Most organizations have a hidden goldmine of content. The problem is they can’t access it consistently, if at all.

They’ve spent enormous amounts of time and money creating content in the past, but thanks to lackluster content and asset management, they’re poised to spend even more resources duplicating their efforts for future campaigns.

In part one of our five-part content crisis series, we addressed the widespread problem of content siloes and how they stifle digital marketing teams. This month, in part two, we take a closer look at the true costs of poor content management and how brands can finally unlock cost-effective content and asset management to fuel personalized customer experiences across channels.

True cost #1: Time

Poor content management significantly reduces employee productivity. In fact, IDC data shows that knowledge workers spend about 2.5 hours per day, or roughly 30% of the workday, searching for information.

However, beyond just searching for information, there are a variety of content-related tasks that workers waste swathes of time on. Nintex’s Definitive Guide to America’s Most Broken Processes found that content marketers most commonly waste time on the following tasks:

  • Locating documents
  • Approval requests
  • Versioning
  • Sharing

As you might imagine, the frustrations surrounding missing or siloed content often results in the marketer creating duplicate content because they can’t find or access the content they’re looking for (or, were simply unaware of its existence).

It’s also fair to say that if a company can’t locate, manage, and track their content and assets effectively, they also don’t have the key metrics to determine which content offers the greatest ROI for the company. And without knowing which content pieces are performing and which aren’t, they may also be wasting time and resources producing non-performing assets — in addition to creating duplicate content. Which leads us to our next true cost…

True cost #2: Money

Inefficiency at large organizations can lead to substantial costs that impact the company’s bottom line. Not only does lost content waste employee time and lead to expensive duplication efforts, but it can also impact the organization’s ability to retain talent.

There’s no question that creating quality content is a resource-intensive process. Those efforts, however, lose their ROI value quickly if the content can’t be quickly and easily found, shared, and repurposed across channels by marketers. Again, according to IDC data, the inability to locate and retrieve documents costs organizations with over 1,000 employees approximately $2.5 million per year. Not only that, but the subsequent need to duplicate this mismanaged content costs another $5 million for these organizations.

The inevitable frustrations that workers experience, as a result, leads to higher employee turnover, too. When you factor this into the equation, the expenses related to recruiting, onboarding, and training workers also need to be accounted for. In other words, poor content management affects a company’s bottom line in a multitude of ways.

True cost #3: Limited personalization

The true cost of poor content management reaches far beyond wasted resources, impacting the overall customer experience in ways that are far more difficult to measure. Today, customers demand digital dexterity from their favorite brands, but many enterprises are failing to step up to the plate — and much of that comes down to mismanaged assets.

The key to personalization is retrieving and delivering relevant content. With the multitude of channels and customer touchpoints marketers now have to personalize, it’s very difficult to manage the sheer volume of content without some form of automation. And without the ability to tag and organize content, there’s little chance for marketing teams to automate the process effectively.

In an effort to support new channels quickly, many organizations have hastily supported new digital touchpoints (think Amazon Echo and smart watches) in a haphazard manner. Because their content and assets are fragmented across different back-end siloes, marketers once again must duplicate content for new channels, which often leads to content that’s off-brand. It’s no wonder that 2/3 of businesses say their CX is immature in terms of personalization, data analytics, and understanding the customer.

In addition, content created for one digital channel is hard to adapt for delivery to another touchpoint. Without channel-agnostic content at hand, marketers are fighting an uphill battle when it comes to personalization across channels.

True cost #4: Inability to scale

If content flows through an organization smoothly, scaling to support new channels and markets isn’t a problem. However, if content is stuck in fragmented siloes, with no searching or tagging system in place to help marketers find relevant, on-brand content quickly, scaling becomes a nightmare.

Content is the fuel for personalized digital experiences, but that means automated systems need to be in place that can quickly find and retrieve relevant content in real-time. A disjointed, disconnected, and disorganized content management process simply won’t cut it.

Even if departments can locate their goldmine of content, if the assets aren’t easily repurposed for new channels or touchpoints, the brand in question will find that their omnichannel marketing opportunities are limited, too.

True cost #5: The opportunity cost(s)

Moving quickly is crucial for enterprises, and speed in the digital sense requires immediate access to content during time-sensitive situations. In addition, it means companies always need the right content readily available for marketers to launch new campaigns, landing pages, and social media posts on the fly.

If there’s something relevant trending on social media, for example, marketers need to access content quickly, so they capitalize on the opportunity. Poor content management, however, prevents companies from retrieving the right content during the most crucial times. Companies need efficient content management for digital adaptability.

Beyond short term market trends, the accessibility of content factors into successfully launching new products, entering new markets, and supporting new channels and touchpoints. If companies can’t leverage their existing content efficiently, the struggle to scale a content strategy beyond its current borders seems too costly in more ways than one. Moreover, if the brand does manage to scale, poor content management leads to inconsistent brand messaging, or content that’s not localized or personalized for new regions and markets. Once again, the “solution” is to duplicate and re-hash content perpetually, fueling the vicious cycle of resource waste.

Tag, search, and filter your way to scalability

You need systems in place that can manage channel-agnostic content that can quickly be delivered to mobile, websites, smartwatches, and more. And not only does content need to be deliverable to these channels, but it should be scalable to meet new touchpoints that emerge in the future. If content isn’t scalable and adaptable, it puts a considerable burden on organizations.

The true costs of poor content management are too significant to ignore. Poor content management affects the entire organization, its bottom line, and the overall experience the company provides to customers.

Luckily, avoiding data silos and lost content doesn’t need to be complicated. The key to efficient content management is implementing a system that acts as a content hub.

A content hub streamlines the process for creating, storing, managing, and retrieving content. It’s essential, however, that the software you choose has the ability to tag content with keywords or categories. Tagging content is the key to enabling employees or automated systems to retrieve content through searches or filters quickly and efficiently.

But tagging content manually is a slow and tedious process. That’s why a system that has auto-tagging capabilities like Sitecore can streamline content management for enterprise organizations. Curating content using metadata and editorial portals also helps content managers to find content in the right context.

If you find yourself in the midst of a content crisis, you’re not alone. Discover our practical guide, How to solve your content crisis,” for clear advice on getting your content production process up to speed with today’s customer expectations.


Jose Santa Ana is Product Marketing Director at Sitecore. Follow him on LinkedIn.