The Digital and Content Team: Is Splintering a Verb?

In this post we explore the organization of a digital and content team, which we will call “the digital team,” and may include the designers and producers of the website and other digital properties. How you do organize around content and the website at your firm? Is your website appropriately categorized as content and managed out of this group?

But wait, now that you have the development and creative for one asset done, there’s more to do. You have to plan out all the campaigns in all the channels for support: email, blog, paid search, display ads and social-promoted posts.

And we haven’t even begun to talk about splintering this fine piece of core content into tweets, infographics, bylined articles, Slideshare, etc. (Someone will need to coordinate all of these things so that the LP is live with the WP before the blog is published, the display ad is created and ready right after the LP is live, etc. This is where the role of the traffic coordinator comes in. End digression.)

There are multiple “campaigns” here through various channels, which may well use project managers for each (e.g., one for social, one for outbound, one for the website). It makes sense to have a traffic manager who organizes the development of all assets related to the core content. This person coordinates with all the channel specific campaign project managers to ensure the promotions and campaigns all go live on time. Traffic management isn’t just for agencies anymore, and it is more work around a single piece of core content than you imagine. It is also an area of specialization in which many campaign project managers lack skills.

The Content Strategist

What assets will drive engagement in Korea, but not work so well in France?

The content strategists engage with sales, field marketing and the demand generation team to understand criteria for successful customer engagement. The content strategist combines the requirements from the disparate groups, adds their knowledge of the market segments, revenue targets and media trends, and produces a roadmap for content that will result in the greatest results for the business. They understand personas and buying cycles, as well as their markets and their products.

Additionally, the content strategist is an expert at determining what message is best delivered through which media, what is the right mix of freemium and premium content on the website, and what mix of tools, templates and research reports should be created.

The blog is also content. Is your blog more about content or more about being a channel in your mind? How do you leverage that content for greatest effect? Can you leverage a product like GrapeVine6.com to help you channel externally created relevant content to your prospects through your sales reps? My point is, if you don’t already have a content strategist, you need one.

The Digital and Content Group Budget 

In my ideal world, the funding for content development would come from the folks who have a revenue number in their goals: sales, the demand generation group, field marketing, product line managers, etc. This content group would excel at:

  • Knowing how to create compelling content.
  • Driving consistent company and product messaging and positioning.
  • Engaging personas.
  • Knowing which media are best for delivering which message.
  • Spending their limited content budget to achieve maximum effect.
  • Splintering content from one medium into multiple pieces for reuse.

But the editorial calendar and budgetary decisions have to be strongly driven by the people who most need the content: sales, demand generation and field marketing. These three groups should not be in the position of trying to figure out how to use what the content group in HQ decided to produce. The three groups should be placing orders and getting exactly what they need to engage market segments. After all, they have a revenue number in their goals.

Next Steps

Here are some ideas and priorities for organizing and leading a digital and content group for success in 2017:

  1. Decide on the charter for the digital and content team.
  2. Leave SEO/SEM folks close to the Web designers/producers for now.
  3. Identify SMEs throughout the firm and get core content creation put into their job description and quarterly MBOs (management by objective).
  4. Set up systems to measure engagement with your existing content.
  5. Define the role of traffic manager.
  6. Define the role of content strategist.
  7. Gather requirements from sales/channels, demand generation and field marketing.
  8. Be agile: Produce a three- to six-month calendar, but no more.
  9. Splinter (yes — it’s also a verb) content to the maximum.

In the next post along our revenue marketing journey, we will discuss the five core marketing processes fundamental to successful revenue marketing. Please feel free to share your insights on these topics in the comments section below or email me directly at kevin@pedowitzgroup.com.

For more insights on the detailed responsibilities of the roles described above, download TPG’s white paper: Center of Excellence: Digital and Content Team.

Author: Kevin Joyce

Kevin Joyce is VP of strategy services for The Pedowitz Group. He's a marketing executive with 34 years of experience in high tech, in positions in engineering, marketing, and sales. In the past 16 years Mr. Joyce has worked with many companies on their revenue marketing and demand generation strategies. With a unique combination of marketing skills and sales experience he helps bridge the gap between sales and marketing.

Mr. Joyce has successfully launched numerous products and services as a Director of Product Marketing at Sequent, as a Director of Sales at IBM, as Vice President of Marketing at Unicru, and as CEO at Rubicon Marketing Group. He has been VP of Marketing Strategy with the Pedowitz Group for more than six years. He holds a BS in Engineering from the University of Limerick, Ireland and a MBA from the University of Portland. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn or email him at kevin@pedowitzgroup.com. Download TPG’s new white paper: "TPG ONE: A New Approach to the Customer Journey."

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