The answer may depend on whether you're a small, medium, large... or grande business. Don't assume that the bigger the organization, the more the resources. In my experience, you have as good a shot in a small and medium-sized company than you have in a large one these days.
You connect with a different cast/roles on the inside, and need more external partnerships to make stuff happen. In both cases, you need to be social to drive social content effectively. And not be afraid to try things that are different -- and iterate while in market.
Everyone who's doing something interesting is building the plane as they fly it. I'm sure you've felt that way in that position.
Much of the content that matters to demand generation and leads now comes to you online. It's still very much about channels. The opportunity is much greater. Marketing and communications professionals must find a way to polish and reorganize their learning to be proficient in new media.
So that they understand how to let people interact with the content and with each other.
In the driver's seat
At least initially, as the group or person who knows the most about communicating what the product is about, the people who looks after the online assets, and support management with messages geared to employees, it is up to marketers and communicators to figure out content.
If you're in such a role, experiment with the new technologies and tools. That's not all. You should also become familiar with implenting in a fragmented media environment, using analytics, and gathering customer intelligence on an ongoing basis.
Then you can go about the business of making marketing invisible. Nobody cares about your product. What people care about is doing their stuff.
You put content out there, and what you learn -- where people read it, how, the more efficient ways to distribute it, and so on -- will give you the ability to report what works. From there, you develop a sense what you need to do to help grow the business.
The opportunity is to get to marketing as profit center. And working the current relationships is a big part of that.
Change within the organization
If marketing is the catalyst, the whole organization needs to develop a new understanding of the role of marketing and customer insights in the business. Which will mean that marketing needs to shift more from promotional and publicity stunts to be the business/product builders and drivers of customer creation and involvement.
I write creation because a series of one time purchases do not a customer base make.
On the pragmatic side of things regarding what the connected company looks like, you need higher levels of collaboration and coordination. Working smarter and doing less with more are dial tone. Seeing and using more of what the organization and its people know, crafting a better narrative, is part of the process. Knowledge does you no good under lock and key.
Tap subject matter experts, product implementation and customer support groups. Pool points of view, network, and re-present to the organization, and then the market, what people know, how they do things, the questions they answer, what makes them different, the direction of your business.
A new role
Organizations that support the importance of (online) content are creating a new role for content marketing. The opportunity there is to start creating a path for the business to use content as utility, something that helps people do stuff together.
Whether in this new role or simply as the person who has taken on content production and distribution, the undersanding of how to use content to meet business objectives is critical. And next week, we'll talk about the focus on goals to generate a return.
Are you in charge of content delivery in your organization? Do you partner with an agency? Have you noticed a change in the way the organization values content or are these still early days? If not you, who takes care of content marketing?