Publish or Perish: CMOs Must Regain Control of the Content Problem

19477453_sContent is all the rage in B2B sales and marketing today. It’s been ingrained into our brains that “content is king,” content is “the lifeblood of an organization,” and even recently became “the H2O of marketing.” If content’s importance is so well-known, why are CMOs still struggling to create and support an optimal content strategy?

To establish a better understanding of widespread B2B content challenges and content’s role in achieving organizational goals, Forbes surveyed 380 marketing executives about best practices for content optimization. In its recently released report, Publish or Perish: A CMO Roadmap, Forbes found that 96% of CMOs agree that effective marketing content is essential to achieving growth goals and increasingly defines the job of the CMO. Yet content publishing (which Forbes defines as producing, managing, distributing and optimizing marketing and sales content at scale) is still a major challenge, with 40% of CMOs reporting that they are unsure if their marketing content investment is yielding a positive ROI.

Marketing content is no longer a competitive advantage—if anything, it’s weighing down marketing teams that don’t have a concerted strategy surrounding content. So how can CMOs regain control of the content problem—and use it to contribute to the bottom line?

Publish or Perish cites a number of problems that CMOs must conquer to effectively publish content at scale:

  • Low content usage: SiriusDecisions estimates that 60-70% of collateral created by marketing goes unused by sales reps. This poor content usability and findability costs enterprise organizations $2.3 million a year on average. Content creation investments are useless without dedicating strategic time and effort to distributing the right assets to the right audiences. Improving content visibility—when, how, and how often content is utilized by different audiences and individuals—helps CMOs understand what content is useful and what isn’t.
  • Time and effort it takes to find content: 61% of the executives surveyed by Forbes report that it is difficult for their salespeople to find marketing content when they need it. CMOs must find a way to eliminate the time salespeople waste weeding through irrelevant content. Serving up content contextually—for example, content that is relevant to the the stage of the buying process, industry, and/or role of the buyer—is a great place to start. Over time, with the increased content visibility CMOs will get from reps’ increased use of content, content can be suggested even more specifically.
  • Lack of alignment with the go-to-market process: Sales and marketing aren’t the only misaligned entities in the B2B landscape; most content created by marketing isn’t aligned with buyers’ needs, priorities and interests. Overall, Forbes found that only 46% of CMOs surveyed are currently aligning content with the customer journey or buying process. Content must support the entire customer journey, not the sales process or marketing campaigns. Aligning external-facing sales content to the customer journey helps sales facilitate more engaging and relevant conversations with buyers.
  • The inability to materially impact sales results: Marketing content effectiveness hinges on the willingness of sales to collaborate and align with marketing. If sales leaders don’t believe that marketing and the content created by marketing can impact sales success, it’s impossible to see ROI from content investments. Being able to measure content’s contribution to revenue is paramount in this alignment, and is a way to quantifiably prove to sales leaders that marketing is there to help.

It is clear that publishing content requires a concerted effort implemented and reinforced by CMOs. Publish or Perish goes on to say that “content marketing and sales enablement now collide in a bewildering array of technologies and opportunities, creating huge opportunities for some and uncertainty for most.” By tackling the major problems above armed with the right sales enablement and content marketing technology, CMOs can rid themselves of ineffective and inefficient content processes once and for all. For the full report, and to learn more about how leading marketers are leveraging sales enablement technology to reduce the cost and complexity of their content operations, download it here.

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