Every piece of creative that you produce whether text, images or video and for social media, campaigns, TV adverts, call centre scripts or corporate communication is content. Content is marketing fuel, it is sales support materials and it drives improved customer experience. Why then is it the one area where brands either have no plan for it or many plans and strategies that are not coordinated? And it is worse than just not having a centralised plan, it is also where the average marketer spends 36%* of their total budget on content. (This figure is probably much higher if all types of content are considered.) Therefore, 36% or more of marketing budgets are tactical and unplanned. For many big brands with hundreds of millions to spend within their marketing budgets, a significant portion of their marketing is non-strategic and probably not very effective. It makes sense, then, that more and more big brands are moving to zero based budgeting for CMOs to get some control over this.

Most sizeable organisations will have spent millions on their CRM, Customer Data and Delivery platforms, but very little on organising the content that is distributed through these systems. (Delivery platforms are the tools and applications that are getting the messages to the customers and range from campaign management/automation to ad targeting and any tool that is publishing to any channel.)

There is overlap between these platforms depending on what vendors are used. However, in all cases what is missing is a unifying content strategy and plan. And more than that the management and measurement of the content that is then created against the plan.

What measurement does exist is always vanity measures – how many clicks, how much dwell time, how many pages visited – none of which tells you how the content has performed for the business or how qualified the customer is, but it does make you feel good about how many people have consumed the content.

What is needed is a centralised content planning and management system that allows brands to create content that will take customers on connected journeys across multiple channels.

When this is in place brands can then:

Connect all content through journeys creating engagement that directly drives revenue, growth and retention.

Use a next-best-content AI to deliver the right content to the right customer at the right time to sustain engagement and maximise opportunity to sell.

The way the content is structured would allow brands to understand customer behaviour with content-driven needs analysis and enrich customer databases with this data.

Measure the success of content in terms of how well it moves an audience towards the goal.

*Research from Content Marketing Institute