In Part 1 of this two-part series, I reviewed many of the challenges that organizations (particularly financial services firms) face regarding how they manage content associated with their marketing functions. (Check out part one here.) In this post, I’ll outline Doculabs’ recommendations for how to address the challenges, and discuss the specific benefits of tackling the problems head on.
The three steps that help you solve marketing content lifecycle challenges.
I work with clients to take a measured, methodical, and proven approach to understanding what the problem is and then determine how to solve it. This often takes the form of a three-phased approach:
I won’t go into detail for each aspect of the three phases, but I will highlight certain areas of each that are especially relevant to the topic at hand.
Phase 1: Assessment: Gain stakeholder and authority alignment.
It’s vital to gain stakeholder and authority alignment, meaning getting onboard those individuals who are ultimately responsible for making decisions and using a defined, policy-based model to make those decisions. Once that’s defined, the bulk of the remaining work of this phase is to gather a current inventory of processes, content types (and locations), and applications. You also need to define future-state roles and responsibilities, and develop appropriate usage standards and guidelines (e.g. what content goes where).
Phase 2: Planning a solid editorial calendar.
In this phase, it’s critical to develop a solid editorial calendar that lays out what content is being published to which target audiences and to which delivery channels, and then to develop the right metadata framework to support that delivery model.
Additionally, during the planning phase, we recommend evaluating how to consolidate your content applications (authoring, storing, and publishing.) Consider the use of a Marketing Content Management platform.
Finally, aligning the editorial calendar and metadata framework to your marketing analytics is critical to understanding how effective your content is once it’s been published.
Phase 3: Execution by developing your content architecture.
Finally, execute on the solid plan you developed in Phase 2. Develop your content architecture (i.e. taxonomy) and enrich your content with the metadata framework developed in the planning phase. If you’ve consolidated applications or procured new ones, migrate the appropriate content to those repositories. Begin publishing out to the right audiences and channels, knowing you’ve got the right foundation on which to build and deploy effective content to your customers.
So what are the benefits your organization can expect to reap by executing on this framework?
You’ll be able to better deliver content to your customers and improve their customer experience through audience-specific content delivery, increased speed to market, and standardization of voice/tone across content production. You also may see reduced cost through platform/repository rationalization, streamlined workflows and approval (also resulting in increased speed to market), and greater ability for content reuse.
Admittedly, these areas can be challenging to address. But by doing so, your organization can improve the overall marketing content management lifecycle, while also improving the effectiveness of the content you’re creating.