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What is sales enablement?



What is sales enablement?

As a practice, sales enablement occurs when marketing teams create materials or share information that helps sales teams better convert prospects. However, certain marketing technologies called sales enablement platforms can help marketers to do just that. Functionality typically found in sales enablement platforms may include content enablement, automation and workflow tools, training functionality and analytics tools that provide insights to inform future strategies.

In the B2B environment, marketers have long played a critical role in the early stages of the sales process, when buyers are independently conducting research and forming the views that shape what vendors they consider and with whom they engage.

Read next: The B2B customer journey is set on a digital track

Recently, as the COVID pandemic dramatically sped digital transformation, pushing trade show events online and generally limiting in-person interactions, that trend has become even more pronounced. More than 79% of B2B buyers wait until after they have fully defined their needs before contacting a salesperson, while nearly two-thirds (57%) identify solutions first and 37% only engage sellers to nail down the details of a deal, according to the Korn Ferry Buyer Preferences Study, 2021.

At least in part, this aversion to working with salespeople seems to be driven by a perception that sellers are more product-oriented than solution-oriented, and don’t really know how to add value. That challenge has grown even greater during the pandemic as salespeople lost some of the rapport-building opportunities at in-person meetings and at events.

To a greater or lesser extent, sellers have had to learn new skills and develop methods for being persuasive using digital tools, and they’re not yet very good at it, according to the Korn Ferry study. However, they need to get better at it to survive, and they need tools to enable them to succeed because virtual selling isn’t expected to be a temporary phenomenon.

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Capabilities of sales enablement platforms

Though sales enablement has come together as a category in recent years, there are still some significant differences between the tools offered by the various vendors in the space.

Sales enablement platforms aim to bridge the gap between marketing and sales in B2B operations in a few different ways, with features like the following:

  • Content management
  • Content search and discovery
  • Content personalization and distribution
  • Coaching and training
  • Virtual salesrooms, including 3D virtual showrooms and personalized portals
  • Communications tools like VoIP calling and video conferencing
  • Collaboration
  • Workflow automation tools to log activity
  • Analytics to measure activity and provide insights.
  • Integrations with other business technology

More advanced functionality that lets vendors distinguish their offerings include features like:

  • Conversational intelligence, possibly including real-time in-call coaching
  • Artificial intelligence to suggest next best steps or determine how best to coach or train individual salespeople
  • Content creation, including in 3D, VR and AR

Let’s look a little deeper at the range of features offered by sales enablement platforms.

Content management

The key capabilities of sales enablement platforms, at least where marketers are concerned, relate to content. Primary among these is the ability to ingest and organize content assets in a variety of formats, with an eye toward making them easily found by salespeople. In some cases, the platforms index content located on existing file storage systems like Google Drive, Microsoft SharePoint or Dropbox, saving marketers the time of uploading all their content to a new system.

As with digital asset management (DAM) systems, these assets can typically be tagged and metadata can be added. Some systems use a familiar organizational structure like files and folders, but the systems also allow for the curation of these assets into micro-sites or portals associated with particular business goals — products, initiatives, vertical customer types or individual customers, for example. Sophisticated permissions structures ensure users only access the content they’re intended to see.

Content personalization and distribution

One idea that’s been widely discussed recently is that of empathy — customer surveys consistently find that buyers want businesses to understand their circumstances and the challenges they face, and tailor their communications accordingly.

Sales enablement platform features that address this include the ability for marketers to build templated content that can either be personalized dynamically or by the seller as they prepare to meet with the prospect. Marketers can also provide the building blocks that allow salespeople to create customized portals that address a prospect or customer’s specific situation. Content can also be tailored for different stages in the sales cycle or to overcome common objections.

Once these personalized experiences are created, platforms typically integrate with email, file-sharing and video conferencing tools for distribution.

Content search and discovery

For sellers to be able to put together these customized pieces of content, they must be able to find the building blocks and templates. And, if they’re not aware of them, they need to discover them. Finding is facilitated by search and navigation, along with filters that allow users to narrow the pool of results. Discovery is a bit more tricky, but these tools enable marketers to curate content elements tailored for particular situations. Artificial intelligence can also assist here in suggesting the next-best piece of content that should be shared with the client or prospect.

Coaching and training

Depending on the structure of the organization, marketers may or may not be involved in this aspect of sales enablement. Sales enablement platforms incorporate functionality to onboard new salespeople and familiarize them with what they’ll be selling, as well as to inform and educate sellers on an ongoing basis. This can involve textual or video lessons, interactive quizzes, video roleplaying and the like. Sales leadership can utilize analytics features to determine what a given salesperson should be learning or AI functions can suggest areas a salesperson should brush up on, with recommendations based on content use and consumption by customers.

Virtual salesrooms

Thirty percent of B2B sales cycles will primarily be run through a digital or virtual salesroom by 2026, Gartner says, predicting that they will be used throughout the customer life cycle. These experiences can take a variety of shapes, from personal mini-portals to tools that let customers configure solutions and get quotes, to a full-fledged virtual showroom designed to show off products. These virtual salesrooms can also include features like file sharing, chat, meeting requests, video conferencing and contract signing.

Communications and collaboration tools

Sales enablement platforms include capabilities to facilitate communication between sellers and customers, such as dialers, email tools and videoconferencing. They also incorporate functions that help marketing collaborate with sales. For example, a tool may let sellers give marketers feedback on certain pieces of content so that it can be made more effective.

Workflow automation

Rather than spending time manually logging the results of sales meetings, salespeople using these platforms can use automation features that perform this task. Some tools also let sales leadership establish frameworks that conform to popular sales approaches, or customize them to their own philosophies.


The sales enablement function of measuring all of the activity that occurs around the marketing and selling process is a key benefit, allowing marketers to perform analysis and iteration that lead to more effective content. Additionally, sales leaders can track individual sellers’ performance and establish best practices to be shared through the organization.


As with many other types of business technology, the ability to integrate with other tools — especially CRMs and tools for content creation and distribution — is nearly a foregone conclusion. However, vendors differ in terms of the types of integrations that are included out-of-the-box and which must be developed using APIs.

Tied into this capability is the strength of the vendor’s own developers and the community of agencies and systems integrators that are familiar with their solutions. Some vendors have stronger partner networks in certain geographical areas or with more familiarity with certain verticals.

Advanced functionality

Many advanced features offered by sales enablement vendors tap into less-common technologies like virtual reality or 3D modeling, both of which facilitate virtual showrooms where prospects can interact with models of the items being sold. Vendors in the space are also integrating features common in call analytics platforms, such as recording, transcribing and analyzing conversations between salespeople and prospects. This also includes realtime coaching that can be used to “whisper” in a salesperson’s ear as they are engaged in conversation with the client or prospect.

Vendors are also incorporating more artificial intelligence and machine learning-driven capabilities, such as tools that analyze the available data and suggest a next-best-action (or piece of content) that would help move a sale discussion forward. This type of technology can also suggest training or coaching that would benefit a salesperson.

Is your marketing team ready to give the sales team the support it needs to convert more prospects? Explore top sales engagement platforms in the first edition of this MarTech Intelligence Report.

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The benefits of using sales enablement platforms

The specific benefits of using an enterprise sales enablement platform include – but are not limited to – the following:

  • Improved effectiveness of sales content. Using the content repository within sales enablement platforms allows marketers to better showcase the content they’re creating for use by sales. With search and curation, sellers can more easily find assets that apply to their particular situation, plus customize them to address the buyers’ specific circumstances and business needs. Analytics functions let businesses determine how content is being consumed and what assets drive deals and revenue. When used effectively, this kind of function can improve the overall revenue picture.
  • Time savings for marketers and salespeople. Improved findability and curation mean sellers aren’t having to spend time searching for the appropriate assets. Workflow and content distribution capabilities can also drive efficiency if salespeople don’t have to switch from one software to another to get their jobs done. Savings for marketers will depend somewhat on how resources are deployed at your company.
  • Closer integration between marketing and sales. The analytics delivered by a sales enablement platform are of great interest to both marketing and sales, enabling the two functions to become more closely aligned. Collaboration capabilities allow marketers to educate sellers on the needs a particular piece of content is meant to address, while
    salespeople can provide marketers with feedback that allows for learning and iteration of content creation.
  • Better ROI from content investments. The analytics functions that help marketers understand how content is being consumed — both by sellers and by the clients and prospects they’re wooing — enable them to learn and adjust their strategy for developing new content. Additionally, since assets are more easily findable and customizable, each asset can be more fully utilized, rather than being allowed to drop off the radar after a given period of time.
  • Faster, more effective onboarding of new salespeople and adoption of new initiatives. Coaching and training functions can help businesses more quickly train new employees so they can begin to close deals. They can also assist marketers in rolling out new products to salespeople as offerings change or the sales approach shifts.
  • More holistic customer view, including of separate individuals in the buying committee. B2B purchasing decisions are typically made by a group of stakeholders (an average of 11 and sometimes as many as 20, Gartner finds), each of whom has their own role and interests. The analytics capabilities in a sales enablement platform can give users a more holistic view of a customer’s interests over time and can allow marketers to drill down into the particular needs of each member involved in the process.
  • Better compliance with legal regulations and brand initiatives. In today’s environment, salespeople frustrated by hard-to-find or missing content often “go rogue,” creating their own slide decks or other communications without consulting with marketing. A sales enablement platform can meet sellers’ needs while keeping them from distributing content that may not be aligned with corporate priorities or comply with restrictions that apply to highly-regulated industries.

About The Author

Pamela Parker is Research Director at Third Door Media’s Content Studio, where she produces MarTech Intelligence Reports and other in-depth content for digital marketers in conjunction with Search Engine Land and MarTech. Prior to taking on this role at TDM, she served as Content Manager, Senior Editor and Executive Features Editor. Parker is a well-respected authority on digital marketing, having reported and written on the subject since its beginning. She’s a former managing editor of ClickZ and has also worked on the business side helping independent publishers monetize their sites at Federated Media Publishing. Parker earned a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.

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Five questions for our new CMO, Shafqat Islam



Five questions for our new CMO, Shafqat Islam

Alex Atzberger: Now that you’ve stepped into the CMO role, what are you looking forward to?   

Shafqat Islam: It’s amazing to take on this role at both a category creator and leader. How many brands can be a leader in almost every category–think Experimentation and CMS–that we play in?  

And we have so much to look forward to and build on. We have an exceptional team of marketing leaders and practitioners. They are fiercely intelligent, optimistic, and care deeply about what our products can *do* for our customers. Not just for the people who will encounter the marketing, retail, and product experiences that we support, but for the people who build them. As somebody who has both built products and been deeply immersed in marketing, I love the perspective that our team has.  

Alex Atzberger: What makes Optimizely unique?   

Shafqat Islam: First off, we’re category creators in experimentation and content management, both CMS and CMP. Marketers know this, and analysts know it, as something like 7 major analyst reports will tell you.  

Martech is a crowded field, so it’s true that there are a lot of firms whose territory overlaps with some of ours. But show me another company that can handle the entire content lifecycle like we can. Or show me another company that can do both feature flagging and experimentation.  

We also have a legendary legacy in the martech world. Before I joined, I knew that A/B testing and Optimizely were synonymous, and that the company’s roots go all the way back to the origins of the practice. And that’s something that is like common folklore in marketing and technology.  

And more than anything, the 1500 people who work here are world-class. 

Alex Atzberger: Being a CMO talking to other CMOs and marketing leaders is an advantage. You know the customer. But you’ve also built tech products. How does that affect your work now?  

Shafqat Islam: I’ve spent the majority of my adult life building products for marketers. So I’ve been lucky to spend so much time talking to CMOs and marketers in almost every type of company all over the world. As the founder/CEO of Welcome, my approach was to solve marketer challenges by building products. But now as CMO, I get to use the products we build.  

We’re practitioners of all of our own solutions, so in addition to the natural empathy I have for marketers, I am also close to the job’s unique challenges every day. There’s nothing like that to keep you sharp and keep you close to the customer.  

As a product builder, I knew we must always speak to business outcomes. But as CMO, I love that we aren’t just talking about the solutions – we’re living them, too.  

Because I was an entrepreneur for so long, I also bring another unique view – my willingness to take smart risks. I love to try things, even if (especially if?) the results are sometimes surprising. When it comes to experimentation, there are no failures, only learnings. 

Alex Atzberger: What are the biggest challenges you’re hearing from our customers, current and future?  

Shafqat Islam: Growth, especially given how tough it is out there for so many industries. The stakes are very high when it comes to creating experiences that will win and retain customers. That’s what all of our customers–especially the retail heavyweights-are thinking about.  

And marketing and technology leaders need to do this with leaner budgets. Efficiency matters a lot right now, and that means not only reducing the costs you can see, like the price tag attached to software, but also the costs you can’t see right away, like how much time and money it takes to manage a set of solutions. With that said, in tough times, I think the strongest brands can not just survive but also thrive. I also think when others are fearful, that may be the time to invest aggressively. 

And in the background of all this, there is still the ever-expanding list of customer touchpoints. This is simultaneously an exciting challenge for marketers and an exciting opportunity. More data means more effective storytelling– if you can use it right.

I also hear marketers when they say there’s a need for a shared space for collaboration among us. The role of the marketer is expansive, and it’s only getting more complicated. Building a community where we can come together and appreciate our shared goals is difficult, but I’m optimistic that we’re moving in the right direction.  

Alex Atzberger: What is next in our space? What will marketing and technology leaders be talking about six months from now?  

Shafqat Islam: Looking around now, it’s clear that 2023 will be the year that AI-generated content goes mainstream. We’re just starting to see the uses and the consequences of this. There’s already buzz about ChatGPT and its capabilities, and platforms are already making space to integrate AI functionality into their offerings. It could be an exciting way for users to become better equipped to create and share high-quality content.  

Customers also have gotten very used to personalization. Every screen they see daily is personalized, whether it’s their Netflix account or social feeds. So, when I see a site that isn’t personalized, I kind of scratch my head and wonder, why? With personalization now the norm, expectations for digital creators are sky-high.

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What to Consider When Choosing a Brand Ambassador for Your Social Media Campaign



What to Consider When Choosing a Brand Ambassador for Your Social Media Campaign

Want to maximize the potential of your social media campaign? Then you must ensure to choose the right brand ambassador for the job. Having a good ambassador will increase your social media reach and boost sales. But, selecting the best ambassador can be tricky.

This guide will show you the key steps to consider when selecting the perfect brand ambassador for your social media campaign. From assessing their influence to ensuring their content matches your brand’s mission. This guide will give you the insights you need to make the right decision.

Understanding the role of a brand ambassador

A brand ambassador acts as a company representative, promoting the brand’s products to a specific audience. They are selected for their influence and ability to communicate the brand’s message. Their primary goal is to increase brand awareness and engagement with the audience.

To achieve this, an ambassador shares the brand’s message and builds connections with the target audience. They help to establish trust and credibility for the brand by personally endorsing it through their own experiences. Also, they provide valuable feedback to the company, allowing for product improvements.

Tips for choosing the right ambassador for your social media campaign

1) Assess the credibility and influence of potential ambassadors.

One of the first steps is to ensure they have a very active social media presence. Make sure they have many followers and a high engagement rate. Check the number of followers they have and the type of posts they share. This will give you a good idea of the content they generate and let you know if they are a good fit for your campaign.

Make sure their posts are relevant and appropriate for your brand. If their content is not a good fit, you may want to reconsider hiring them for your campaign. This is important if your brand has a particular message you wish to convey to your audience. If their content is not in line with your brand’s values, it could have a negative effect on your brand’s image.

2) Analyze the compatibility between the ambassador’s content and your brand’s mission.

It’s common to think that a famous ambassador would be a good fit for your campaign. But if their content is not in line with your brand, they are not an option. You may want to go further and check the interaction between their posts and followers. If the interaction is very high and followers actively participate, this is a good indicator of the quality of the ambassador. This will show how much impact the ambassador has among their followers. The interaction of the followers with the ambassador’s posts is important, as it is a good way for them to get to know your brand better.

3) Make sure the ambassador is present on the right social networks.

If your brand uses more than one type of social media, you should ensure the ambassador is present on them. You can choose an ambassador who is active on most of the major social networks. But, you must ensure they have an appropriate presence on each platform.

For example, it may not be a good idea to select an ambassador who is primarily active on Instagram for a Facebook-centric campaign. Remember that followers on each platform are different, and it’s important to reach your desired audience. If the ambassador you choose is present on the right social media platform, it will be easier for them to reach your audience.

4) Set expectations and establish the terms of the partnership.

Once you have selected an ambassador and they have agreed to collaborate with your brand, set the terms of the collaboration. Set clear expectations and tell the ambassador precisely what you want them to do. This includes specifying the type of content that should be posted. It is also important to outline the kind of connection that should be fostered between their followers and your company.

Also, be sure to establish payment terms and any other essential partnership details. For example, if you want the ambassador to promote your brand at a specific event, let them know so they can prepare.

5) Consider brand ambassadors who have experience participating in events.

A brand ambassador with experience working at events and comfortable interacting with customers can be a valuable asset to your campaign. They will be able to promote your brand and products at events and help to build a positive image for your company.

Find a brand ambassador who is professional and comfortable in a high-energy environment. This will ensure they can effectively represent your brand and engage with customers at events. Hire an event staffing agency to ensure the event runs smoothly and let brand ambassadors focus on promoting the brand and connecting with the audience.

6) Complete the selection and onboarding process

Make sure you select an available ambassador with the right skills for your campaign. Verify that the ambassador’s availability matches your campaign schedule.

It’s a good idea to start interacting with the ambassador on social media. It will help you establish a strong relationship, making promoting your brand more accessible. Show the audience that they have rallied behind your brand and thank them for their support.

7) Follow-up and evaluation of the ambassador’s success

Once the campaign is over, follow up with the ambassador to test its success. Ask the ambassador if your promotion has been effective and get their feedback on the campaign. This is an excellent way to improve your campaign the next time you run it. It will also help you identify areas where you can improve your social media strategy.

You can test the success of your social media campaign by looking at three main factors: reach, engagement, and conversions. By considering these factors, you can determine the success of your social media campaign. Also, you can identify any areas that need improvement.


Brands use brand ambassadors to increase engagement and sales of their products. An ambassador has a large following and regularly interacts with your audience. When selecting an ambassador, consider factors such as their social media presence and the ability to communicate your brand’s message. Taking the time to choose the proper brand ambassador will ensure the success of your social media campaign.

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Content Operations Framework: How To Build One



Content Operations Framework: How To Build One

More and more marketers of all ilk – inbound, outbound, social, digital, content, brand – are asked to add content operations to their list of responsibilities.

You must get your arms around:

  • Who is involved (and, I mean, every who) in content creation
  • How content is created
  • What content is created by whom
  • Where content is conceived, created, and stored
  • When and how long it takes for content to happen
  • Why content is created (the driving forces behind content creation)
  • What kinds of content does the audience want
  • How to build a framework to bring order and structure to all of this

The evolving expectations mean content marketers can no longer focus only on the output of their efforts. They must now also consider, construct, implement, and administer the framework for content operations within their organizations.

#Content marketers can no longer focus solely on the output. It’s time to add content ops to the mix, says @CathyMcKnight via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

What exactly are content operations?

Content operations are the big-picture view of everything content-related within your organization, from strategy to creation, governance to effectiveness measurement, and ideation to content management. All too frequently at the companies – large and small – we consult with at The Content Advisory, content operations are left to evolve/happen in an organic fashion.

Teams say formal content operations aren’t necessary because “things are working just fine.”

Translation: Nobody wants the task of getting everyone aligned. No one wants to deal with multiple teams’ rationale for why the way they do things is the right/best/only way to do it. So, content teams just go on saying everything is fine.

News flash – it’s not.

It’s not just about who does what when with content.

Done right, content operations enable efficacy and efficiency of processes, people, technologies, and cost. Content ops are essential for strategic planning, creation, management, and analysis for all content types across all channels (paid, earned, owned) and across the enterprise from ideation to archive.

A formal, documented, enforced content operation framework powers and empowers a brand’s ability to deliver the best possible customer experiences throughout the audiences’ journeys.

A documented, enforced #ContentOperations framework powers a brand’s ability to deliver the best possible experiences, says @CathyMcKnight via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

It doesn’t have to be as daunting as it sounds.

What holds many content, administrative, and marketing teams back from embracing a formal content operations strategy and framework is one of the biggest, most challenging questions for anything new: “Where do we start?”

Here’s some help in high-level, easy-to-follow steps.

1. Articulate the purpose of content

Purpose is why the team does what it does. It’s the raison d’etre and inspiration for everything that follows. In terms of content, it drives all content efforts and should be the first question asked every time content is created or updated. Think of it as the guiding star for all content efforts.

In Start With Why, author Simon Sinek says it succinctly: “All organizations start with WHY, but only the great ones keep their WHY clear year after year.”

All organizations start with WHY, but only the great ones keep their WHY clear year after year, says @SimonSinek via @CathyMcKnight and @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

2. Define the content mission

Once the purpose of the teams’ content efforts is clear (and approved), it’s time to define your content mission. Is your content’s mission to attract recruits? Build brand advocacy? Deepen relationships with customers? Do you have buy-in from the organization, particularly the C-suite? This is not about identifying what assets will be created.

Can you talk about your mission with clarity? Have you created a unique voice or value proposition? Does it align with or directly support a higher, corporate-level objective and/or message? Hint: It should.

Answering all those questions solidifies your content mission.


The marketer’s field manual to content operations

A hands-on primer for marketers to upgrade their content production process – by completing a self-audit and following our step-by-step best practices. Get the e-book.

3. Set and monitor a few core objectives and key results

Once your content mission is in place, it is time to set out how to determine success.

Content assets are called assets for a reason; they possess real value and contribute to the profitability of your business. Accordingly, you need to measure their efficacy. One of the best ways is to set OKRs – objectives and key results. OKRs are an effective goal-setting and leadership tool for communicating objectives and milestones to achieve them.

OKRs typically identify the objective – an overall business goal to achieve – and three to five key quantifiable, objective, measurable outcomes. Finally, establish checkpoints to ensure the ultimate objective is reached.

Let’s say you set an objective to implement an enterprise content calendar and collaboration tool. Key results to track might include:

  • Documenting user and technical requirements
  • Researching, demonstrating, and selecting a tool
  • Implementing and rolling out the tool.

You would keep tabs on elements/initiatives, such as securing budget and approvals, defining requirements, working through procurement, and so on.

One more thing: Make sure OKRs are verifiable by defining the source and metric that will provide the quantifiable, measurable result.

Make sure objectives and key results are verifiable by defining source and metric, says @CathyMcKnight via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

4. Organize your content operations team

With the OKRs set, you need people to get the work done. What does the structure look like? Who reports to whom?

Will you use a centralized command-and-control approach, a decentralized but-supported structure, or something in between? The team structure and organization must work within the construct and culture of the larger organization.

Here’s a sample organizational chart we at TCA developed for a Fortune 50 firm. At the top is the content function before it diverges into two paths – one for brand communications and one for a content center of excellence.

Under brand communications is each brand or line of business followed by these jointly connected teams: content – marcom, social/digital content development and management, center of excellence content – creative leader, center of excellence PR/media relations, customer relationship management, and social advertising.

Under the content center of excellence is the director of content strategy, manager of content traffic, projects, and planning, digital asset operations manager, audience manager, social channel and content specialist, creative manager, content performance and agility specialist, and program specialist.

Click to enlarge

5. Formalize a governance model

No matter how the operational framework is built, you need a governance model. Governance ensures your content operations follow agreed-upon goals, objectives, and standards.

Get a senior-management advocate – ideally someone from the C-suite – to preside over setting up your governance structure. That’s the only way to get recognition and budget.

To stay connected to the organization and its content needs, you should have an editorial advisory group – also called an editorial board, content committee, or keeper of the content keys. This group should include representatives from all the functional groups in the business that use the content as well as those intricately involved in delivering the content. The group should provide input and oversight and act as touchpoints to the rest of the organization.

Pointing to Simon Sinek again for wisdom here: “Passion alone can’t cut it. For passion to survive, it needs structure. A why without how has little probability of success.”

6. Create efficient processes and workflows

Adherence to the governance model requires a line of sight into all content processes.

How is content generated from start to finish? You may find 27 ways of doing it today. Ideally, your goal would be to have the majority (70% or more) of your content – infographic, advertisement, speech for the CEO, etc. – created the same or in a similar way.

You may need to do some leg work to understand how many ways content is created and published today, including:

  • Who is involved (internal and external resources)
  • How progress is tracked
  • Who the doers and approvers are
  • What happens to the content after it’s completed

Once documented, you can streamline and align these processes into a core workflow, with allowances for outlier and ad-hoc content needs and requests.

This example of a simple approval process for social content (developed for a global, multi-brand CPG company) includes three tiers. The first tier covers the process for a social content request. Tier two shows the process for producing and scheduling the content, and tier three shows the storage and success measurement for that content:

Click to enlarge

7. Deploy the best-fit technology stack

How many tools are you using? Many organizations grow through acquisitions, so they inherit duplicate or overlapping functionality within their content stacks. There might be two or three content management systems (CMS) and several marketing automation platforms.

Do a technology audit, eliminate redundancies, and simplify where possible. Use the inherent capabilities within the content stack to automate where you can. For example, if you run a campaign on the first Monday of every month, deploy technology to automate that process.

The technology to support your content operations framework doesn’t have to be fancy. An Excel spreadsheet is an acceptable starting place and can be one of your most important tools.

The goal is to simplify how content happens. What that looks like can vary greatly between organizations or even between teams within an organization.

Adopting a robust content operations framework requires cultural, technological, and organizational changes. It requires sponsorship from the very top of the organization and adherence to corporate goals at all levels of the organization.

None of it is easy – but the payoff is more than worth it.

Updated from a November 2021 post.

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.


Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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