The complex and sprawling nature of departments in large enterprises makes it more difficult to create and distribute content marketing materials and measure the success of campaigns, a new study published by Content Marketing Institute (CMI) has found.
The Enterprise Content Marketing 2019: Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report for North America posits that implementing strategies and managing campaigns is more challenging for large corporations compared to small and medium enterprises due to the complexity of core operations.
These larger enterprises usually have several office locations, product and service lines and multiple functional silos. The study found that the sheer scale of these companies makes it especially challenging for each department and team to know what content is being created, the audiences that are being targeted and the metrics that should be tracked to determine success or failure.
Nearly three-quarters of respondents said coordinating content marketing efforts across several brands and departments are a major challenge. Marketers in large corporations are also struggling with working with too many departmental silos (60%), implementing new tech for use across the enterprise (50%) and having the flexibility and agility to make changes on the fly when required (49%).
CMI found that even small communication breakdowns can lead to problems that can torpedo even the best campaigns, as conflicted messaging and ineffective budgeting hinders the potential for positive returns and success. However, CMI says restructuring operations can transform content efforts.
Rather than attempting to link departments and align processes, large enterprises should instead attempt to create a single, centralised group that can work with a plethora of products, brands and departments. This dedicated team can define a strategy, create and distribute content, and be proactive rather than reactive when changes are needed.
The study also found a mismatch between content marketing teams and sales as they are often managed as separate units, which impairs their ability to share insights, collaborate and work towards important content goals, such as driving conversions and leads. Just one in five respondents said these teams were either “extremely” or “very” aligned.
“The unique nature of a large organization makes content marketing especially challenging,” explains Lisa Murton Beets, CMI’s research director. “New this year, we asked enterprise marketers about their use of account-based management (ABM) and the alignment between their content marketing and sales teams.”
She added: “Only 19% of enterprise respondents report that their content marketing and sales teams are extremely or very aligned, while 28% say there is little or no alignment between these two functions. However, around half of respondents may have ushered in 2019 with account-based management (ABM) in place. The collaborative nature of ABM may help alleviate the sales and marketing alignment gap.”
Finally, tech is set to play a bigger role in content marketing in 2019, and 71% said the top benefit of cutting-edge advances was gaining better insights into the performance of content. Meanwhile, 50% said it would support better insights into audience preferences.