paid. To that end, content must be buzzworthy and function in paid, owned, and earned channels. Both B2B (e.g., Intel) and B2C (e.g., Kraft) organizations are working to eliminate internal barriers between content, media, and data to create an exchange of ideas and a content circulatory system both within the enterprise and with external partners. Organizations must create and systematize the integration of paid, owned, and earned media with regularly scheduled meetings leading up to content activation. For example, three or four weeks before an initiative is deployed, all channel owners convene in a room to plan together. The following week, teams align and review individual plans on the best way to move forward, share assets, measure, and redeploy in different channels and media. Such meetings are rarely about content per se but rather about seamless experiences that cross channels, media, and devices. Other content leaders design content to later slice into component parts. Salesforce.com leverages its own Chatter tool to expedite content repurposing. Kyle Lacy, director of Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s global content and research team, points to simple tactics for repurposing, such as slicing up long PowerPoint decks and long videos into shorter, more sharable units, or sharing one-pagers. Packaging these assets with a list of top-line points makes it easier for other teams to digest and apply content for use in other channels, such as social selling.
  30. Doesn’t have to be the exact the exact same
  31. The convergence of paid, owned, and earned media also creates a need to efficiently transport and transform content across screens, media, and platforms. Content should be part of a well-oiled, well-built, smoothly efficient machine.
  32. The customer sees only one brand Understand customer wants, needs, preferences, behaviors, trends, passions Be equipped to optimize rapidly based on customer insights An obsession with understanding customer wants, preferences, behaviors, trends, passions, and so on helps drive a CoC because the data informs how brands use content to serve customers. In fact, a CoC starts with an obsession of customer, says Michael Brenner, head of strategy at NewsCred. Whether listening to customer feedback directly or monitoring customer interactions across various touch points, companies with a well-defined CoC are equipped to optimize rapidly based on customer insights. This is embodied in the convergence of media, where paid, owned, and earned must work together because the consumer sees only one brand, not specific departments. As such, content helps define the human side of a brand — creative, helpful, passionate, contextually sensitive, even vulnerable. Instead of letting editorial calendars dictate content cadence, Kraft errs on the side of asking what is worthy of distribution in the first place based on how people spend their time. Kraft’s standard of worthiness is a human way of determining what to publish based on whether the content is worth customers spending their valuable time and attention. Kraft makes this decision by:
  33. How content embodies brand values must be clear to every BRAND level, from the C-suite to functional leads to practitioners. This alignment should be a guiding force and benchmark for what constitutes worthy and authentic branded content. Every company should have its own understanding of purpose, differentiation, philosophy, and vision. While these will vary from company to company, brands must articulate how content serves those elements underlying the very identity of the brand. How content embodies brand values must be clear to every BRAND level, from the C-suite to functional leads to practitioners. This alignment should be a guiding force and benchmark for what constitutes worthy and authentic branded content. To align the content with the brand:
  34. Top-down, C-level buy-in is critical not only for investment and program expansion but also for leadership by example. Top down also helps drive investment and an understanding, a mentality, and enactment of the value of content; also required for education, evangelism, training, testing, << which drive buy-in from the bottom up Bottom-up content leadership can manifest through greater departmental buy-in, alignment, demand for content, and internal participation down to the practitioner level. The content leader must facilitate a top- down and a bottom-up approach to drive a culture of content. Top-down, C-level buy-in is critical not only for investment and program expansion but also for leadership by example. Top-down content leadership helps drive investment and an understanding, a mentality, and enactment of the value of content across the company. Simultaneously, a strong leader or advocate is nearly always required for education, evangelism, training, and testing, which drives buy-in from the bottom up. Bottom-up content leadership can manifest through greater departmental buy-in, alignment, demand for content, and internal participation down to the practitioner level. As the value of content is translated across other business functions through evangelism and small, inexpensive programs supporting those functions, hard numerical results aligning with business objectives help justify deeper executive support.
  35. steady reinforcement. Terms such as constant, relentless, frequent, and reinforcement are commonly used to describe a CoC WIIFM- recruiting and securing participation from multiple divisions, groups, territories, via demonstrating metrics relating to their goals. Evangelism must continue through RESULTS, through content sharing, centrally shared tools While culture is pervasive and powerful, it is not built overnight. It slowly gains acceptance and takes steady reinforcement. Terms such as constant, relentless, frequent, and reinforcement are commonly used to describe a CoC. Why? Because content leaders must constantly demonstrate business and consumer value across the organization. Recruiting and securing participation from divisions, groups, and territories are based heavily on WIIFM (what’s in it for me) and demonstrated by metrics that relate to their goals. This evangelism must continue over time, through results, case study and best (and worst) practice sharing, centrally shared tools and resources, recycled content, and so on. T
  36. Brands must be willing to take risks in the content they produce. This requires a spirit of piloting small, tightly scoped content initiatives with predetermined KPIS that align with business objectives. Testing and learning are less about new channel, device, or content plays and more about creating ostensible business value that can be reported back inherent to a CoC because they require taking risks These initiatives, especially early on, don’t necessarily have to be resource intensive. Testing and learning are less about new channel, device, or content plays and more about creating ostensible business value that can be reported back to leadership in order to drive program and resource expansion. These tasks are inherent to a CoC because they require taking risks, which may result in failure or in tangible justification to use when evangelizing content across functions and to leadership.
  37. Whether you’re a large multinational corporation with presences across dozens of countries or a company with numerous locations in one country, a CoC must be enabled locally. Divisional authority and autonomy with strategic oversight is as important for national companies as it is for multi- or international companies because both must empower local practitioners with local content that reflects local tastes, context, and language. As brands are forced to become publishers, enabling local authority is critical to standing out. This could be a case study suited for a German-speaking audience or simply tweaking content by region based on weather or news, such as promoting snow tires in New England and beach umbrellas in Florida.
  38. In a true culture of content, integration and shared insights should exist across every component of the culture: people, processes, mindsets, and the content itself. A CoC doesn’t work in silos. Integrated workflows across teams, business units, and internal and external parties help streamline and scale content deployment. Integrated technology systems with shared access, reporting, data, and automation enable agility and meaningful measurement. Even media itself, through the convergence of paid, owned, and earned must be connected through workflow and divisional coordination, designed for optimizing resources, as outlined in Altimeter’s report, “The Converged Media Imperative: How Brands Will Combine Paid, Owned, & Earned.”
  39. CONCLUSION The rewards of a CoC for brands are far reaching: stronger branding and identity, a greater share of voice, better and faster communications and resolutions, and boosts to all stages of the purchase funnel. A CoC ensures the viability of a unified brand experience; better, more contextually relevant and more timely interaction with customers and prospects; improved customer experiences; and the leveraging of the investments companies are making in technology. As brands continue to embrace content as a valuable, inspired business asset that establishes essential points of differentiation, content strategy and content culture will deeply infuse organizational cultures. Content will become like other enterprise assets (e.g., financial, plants, data inventory) where organizational acceptance of key best practices will be well defined, engendering wider accountability and ownership of the problem. Because creating enough content is a nagging problem for businesses whose core mission is to create products or services, turf wars will escalate in the agency sector. Already, advertising, creative, public relations, social media, and storytelling agencies are duking it out for ownership of this sector. In addition, content marketing agencies are beginning to populate the landscape. Altimeter does not believe a clear winner will emerge, as converged media requirements are too complex to favor one type of agency over another. As online and offline brand experiences, and media itself, continue to converge, content will increasingly serve as the united face of the brand across those experiences and across every single interaction customers have with the brand. In tandem, technology will embrace content in the emergence of the marketing cloud; a full-suite digital marketing solution reflects the convergence of social, display, search, content, marketing automation, email, and other channels. As communications shift from interruptive and obtrusive forms of push messaging (advertising) to softer pull strategies that are more marketing- oriented (owned and earned media), brands will require appropriate, relevant, authoritative, and timely content. Such a need can no longer be the purview of marketing alone; it requires participation across the enterprise and an evolution toward a culture of content.