Today, Skyword announced the launch of the new Skyword Enterprise Planner, which provides marketing leaders and their teams a single view of marketing activities and content across regions, divisions, channels, and campaigns. The addition of the planner to the Skyword Platform is a pivotal step in the journey started in January, when Skyword closed on $25 million in growth equity to expand its product offerings to support the broader need set of tomorrow’s CMO.
The changing nature of the marketing team’s mandate—a move away from the advertising-centric models that defined marketing for the last century—brings with it added complexities. As long ago as 2013, Forrester identified a shift toward what they called “marketing orchestration,” or managing ongoing customer touchpoints across multiple channels, and yet most marketing teams still lack enterprise-wide visibility of their content and marketing activities.
Skyword added an enterprise-wide planning tool to their content marketing software to fill this gap. As Skyword CEO Tom Gerace explains, “Marketers understand the need for sustained original content to create an experience that differentiates their brand and meets the needs of their audiences. But without the technology to connect teams throughout the enterprise, processes unravel, teams are disjointed, and content is misaligned. With the Enterprise Planner, our customers can manage their content strategy across multiple channels and regions and ensure that teams are aligned and operating efficiently.”
Image attribution: Chuttersnap
The Content Standard recently reported on new research from PQ Media that showed “branded entertainment” is growing at twice the rate of advertising spend. As we argued at the time, “The acceleration of content marketing’s growth is vivid evidence that we’ve moved past the early adopters and are nearing the inflection point of the adoption curve.”
But widespread adoption of—and increased spending on—content marketing is only half of the picture. The real test of content marketing’s maturity is not that it is being used but how it is being used across an enterprise. Whereas content marketing was once treated as its own channel, a place to make up the losses suffered as new technology enabled consumers to opt out of advertising, more and more marketers are looking to content as the engine that powers an ongoing relationship between brand and customer.
Recent research from Skyword illustrates the size and complexity of that engine. In a survey of 1,000 content marketers, of the highest-performing segment:
Speaking with the Content Standard in January, Gerace outlined the challenge of content-driven digital marketing in a multi-channel environment:
“Over the last several years, we’ve seen brands invest at an increasing rate in creating experiences on a channel-by-channel basis. A CMO would want to increase web engagement, so she would create a consistent experience on her brand’s website. Or she might want to drive Facebook reach and she would do the same on her brand’s Facebook page. This channel-by-channel approach worked, but led to higher costs and an inconsistent experience for consumers, who often interact with the brand across channels.
“Brands, if they want to win in this next phase, need to create a macro corporate strategy that drives their brand storytelling experience, and that brand storytelling experience needs to drive the channel strategy, not the other way around. When they do that, brands have the opportunity to connect with their customers much more often and in many more places, earn audience attention, and build relationships in a way they can’t today.”
Driving the brand storytelling experience may sound fluffy, but it’s far from fanciful—new research from IBM’s Institute for Business Value identifies owning the end-to-end customer experience as one of the CMO’s primary mandates. And the primary challenge to answering that mandate? A lack of visibility into the many brand touchpoints dispersed across channels, regions, and divisions.
Image attribution: William Topa
By providing a single comprehensive view of content and marketing activities, the Skyword Enterprise Planner offers marketers that crucial understanding of the entire cross-channel brand storytelling experience. In turn, enterprise-wide visibility does more than create consistency across brand touchpoints.
From a process perspective, it creates efficiencies by reducing the administrative burden of managing many independent planning documents and by identifying redundancies, such as content that can be repurposed across channels. Further, it facilitates communication across globally dispersed teams and ensures accountability and transparency in the content production process.
From a creative perspective, however, the returns may be even greater. Cross-team collaboration means content ideas and best practices can be shared across the organization. Marketers can easily develop and manage content-driven campaigns that take advantage of content produced across the enterprise. Most importantly, a global, multi-channel view helps marketers tell stories that transcend single touchpoints or single channels, bringing the customer experience full-circle.
Featured image attribution: Casey Horner