8toolbox-jpgDoes the marketing world really need another content marketing tool? This was a hotly debated issue at the recent Social Media Strategies Conference in Chicago. Pam Didner, formerly responsible for worldwide social media and content marketing at Intel, had a strong viewpoint on this issue. “For many marketers, especially those newly responsible for content strategy and execution, the lure of one-stop shopping for a technical platform and software solution are very difficult to resist.” Pam went on to say that the most asked question she faces is, “which solution do you recommend?” But given all the variables, it is impossible for her to make any ‘blanket’ recommendation.

Study after study shows that content marketing is the driving force for virtually every CMO and their senior social and digital marketing staff. Given the multi-million dollar market potential, it is no wonder that VC’s are scrambling to fund more and more software/technology solutions. This, in turn, creates a decision-making nightmare for content marketers.

A forthcoming study from Forbes Insights will provide specific recommendations on how well the major content marketing platforms meet 10 critical needs as defined by CMOs at 300 major B2B brands. (Full disclosure, ComBlu, was a member of the steering committee for this research.) From a preliminary scan of the survey results, it is clear that technology is one of six levers CMOs will deploy to enable a robust publishing model. The other ‘must dos’ include ownership of content creation, appropriate skills/competency levels, incentives to participate, organizational change to meet this new environment and process redesign to execute on the strategy.

To get a snapshot of what’s out there today; Lee Odden has a succinct listing of the many tools currently available. It provides a good overview of how competing technologies are trying to solve the content marketing challenge. But according to the Forbes study, successful content marketing executives realize that it is organization, people and process together with the right tech stack that will really make the difference.  What’s your formula for content marketing success?

Kevin Lynch
Kevin Lynch

The focus of Kevin’s 40+ year career has been on strategic counsel, alliance and partnership formation and business development.