Now that your digital transformation is underway, it's time to focus on the elephant in the room — the marketing paradigm that your brand is probably not fully equipped for: personalized, omnichannel content delivery at scale.
There’s just one, industry-agnostic problem — the full-blown content crisis exists in most companies. Sitecore CMO Paige O’Neill said it best during Sitecore Experience London 2019, “your content crisis won’t solve itself.”
With O’Neill’s words in mind, I welcome you to part one of our five-part blog series on the content crisis. Here’s what you can expect:
- Part One: Quit playing hide-and-seek with your content
- Part Two: The true cost of poor content management
- Part Three: Why content repurposing is the key to positive ROI
- Part Four: Defining a Content Hub: So much more than just martech
- Part Five: The CMO's guide to securing C-Suite buy-in
To kick-start this series, let’s dive into the issue of lost, siloed, and mismanaged content hidden deep within companies today.
Content, content everywhere, and not an asset to use
Here is the content crisis — as we’ve seen it across the enterprise landscape — in a nutshell:
Brands are struggling to create content at scale fast enough, and most frustrating of all, they’re struggling to locate, manage, share, and repurpose the assets they do have. The result? A slow and inefficient content production line that leads to misplaced assets, inadequate personalization, and a content-starved omnichannel marketing strategy.
One common denominator we see is the company having multiple content sources and content repositories, including, but not limited to:
- An ERP or PIM with product descriptions, catalogs, and inventories.
- A CRM with data about existing customer or potential leads.
- Content created in-house across various platforms including Office 365, Google Docs, Photoshop, and InDesign.
- Multiple cloud and on-premise storage solutions such as Google Drive, Box, and Dropbox.
- Creative agencies that produce content or digital assets.
- Stock imagery websites for blog posts and social media.
And the list goes on.
All these platforms, storage systems, and content sources pull your content in different directions, fragmenting them across separate silos in the process. Teams (and sometimes even individuals) use their own preferred tools to create and manage content before pushing it to different teams and shared environments, creating havoc in the process. In the end, you’re left with a tangled, fragmented, and inefficient operation.
The Content Crisis
Consider the inefficiencies of working with multiple agencies for instance. Often, each agency shares its files differently, using its preferred application or applications. In-house teams then need to review those files, convert them into other formats, and upload them into different systems and the central CMS, all while keeping tabs on which version is the final one.
Assessing the damage of your content crisis
Siloed or hidden content isn’t just an inconvenience for your marketing team; it’s also directly impacting your bottom line. A recent study found that inefficient document management leads to 21% less total productivity across an organization. More importantly, this amounts to nearly $21,000 per employee each year.
The same study found that 83% of workers have had to recreate a document which already existed because they were unable to find it on their corporate network. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
Because content is critical for all customer-facing teams, from social media management to sales departments, poorly managed content affects personalization, brand consistency, compliance, costs, and the overall customer experience. Let’s take a closer look at each of these.
With your digital transformation well underway, basic personalization may now come easier. However, personalizing content at-scale and across multiple channels is a different ballgame. And while it may be more difficult to create and deliver personalized content at scale, end users are demanding it all the same.
When your content is fragmented across a variety of systems, your grip on your company’s branding and messaging also begins to slip. Which is a major issue when you consider that consistent branding can bump up revenue by 23%. Inconsistent branding, on the other hand, can confuse your audience, damage credibility, and make it harder for your company to compete in the market.
Compliance with GDPR, US data protection legislation, and asset licensing terms is becoming increasingly important — and increasingly difficult. Remember those agency assets, stock images, and photoshoot pictures from last quarter? Not only do you need to locate them all, but you also need to know if your brand still has publishing rights and if there are restrictions on the channels they can be published on.
Failure to keep tabs on all of these variables could lead to costly legal repercussions.
It’s no secret that digital assets are expensive to create, so when content is lost or unnecessarily duplicated due to fragmented content management, CFOs everywhere lose sleep.
With different departments using separate digital asset management tools, content either falls through the cracks or only gets used only once before being forgotten.
Stock photography, for instance, isn't cheap. Yet far too often only one team has access to the images post-purchase. Thanks to siloed storage systems, there are no easy ways for teams to keep those older assets around and easily accessible for the rest of the company, leading to even more costs during the next sales or marketing campaign.
Sub-par customer experiences
With an omnichannel content strategy, you’ll want to reuse content across touchpoints for more consistent branding. Many touchpoints like mobile, smartwatches, and digital signage require different content formats, which makes tracking and using various content formats and sizes a challenge.
Furthermore, without centralized version control and revision history for content, customers could receive inconsistent or outdated information that impacts their perception of your brand.
Learn how to reclaim your content
It’s clear that a fragmented content strategy negatively impacts the productivity of various departments, not to mention the company’s bottom line. The solution lies in finally unifying your content within a centralized content hub.
The Content Crisis Solved
Centralizing your content enables your brand to bypass the pitfalls listed above, from poorly implemented personalization to inconsistent branding and spiraling costs.
Small connectors and incremental APIs can be built to access all these different data sources. While these fixes are quick, they don’t scale; a fully-fledged content hub is the ultimate solution.
An enterprise-ready content hub, like the Sitecore® Content Hub, will empower your brand to build customizable workflows, add meta-data to assets coming in from third parties, and auto-tag content using artificial intelligence to make asset management, searching, and filtering easier. Moreover, business users and brand managers can avoid versioning and branding woes by taking content out of the channels and silos and placing them into a centralized system that can be managed, collaborated on, and repurposed under the same digital roof.
Ready to learn more about how to correctly manage your content and assets? Download “How to solve your content crisis: The practical guide” to learn:
- Five steps to rewiring your content creation process
- Guidance on better planning, managing, and publishing of your content
- How the Sitecore Content Hub can help you create consistent, personalized content
Jose Santa Ana is Product Marketing Director at Sitecore. Find him on LinkedIn.