Are You a Content Marketing Renegade?

During a recent buyer profiling exercise with the Divvy team, the word “Renegade” was thrown out on the table to describe many of the potential customers that walk through our front door. My brain couldn’t help but start visualizing a young, female recruit battling in the trenches of her communications department each day. Although young, she’s quietly and steadily infiltrating the higher ranks of the marketing department, gaining influence each day.

Armed with a Starbucks coffee, she stays up late scheming ways to improve her often painful and inefficient situation, despite being told repeatedly, “this is how it’s done”. She thinks to herself: “Whatevs. I know there has to be something better out there. A better approach. A more efficient process. A better tool.”

She does her own research. She scours industry sites. She subscribes to industry blogs. She devours the best practices of content marketing discussed by industry thought leaders. She finds us…and it begins.

Change is Hard (and Scary)

The next chapter of this story is where it gets interesting for some, tricky for others. With so many companies struggling with organizational change issues right now, each situation is unique. The fortunate ones have C-Suite execs that “get it”. Those organizations have evolved their content marketing practices rapidly, and are already structuring their internal teams to look, think and act like publishers. They understand that customer needs come first, that content needs to be viewed as an asset, and that proactively hiring or promoting staff members to focus on content strategy, production and content marketing is paramount.

Others aren’t there yet. The content marketing renegades “get it”, but it’s an uphill battle everyday. Many of you may need more ammunition to build awareness of internal struggles. A core strategy for the DivvyHQ blog is to equip you with stories, examples, and content marketing best practices to help you build a business case. But which of the narratives below resonate the most with your situation?

“Lost at Sea”

Conflict: Your company is paddling feverishly to create a lot of content, but no one has answered the questions of “why?” and “where are we going?” Your target audiences are an afterthought and the constant stream of self-serving content is not getting you anywhere.

Resolution: Organizations who have clearly defined the purpose and direction for each channel, and have a documented content marketing strategy for those channels, will be much more effective in their overall marketing efforts.

“Organized Chaos”

Conflict: Your communications teams are doing their best to stay organized and proactive with outdated spreadsheets, campaign planning decks and frenetic email collaboration.

Resolution: Teams that have organized planning and production processes (and the right tools) will be much more effective in their overall marketing efforts.

“Concrete Walls”

Conflict: The siloed nature of your organization is causing duplication of effort, waste, poor communication, and confusion for your end customers. Teams aren’t sharing their plans or assets and a CYA mentality rules the roost.

Resolution: Teams that improve collaboration across business units reduce waste and inconsistent messaging, and create opportunities for truly integrated marketing campaigns.

“Who’s the Boss?”

Conflict: Content is not a primary focus for your marketing executives and your team has a lot of other things on their plates. A lack of proper strategy and dedicated resources has led to informal processes and missed deadlines are the norm.

Resolution: Marketing executives that take the lead and push their organizations to think, act, and consistently deliver high-quality content (like publishers) will reap the rewards that large digital footprints and owned audiences can bring.

“You’ve Created a Monster”

Conflict: You’re constantly challenged with doing more with less. New channels keep popping up and new content requests keep coming in. Your content beast isn’t getting any smaller, but budgets aren’t growing. Your core team can only handle so much and you’re getting tapped out.

Resolution: A documented content marketing strategy paints a clear picture of what you should and can do with the resources you have. Once success is realized, you should have the ammunition needed to ask for more resources to scale the beast.

Decisions, Decisions…

As a content marketing renegade, you need to decide whether to stick around and fight for change, or make a move to another organization that puts a higher value on the work you do everyday. If you’re a marketing executive, you should be paying attention to those talented pupils who are disrupting the status quo and suggesting new tools and processes. Act too slowly, and your content beast may soon run straight into a brick wall.

Your Turn

Are you a content marketing renegade? Which narrative (above) resonates the most? Let us know in the comments and perhaps we can help arm you with some ideas for improving your situation.

(Photo Credit: DP Yaron Scharf – Zero Motivation (Movie))