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B2B Marketers and Content Management: New Research on What’s Working and What’s Not

For marketers, content management systems are the workhorses of customer experience and digital engagement. The need to fill and refill the content pipeline, to track and measure, and to deliver effectively is inexorable. Content is created, stored, and managed in multiple formats and systems, including web content, product information, customer information, and digital assets. Marketers need to be able to access that content quickly and easily, and tailor it in dynamic, personalized ways. Content delivery in multiple languages through multiple channels adds to the complexity.

Content management solutions that address these challenges have been available for more than two decades. Vignette StoryServer and StoryBuilder, introduced in 1996, are often acknowledged as the first commercial web content management system. As WCMS technology matured over time, solutions became increasingly intertwined with marketing practices. Over the last ten years, in fact, the needs of marketing organizations have largely driven the evolution of web content managements systems into contemporary digital marketing platforms. How well are B2B marketers leveraging those technologies to drive and support their strategies and programs? How are B2B marketers approaching the alignment of customer demands with content management capabilities, practices, and systems? How are they prioritizing investment in content creation and management skills for their teams?

In late 2017, we conducted original research to uncover B2B marketers’ attitudes and behaviors towards content management technologies and practices. For the first annual DCG Voice of the Marketer research program, sponsored by censhare, we fielded online surveys from marketing professionals with responsibility for content management at their companies. Two hundred respondents from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada, at companies with US $250 million or more in annual revenue, completed the survey. The results are analyzed in our new research report, B2B Marketers Speak: Success Depends on Mastering the Business Practice of Content Management.

Key Insight: B2B marketers say that the business aspects of content management are more important for their effectiveness than tactical content skills.

We have long believed that content management is a business practice – not just a technology or technology category. High-value content is a business asset that should be managed with the same rigor that companies manage their other assets – cash, physical plant, human resources, and so on. Our Voice of the Marketer research confirms that – finally – companies are recognizing the strategic value of content management.

We asked survey respondents to identify the top three skills that a marketing organization needs to effectively manage content for marketing.

The results show that the strategic aspects of content management – achieving business objectives, building technical proficiency, and managing people – are more relevant to ensuring marketing success than the tactical aspects, such as storytelling, writing for the web, and copyediting. Design straddles the spot between strategic and tactical skills.

Download B2B Marketers Speak to read about the implications of this finding and four others that emerged from our analysis, including barriers to leveraging content for marketing effectiveness and technology pain points.

Contact us if you have questions about our Voice of the Marketer research and how it can help you advance your  content management conversations with colleagues and executives.

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