From a B2B marketing perspective, content has come a long way. It doesn’t seem long ago that there was considerable scepticism that it was even ‘a thing’—or just the latest flash-in-the-pan in an industry, which loves short lived fads and transitory trends.
Today, however, we can see that content is a fundamental to marketing, and it’s largely recognised as such. This is particularly the case for global brands, with head of content roles pivotal to both inbound and outbound marketing strategies and responsible for corralling a growing volume of content in a bewildering variety of formats from across the organisation.
And herein lies the problem, as was so clearly highlighted by our recent B2B Marketing Leaders virtual roundtable, which was run in association with SDL. While content quantity has accelerated, quality is questionable at best—in many cases, it has certainly declined.
The simple fact is that there’s a lag between the recognition of the importance of content and the investment in the proper resources, process and technologies to address this, and get the best out of content.
Technology is a case in point: Despite the huge increase in martech solutions available and the rise in budgets by B2B brands of all sizes (particularly global corporates), actual investment in content-tech was remarkably limited amongst content marketers attending our roundtable. In fact, beyond things like webinar platforms, only one attendee had made significant investment in content resource management technology, with a view to improving the production, distribution and deployment of content both locally and around the world. I personally found that both surprising and disappointing.
On a more positive note, most of those attending regarded COVID-19, and the consequent upheaval and pressure on resources, as an opportunity to think and do things differently. Some were taking this as an impetus to completely rethink and re-engineer their content marketing processes and strategy. Whether that extends to technology, remains to be seen.
So while content marketing has undoubtedly come a long way, it also still has a long way to go, before it is as formalised and robust as other parts of the post-modern marketing function. Technology will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in the next step in its evolution, and those brands which embrace it will steal a march on their competitors.
Published on June 23, 2020 in DX and Content Management