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The Case for Governance: Retaining Confidence in the Integrity of Your Content

Posted in:  Highspot News, Sales and Marketing Management

I’ll be the first to admit – there’s nothing glamorous about the topic of content governance. In fact, the most successful content governance programs typically go unnoticed because they operate quietly in the background, which means you’re likely not going to win any awards for your stellar policy or flawless implementation efforts. It’s only when a content governance program doesn’t exist or is inconsistently implemented that people start to take notice, and rightfully so. The consequences of outdated or inaccurate content being shared externally by sellers can be serious, resulting in frustrated reps, misled buyers, and ultimately lost deals.

Unfortunately, an ineffective content governance strategy is all too common. It’s getting harder and harder to get in front of buyers, and once there, they expect an experience that feels custom tailored to their needs. Your marketing team is likely churning out assets, sales enablement is filling gaps, and reps are creating their own ad-hoc content when they can’t find what they’re looking for.

With all of these activities happening across a single organisation, it’s easy to lose track of what’s being created, who created it, how it’s being used, and – most importantly – whether or not it’s driving revenue. The result can be:

  • Content Chaos: Reps are overwhelmed by too much content and can’t determine the most valuable assets quickly and efficiently. This is further exacerbated when your system is disorganised, causing understandable frustration for reps.
  • Wasted Time and Resources: Without a way to understand what content is generating ROI, content publishers continue to invest time and energy into assets that aren’t being adopted by reps and don’t land or create value for buyers. In fact, 70% of customer-facing content created by product marketing is never seen by a customer.
  • Fragmented Messaging: Reps are using content that is off-brand and off-message, driving an inconsistent buyer experience and a general loss of brand reputation and trust.
  • Outdated or Inaccurate Content: Buyers are getting mixed messages because they’re presented with inconsistent content, leading to confusion and overall dissatisfaction. In fact, B2B buyers report that sellers delivering misleading information about a product, its price, etc. is the number-one deal killer.

If any of the above scenarios are keeping you up at night, it could be a sign that your organisation lacks a strategy for content governance or simply the tools to enforce the one you already have in place. Your marketing and enablement teams are likely struggling to align, and your company runs the risk of unintentionally providing a negative customer experience and, even worse, incurring fines for non-compliance. Yikes!

Common Governance Challenges

A content governance strategy includes guidelines by which content is published, maintained and shared, clear assignment of roles and responsibilities, and a means by which to analyse and report key usage and performance metrics. Creating a strategy is the easy part, though – adhering to it is far more challenging. When content lives across multiple platforms within a company, enforcing a content governance policy is cumbersome, time-consuming, and prone to error, resulting in the following:

Inconsistent Policy Application

When stale, inaccurate assets slip through the cracks and reps lose confidence in the integrity of the content they’re using. Consequently, they’ll defer to the assets they’re most comfortable with, which may not be the most up-to-date, and the wrong information will go to the wrong people.

Inability to Audit Activity

When content lives between two or more systems that aren’t integrated, you lack a single source of truth from which to accurately monitor and report on content activity, leaving your company open to risk.

Disconnected Content Analytics

Marketing and enablement need a common source of analytics to track content freshness, quality, usage, and performance. Without this, it’s difficult to accurately track metrics and produce reports that provide visibility into content gaps, opportunities, and potential compliance issues.

Misaligned GTM Execution

Oftentimes, strategic growth initiatives rely on the sales team to deliver marketing-created content in a way that’s compelling, clearly demonstrates value, and fits within the broader context of the product narrative. The ability to govern the content itself is important, but just as important is the ability to govern the way in which it’s presented. Without integration between your CMS and your enablement platform, marketing is simply throwing content over the wall to enablement without any insight into how it’s being presented and whether or not it’s being adopted or driving revenue.

The Solution

Thankfully, many of these governance challenges can be solved when your sales enablement platform integrates seamlessly with your content management platform and provides built-in tools for setting content parameters, tracking usage, and automating approvals and reviews. By removing the complexity of applying a governance policy across two platforms, marketing and sales enablement can streamline the content governance process, reducing time spent on content management by 50%, simplifying compliance, and ultimately creating a great experience for your key audience: sales reps.

Key components to consider:

Advanced CMS Integration

Often, critical information about how individual pieces of content are to be used is maintained across disparate platforms. In order to effectively manage the safeguards you’ve put in place, it’s critical that your sales enablement platform leverages as much metadata from other systems as possible. Highspot accomplishes this with auto importing, auto updating, auto mapping, and auto migration of content.

Built-in Tools for Policy Enforcement

Enforcement can be challenging and cumbersome to handle manually, which is why the ability to set role-based access controls, content approval, and usage policies for each asset within your sales enablement platform is key to governance success.

Governance Detection and Auditing

With a governance policy in place and each asset labeled in your sales enablement platform with access, approval, and usage rights, the final component is identifying and taking action on content that violates policy so it can be archived, replaced, or updated. Highspot reporting and analytics provide the insights you need with the tools to efficiently keep content aligned with policy.

An integrated CRM and sales enablement solution like Highspot makes content governance seamless and reliable. That means that instead of losing sleep over the integrity of content being published and shared, you can focus on what you do best — equipping your sales team to land strategic business initiatives and driving content ROI. Furthermore, trusting a single platform to manage content governance ensures that all teams are working collaboratively to align on best practices, consistent messaging, and common measures of content value … and, in my opinion, this definitely deserves a trophy.

Interested in learning how Highspot can make you a content governance hero? Check out our whitepaper on how to Get (and Keep) Control of Your Content With Effective Governance.