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. Read on for part two in a three-part series. Miss part one? Catch up on our right content, right customer, right time conversation here.
What is a content operation?
I think of there being three pistons that power the b-to-b content engine, content strategy, the content factory, and content operations. At SiriusDecisions, we think of content operations as defining and implementing the tools and processes required to cross-functionally manage, measure, and optimize the content supply chain (or end-to-end) content lifecycle.
The process and infrastructure that is required to manage what is often a complex and matrixed end-to-end lifecycle as well as maximize the transparency, visibility, efficiency, and measurement of that process is a huge gap for too many b-to-b companies today. This is the content operations piece that needs more emphasis and attention than it is getting today.
How should a content operation run? What does it look like in action?
We recommend a content strategy and operations “center of excellence” (COE) or hub that serves as a centralized function to drive best practices across the teams that contribute to the content lifecycle. This doesn’t mean that other parts of the marketing organization, and even the sales and product organizations, aren’t still critical. But frankly, the clients we work with that have centralized this function, have stronger content engines than their industry counterparts—and a strong content engine is a competitive differentiator.
There is so much content dysfunction, waste, and inefficiency going on in b-to-b companies today; current processes and systems continue to be siloed and disjointed. They aren’t set up to support the modern, audience-centric, digitally driven needs of organizations and their audiences.
By fixing content findability and process issues and improving content modularization and re-use, companies can increase the ROI of their content investments and improve the quality of their content as well.
We recommend that clients formalize a content COE and then holistically assess the strategy, people, processes, and technology that make up their content ecosystem. Then, they should document a content transformation roadmap that addresses gaps in each of these areas.
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.