This story is part of Contently’s Accountable Content Series, a collection of articles, webinars, case studies, and events we’ve designed to help marketers deliver measurable brand impact and business outcomes with content. To see more content in this series, click here.
It’s 12 p.m., do you know what your content team is doing?
If you’re a senior manager, it can be difficult—okay, impossible—to know what your team is up to on a day-to-day basis. Is Jim actually “just finishing up” that new product announcement? Did Mary really submit the latest draft of her blog post to Fred yesterday? Larry wants to accelerate the new campaign, so what can we push back on the calendar?
Project management software can be a huge help here. Programs like Trello and Asana specialize in keeping projects on-time, but they’re generalist platforms often used by small, independent teams to focus on specific functions, like design or product. In other words, they’re not built for enterprise-level marketing teams.
That’s where content marketing software comes in. According to software research firm Forrester, one of the core functions of content marketing software is bringing “visibility, order, and insight into countless streams of activity.” Visibility, in particular, proved to be the word that was repeated most by the study’s interviewees.
But what exactly does “visibility” mean? And how does content marketing software help solve for it? Let’s dive in.
One of the biggest challenges of working in an office is collaboration. It’s difficult to know who is working on what and when they’re working on it.
Maybe Fred and Joe are supposed to develop a new PR pitch, but neither know what’s been completed so far. Both build out the entire pitch on separate Word documents, unaware that the other is spending much of the day on the same project. The result is misalignment, wasted hours, and confusion.
Content marketing software is built to avoid these common issues. Take our platform: A centralized system of workflows and calendars makes it easy to create collaborative projects that automatically update. Rather than Fred and Joe working on the same project, Joe would have seen that Fred had already begun. From there, he could comment and add his own contributions.
The result is more collaboration and fewer headaches.
If marketers mention visibility, that’s likely a tell that they’re in a managerial position. Visibility is a huge value of content marketing platforms because it helps make a manager’s job easier. Nobody wants dozens of projects floating in the ether. Software consolidates everything into one visible platform.
Take the calendar tool, which makes it easy for me to find out what my co-workers are up to and what’s next on the docket.
Here, you can see that Sunil needs to review a new product announcement, while Erin is working on finalizing a case study. All the other projects are done—no need to walk over to someone’s desk and ask if something is complete.
Visibility is also a big part of ensuring that marketing stays accountable. You can find out if Fred is actually doing what he said he did. You can see if the idea Fred pitched in that last meeting was actually as effective as he predicted. And you can identify if Fred is the one responsible for production bottlenecks. (If your name is Fred, I apologize).
Internally, we use our command center to monitor all of this data. Once we find out who causes delays, we message them on the spot to address it. Since the command center was launched, we’ve been tracking and steadily trying to improve our ability to hit deadlines.
This is what analysts mean when they talk about visibility: Software that gives you a common environment for planning, production, and analysis. And without it, it’s much harder to succeed.