Drowning in digital content?

Just as human life needs water to exist, brands cannot survive without digital content, says a recent study. But it’s important not to overflow

If you’re not managing your digital content effectively, should you really be planning to create more and more… and more? That’s the question raised by a recent study by Accenture Interactive, Content: The H20 of Marketing, which reveals that while 100% of marketing leaders believe digital content is valuable for meeting business objectives, fewer than half (45%) report that they are very confident their investment is achieving this ambition.

The analogy that content is to business what water is to life has a compelling urgency. And it’s hardly surprising that Accenture Interactive is advocating better content management for improved customer experience, given the business it is in. But the research certainly throws up some interesting questions that every marketer should be asking. So, based on learnings from more than 1,000 senior marketing leaders across 14 industries and 17 countries, here are our top 5 to ponder:

Should you be looking further afield for content than your local reservoir?

The study revealed that 53% of respondents are still producing their content locally. However, 83% believe that two years from now they will produce more content globally and 74% expect to increase the use of outsourcing approaches for content management and production.

Are you drowning your audience in too much content?

81% of survey respondents say their organisation is producing moderate or enormous amounts of digital assets, and 83% expect that volume to increase unchecked two years from now. While over the past decade the average person’s attention span has decreased from 12 to 5 minutes due to the size and speed with which they have access to digital content on a daily basis.

Is your content level rising out of control?

You can have too much of a good thing, and 50% of respondents say they have more digital content than they can manage effectively, with only one in five feeling they manage content well. Over half (53%) are spending more time on the operational details of managing content than core marketing and branding activities.

Is your effectiveness measurement focusing on the right source?

Most companies are measuring their content effectiveness by focusing at operational statistics rather than customer-centric measures. Only 16% are measuring Customer Lifetime Value, with operational costs, cycle time and time to market all ranking higher.

Are you wasting your most valuable resource?

Re-cycling content by repurposing it through different channels can help it go further, but the report identified no obvious single solution. When asked what factors would put their organisation on the path to success for content production and management, better technology came top (10%), but was closely followed by inter-departmental co-ordination, clear strategy and the need for skilled talent.

The study concludes that a successful model for digital content creation is underpinned by the whole organisation -  marketers, strategists, technicians – working towards a single, comprehensive strategy. So perhaps it’s time to consider whether your business should be collaborating and sharing more to achieve greater operational efficiency. Or even outsourcing to a content marketing agency, like us. Otherwise all that marketing spend that should be contributing to your long-term sustainability could just be disappearing down the plughole.