According to a recent study administered by CMOSurvey.org surveying executive-level marketers at Fortune 1000 companies across the United States, marketing budgets as a percent of overall budgets have increased steadily to 11.4% in 2012, from 8.1% in early 2011 (Source: “The CMO Survey: Highlights & Insights”, August 2012). Additionally, marketing executives indicated that they expect marketing budgets to grow by 6.4% in 2013 (Source: ibid). Indeed, companies are reluctant to significantly cut or suspend marketing budgets during economically challenging times and instead are investing more heavily in marketing.
So what does this mean for marketers? Marketing functions remain under considerable pressure to demonstrate healthy return on marketing investment. We believe that this is a unique moment in time for marketing executives to reevaluate your marketing strategy, specifically your content strategy. An impactful content strategy enables delivery of the right message, to the right audience, through the right engines, at the right moment in time. Key questions around content strategy to consider:
- Are your business priorities brought to life through your marketing messages?
- Is there a framework for developing marketing assets and deploying to geographically dispersed field marketers?
- Does the content you develop address or respond to customer needs?
- Finally, are there predictable and consistent mechanisms to deliver marketing and campaign messages with your customers?
At Lenati, our point-of-view is that the path to impactful marketing begins with an explicit and coherent content strategy, no matter the size of your company. Part I of this article focuses on symptoms of possible content proliferation, and tees up recommended solutions and benefits.
IS MARKETING CONTENT PROLIFERATION AND DUPLICATION COSTING YOU MILLIONS?
Before diagnosing the pain, you first must be amenable to the notion that content inefficiencies may exist in your organization. This involves taking a step back and evaluating the effectiveness of your content strategy, inclusive of the assets and collateral developed as well as the numerous marketing tactics and programs leveraged to reach your audience. Below are some common pain points indicative of a possible content problem.
Positioning & Messaging
- Multiple or inconsistent messages reaching internal stakeholders and your customers
- Lack of holistic and cohesive strategic priorities and brand messaging
- Confusion around what campaigns are planned and executed
Content Discovery & Utilization
- Limited predictability around who is delivering what content, and when available
- Limited visibility and reporting into what assets are actually used
- Evidence of redundant or recreated marketing collateral
- Inability to effectively and consistently engage with customers
Any combination of the aforementioned pain points should cause you to pause and strongly consider reevaluating your marketing and content strategy. Content proliferation is perhaps the most frightening. Companies leverage marketing staff, consultancies, and agencies to produce millions of dollars’ worth of marketing assets every year. Is it worth it?
SOLUTION OVERVIEW & BENEFITS
To architect a solution that addresses your content problem, we recommend an approach that includes identifying the key themes and strategic priorities your firm prepared to deliver, developing a framework for how marketing content is developed, and thoughtfully planning how your messages get delivered to your audiences. Depending on the size of your company and marketing entity, it is worth noting that your endeavor to identify the content problem and implement an approach may be a multi-year journey. Deploying an approach similar to the one introduced above will have a positive impact to your business including:
- Opportunity to have fewer, more meaningful customer conversations
- Reduced messaging fragmentation and duplication
- Predictability in the content creation process and less need for content re-creation
- Prioritized set of marketing tactics to reach your audiences consistently and predictably
In Part II of this blog post, we will identify recommendations for increasing marketing content impact and efficiency.
About the Author
Jake Roth has over 7 years of experience in client service with functional expertise in sales strategy & methodology, marketing strategy, channel strategy, business process improvement, and product management. Jake draws on his variety of experiences in delivering thoughtful solutions that meet client’s complex business problems across a variety of industries including High Tech, Software, and Wireless.