We are all familiar with the chaos of the modern consumer journey and rising consumer expectations for personalization and convenience. There’s more content than ever and there are more touchpoints than ever. According to BuzzSumo’s 2018 Content Trends Report, only 50 percent of all content gained 4 shares or more across all main social networks — half of what it was in 2015.
And we often blame this shifting and fragmented media landscape for our inability to reach ad-avoiding customers, improve poor engagement rates, and resuscitate diminishing brand growth. But the reality is that we must look inwards to understand how we, as marketers, may be contributing to marketing’s ineffectiveness.
In many ways, the problem isn’t with the market, it’s with our marketing organizations. Breaking down the enterprise silos that prevent a unified customer (and content!) experience has become a critical mandate for marketing leaders. Not convinced? Here are three reasons to make building an integrated marketing organization a priority in 2019.
No. 1: Your marketing organization (and output!) has symptoms of inefficiencies and misalignment.
Any of these sound familiar? A lot of these common marketing organization challenges stem from lack of alignment and governance. And 65 percent of the content that marketing teams produce is wasted. SiriusDecisions has found that 60-70% of content goes unused in B2B organizations, representing hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars of waste
Which brings me to the second reason to focus on integrated marketing in 2019.
No. 2: Customers don’t care about your corporate silos.
Smash apart marketing org silos once and for all, especially the segregation of “content marketing” from the rest of the marketing organization. Content touches every department: from PR to Corporate Comms to social to TV to digital. It has become a company’s business asset, IP and product all in one; despite this, we’re still pursuing separate agendas, metrics and tech stacks.
The siloed nature of marketing organizations makes it difficult to create a cohesive experience for customers. Digital marketing fragmented not only the agency landscape but also the marketing function. It’s time to reclaim centralized oversight with content operations. According to the SiriusDecisions State of B2B Content Study, only 14 percent of organizations rate themselves as advanced in operations. Effective operations means increased collaboration across departments and functions, integrated planning, transparency across teams, and a shared vision for what success looks like. Technology can help build a robust operations function when there are the right champions and strategies in place behind it.
No. 3: We’re contributing to the internet version of noise pollution.
Content is overwhelming us all, and it’s being churned out by brands and polluting our eyeballs (and ears). Let’s stop creating content without a clear why. According to the ANA, only “25 percent of CMOs’ digital media investment reaches target audiences,” representing “more than $20 billion of marketing waste.” Content waste is defined as an investment in content that has no strategic purpose or business impact, offers little value to the customer, was poorly executed, or was duplicative.
What’s causing this lack of strategy and waste? The most obvious answer is a lack of cross-org visibility resulting in content duplication, an inability to combine campaign efforts, and challenges maintaining brand governance. Alternatively, your teams may be working well independently but be missing a major opportunity to collaborate more broadly across the organization. Working towards a holistic program that aligns disparate production efforts and integrates various work streams across multiple calendars will give savvy brands the upper hand and help break through the noise.
Start 2019 Off with an Integrated Plan
The benefits of building a more integrated marketing organization are clear. Investing in integrated marketing will:
- Improve operational effectiveness and efficiency across the marketing organization.
- Break down silos and encourage collaboration and efficiency.
- Champion omni-channel marketing in the client organization.
- Position content as an asset that should be managed like all business IP.
- Support the creation of a seamless and consistent customer experience.
I challenge every brand marketer to start looking within your organizations and reflecting on where you can improve operations and planning. Start by asking one simple question: what is a shared milestone or goal multiple teams can start to collaborate on? Start small but keep your focus on delivering an integrated, measurable, and relevant content experience across all customer touchpoints. Once you’re ready, we have a 40-page ebook that will take you step-by-step through building an integrated marketing organization.
Lieu Pham is NewsCred’s VP of Strategy and Creative Services. She’s also the author of The Integrated Marketing Organization: How to Lower Content Waste, Increase Collaboration, and Turbocharge Performance.