Marketing Strategy

What is a Content Governance Board—And Why You Need One

By November 4, 2016 No Comments

Wouldn’t it be great if your marketing leadership team was aligned across a concise set of priorities, who then rallied around them when planning and producing content? Of course it would!

Many companies have tried to do this, but often with lackluster results. In some cases, marketing alignment has tried to improve, but internal meetings end with teams individually spouting what they are working on and retreating back into silos. Other times, annual priorities are outlined by integrated plans, but quickly become outdated with no forum or process to adapt.

Sound familiar? Then you should consider appointing a Content Governance Board (CGB).

Defining a Content Governance Board

A CGB is a team comprised of a leader from each marketing function within the company, or, at larger companies, within a specific business unit. It also includes a representative from internal content consuming teams such as product or sales. Within a CGB there are annual, quarterly, monthly, and sometimes even weekly meetings. Each meeting type has very specific agenda items and outcomes.

Ultimately, the CGB is responsible for:

  • Setting annual marketing priorities and making them highly visible at all levels of the marketing organization
  • Prioritizing and approving key initiatives that align with priorities
  • Establishing integrated content plans for initiatives
  • Increasing the amount of shared and leveraged content across teams
  • Developing a forum to escalate roadblocks
  • Using performance metrics to determine which initiatives should be prioritized in the future
  • Owning and governing the content operation, and changing the approval process

The Benefits of a Content Governance Board

Building a CGB doesn’t happen overnight. There will undoubtedly be roadblocks and competing priorities for the leadership’s time, which holds true of any organizational change. So why should committing to and investing in a CGB be worth your time and effort?

When you operate according to the mantra, “produce better content, faster,” it’s essential to empower team members with a process for content ideation. Without approval from a content board, team members might not feel enabled to submit original ideas directly to the marketing leadership. However, when a ideation process exists, with a system to support ideation, those ideas can be heard and made real.

Don’t just take our word for it! As SiriusDecisions advises, “Organizations that prioritize content transformation…will gain long-term competitive advantage.” By aligning leadership teams to a set of priorities and then approving key initiatives, a CGB can build a scalable and repeatable content operation process. The benefit? Content on target, a data driven strategy, and way less content wasted.

It may sound daunting to get alignment across all marketing functions, and even teams outside of marketing. A best practice when developing a CGB is to start small. The initial scope should only include functions where the CGB sponsor has influence. For example, if a VP of Product and Digital is implementing a CGB, it may start with the Director of Product, Director of Digital, and Director of Field Marketing. Once there is a high success rate and the CGB is demonstrating value, it can be further used by multiple departments.

There are usually limited issues in terms of establishing buy-in from teams outside of marketing, since internal content consuming teams also want to provide insight into what initiatives are helping and what else is needed. When identifying who to include from each function, consider someone who has direct influence in establishing the content creation plan for their function, and who can hold their team accountable to deadlines.

Takeaway

Take the first step towards increasing your content operation maturity by implementing a CGB. The ultimate outcome? An aligned leadership team, marketers working towards producing content that supports underlying company themes, and the ability to deliver a seamless experience to customers.

Andrew Walters

About Andrew Walters

Andrew is Director of Consulting Services at Kapost, helping B2B marketers move from chaotic, fragmented processes to data-backed, business-driven operations. When he's not talking content ops, you'll find him enjoying bluegrass music, skiing in Colorado's backcountry, or tinkering with engines.

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