During two decades of content work with B2B organizations Avitage has developed and refined a Six Competency Framework for Marketing and Sales Content Strategy. The first four competencies are applied in the Content Strategy Assessment. The Content Operations and Infrastructure / Tools competencies are applied in the Content Operations Assessment.
The primary objective of a Marketing and Sales Content Strategy is to address the questions:
- What content should we invest in, and why?
- What is the strategic purpose and differentiation for our marketing and sales content?
- How should that content be developed?
- What inputs are required to optimize the quality and performance of that content?
Our framework provides a comprehensive methodology to assess the current state of an organization’s content strategy and content operations. Too often, a content audit is conducted without reference to content strategy decisions.
Today, on-brand, up-to-date, well-written and consumable content factors are table stakes. Typically missing is assessment of the purpose — or “job” — for which content users and their audiences require situation-ready content. Specifically the context for each asset. By this we mean the situation, audience and purpose for each asset.
The six competencies in the Avitage framework are:
- Understand Audience (Buyers)
- Conversations Support
- Use Case Requirements
- People Support
- Content Operations
- Infrastructure, Tools, Technology
Content Strategy Assessment Methodology and Process
The content strategy assessment serves a purpose similar to an annual financial audit conducted by accounting firms on the organization’s financial records, operating procedures and other areas that affect business risk and government compliance.
Assessments are tailored to client business strategies, objectives and priorities. The basic methodology and process is as follows.
The work begins with inputs that provide context about the strategic environment and purposes of content for each organization.
- Enterprise Goals and Strategies
- Go-To-Customer Goals, Strategies, Plans
- Sales (and Channel) Goals and Plans
- Marketing Goals and Plans
Company Offers – Products, Services, Solutions
With this as background, the Content Strategy Assessment process follows the competency sequence. (For details on each, view linked pages on summary list above.)
1. Understand Audiences and Buyers
- Who — Audiences, Segments and Personas
- Why — Problems, Business Issues
- How — Buying Decision Process, Stages, Decision Gates, Questions and Information Requirements
- Buyer Options and Competitive Assessment
2. Conversation Support (language and messages, beyond “messaging”)
- Buyer’s Problems
- Competitive Positioning
- Conversation Preparation — Key Points, Messages, Stories, Proof Points
- Design Conversation Frameworks for key touch point conversations
- Communication and Conversation Content Support
- Information (data) to capture with content
3. Use Case Requirements of Primary Content Constituent Groups
- Identify Key Engagement Touch Points
- Content Inventory — Mapped & Gapped
- New Content Requirements documented
4. Support People
- Content Constituent Groups (Marketing tactics, Sales, Customer Service, Sales Channel)
- Content Operations and Creators (Subject Experts)
- Content Reviewers and Managers
- Content Users
Where written content strategy documents exist, they will be reviewed and evaluated. Representative assets for all types of content will be assessed. This assessment looks at strategy for sales and the sales channel, as well as for marketing tactics.
Structured interviews will be conducted with key stakeholders in marketing, sales and content operations. Often poor content strategy impacts the content production process and personnel most significantly.
Content Strategy Assessment Outputs and Deliverables
The result of this work is a written assessment based on the competency model. Where possible and helpful, customer assets are inserted as examples.
Specific recommendations regarding gaps and priorities are documented.
A roadmap of suggested maturity enhancements is provided to indicate possible next level content strategy practices.
Recommendations are typically delivered and discussed in a half-day briefing with appropriate client stakeholders.
To discuss how a Content Strategy Assessment might work in your organization, please schedule an introductory conversation.
Please visit the related Content Operations Assessment Service