The top reason why content is ignored is irrelevance, but B2B companies waste up to $30 million a year on self-centered content. Learn how to do better.

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Are You Creating Content Selfies? | Percussion Blog

Fri Jun 13, 2014

Marketing professionals have always understood that it costs money and resources to build content. The good news is that executives from other functional areas, such as the CFO, are now joining that understanding.

At the 2014 Sirius Decisions Conference, Marisa Kopec, Vice President and Group Director delivered a thought-provoking presentation, “B to B Content: 2014 and Beyond”. Her research revealed that large organizations believe they are wasting as much as $30 million dollars a year producing content, (and they do mean wasting as they estimated that 60% to 70% of content goes unused!). The obvious question is “why?”

But enough about us, how about you?

The number one reason why content goes unused is because of irrelevance—the content just is not relevant to the buyer audience. The talk tracks are still geared to the literary selfies and companies need to reframe their thinking from “all about us” to “all about you”. More important, this shift from product-centric content to audience-centric material is just not happening fast enough. And there are other contributing factors such as:

  • The content is difficult to find (how many web pages do I have to click through?)
  • The content is of low quality (the “duh!” factor)
  • It is difficult to adapt to the communication vehicle (140 characters anyone?)
  • It is too expensive to translate (Vous ne comprenez?)

The Spirit is Willing but …

Many companies say they want to increase buyer-centric content. Even those following Sirius’ models consider themselves in the beginner phase when it comes to developing their buyer personas and buyer journeys. But what is holding them back?

The answer lies in several factors:

  1. Lack of buyer insight. They just don’t really know enough about the people who make and /or influence the buying decision. And this goes beyond the overused “what keeps them up at night” question.
  2. Lack of resources. Building relevant content means spending money and/or hiring people to conduct that research, write the blog/whitepaper/web page, shoot that video/record the audio track, etc.
  3. Lack of time. In this age of response/build it in an instant, is time ever our friend?
  4. Lack of process. What are we producing, how are we going to do it and who is going to develop/product/review/approve/distribute the content? 

Content is Not an Asset, it’s a Process Lifecycle

So where do you begin? The first step is to make content development a line item in the marketing budget. No matter how many in-house experts/evangelists the company has, you will still need to have a writer/editor, video producer, and third-party content providers. The second step is to get out and talk to customers, potential buyers and yes, your own sales and service organizations. Go beyond the traditional pain points, and get to understand who these folks are.

Consumer marketing professionals do this superbly and live in the psycho-demographic world. Now you are ready to outline not just the “who” for the audience but the “what” they want to know, learn and understand. From there you can determine how and who will do the development, approvals and distribution.

Once the content is out there, measurement is key because if it is not being used (viewed, listened to, read, clicked on, etc.) then you will need to look at the distribution (as in maybe this is a better on-demand webinar than white paper or maybe it needs to be a video) or determine if the content just missed the mark.

Bottom line—content development is a continuous, non-stop process and even with great success, you can never rest on your laurels.

Beverly Chiarelli
Beverly Chiarelli
Director of Field Marketing, Mimecast

Accomplished marketing professional successful in developing objective-oriented customer focused marketing plans, compelling communications strategies, and cost-effective tactics that support budget guidelines and revenue goals. Creative thinker with a strong customer orientation and a technical background in software engineering, pre-sales support, and customer support.