Sound strategy — whether corporate, business, marketing or content — comes from asking the right questions, with why being chief among the questions you should ask. Well, effective execution of your strategy requires that you ask (and answer) the right questions too. After all, a strategy is only as good as your organization’s ability to execute it well.
And so, when we’re helping our clients address their content challenges, we like to begin by asking them 10 specific questions related to the state of content strategy and the execution of that content strategy. The way you answer these questions can help you determine whether your company has the right content strategy in place, the right people and processes in place to make that strategy real, and even help you come to the hard realization that you don’t have a content strategy in place at all.
- Does your organization have a single, enterprise-wide content strategy?
- Is that strategy clear and simple enough to be understood by every member of your team and all your outside partners (e.g., agencies, media partners, even key marketing technology vendors)?
- Do you feel that your content strategy is being executed consistently by every team member and outside partner that has a hand in content planning, creation, maintenance and distribution?
- Have you researched and documented your customers’ digital consumer journey as a basis for making data-driven decisions about how to provide the right content for the right people, in the right places and for the right reasons?
- Can you gauge how well your current content activities meet the most important needs of your customers and prospects
- Have you done an inventory of your current content assets, then audited them to ensure global consistency, minimal duplication or efforts, and adherence to quality standards?
- Can you articulate the specific role each content asset plays in your overall marketing mix, and do you understand how effective that asset is in achieving its purpose?
- Are you measuring success consistently – with a robust measurement framework and routine reporting – then optimizing your content programs to deliver both near- and long term results?
- Does your organization, as it stands today, have all necessary skills to implement your content strategy or are there gaps you need to fill and new competencies you need to create?
- Do your outside partners – especially your agencies – have the necessary skills to provide you with strategic guidance and implement your content strategy efficiently, effectively, and with minimum duplication of effort?
As you read through the list, did any of the questions surprise you? How about your answers?
Taking a close look at these things will shine a light on any big problems that can stand between your desire to deliver great content for your audience and your ability to actually get it done.