Adopting a content hub isn’t just a financial decision. It’s a systemic shift in culture and workflow that will positively impact all areas of your business, so long as everyone is on board.
With just 46% of companies making CX technology decisions based on an aligned strategy, it’s vital for the health of your brand, and its content strategy, that your leadership harmoniously supports your company’s deployment of a marketing content hub.
When it comes to securing C-suite buy-in, it’s less focus on convincing your company’s leadership to allocate budget and more on educating them about the benefits a content hub will bring to your organization cross-departmentally. After all, each department will measure ROI differently and a content hub enables organizations to realize ROI across several areas including content production, the employee experience, and the lifetime value of a customer.
In this blog, we’ll delve into six steps to securing C-suite buy-in for a content hub. Let’s review the definition of a content hub before we get into the tactics.
What is a content hub (and why do companies need one)?
A content hub is an end-to-end content operations solution that houses all of your company’s digital assets and other content in a single system. By serving as a centralized repository, it unifies the planning, scheduling, and organization of content production and provides a complete view of all of your content assets.
As we move into 2021, the strategic value of a content hub cannot be overstated. B2B and B2C environments alike now demand complex content strategies to support personalization, agile multi-site distribution with brand consistency, and seamless omnichannel experiences.
These external requirements place tremendous demands on marketing teams to create memorable experiences powered by content across touchpoints, including websites, social media, mobile applications, and IoT-connected devices.
As demand continues to rise for more content across the growing number of digital channels, marketers need a way to efficiently create and manage their content assets and execute on experience delivery, or risk losing their audience to their competition.
Companies also need a content hub to drive down costs caused by content duplication and inefficient content production, while simultaneously expanding their content’s reach and simplifying processes for their marketers and developers.
Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems provide some assistance, but asset storage is only one of many use cases a content hub solves in the full content lifecycle.
The six steps to getting C-suite buy-in for a content hub
1. Evaluate your brand’s current state
As customer experiences (CX) have evolved dramatically in recent years, consumer expectations have evolved right along with them. According to research conducted by Sitecore and our partners, 90% of companies view CX as a competitive differentiator. Before embarking on the journey towards a content hub, you need to assess your brand’s current customer experience offering, correctly and honestly.
Determine which parts of the business a content hub will help you improve the most and use these areas to help guide your strategy.
For instance, explore questions such as, is your marketing team able to ideate, produce, and publish content while growing the business and maintaining campaign schedules? Are you currently able to personalize content across channels and devices? Is your team fully aligned on content strategy and personalization goals over the next 12 months?
Take stock and identify how your customer experience is impacting conversions. Your evaluation process should include evaluating your net promoter scores (NPS), determining how much customers are engaging with your content, how well each piece of content converts, and figuring out the ROI of your brand’s content. Finally, employee engagement and satisfaction are also critical as these are the people who will be creating the content experiences that customers demand.
2. Highlight problem areas
When it comes to content, a problem area almost always results in a bottleneck. A content bottleneck is any gap between consumer content demand and a marketing team’s ability to deliver that content. Without identifying where your content bottlenecks are, you risk slowing down content creation, distribution, and overall performance of your brand’s digital experience.
A bottleneck could be as simple as the amount of time it takes employees to find existing content and digital assets. When you don’t have a content hub serving as a single source of truth, this can lead to duplication of content across repositories as a result of technological silos. If content production teams or team members lack alignment, this could cause delays in go to market
Show how a content hub can solve your organizational silos that occur when different departments within your company cannot communicate and collaborate properly, and your technological silos where persons within an organization lack the required tools and resources to perform their duties effectively.
3. Paint a picture of your brand’s ideal digital future
Your brand’s digital future is dependent on not only your goals but also your starting point. After evaluating the current status of your brand’s CX, assess if you’re on track to reach your targets.
For many companies, these targets will involve some form of digital transformation. Highlight how a content hub supports your journey across:
- Organizational alignment: A content hub can fix team misalignment by breaking down silos and getting IT and Marketing working on the same page.
- Streamlined and improved integrations: By identifying the processes, technologies, resources, and partnerships needed for your brand to grow, you can chart a path towards an ideal digital future, using a content hub to facilitate all of these with seamless integrations.
- An improved digital experience: As customer demand for content increases, building an omnichannel experience will be at the forefront for most digital businesses. A content hub can provide you the capabilities to produce content at scale across multiple channels for your various products and personas embarking on their customer journeys.
4. Build use cases which demonstrate the value of the content hub
Once you’ve established your ideal digital future, it’s important to provide specific tactical examples or uses cases to demonstrate how a content hub can help you achieve your goals you’ve set.
For example, if you have a goal that aligns to improving digital experience, make the case that a content hub can improve content quality through better processes, speedier reviews, and more easily accessible content and brand guidelines. This can lead to faster time to market due to decreased content duplication and the removal of content silos.
Show how the structured approach to content production and a streamlining of marketing efforts can yield better creative and asset supply chain visibility as content production increases and more channels are used.
The increased collaboration found through a content hub can open new avenues for communication for not only the brand but also in-house personnel, ultimately reducing employee turnover. Also, the improved traceability provided by the content hub makes it easier for brands to audit their content and digital assets to more efficiently reuse them.
5. Alleviate budget concerns
Deploying a content hub does require investment. And C-suite members may be skeptical of the benefits of a content hub, especially as according to Gartner, almost 60% of marketing leaders plan to cut their martech budgets in the coming year. Show your leadership team how a content hub is an ROI-positive investment.
Without a content hub, you are likely spending more as solutions are siloed, and training staff on other multiple systems to manage the content process is inefficient. Many brands suffer from scattered content, a lack of proper collaboration, as well as challenges delivering omnichannel experiences and scaling.
A content hub can aid in powering personalization, experience management, creating an agile content strategy, and producing omnichannel experiences by providing staff with the technology and workflows needed.
And as many companies and individuals have shifted towards remote work, a content hub makes things easier. According to a 2020 PwC survey, 30% of executives foresee the need for less office space due to remote work, while 55% are preparing to offer employees one work-from-home day per week. The centralized workflow with a content hub helps facilitate remote working while still ensuring maximum collaboration.
6. Secure allies from the top
Focus on key business imperatives that are top of mind for the C-level decision-maker. The goal should be to convince your CMO so they will take the conversation to the CIO and then the CEO.
For CMOs, the conversation should focus on audience metrics being positively impacted due to faster marketing campaigns, marketers being able to publish and edit content autonomously, and a more efficient marketing team that has its content organized. All of these benefits combine to provide a better digital experience for the customer, resulting in increased conversion rates. A content hub can become a catalyst for change across all departments.
For the CIO, your case can revolve around the APIs that make a content hub so useful for developers that want to mix and match the frameworks they use, and for freeing up developers from constant marketing requests. Since a content hub is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution, it removes the need to manage infrastructure or upgrades. Also, by connecting with APIs, it reduces the costs and training required for multiple martech software pieces and instead provides the architecture for easy integration into your existing martech stack.
Furthermore, CIOs will be glad to remove their team’s burden of having to manage infrastructure, navigate upgrades, and integrate multiple tools into their martech stack.
When you’ve formed your allies and you make your case to the CEO, build your case around the cost savings a content hub can provide.
Build a holistic business case to secure C-suite buy-in
Most forward-thinking brands are on a journey to streamline content production and empower marketers with the tools and freedom they need to go to market quickly and autonomously.
By combining the six steps above, you’ll be able to build a holistic business case for each member of the C-suite, demonstrating that a content hub will make that journey smoother.
A content hub has the functionality to please the CEO, COO, and CFO when it comes to driving down costs. Similarly, CTOs, CIOs, and CMOs will benefit the most from day-to-day improvements to content production workflows, the removal of silos, as well as increased flexibility due to an API-based architecture and multiple options for publishing content.
The good news is, you don’t need to create a short-term argument just to secure the investment needed to deploy your content hub. On the contrary, a strong content hub solution will contribute to long-lasting alignment amongst your organization and other content partners.
To drive their content and their company forwards, more enterprise companies are turning to Sitecore Content Hub™, which empowers marketers to manage their entire content lifecycle, frees up developers to build as they see fit, and satisfies leadership with cost savings.
Learn more about making a case for a marketing content hub.
Jose Santa Ana is Product Marketing Director at Sitecore. Find him on LinkedIn.