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Are you waiting for your content teams to catch on?

I’m starting to see a lot of frustrated CMOs. There was a time not too long ago, when digital marketing seemed simple. Or at least simpler. Put together some content that looks like what you did last year. Optimize it for search. Email it around. Tweet it. That should get it done.

But it really doesn’t.

There is just too much competition out there now. You can’t just dial it in and think that’s good enough. We’ve been hearing for years that the answer is higher quality. And in some sense, that’s correct.

But you can’t just tell the content teams to create higher quality content. It’s kind of like telling your sales force to make better sales calls. You can’t just sit around waiting for your content teams to “catch on.”

There are three things that most content teams need that they don’t have:

  • Training. Not every team needs the same training, but I usually find that they are missing some of the skills needed to catch on. Sometimes they need updates in digital skills, but often they need to really understand the company’s clients better, or the company’s strategy better. Too often we take for granted that people have the skills to do it right, but often they don’t.
  • Metrics. Most people want to do the right thing, but they don’t know if what they did actually worked. That’s because we don’t give them the numbers they need to keep score. We have lots of numbers, but we act as though everyone should know where to find them, how to put them together, and how to interpret them. They often don’t.
  • Knowledge. No, this isn’t the same as training. It’s more tactical, more task-oriented, and more ephemeral. When the numbers aren’t what you want them to be, what tip do you need to know for what to try next?

I could just end this post here–another complaining “no one knows what they are doing” post. But that’s not good enough. That realization has changed the way that I work with clients.

So, still do training and consulting. I still tell them what I think they should do, but I also help them define their strategy. I set up software that gets them the numbers to improve the exact problems they are struggling with, and I give them a knowledge base that helps them to improve the numbers they don’t like. Each individual team can see how they are doing–not just as part of the whole. Surprise- those teams are starting to catch on.

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in digital marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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