The volume of technologies that support branded content and the need to move quickly leads many marketers to go rogue and erect a shadow tech stack.
If branded content is a car, it should be a dune buggy, not a Cadillac.
Content marketers need to be super agile — able to stand up a blog, digital magazine, or microsite in short order — to respond to what’s going on in the world and experiment with ideas without huge investments and long lead times. Agile branded content also requires a bevvy of supporting technologies, from content collaboration tools to commenting and social platforms to analytics packages, each of which is often a single-point solution.
However, at most companies, web technologies are part of gigantic enterprise systems that are not conducive to quick movements. Meanwhile, bureaucracy is a curse upon the nimble content marketer. Getting a WordPress site approved through corporate IT can be a Byzantine nightmare.
Many marketers are forced to rely on their the organization’s IT system and all its incumbent rigidity and red tape, inevitably struggling to get the tech in place that they need to be agile.
Or they’re going rogue.
How are marketers bridging the gap between the enterprise need to have foundational and secure IT systems and the marketer’s need to have agile, reactive, and experimental branded content efforts? For better or worse, some marketers are routing around the enterprise systems and building a shadow marketing IT stack.
One reason for this is the fact that a lot of emerging content tech solutions have a single point of focus. Rather than fight the corporate back-current, marketers will whip out their credit cards, pick and choose their tech, and operate it in their own cloud. I’ve been shocked to learn from CTO’s at major companies that they’re not entirely sure who’s buying what technology in the marketing department.
The downside is that the organization doesn’t reap the full benefit it would if the marketing stack and all its rich data was fully integrated with enterprise systems. Think of all the data points that content can reveal – social interests and interactions, behavioral website data, email preferences – all of which can be used to track and cultivate consumers through the sales funnel and then continue engagement.
(That’s not even mentioning the buying power enterprise IT can wield with vendors or the value they can help wring out of any given tech integration.)
Robert Rose, Chief Strategy Advisor for the Content Marketing Institute, makes a few suggestions for bringing branded content tech out of the shadows. Rose, who will be serving as keynote speaker and co-chair for the FUSE Enterprise summit on branded content technologies, thinks it’s important enterprise IT allows content marketing to have an experimental playground. “Throw up a blog, a microsite, and then bring it into the mothership if it works,” says Rose.
First though, enterprise IT and marketing need to acknowledge this is a problem and come together to bring branded content technology out of the shadows.
We hope to spur this kind of conversation at FUSE Enterprise, bringing together marketing leads, branded content leads, and technology leads to build a branded content technology play that is nimble and integrated.
FUSE Enterprise is an invitation-only, hosted summit that enables leaders from across the enterprise marketing & technology spectrum to connect, exchange ideas, and build relationships. FUSE is a free, all-inclusive experience for qualified attendees — senior-level decision makers leading strategy and buying decisions around the technology that supports branded content. Apply to attend here.
FUSE Enterprise is produced by Publishing Executive. With a long history of providing the most reliable insight and analysis on the publishing and media industry, Publishing Executive understands the challenges of producing and optimizing content in order to meet key business objectives and the crucial importance of agile and intelligent adoption of technology.