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Against a backdrop of hundreds of content marketing vendors, with new ones emerging all the time, brands are challenged to articulate their content marketing needs. This makes creating an RFP and asking the right questions both of internal stakeholders as well as vendors incredibly difficult from the start.
In this 45-minute webinar, analyst Rebecca Lieb shares best practices for your content marketing software selection process, including her research on the content marketing software landscape.
Watch the webinar on-demand at: http://www.slideshare.net/Altimeter/webinar-content-marketing-software-rfp-by-altimeter-group
Download our Content Marketing Software RFP template at: www.altimetergroup.com/content-marketing-software-rfp.
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WebinarContent Marketing Software RFP:A Framework to Determine Marketer Needs & Solicit Proposals Rebecca Lieb, Industry AnalystJessica Groopman, Sr. Researcher September 11, 2014 #ContentRFP
Welcome Rebecca Lieb Industry Analyst @lieblink Jessica Groopman Senior Researcher @jessgroopman Turn on computer audio. Today’s hashtag: #ContentRFP Use the Readytalk control panel to submit questions at any time Slides and this recording will be emailed to you after the webinar.
Growing channel and media complexity + increasing adoption of content marketing
This has created a complex, disparate content marketing software ecosystem
Content Marketing Vendors Most Frequently Cited as Competitive Altimeter Group asked all Content Marketing Vendors surveyed to list their top three competitors. These 10 vendors received the highest number of mentions. The size of the cloud correlates with the total number of mentions for that vendor. Source: Altimeter Group Content Marketing Survey Q2 2014 Base: n=80
Agenda Welcome Why a Content Marketing RFP? Seven Steps of Content Marketing Software Selection Best Practices Altimeter’s Content Marketing Software RFP Template
Content Marketing is relatively new… And therefore, poorly understood
Tangled and Emerging Vendor Landscape adds to the complexity • Solution proliferation • The landscape is bifurcated • Content marketing evolution is driving consolidation
RESULT Brands cannot yet clearly articulate their content marketing needs to the hundreds of content marketing vendors competing for their business, with new vendors emerging all the time.
Content Marketing presents specific challenges to the typical RFP process
The RFP Template reflects the two parts of our recommended process: Conduct an internal assessment of use cases and requirements by asking key stakeholders about their needs and priorities. Create an RFP to be used externally with vendors based on these needs. It should include an RFP Background (completed by the marketer) and an RFP Vendor Response sheet. Finally, combine vendor responses to cross reference.
Step 1: Determine Goals & Provide Background • Align the organizational and RFP process • Create a brief including: • Project goals & Objectives • Deployment approach • Competitive landscape • Implementation timeline
Reference RFP tab “Stakeholder Feedback” Once developed, add the goals and any additional background to the “Stakeholder Feedback” tab, which you will use to solicit feedback from key stakeholders.
Step 2: Determine & Prioritize Content Marketing Use Cases • Reduce the complexity of your internal and external evaluation process • Determine priority use cases and sub-category features • Creation • Curation & Aggregation • Optimization • Analytics • Audience & Targeting • Distribution • Workflow • Legal & Compliance
Reference RFP Tab “Stakeholder Feedback” In the “Stakeholder Feedback” tab of the RFP Template, you have the option of including all or just some of the use cases, asking stakeholders to rate how important each area is to help determine prioritization for the organization.
Step 3: Gather Cross-Functional Requirements • Identify stakeholders and end users across multiple functions and workflows • Solicit the following: • Requirements • Input, pain points, needs • Collaboration • Facilitate a sense of ownership, adoption
Reference RFP tab “Consolidated Stakeholder Feedback” Circulate the “Stakeholder Feedback” tab, then aggregate all stakeholders’ responses in the “Consolidated Feedback” tab so that it’s in one place and easy to review.
40% of the content marketers we surveyed report that the lack of inter-departmental coordinationis leading todisparate toolsused.
“We did a series of workshops with the content creators and manipulators…So much came down to workflow, particularly around transparency and the ability to understand what’s happening with content at any given point.” — Meg Walsh, Senior Director of Digital Strategy & Distribution at Marriott International
Step 4: Plan for Integration & Evolution • Consider converged media and content stack evolution when planning for integrations • Identifying integration priorities can help shortlist prospective vendors • Integration with Marketing Systems • Integration with Enterprise Systems • Future Integrations
Depending on organizational needs, enterprise system integration may be an immediate or a longer-term priority. Consider the organization’s IT roadmap, external forces, emerging technology platforms, changing capabilities, and device types. Integration requirements with other marketing systems are critical and typically comprise the most immediate integration needs.
Chart integration requirements in the “Stakeholder Feedback” and “Vendor Response” tabs It’s worth noting that steps 3 & 4 are often conducted in tandem; cross- functional requirements help build out integration needs unforeseen by marketing functions.
Step 5: Create RFP Background & Vendor Response Documents • Build as realistic and complete a picture of current and future needs • Strategy • Business objectives • Program needs • Use cases & subcategory features • Current tools • Integration needs • DM timeline • Evaluation criteria • Budget information
Reference “RFP Background” & “Vendor Response” tabs for RFP submission The RFP Vendor Response sheet contains specific requirements and questions o be answered by identified vendors The RFP Background sheet provides details about the strategy and approach to content marketing.
Step 6: Identify & Prioritize Vendors • Having gathered requirements & background, submit RFPs to selected vendors • Match vendor priorities (see Appendix) with your organization’s use cases • Consider multiple point solutions in addition (or instead of) full suite providers
Step 7: Gather & Compare Responses • Compare options & create a shortlist. • Follow up with all vendors with your feedback. You want to work with them in the future
Content Tool Best Practices Train staff Avoid redundancies Build for speed Consider IT support (or lack thereof) Scale towards the future
I. Train staff 24% of the marketers we surveyed say employees are formally trained and empowered to publish on behalf of the brand. Educate staff on content strategy, and train to leverage tools
II. Avoid redundancies Eliminate redundant toolsets with overlapping secondary or tertiary features Integration helps drive “one version of the truth” vs. “multiple realities that don’t align when viewed in aggregate.”