With the vastly increasing amount of content that brands must create daily, consistently producing high impact content is a huge challenge – particularly when content is created by many parts of the enterprise. Maintaining content quality standards, instituting appropriate governance, operationalizing content and optimizing content’s role in the customer experience are some of the topics addressed at the Acrolinx Content Connections 2017 conference I attended in San Jose, which brought together senior content strategists from leading brands.

Here are some conference highlights.


Eliminate ROT. The keynote from Sirius Decisions set the tone with their latest research showing where B2B content marketing is headed. Not surprising, B2B continues to lag in adopting fundamental elements for success – including content strategy, operations and technology. One of their most requested services is to conduct content audits which revealed again and again that up to 65% of all content created is useless. They cited three main reasons:

  • Redundant
  • Outdated
  • Trivial

The first letters of each word says it all – ROT.

The huge need for CMOs to get a better handle on their content marketing initiatives was reinforced by the fact that 64% felt their programs/campaigns were underperforming. Another interesting finding was that post-sale content comprised over 60% of pre-sale discovery during the buying process. That, and adding voice of the customer (VOC), was found to be the most vital for success.

Quality ControlIntel had a very compelling story on how they handle governance within their 110,000 employee global organization. When their new CMO came on board, one of his first questions was, how do we manage all of our content from website to mobile to microsites to one-off efforts? When he learned that no one really had a handle on it, much less even know how much content was created, he established a COE for Digital Governance and Operations. It evoked the typical grumblings from business units complaining that if it were their budget, then it is their decision on how to spend it. But with C-suite backing, he gained control over all domain rights so that any effort that didn’t go through the COE had no way to publish, launch or do anything. That, to me, is the only way to control the chaos too many brands find in their content initiatives.

Speaking Your Language.  Marketers from Nestle, Microsoft, VMware, PayPal, Adobe and Oracle each indicated that their organizations were in the midst of a major business transformation. And, because of that, there was even a greater importance that content be accurately communicated to customers, prospects and employees.

What became apparent was that these large enterprise brands with their huge strategic initiatives suffer from the same problems as much smaller organizations. Employees still need training to write clearly, use proper punctuation, grammar and spelling, and avoid passive voice. This is where Acrolinx plays its role. No organization has enough editors to review all their content so all copy, even vendor materials, are put through Acrolinx’s proprietary linguistic software (multiple languages) to maintain quality, brand voice and specific corporate nomenclature.

As one participant said, “It’s like having a platoon of PhDs in creative writing, linguistics and fluent in 120 languages working as copy editors with their staff.” This is a prime example of how AI can add value to fast-paced content creation organizations.

For further insights into how content will become even more important in the future see How Content, Community and Analytics Will Take Over Business.

Cheryl Treleaven

Cheryl Treleaven


Engaging your customers is at the heart of successful marketing programs. For more than 20 years, Cheryl has been building and executing content and thought leadership strategies designed to do just that. She is excited to be applying that well-honed skill to a help companies like Microsoft, Cisco, 3M, Intel, Capital One and Barclaycard tap into their stakeholder communities and build sophisticated content strategies.

Her experience base spans a range of industries – from technology and financial services to retail, travel, consumer products and healthcare. Cheryl has served as an integral member of her clients’ marketing teams, providing counsel on marketing and brand strategy, thought leadership, media relations, product introductions, and event management.

Prior to joining ComBlu, Cheryl spent 10 years leading corporate marketing for large, complex organizations.