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Content Is King … Or Is It?

Posted in:  Sales and Marketing Management

Almost 20 years ago, a tech industry luminary proclaimed with confidence that “content is king.”

The luminary’s name is, of course, Bill Gates, and he was spot-on. Gates spoke of a world in which the sheer breadth of information available on the internet would be the factor that made it compelling. He noted that “those who succeed will propel the internet forward as a marketplace of ideas, experiences, and products — a marketplace of content.”[1]

While Mr. Gates was talking specifically about monetizing the internet, the idea of content leading the charge when it comes to all aspects of marketing has made its way into the lexicon in an undeniable way.

Marketers in organizations big and small focus heavily on content development with an appetite that can only be sated with more content. A quick scan of the job listings in just about any industry will return a long list of high demand roles: content strategists, content developers, content program managers, and more.

In fact, today content creation for marketing comprises 28% of the B2B marketing budget. But at the end of the day, the content workflow should be much more than just a one-way process. Publishing a PowerPoint presentation, white paper, or data sheet to the sales team’s SharePoint site or via a blast email should not be the end of the road for materials that have the potential to help close the next deal.

The truth is that marketers are missing out on a big opportunity to provide sales teams with the right content at the right time.

I have mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. In 2013, SiriusDecisions reported that 65% of content churned out by B2B marketing departments went unused.

Unfortunately, this pushes sales and marketing teams to fall into the age-old trap of pointing fingers in both directions, citing reasons for why one-half of the information flow equation is not living up to their part of the arrangement, creating misalignment between the teams and missing a great opportunity for working more effectively together.

Instead, a more practical and useful technique is for marketers to step up to the plate and place the same rigor used to manage advertising, demand generation, and SEO analytics on sales enablement. Why, in an era when we can measure almost anything, are we living with sales content that has no ability to measure what is working? It makes no sense, and organizations shouldn’t tolerate it.

So, here’s the big question: What if you knew which materials were used by sales, which weren’t, and importantly, why?

You could then know how your content is performing in the buying process, and you should. It’s a game changer. Comprehensive and accurate performance analytics for sales enablement is the key to driving better and more effective sales engagements, leading to greater revenue growth.

Ready to close the loop on your content analytics?

We’ve taken the guesswork out of it! To take the next step with your organization’s content performance analysis, download our Definitive Guide to Sales Content Performance. In it, you’ll learn how to use eight key reports to understand the effectiveness of your sales content to optimize the way your company engages with customers.

Coming back around to the idea that content is king, when it comes to marketing purposes, I think a better notion to optimize performance is that the right content in the right hands at the right time is king. And to make that happen, you need accurate content performance analytics.

What do you think?

[1] Content Is King – Bill Gates, 1/3/1996, © Microsoft Corporation, 2001