“37% of all B2B marketers have a documented content marketing strategy, while 38% have a strategy but it’s not documented.” (2018 CMI Trends Report)
“The sad reality: Only 35 percent of the content created by a b-to-b organization is actively used. 65% of content created by marketing for sales never gets used.” (SiriusDecisions)
Given the strategic importance of quality, educational, B2B content, if these statements reflect your reality it is a cause of any under-performing marketing and sales results. Of course it contributes to your content performance problems.
(Please read the Content Operations services section for background and context.)
Among the many questions we’re asking our clients:
Given how long we’ve you’ve been in business, why do you still have such a (sales) content problem?
If you have a content strategy, how do you know where it’s strong or weak? How have you assessed its effectiveness?
How does your strategy address how you will operationalize to execute that strategy?
What you are doing IS your content strategy — whether it’s explicit, considered, documented — or not.
Poor or missing sales content isn’t the core problem. It’s a symptom.
If you can’t accurately diagnose the core causes of business problems, you won’t apply the best remedies.
Identify Areas of Enterprise Information and Content Strategy Weakness
When it comes to content strategy, what to do is well identified and universally accepted. Breakdown occurs in execution.
This is why the accounting profession has documented standards. They also perform annual audits. Despite good intentions, with complex systems, execution doesn’t go as desired. Effective content strategy and content operations are complex systems.
Here are just a few examples that might indicate weak or missing enterprise information and content strategy elements:
Information Strategy — doesn’t proceed content strategy. Content strategy decisions, focused on priorities of content types and formats, lacks the necessary foundation of information and knowledge requirements assessments, of internal and external constituents.
Content Strategy — to the degree it is performed, is typically conducted within siloed functions, at a tactical level. A formal process supported by proven frameworks often doesn’t exist, and isn’t applied across all key functions: marketing, sales, training, customer service and the sales channel.
Audience Segments — aren’t identified, considered for content requirements, and documented
Personas — haven’t been well researched, miss elements including: persona beliefs, unique business problem perspectives, industry variations, value models
Buyer decision process — isn’t rigorous in identifying: decisions and activities by stage, value models, key decision impediments
Use Case Requirements — aren’t explicitly defined, from both the buyer decision process as well as sales process perspectives. Assessments don’t clearly identify knowledge, communication support and situation-specific content requirements
Content Operations — the traditional process can only optimize two of three factors — quality, speed, cost. How have you determined the importance to optimize 10 digital content criteria? How have you changed your content operations process to address these realities?
People Support — hasn’t been formally considered, defined and documented for subject matter experts who provide inputs to content, for producers, users, customers and content consumers
Infrastructure and Tools — are missing or inadequate. Digital content is a technology dependent initiative.
Enterprise Information and Content Strategy
It is axiomatic that we must see and address strategic business factors strategically.
Clearly, for most companies, this isn’t the case. In the short term, this creates opportunity for advantage for those who do it well. In the mid to long term it’s required for parity.
Developing real competency is a way to extend the advantage timeframe.
As a result of our 20 year experience managing our professional content operations that created B2B sales, marketing and training content for hundreds of clients, we’ve codified and documented a Six Competency Framework for Enterprise Information and Content Strategy.
Individual competencies that comprise our enterprise content strategy are explained in greater detail in articles linked to here:
These frameworks are applied in our Content Health Check Service. This service assesses (or audits) Content Strategy, Content Operations, and content inventories. This includes website and non-website content, preferably for ALL customer-engaging functions.
We assist client teams in developing and improving enterprise content strategy, or at least multi-functional strategy. We are unique in the way we have distinguished and apply our Use Case Requirements competency.
Frameworks are also incorporated into all aspects of our Leveraged Content Operations program.
To understand our unique approach to enterprise content strategy, and how it might apply in your organization, please schedule a brief introductory conversation.