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I was recently invited to speak and join an exclusive group of brand marketers involved in content marketing. Content Marketing World’s Executive Forum was an incredible gathering of senior executives involved in content marketing. From IBM and Marketo, to Oracle, as well as Hershey to 3M. Robert Rose and Joe Pulizzi and team put together a great brainstorming meeting of about 50 attendees, all implementing content marketing.

There were discussions on international strategies for developing content by Todd Wheatland and Nancy Duarte,author of Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences, explained the science of story telling. Carlos Abler of 3M shared a content framework that was intricate and the most thorough and well thought-out I have ever seen. With 4000 marketers and well over 100,000 products to develop content around, it made sense that the framework was crafted versus built. I can’t wait to hear more from his journey at 3M.

Out of the many journeys told, I did see a common theme; mainly, how the marketing organization is organized impacts the ability of content marketing to succeed. Data/CRM, creative services, advertising/promotion, and website management impact content marketing. When these departments or roles are split apart, it was obvious that content marketing struggled to reach its full potential. I have been lucky in that all of these departments fall within my team and can easily create, track, report and optimize content for the organization. But many have to convince, cajole and ask for budget to get the dollars necessary to properly develop and promote quality content, and then analyze results to optimize more.

cirewebb, eric webb

Org chart impacts content marketing

Selling the concept of content marketing strategy is the first hurdle. Then aligning the resources and time to do a good job. I often see half-baked content strategies that are not strategies but a series of tactical implementations of “news-jacking.” Much of this is the result of teams not having the data to analyze what works, or the resources to properly syndicate the content created. Or may the website is controlled by IT and they just don’t see the need to put that story up on the website right now. There are all sorts of political and organizational hurdles when departments are separated from one-over-arching manager that gets content marketing.

The best way to manage such a problem is to sell the concept up and create a cross-departmental governance team to make sure content marketing gains the support from all the necessary departments. Success breeds motivation, energy and willingness to help. We all want to be on the winning team.

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