Business Trends Indicate Need for Enterprise Content Strategy and Operations Management

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Looking at emerging business trends

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Target Audiences: 

  • VP of Marketing / CMO;
  • CEO/CFO;
  • Marketing / Content Operations head

Purpose: 

  • Provide insights from business analysts on important trends that impact business, marketing and content strategy:
    • the digital enterprise,
    • digital marketing,
    • content and content operations, and their implications for business strategy
  • Raise awareness of the need for enterprise content strategy that is different from traditional marketing content strategies for websites and content projects
  • Support the case to execute content strategy through a new, leveraged, more efficient, content supply chain operations model.

Topics: 

  • Content is a strategic imperative and driver of top enterprise objectives.
  • To meet new requirements, challenges and business imperatives, businesses must embrace a new content (digital) mindset.
  • Businesses need a content strategy that goes beyond marketing, websites and content projects. This must support ALL customer facing, content dependent groups, including sales, sales training, customer service, HR (talent acquisition), and the sales channel.
  • Organizations must execute content strategies through a new, more leveraged and efficient content supply chain process and operation.

Business Trends Indicate Need for Enterprise Content Strategy and Operations Management

Business-to-business enterprise marketing executives are accountable for uniting all customer facing activities associated with acquiring new customers, growing revenue, and creating exceptional customer experiences, across all touch points, and the entire customer lifecycle.

Many B2B executives and their organizations are not innovating fast enough to capitalize on the competitive advantages available to early movers. They must accelerate their learning curve to become proficient with modern marketing practices.

This post will introduce perspectives that can help enroll all members of an executive team to address new realities, opportunities and challenges fostered by important business trends.

The implications of major business, marketing and content trends, while generally known and acknowledged, haven’t been fully rationalized in enterprise strategies and operations, especially content operations.

These trends include:

  • The digital enterprise, including digital and content marketing, social engagement methods, and the Internet of Things
  • The shift in power from sellers to empowered-buyers
  • Big data and advanced analytics for greater data driven decision making
  • New business models, including everything as a service
  • Exceptional customer experience as a strategic KPI

The Digital Enterprise

McKinseyMinding your digital business: McKinsey Global Survey results

Most C-level executives say the three key trends in digital business — namely, big data and analytics, digital marketing and social-media tools, and the use of new delivery platforms such as cloud computing and mobility—are strategic priorities at their companies. 

The broader organizational issues …. indicate that executives must think carefully about how to carry out digital business initiatives in their organizations. This challenge may be the most revealing, as it speaks to the potential need for a different operating paradigm—and the fact that traditionally siloed functions (for example, marketing, product development, or IT) could obstruct a dynamic approach to digital business that requires speed and flexibility to create the most value. 

Gartner, Gartner Identifies Six Key Steps to Build a Successful Digital Business

Gartner predicts that a lack of digital business competence will cause 25% of businesses to lose competitive ranking by 2017. Tweet this

Create the Right Mindset and Shared Understanding

Digital business is not just about expanding the use of technology. Digital business leaders must think about technology in a fundamentally different way than in the past. It is not an enabler to be applied to what the business wants to do but a source of innovation and opportunity for what the business could do. This more proactive model focuses on creative disruption and new business models to gain competitive advantage. 

Information as an Asset — Information, and its effective use, has become a strategic asset and a competitive advantage to the digital businesses best able to exploit it. 

DeloitteDigital Engagement – Context plus content for marketing and beyond

Digital is at the heart of business—reshaping customer interaction, rewiring how work gets done, and potentially rewriting the nature of competition in some markets. The underlying intent of digital engagement is simple: using technology to design more compelling, personally relevant, engrossing experiences that lead to lasting, productive relationships, higher levels of satisfaction, and new sources of revenue. 

Tapping digital channels to advertise, market, sell, and provide customer care is far from new terrain for many companies. But today’s markets demand intimacy and synchronization across channels—providing seamless, personalized experiences to customers who are time-, place-, and context-aware. 

Digital engagement presents new ways to enhance customer loyalty and competitive advantage. 

Digital Marketing

McKinsey, Coming Era of “On-Demand” Marketing

Digital marketing is about to enter more challenging territory. Building on the vast increase in consumer power brought on by the digital age, marketing is headed toward being on demand—not just always “on,” but also always relevant, responsive to the consumer’s desire for marketing that cuts through the noise with pinpoint delivery. 

What’s fueling on-demand marketing is the continued, symbiotic evolution of technology and consumer expectations. Already, search technologies have made product information ubiquitous; social media encourages consumers to share, compare, and rate experiences; and mobile devices add a “wherever” dimension to the digital environment. 

Consumers will soon make these demands of every interaction they have with companies. Although the marketing function may often be the best conduit to get customer input and to drive decisions about how to distinguish brands, coordinated efforts across the enterprise will be needed. 

To deliver these new experiences, executive teams must rethink the role and structure of the marketing organization and how it engages with other functions. The changes are likely to cut deeply, transforming the way companies manage campaigns and communities, measure performance, provide customer support, and interact with outside agencies. 

Staying ahead of the design, data, and delivery requirements of on-demand customers is much more than a marketing issue—it will be a crucial basis for future competitive advantage. 

Deloitte, Meeting the High Bar for Digital Engagement

Digital engagement requires a commitment to content as a discipline, backed by a technical and operational backbone. This backbone enables the rapid creation, delivery, and curation of assets, personalised to the individual according to location, activity, historical behaviour, and device or service. This enables personally relevant and timely interactions that are “just right” in their level of detail, utility, and privacy. 

MANY companies have content management systems to support certain types of information on the Web, but few have gone beyond that to tackle the broader range of digital content. That’s likely because they’re looking at content the wrong way. Content is still isolated or tied to specific business units or geographies when it should be anchored to a customer or product. Complicating matters, the volume of content is out of control—especially with the rise of big data signals.  

Even the fundamentals need attention. Many companies lack processes and systems to understand the real costs of their activities, and they have no easy way to know which content elements are current, which should be retired, and how they should come together to support business operations. Some companies use third parties to maintain and manage their digital content, thereby delegating what may have easily become a source of competitive advantage.  

Bottom line

Digital engagement is a way to drive new investments in marketing, similar to those that have improved finance, supply chain, and customer relationship management over the past few decades. Beyond efficiency and cost savings, digital engagement presents new ways to enhance customer loyalty and competitive advantage—riding the wave of changing behaviours and preferences for contextual interactions. Organisations should “think Big Mother (relevant, useful services) rather than Big Brother (omnipresent, creepy intrusions).” 

Digital Content

Altimeter Group, Organizing for Content: Models to Incorporate Content Strategy and Content Marketing in the Enterprise

Content responsibility and oversight tends to be both reactive and highly fragmented. This fragmented approach leads to inconsistent messaging, huge variations in voice, tone, brand and messaging and an inconsistent customer experience. The channel divisions themselves tend to be ad hoc, assigned primary on the basis of hand-raising than any overarching content strategy. 

Brands find themselves ill-equipped and scrambling to create content that meets both company and user needs. This is no mean feat, particularly with content channel responsibility, ownership, and creation dispersed across the enterprise. 

Strategy: Content strategy is the framework within which content marketing initiatives are executed. It embodies all content-related objectives, processes, and governance, from the selection of tools, technologies, staff, and partners, as well as the how and what content is produced, to its approval and publishing processes and maintenance. Without a centralized, strategic alignment to why and how content is being produced and the resource allocation for that production, companies too easily fall into the trap of “we need a blog, or a Facebook page, or a microsite.” Efforts are unaligned with goals and appear scattershot. 

Recognize it’s Time to Organize for Content. Organizations with a digital presence, whether their own website or in social media channels, are compelled to produce and publish content, if not on a continual basis then frequently and consistently. This demand will only increase in the months and years to come. Organizations that don’t review content needs as such, outside narrower parameters such as “social” or “PR” or “collateral,” risk a haphazard, inconsistent, and unprofessional media presence. A scalable and systematic approach to content strategy and content marketing has become a must-have, not a nice-to-have. 

Organizing for content is both a strategic and tactical undertaking. Businesses that fail to seriously evaluate how and where content fits strategically and operationally within their organizations will suffer in the short term as they strive to continue to create content without cohesion. They will be at a greater disadvantage in the months and years ahead as content demands accelerate in terms of owned content and converged content hybrids in social media and advertising. 

Orchestration and fine-tuning content organizationally is the next, most critical step facing marketing. 

SiriusDecisions, Introducing the SiriusDecisions Content Model

B-to-b organizations are struggling to optimize content process, which many CMOs have identified as a key 2014 objective. 

Although all organizations have pockets of excellence and dysfunction, few have established a process owner, measurement hub, and center of excellence for the enterprise-wide content process required to support cross-functional content strategy and fulfillment. 

The Industrial Revolution … marked a global transition to new manufacturing processes and long-term economic growth. Efficiency dramatically increased as factories moved from hand production to machinery-driven processes. Given recent changes to b-to-b buying behavior and greater requirements for content to support inbound marketing, nurturing and multi-touch demand creation, b-to-b organizations must prepare for a similar revolution in their content strategies. 

Marketing and Sales Content Strategy and Operations

Content Marketing Institute, Content Marketing in 2014, The State of the Enterprise

From the Introduction

In 1999, Philip Kotler, the world-renowned marketing professor, published Kotler on Marketing. As he indicated in the book’s introduction, the late ‘90s were a time of tumultuous change. He concluded the book with a section called Transformational Marketing, in which he discussed how the field would change with the “new age of electronic marketing.”      

“In the coming decade,” Kotler said, “marketing will be re-engineered from A to Z. Marketers will need to rethink fundamentally the processes by which they identify, communicate, and deliver customer value.”  

There’s only one problem: Fifteen years have passed, and it hasn’t happened yet. Yes, the buyer’s journey to acquiring products and services HAS fundamentally changed. Maybe, it’s even more accurate to say IS and WILL CONTINUE TO fundamentally change, as the cycle of evolution shows no signs of slowing.      

The challenge is that marketing operations in enterprise companies remain largely the same today as they were when Kotler wrote his book. Most enterprise marketing departments are still working from late 20th century organizational models and have reacted to the disruptive changes in consumer behavior by throwing more discrete “teams” at the problem. 

To complicate matters, enterprises have become content factories, producing enormous mountains of content (Forrester Research asserts that on average, enterprise content volume is growing at a rate of 200% annually).  At some point, all that content will inhibit productivity in an organization, rather than contribute to it.      

Content in marketing isn’t new. Content marketing is. 

Yet at its core, content is an incredibly important piece of the broader disruption. Content in marketing isn’t new. Content marketing as a holistic, strategic approach is. After seven years of watching content marketing transform businesses both large and small, CMI is confident that it’s here to stay.   

Content can be managed as the strategic asset that it has (or can) become for enterprises—or it can be an expensive byproduct that ultimately weighs down a company as it tries to navigate the broader disruptions taking place.