Content Marketing In The Organization

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Does your organization have a content marketing department? If not, you’re hardly alone.

While commitment to and investment in content marketing is skyrocketing year over year, there are far from hard and fast rules, and only barely emerging best practices, regarding how content fits into existing marketing functions.

Content generally doesn’t exist as a department or even a job function; nonetheless, it’s everywhere. Content touches virtually every marketing function from corporate communications to social media to creative, advertising, community, customer service, product groups, and digital/Web services.

Organizations are increasingly seeing the need for someone to oversee content as well as execute on content creation and dissemination – but where to start? How do the pieces fit together?

Most often, in my experience, the “we need someone to do content” cry originates in the social media practice. Because this group constantly both creates and responds to content, they’re usually first to realize that the organizational need for content extends far beyond their purview.

Content Marketing Strategy

As they direct fans, followers and customers through product and support pages, react to questions and comments around product launches and advertising campaigns, the social media contingent has its work cut out for them. They must see the need for content that’s consistent in voice and tone, that tells a unified story, and most of all, is rooted in sound content strategy so content can be effectively produced, warehoused, published, disseminated, found and used internally and will resonated externally with identified customer segments and/or personas.

The problem is that social media doesn’t have the authority to install a content division. They must make this case to the CMO and often, by extension, the board. (It’s also not uncommon for the recognition of the need-for-content to percolate up from communications – another content-intensive division).

With some notable exceptions, largely at tech companies (Intel’s Global Content Lead Bryan Rhoads, and Dell’s Managing Editor Stephanie Losee, for example), most organizations are only just now beginning to think about how they might make room and find budget for dedicated content staff. Just today, someone shared an internal proposal called “Putting a Content Engine Inside [Redacted].”

Content Marketing Organization

As an analyst, organizing for content will be the first item on my 2013 research agenda. I hope to uncover what resources are required, internally and externally, to meet the challenges of content strategy, execution, publication and dissemination. Where and how do enterprises find stories and content internally? How are the C-suite and board convinced to allocate budget to content on an ongoing basis? And, what are the risks of ignoring this whole content thing altogether?

By defining and outlining best practices, my hope is that more companies can be more effective when it comes to content marketing. Right now, it seems almost everyone is winging it – hardly a sustainable strategy.

If you’ve got stories about how your company succeeded – or failed – at making content part of its DNA, I’d love to hear from you and possibly include you in forthcoming research. Let’s make a New Year’s resolution to share content marketing successes, and failures, so everyone can benefit.

Here’s to the content marketing department in your future. Perhaps even by next year.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Content Marketing | Content Marketing | Content Marketing Column


About The Author: is an analyst at the Altimeter Group where she covers digital advertising and marketing. A consultant, author, and sought-after speaker, Rebecca is the former head of Econsultancy's US operations. She was VP and editor-in-chief of The ClickZ Network for over seven years. For a portion of that time, Rebecca also ran Search Engine Watch.

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  • Andrew Stein

    I like this and the need for thinking about it. The emphasis on content marketing in the future is critical. For high tech (and many other) companies, I would expect that content marketing efforts (production of content) needs to be distributed into the product/project teams – perhaps in a matrix. Perhaps the publishing aspect is optimally coordinated centrally, again to leverage budget and minimized cost. Getting the consistent content message in tune with the corporate agenda, vision and mission will be critical. The natural development of a pervasive marketing-as-strategy approach will engage much more of the organization. Hopefully, organizational wisdom has evolved beyond putting it in a silo where like so many things, they can whither, die, and be incorrectly blamed for the failure of the initiative altogether. Let’s get it right!

  • Pamela Livingston

    The idea of generating, not parroting content makes lots of sense. The individuals you mention, Bryan Rhoads and Stephanie Losee, already come with highly respectable technology cred, so I can see why they’d be innovators. Many of us will be watching how content departments begin and grow. Thanks for a smart article.


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