Content: Six Reasons For Tool Disconnect

Do you have what you need to “do” content?

If you don’t, you’re hardly alone. We’re in the throes of conducting interviews with dozens of marketers at (mostly) Fortune 500 enterprises about how they are organizing, budgeting and resourcing for content marketing.

Ironically, while technology has democratized the creation, production and dissemination of content in digital channels, few (if any) of these senior marketers feel they’re properly equipped with the most fundamental tools of the trade: content management systems (CMS) and digital asset management (DAM).

Used with permission from Alvin Chua under a Creative Commons license.

Used with permission from Alvin Chua under a Creative Commons license.

The reasons for this, of course, are as varied as the subject, companies and industry verticals we’re speaking with.

Yet, some patterns are already beginning to emerge. It’s a given that the overarching gap is budget, of course.

The idea that content marketing is “free” is, if not taken literally, at least figuratively pervasive.

Still, other obstacles stand in the way of content strategists and marketers gaining access to the fundamental tools they need. Herewith, some of the barriers we’re seeing:

Buy-In And Collaboration

  • “The creative group built the digital asset management system, and they’re the only ones using it. For everyone else, the DAM is our desktops and email clients.”
  • “We have a DAM, but we’re moving to a new CMS. It’s unknown if everything from the DAM will go into CMS. Corporate, creative, and online strategy and services is driving the initiative, not us.”

Few organizations, even those most active in content marketing, have content marketing departments or divisions. Instead, content comes from numerous departments and divisions: social media, communications, branding, product groups, community, and many more. Yet when these content creators have no input into – or often, even knowledge of – tool creation, the tools rarely meet their needs, so they’re disregarded.

Collaboration is hard – but if you’re building expensive tools for the enterprise, giving constituencies a voice regarding needs would save lots of time, money and aggravation in the long run.


  • “We’re not launching content initiatives on our own domain because we’d have to go through IT.”

Content is fast. It’s timely. Much of the most effective content out there is news-driven. When the managing editor of an enterprise corporation wanted to launch a new news site, the last thing she was willing to do was wait a year in the IT queue for the publication to be built on the corporate dot-com domain.

Hello, WordPress. Goodbye, branding. There’s got to be a better, more agile way.


  • “Our clients are publishers and media companies.” – CMS vendor
  • “There’s a major opportunity to develop ways for brands to house and distribute content.” Client-side marketer

While I won’t pretend to be an expert in CMS and DAM solutions (but we’re busy lining up the briefings), most of the vendors we have spoken with don’t seem to realize there’s a whole new market opening up out there.

Brands are the new publishers and media companies. Their needs are very similar to those of “real” publishers, but also specialized. This market will unquestionably burst wide open in the next year or so, and open up tremendous opportunities for those vendors who research this new market and customer segment.


  • “This is a hot topic. Historically, thousands of people had access to publishing content. We found significant quality issues; not everyone had the appropriate training. We’re in the process of removing access for all but 500-1,000 people.”

The flip side of this problem, of course, is too few (or not the right) people having access to a CMS or DAM system. Alternately, different staff members and groups (including external agency partners and vendors) require different levels of access.

This problem can be attributed to both the technology, and often, the lack of a comprehensive, enterprise-wide content strategy that governs access, permission and approval levels.


  • “We’re challenged with limited resources, complexity, and a rapidly changing media landscape. We’re scrappy, and so we’re working with what we have.”

Technology changes rapidly. Content marketing is just taking off at most organizations. Without leadership, budget, research, and more than anything else, the confidence to select appropriate, scalable systems, too many organizations are making do and scraping by with jerry-rigged content solutions that are often stretched to the limit.


  • “We use a separate blogging platform, and are investigating merging it with the CMS. That’s one of our biggest pains.”

If integrating blogging and other types of content isn’t a pain, it’s integrating search. Or digital assets. Or analytics. Or social media management… or (as is most often the case) all of the above.

There are few end-to-end solutions out there, “content stacks,” as it were, that would in turn have to integrate with ad stacks and other digital tools.

Content marketers will likely soon face the same questions and dilemmas advertisers do: go with the closed but integrated system, or the open, modular, à la carte solution.

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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  • Bob Cohen

    Change is happening so fast you’re absolutely right that there’s an integration problem. But I like the comment that brands are the new publishers. The fast pace of change has given individuals the ability to become brands as powerful as brand names. Maybe brands have to adapt more of the personality marketing approach.

  • Arvin Buising

    Totally agree. By the time we’re able to publish content, after approval from managers and editors, it’s already stale.


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