The Ideal vs. the Reality of Content Marketing in 2017

Many organizations are diversifying their marketing strategies beyond email, but they have much progress to make to maximize the tools they use, according to a new report from the Content Marketing Institute.

Digital strategy diversification has long been a sore spot for content marketers, who have a tendency to stick with what works. Email often wins out.

But a recent report from the Content Marketing Institute suggests that marketing plans are quickly becoming more varied—and that has the potential to maximize the business value of content marketing.

CMI’s 2017 Content Management & Strategy Survey [PDF] found that email is the most common technology used to manage content marketing efforts (76 percent of respondents rely on email), with content management systems (57 percent) not far behind. Meanwhile, use of marketing automation software (42 percent) and digital asset management platforms (26 percent) is growing.

Interestingly, marketers generally aren’t satisfied with their current use of content marketing technology. Just 18 percent say they’re happy with it, while 45 percent say they’re not using their tools to their full potential, and 37 percent say they don’t have the right tools.

But technology isn’t the only issue facing many marketers. Less than half of marketers (46 percent) said they have a documented strategy for managing content as a business asset. Many marketers see technology as a solution to this problem; 66 percent said their greatest educational needs include learning how to use technology to manage content, while 64 percent said making their content strategy scalable is important.

In a blog post summarizing the study, CMI’s Michele Linn emphasized that scalability depends to a large extent on establishing repeatable processes for managing content “so you’re not spending time figuring out how to do the work and have time to do the work.” But she noted that fully optimized automation is rare, with just 9 percent of respondents saying their content management approach is fully scalable. Meanwhile, 69 percent said their system is partly scalable but requires a lot of manual work.

“Marketers who manage their content as a business asset not only give their customers a better experience, but they also feel less stress because they have the systems and processes to create content in a scalable way,” Linn wrote.

(zakokor/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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