Unable to decipher whether to go down the path of content management or marketing automation? Learn the difference to make the right decision.

Content Management or Marketing Automation: Which Should I Do First?

Fri Jan 25, 2013

As prospects seek to advance their marketing strategy, we are often asked “should I deploy my new content management product or my new marketing automation platform first?”  Not surprisingly we have an opinion. But stepping back from our obvious bias, we suggest you first examine your marketing strategy and marketing maturity to best answer that question.

To do so, it helps to understand the basic goals of each system:

  • Goal of Marketing Automation: “Market to whom you know”
  • Goal of Content Management & Content Marketing: “Use content to market to whom you DON’T know”

With those goals in mind, the decision criteria for content management vs. marketing automation come into focus.

Marketing Automation

If you have a massive database, then a marketing automation tool is a great platform to help pull your leads through your funnel. Classic tactics like strategic email campaigns, database segmentation and mining, prospect scoring, and nurturing flows  are all run through the marketing automation platforms with great effect.  Marketing is then structured around pulling people in your database through the funnel, and external paid campaigns are run to increase the size of the database. 

However Marketing Automation platforms will have very little impact on helping you cost effectively engage with prospects that have not yet discovered your offerings. This is where tools like SEO and content marketing come into play.

Content Marketing Systems

For most of us, the size of our database isn’t enough to run the business, we need to reach all of the people searching for our offerings, learning about our services, and engaging in a discussion about our offerings who may not know yet who we are.  Your content marketing strategy and your content management system accelerate your ability to get found faster, and lower the cost of your demand generation. 

Web content management is a critical tool in your content marketing strategy. If your website isn’t working as a lead generation engine, isn’t helping you capture those searches, and isn’t helping you get found faster, then you are not efficiently feeding leads into your nurture flow.

Worse yet, all of the engagement you create through your blog, your campaigns, and your social initiatives are getting lost in your website if it’s not aligned with your content strategy.  These are wasted leads that are lowering your overall content marketing effectiveness.  

Your Next Steps

To help audit your strategy and decide about Content Management vs Marketing automation, ask yourself the following three questions:

  • Can you rapidly update the content on your website and scale contributors to bring more prospects into your funnel?
  • When visitors engage with your brand on the web and in your social channels, do you have the ability to convert them into “prospects” on your site?
  • Is your database of “known” prospects large enough to support your ongoing demand generation goals assuming a slightly improving conversion rate through the funnel that marketing automation will provide?

If you answered “No” to any of the three questions above, it’s time to get started on deploying a web content management product as part of your content marketing strategy.  Visit our page here on getting started with content management for tips on how!

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