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[NEW RESEARCH] Choosing The Tools for A Unified Content Strategy

Altimeter's guide to navigating the content software field helps you choose the best tools for your organization's content strategy.

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[NEW RESEARCH] Choosing The Tools for A Unified Content Strategy

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  1. PREVIEW COPY CHOOSING THE TOOLS FOR A UNIFIED CONTENT STRATEGY by Omar Akhtar, Analyst and Managing Editor at Altimeter, a Prophet Company August 2, 2016

  2. PREVIEW COPY EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Content marketing is no longer just the playground for the PR and marketing departments within an organization. Now it solves customer needs and delivers more value than just awareness and brand support. Sales and service staff use it to support strategic goals. This changes both the types of content brands are deploying and the technology they use to produce and deliver it. Hundreds of tools now claim to be the best-in-breed enterprise solutions for content creation, curation, management, delivery, and measurement. As a result, choosing the right software becomes an arduous and contentious process. Any team that’s in-charge of procuring software has to consider the demands of multiple departments, limited budgets, and proving a rapid return on investment. And after all those considerations, they still have to evaluate an exhausting number of vendor options and risk being blamed for picking the wrong one. To select the right software, concentrate on strategy first. This report will help you navigate the intimidating landscape of content tools by creating clarity around your strategy, identifying gaps and requirements in your content operations, and providing a framework for rating tools that make the final cut. Follow these steps to eliminate vendor options at every stage, making the final selection process far easier. Then you’ll ensure that you are picking only the software that will successfully execute your chosen content strategy and help your company stay relevant by attaining the highest levels of digital maturity. TABLE OF CONTENTS Executive Summary Introduction Choosing the Right Content Strategy Evaluating the Content Technology Stack Rate the Software Conclusion Methodology Ecosystem Input Acknowledgements Author Bio About Us 2 3 5 9 14 16 16 17 17 18 18 www.altimetergroup.com | @altimetergroup | info@altimetergroup.com 2

  3. PREVIEW COPY INTRODUCTION In today’s digital marketing speak, “content” refers to anything published by brands that isn’t paid advertising. This includes thought leadership, whitepapers, blogs, and social media posts. Marketing and communications departments used to be responsible for producing this material. However, as its effectiveness at engaging audiences and communicating a brand’s message becomes more apparent, sales, service, product, and even HR teams are starting to leverage content as a strategic asset. This is the future of branded content. It is no longer just a marketing tactic, but a strategic tool that aids all departments in delivering a great customer experience. Content can now do more than just promote a brand. It can convey crucial information, build trust, promote transparency, serve a community, and start a conversation. Hence, it is in the interest of digitally savvy brands to buy content management software that serves the requirements of multiple departments and functions. However, this complicates the already difficult process of vetting and selecting the right content management tools. The most recent edition of Scott Brinker’s Marketing Technology Landscape listed more than 3,500 different marketing technology platforms (see Figure 1).1 At least half of the platforms listed are solutions for either creating, curating, distributing, or measuring content across paid, earned, and owned channels. The sheer number of content-related tools available can paralyze companies that don’t have the time or resources to evaluate the merits of every platform. Even then, there’s no guarantee that the platform they choose today will be relevant to what they want to achieve next year. FIGURE 1 THE MARKETING TECHNOLOGY LANDSCAPE www.altimetergroup.com | @altimetergroup | info@altimetergroup.com 3

  4. PREVIEW COPY Despite the overabundance of tools, most marketing technology stacks still remain woefully underutilized. 51% of companies say they are using more than 21 different marketing tech tools.2 B ut only 9% of marketers say they have all the marketing technology they need and fully utilize the tools they have.3 51% of companies say they are using more than 21 different marketing tech tools, but only 9% of marketers say they have all the marketing technology they need and fully utilize the tools they have. Whittling down the number of options makes it easier to choose the right software, methodically eliminating tools that are not relevant to the brand’s content strategy. This is a problem when only 32% of B2B marketers say they have a documented content strategy, while only 28% have a documented editorial mission statement for how they will serve their audience through content.4 This lack of clarity around what the organization wants to achieve through the use of content (and how it plans to achieve it), makes tool selection even more difficult and confusing. This report will help you find the right software by guiding you through three major steps (Figure 2) that systematically narrow your options, providing clarity and ensuring that you choose the best, and most relevant software. FIGURE 2 CHOOSE THE RIGHT SOFTWARE BY ELIMINATING CHOICES AT EACH STAGE All Content Software After you choose a content strategy After you evaluate your content stack After you use the comparison tool www.altimetergroup.com | @altimetergroup | info@altimetergroup.com 4

  5. PREVIEW COPY CHOOSING THE RIGHT CONTENT STRATEGY Strategy enables multiple parts of the organization to produce content on their own while still following a common set of criteria and goals. Create a strategy first and you’ll reduce the production of ineffective and irrelevant content. Finally, a well-defined content strategy shortens the software-selection process, enabling you to choose only the tools that fit your specific strategy. But before embarking on a plan for building a modern, digitally mature content strategy, it’s important to first know what that looks like. There are four defining characteristics of mature content-producing organizations: Unified Vision: A digitally mature organization has a content strategy that gives multiple departments (such as sales, service, and marketing) a clear vision for what the organization wants to achieve and how it wants to achieve it through the use of content. Companies that are less mature will have a content strategy that only applies to the marketing department or, in some cases, have no content strategy at all. Integration Between Departments: There is a lot of talk of “breaking down silos” between departments and getting the entire organization to work together. It’s not so much about breaking down silos as it is about building windows between them. Mature content organizations share strategies, content goals, and customer data across all the stakeholder departments. This ensures a coordinated internal approach that is vital for delivering a unified customer experience externally. Inter-departmental communication also helps identify overlapping points of software use for different departments, which can lead to consolidation of software and greater efficiency in workflows. Data-Driven Engagement: Modern customer engagement is driven by both Mad Men and “Math Men;” that is to say, data is just as important as creativity in producing engaging content. Companies today can’t afford to waste resources on creating irrelevant content. The way forward is the creation of highly personalized material that serves a real, data-proven customer need. This data doesn’t just tell us what the customer looks like; it should tell us their behaviors and be gathered from a variety of touchpoints, both digital and analog, to create a holistic picture. www.altimetergroup.com | @altimetergroup | info@altimetergroup.com 5

  6. TO DOWNLOAD THE COMPLETE REPORT FOR FREE, CLICK HERE: http://www2.prophet.com/Choosing-Tools-for-A-Unified-Content-Strategy 6

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