How B2B Marketers are Handling the Digital Content Overload [Accenture Interview]

content, content marketingWhen Accenture published its “Content: The H2O of Marketing” report in February 2016, its statistics showed that the majority of marketers have more digital content at their fingertips than they did two years ago.

Additionally, 83 percent of respondents said that they expected this amount to increase within the next two years.

We spoke to Donna Tuths, global lead of Digital Content Offering at Accenture Interactive, for insight into how B2B marketers are handling the content overload.

HOW HAS THE LARGE VOLUME OF CONTENT IMPACTED B2B MARKETERS?

“The high volume of content facing B2B marketers has created a few new habits to help them manage this surge. They’re now constantly (weekly, sometimes daily) reviewing content performance to ensure their tactics are tracking to conversion KPIs.

Additionally, they’re investing in long-form content — articles, listicles, and original photographs — that has a longer conversion life and higher specificity in the marketplace.

They are also documenting their strategies through consumer journeys and planning for higher volumes of content to be produced than ever before. These new habits and marketing tactics are large investments for B2B marketers, but they’ve proven to generate a higher volume of qualified marketing leads.

The future lies in having more specific content to move prospects through the funnel that speak to their needs and draw them into your offering set, rather than turning on the fire hose and hoping they find you.”

WHICH WILL BE THE MOST VALUABLE TOOL OR TACTIC FOR MARKETERS LOOKING TO CONTROL THE ABUNDANCE OF CONTENT IN THE COMING YEARS?

“Right now, there is, in essence, a perfect storm. There is no silver bullet here to manage the abundance of content that is present now — with more to come. The key is for organizations to agree upon some common approaches and principles within the enterprise (note: this is not an easy task to accomplish).

Content needs to be governed the same way you would govern IT or Marketing in order to get the best outcomes for all. There is a very tight market for talent and the skills needed are rapidly evolving. To attract the best talent in this space, you need to be seen as being serious about content and content marketing— and today that is still limited to a small number of marketing-driven companies.

From a technology perspective, there are two key trends: the need to move from local tools and platforms to global solutions in the cloud, and the consolidation of tools throughout the content lifecycle, which offer the potential for content to be managed more end-to-end –from plan through track-and-optimize.

However, in doing so, organizations cut across pre-existing silos that is making it tougher to align around change.

From a talent perspective, organizations should be looking for those who have served a brand in an agency or creative capacity in the past, but also understand the evolving landscape of platforms that can make executing these complex strategies operationally simplified.”

IS THERE SUCH THING AS ‘TOO MUCH’ CONTENT? IS ALL MARKETING CONTENT TRULY VALUABLE?

“First, 100 percent of marketing leaders believe that internal and external content is valuable to meeting business objectives – therein lies the problem.

In the report, Accenture reveals that content volume continues to grow every single day and it is becoming increasingly important for marketers to find the ‘right’ amount for their business.

Too much of one thing is never a good thing — and the more content a marketing organization produces then the harder it will become to manage. Beyond managing the volume of content, it is just as important to focus on the purpose of the content, plus how they measure the impact.

The more prepared marketers are to measure the effectiveness of the content, the better equipped they are to manage the right amount of valuable of content.”

WHICH STATISTIC FROM THE REPORT DID YOU FIND TO BE THE MOST SURPRISING?

“When we asked respondents who should own the content strategy, we gave them a number of choices and 90 percent of respondents identified the C-suite executive — with 35 percent identifying the CEO as the business leader who should own the content strategy.

These results demonstrate the fact that content is an enterprise issue, starting at the senior most levels, and their involvement is very important.”

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR MARKETERS IN THE B2B INDUSTRY?

“When marketing to businesses, organizations must take as much care in producing their key messages as they would for a consumer who sees a B2C commercial on television. The perception of their brand is reflected in all aspects of their content, and it could even begin with a creative briefing of their agencies.

Planning for all aspects of a prospects’ purchasing path ensures that there’s ample content to support all audiences, products, segments, and possible needs. It’s also important to note that this effort cannot be executed in a vacuum. This level of strategy requires buy-in at all levels — all the way up to the C-Suite.

This strategy may also require the service of partners to leverage new and innovative capabilities that aren’t the core competency of the organization (i.e. video production, infographic design, and editorial content development). Bringing together these new forms of marketing will elevate any B2B marketing approach.”

To access the “Content: The H2O of Marketing” report, visit the Accenture Digital website for a complimentary download.

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