Gerry Brown (CX Research Director)

There is a lot of talk in the media about the importance of content marketing, but little attention is paid to the underlying challenges that hinder its effective execution. For a better understanding of content marketing issues, IDC ran a survey of 300 enterprise marketers across 11 European countries in April 2018 with some very interesting results.

Most marketers (74%) follow a formal approval process outside of the marketing department before publishing important marketing content. This should be no surprise – enterprises want to ensure that brand messaging is consistent, compliant (especially in highly regulated industries such as Financial Services) and creates the maximum opportunity for positive media interest.

But now it gets interesting. A polarization in the market is emerging. 17% of marketers have less steps in their approval processes than two years ago (in 2016), but 27% have more approval steps. In other words, 17% have streamlined their content marketing processes, whereas 27% have gone in the opposite direction. The result is astonishing. 22% of marketers report it now takes less time to publish marketing content than in 2016, whereas 26% complain it takes more time to publish than in 2016.

Nearly all enterprise marketers appreciate that ‘time is money’ in marketing these days. In our survey, 80% agreed that there is a need for greater real-time speed in content delivery to customers and prospects. Those enterprises that respond quickly to market and sales opportunities win more often with today’s demanding customer who requires real-time content for a superior customer experience.

IDC advises enterprises to invest in automation of content marketing workflow processes. Strip away layers of unnecessary content approval processes and empower your marketers to behave with speed and agility using modern content marketing tools. For example, in our survey c. 50% of enterprise marketers saw GDPR as a positive opportunity for change and improvement. The analogy of ‘glass half full, or glass half empty?’ comes to mind.

Consider the maths. If your competitors are reducing the length of their content marketing approval processes, and you are increasing the length of yours; you are taking a double dose of marketing competitive disadvantage. Definitely not recommended.

If you want to learn more about this topic or have any questions, please contact Gerry Brown.