We had the pleasure of sitting down with Christine Polewarczyk, Research Director in the Content Strategy and Operations service at SiriusDecisions, to ask our most burning questions around marketing’s greatest challenges and some content operation essentials. Read on for the last installment in a three-part series.

Missed parts one and two? Catch up on our right content, right customer, right time conversation and the content operation imperative.

What are the key capabilities a team needs to build an effective content operation?

Role clarity and alignment across the content lifecycle are critical priorities. Ambiguity in this area is the number one reason for much of the downstream dysfunction along the content supply chain.

We recommend organizations document a responsibility assignment matrix, or a “RACI,” against every step of the content lifecycle to get everyone on the same page in terms of who is contributing to the content lifecycle, when, and in what capacity. Getting this straight up front will go a long way toward optimizing content processes.

In addition to role clarity, B2B organizations should evaluate whether they have the right content competencies within the teams that contribute to content planning, production, promotion, and management. If there are skill gaps, a blend of hiring, outsourcing, and up-skilling is typically required.

Technology is another critical gap in most organizations. Content planning, production, and processes have become more complex as we’ve become increasingly digital. Organizations need to evaluate integrations and systems to make sure that the right infrastructure is in place to support an effective content engine.

Interview with SiriusDecisions about content operations

These technology gaps are preventing many organizations from gathering the metrics and insights they need to better inform future content decisions. There is so much pressure as marketers to be data-driven, and content should be no exception to that. Unfortunately, without the right tools and systems in place, the ask is there, but there is no answer to be had.

Companies must prioritize measurement, and that alone is a forcing mechanism for many to seriously revisit processes and technology.

How do you recommend a team starts building a content operation?

Leadership buy-in is the most critical piece of this. I really want the “content conversation” to get much more attention and prioritization in the C-suite at B2B organizations. The health and strength of the content ecosystem/content engine is so critical to success for B2B companies, but is still getting understaffed, underfunded, and under-acknowledged as the transformation driver and lynchpin that it truly is.

I would encourage all B2B companies to formalize a content center of excellence with the championship of the CMO. Once this team is established, I recommend that they work with a cross-functional Content Council to develop and document a content transformation roadmap with tangible and agreed-upon milestones across the four categories of strategy, people, process, and technology.

Plans may change as business variables change, which they of course tend to do. But it’s really critical that some level of commitment is made to get on a path to resolving content issues and building a high-performing content engine.

Christine Polewarczyk is a Research Director in the Content Strategy and Operations service at SiriusDecisions. She uses her nearly 20 years of experience in B2B marketing roles across a range of in-house, agency and consulting roles to help SiriusDecisions clients transform their B2B content ecosystems from into high-performing engines. Her areas of expertise include digital marketing, content strategy, content marketing, localization, SEO, lead generation, and content technology.

Paralee Walls

About Paralee Walls

Paralee Walls is the Director of Content Marketing at Kapost. When she's not researching, developing, or writing about the next greatest content strategy, she's hiking or snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains with her trusty goldendoodle, Albus.