Last June, I stood on the stage at Forward, our annual brand storytelling conference, and announced the next generation of our content marketing platform-Skyword360. Skyword360 was designed with the understanding that content marketing can no longer be viewed as a standalone tactic. Today, content sits at the center of all marketing. Skyword360 is a reimagined version of our platform, designed to enable marketers to plan, create, and deliver extraordinary content experiences that connect with their customers across every channel where they spend their time.
When we announced Skyword360, we recognized that we had yet to meet all of the needs of our customers in a few critical areas. Although we could measure how their content performed on their own properties, we couldn't easily see how it stacked up against their competitors. While we could identify key learnings from their own efforts to build best practices, we could not identify the most successful practices employed across their entire industry. When clients asked where their competitors were investing or what their customers will most likely care about in the months ahead, we had to pull intel together periodically from multiple sources instead of providing it-in real time-in ways that enabled marketers to drill down further to answer any question they have.
Today, we join forces with TrackMaven, the leading marketing insights company that informs many of the world's leading brands. This merger fills a critical gap in the market, bringing together best-in-class analytics with best-in-class content marketing, enabling marketers to plan and create scalable, multi-channel content experiences that differentiate their brand.
A Content-Centric Marketing Mindset
This year saw a number of high-profile marketing technology mergers, and industry watchers expect this trend to continue. In the next few years, we'll see fewer point marketing solutions and more consolidated marketing clouds-each with a different lens or point of view.
The merger of Skyword and TrackMaven reflects our thesis that content-centric marketing is the marketing of the future. In today's world, the stories brands tell differentiate them in the market. Customers expect and demand exceptional brand experiences. Content is the only experience that is on demand, always on, and scalable in both depth of experience and distribution to broader audiences. Marketers who stop treating content as a standalone tactic and start bringing a content-first mindset to the entire marketing organization will dominate this next phase of marketing evolution.
Image attribution: Saulo Mohana
With New Mandates, New Challenges
Marketing leaders struggle to meet their customers' expectations and needs everywhere their customers spend their time. Research from IBM's Institute for Business Value published earlier this year identified improving the omni-channel customer experience and reinventing the customer experience through digital innovation as two of the top five priorities of CMOs in 2018. Unsurprisingly, this shift in focus coincides with significant growth in spending on branded content.
But reallocating focus and budget towards content does not in itself address the need to deliver a differentiated brand experience. Creating those quality experiences in every medium across channels creates enormous complexity and presents new challenges. Many companies lack the strategic insight, marketing infrastructure, and creative talent to do this well, and they waste time and resources delivering ineffective content to mass audiences.
Tearing Down the Wall
To succeed, marketers require strategic insights, marketing operational infrastructure, and access to creative talent. Skyword has excelled at addressing the latter two. TrackMaven delivers the first. TrackMaven's marketing analytics capabilities make it easy for marketers to assess their market needs and competitive landscape, demonstrate the ROI of their digital marketing investments, and provide unparalleled insight into content performance and relative competitive success across 19 digital channels.
The combined company will be able to integrate strategic insights across the content strategy, planning, creation, and activation process, tearing down the wall between gathering and analyzing data on one hand and putting insights to work on the other. Previously, Skyword clients could plan, create, and publish exceptional content through our platform, but they had to go off-platform to complete competitive research and gather performance insights. Together, we now offer a truly end-to-end solution for content-centric marketing at scale.
Image attribution: The Roaming Platypus
Our Vision for the Future
In January of this year we closed on $30 million in new funding to execute on our growth strategy. We envisioned a software platform and service offerings that would support the broader need set of tomorrow's CMO, enabling that CMO to complete market assessments, develop a differentiated strategy, operationalize that strategy into a cross-channel/cross-region plan, execute on that strategy, and measure performance. We knew this comprehensive approach was crucial for enterprise marketers who were moving to content-centric marketing.
This merger brings us one giant step closer to fulfilling that vision. Together we'll empower the more than 400 brands we serve to build lasting, meaningful connections with their customers through extraordinary content experiences.
We are excited to move their stories forward.
To learn more about Skyword360, the leading content marketing platform, request a demo.