We all know someone who suffers from Peter Pan Syndrome, even if it’s a celebrity, reality star or musician who refuses to grow up. Becoming self-aware and accepting responsibility for your own success is a coming of age that heralds you into adulthood, kicking and screaming at times. Now take what you know about the Peter Pan Syndrome and apply it to today’s content marketers. You might be surprised to find that there is a connection between the two in terms of how marketing departments evolve over time. Some are simply unable to mature, uneasy about accountability or unwilling to shift away from unsustainable marketing practices. What’s the story with your company?
Two Big Marketing Mistakes
A pair of mistakes tends to plague companies when it comes to marketing:
1. The marketing and sale departments aren’t aligned to achieve a common goal; and,
2. Marketing isn’t aligned within the department itself.
These issues cost companies significantly in terms of revenue and missed business opportunities. Marketing and sales must both be in tune with the right process and incorporate technologies, such as content marketing software, that help them make better use of their time. It’s reported that the failure to get both sales and marketing teams on the same page can cost up to 10% or more in revenue annually.
We all know change isn’t easy – especially at slow-to-adapt or larger companies with numerous employees and heavy bureaucracies. But suffering the consequences of failure to change is more devastating to your bottom line that actually making the change itself. Plus, today’s technologies make the transition easier. With the right content marketing platform, your sales and marketing personnel can align content with prospect needs and track buyer behavior from lead generation to closing the deal. They’ll know exactly when the hand-off from one department to the other should take place.
Content Marketing Evolution
By now, most companies see the advantages of taking a content-based approach to marketing, even if they’re initially anxious about incorporating these strategies. However, if you look at content marketing as an evolution that proceeds in stages as you become more comfortable, it will ease your mind that the switch doesn’t have to take place overnight. Every company goes through similar developmental phases as they move to a more content-focused marketing methodology, so you’re not alone in any one of the following categories.
- The Newbie: This company is still trying to get executives on board with content marketing, so the going is slow as far as creating engaging content. Team members act individually and react quickly to successes and failures rather than taking the time to plan out a strategy. They haven’t even considered a content marketing platform yet, so there’s lack of visibility as far as what’s being created and where it’s going. The first step for The Newbie should be to thoroughly analyze the current situation, uncover the road blocks and eliminate the biggest challenges.
- The Enthusiast: Companies that have started their efforts are pretty excited about getting their content out there, especially after they’ve gotten rid of the obstacles and know what’s involved with creating great material. The Enthusiast still needs to establish buy-in at the organization level, however, so efforts are still reactive in nature. At this stage, they’re starting to see how integration of the marketing and sales departments, creation of buyer personas, and strategy can be useful.
If you find yourself in one of the above categories, you’re in good company. The vast majority of organizations are here and remain stagnant because they don’t know the action steps to get to the next level. But it is possible, as we see from the companies at the more advanced levels of content marketing.
- The Intermediate: This business has set content marketing objectives, established roles and responsibilities of team members and developed content strategies to execute. It has implemented content marketing software to assist with analytics and scheduling, and uses buyer personas to properly map content. The company is beginning to manage the process across the entire enterprise, with full visibility of what everyone is doing.
- The Pro: This is where we should all aspire to as marketers, but the road is long and winding at times. The Pro is utilizing best practices across the organization and has implemented tools that optimize every aspect of the process. It has streamlined operations so that content marketing is a finely-tuned machine, with each component working effectively to drive revenue. The Pro knows that they have not reached a destination, but are always on the content marketing path to perfection.
Where does your company fall in the content marketing evolution? Can you offer any tips on how to get to the next level? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.