Consumers are using more devices and touchpoints than ever before. Brands have had no choice but to adopt an omnichannel marketing strategy—some with more success than others. To keep up with the demand for cross-channel content, those same brands have incorporated a wide variety of martech, Cloud storage solutions, third-party agencies, and publishing tools.
The result? Silos. Lots of them.
Without the ability to quickly locate, manage, and reuse content across touchpoints, marketers risk spending more time and money to act on their marketing strategies. Eliminating these content silos, therefore, is critical to implementing a successful omnichannel digital marketing strategy.
The problem: 42% of marketers report their organization hasn’t acquired the right technology to manage content across the enterprise; and, of the 58% who have, only 16% say they’re using it to its potential.
In other words, marketers are facing a problem that’s rooted in inadequate technology as well as shortsighted strategy.
With that in mind, let’s look at what content silos look like in practice—and how to finally eliminate them.
Recognizing Your Content Silos
The most common forms of content silos are these:
- Content that is specific to a particular channel
- Digital assets that are scattered among multiple applications and storage solutions
- Content within different martech systems that isn’t easily shared
Let’s look at how each of these situations can occur.
1. Channel-Specific Content
It’s no secret that omnichannel marketing works: Omnichannel customers spend 4% more in-store and 10% more online than single-channel customers. Your customers are channel-agnostic, so to deliver a great customer experience, your brand needs to follow suit.
To facilitate omnichannel experiences, brands are deploying a range of applications to create content for specific channels, such as social media and email marketing. When content is created within those tools, however, it’s difficult to extract that content for the sake of repurposing it for other channels. So, instead of creating one seamless experience across channels, you’re indirectly using each channel to limit the customer experience.
To compound this issue, creating and storing content in such an inefficient way leads to more problems when scaling and personalizing that content: 34% of senior marketers say they are struggling to scale to meet multichannel content needs.
2. Scattered Digital Assets
To deliver omnichannel experiences, having content in large volumes is a necessity, even if that is time-consuming and expensive.
Yet, it’s rare to find a company that sticks to one agency partner, Cloud storage system, word processing system, or digital asset management system across all its departments. Inevitably, individual teams and sometimes individual employees will take it upon themselves to use the tools they feel most comfortable using. That leads to your brand’s imagery, videography, and content being scattered across a myriad of applications.
And the problem doesn’t end there.
When digital assets are scattered in this way, they often end up being used only once, as different departments can’t access the content. Worse yet, different departments often aren’t even aware that the content exists. Plus, the original team will likely overlook the content for future campaigns as it cannot be quickly located in any centralized, searchable system.
It’s no wonder that 44% of senior marketers say they can’t produce content fast enough to power their personalization.
So, instead of getting more mileage out of each piece of content, marketing teams spend more budget on creating and purchasing new assets for every campaign, forgetting that they already have assets that would work.
3. Disjointed Systems and Applications
To serve a variety of touchpoints with content, many brands have adopted a best-of-breed approach to their martech stack. In fact, Gartner’s 2018-2019 CMO Spend Survey found that 29% of total CMO marketing expense budget is allocated to martech, making it the largest investment among marketing resources and programs.
The problem is that those systems tend not to talk to each other or provide a unified experience for marketers; that translates into a disjointed customer experience, too.
Without a central system that can integrate with and communicate with those different applications, marketers can’t leverage data from one system to support or fuel the actions of another system. For instance, without a CMS that can pull data from your customer relationship management (CRM) system and product information management (PIM) system, an e-commerce brand is likely to deliver sub-par personalization.
How Content Silos Stifle Digital Marketers
Senior marketers almost universally agree that producing and publishing digital content more cost-effectively is a priority because their current, disconnected martech stacks are causing more problems than they can solve.
After all, when marketers have to rely on a disconnected martech stack, they’re often faced with two options:
- Spend time searching through scattered assets to find the content they need before exporting and importing that content to wherever it needs to be (assuming they can even find it)
- Spend money on creating or purchasing duplicate or new content for each campaign, and for each channel
Both options are inefficient, and both impact content marketing velocity.
Even if marketers can find the relevant content within disparate systems, it can be nearly impossible to repurpose content housed in silos or easily distribute that content across departments and channels.
Furthermore, content that’s not channel-agnostic needs to be duplicated and remade for each channel, sometimes by different departments. That often leads to small variations in a company’s branding and messaging from one touchpoint to the next.
Reusable, channel-agnostic, and easily located content is crucial for consistent omnichannel marketing that’s on-brand across all touchpoints.
All in all, content silos lead to lost or hidden content, not to mention wasted time and sunk costs.
Use a Content Hub to Finally Eliminate Content Silos
Though the content-silo problem is obvious for marketing teams, they’re often at a loss about how to eliminate them. In our experience, the solution is not to drop your best-of-breed martech strategy altogether; instead, it’s to instead unify those technologies with a centralized content hub.
A content hub isn’t merely a content management system (CMS) or digital asset management (DAM) system; those, too, can become silos. After all, even content that’s centralized in a CMS or DAM can be hard to find if the software doesn’t have powerful tagging, metadata, and indexing features—not to mention powerful APIs that can pull in content and data from the rest of your martech stack.
To finally solve your content silo problem, your content hub must be equipped to pull content from all your disparate applications and storage solutions. In addition, the software you choose should have auto-tagging functionality to streamline the process of managing the large volume of assets and content your brand needs to fuel a personalized omnichannel marketing strategy.
Indexing and search features are also essential for finding relevant content for the sake of repurposing. Finally, the solution you implement needs to empower marketers to modify and collaborate on those assets quickly and then easily deliver them to different channels without creating additional content silos in the process.
If that sounds like a futuristic dream, see how global brands today are already using Sitecore as a content hub to eliminate silos and empower their marketing teams.